Saturday, 24 March 2012
134. Bingo Crosbyana (1936)
Release date: May 30, 1936.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Billy Bletcher (Spider).
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Cal Dalton and Sandy Walker.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Flies dominate the kitchen for the night eating food; while the males get jealous of swooned females over Bing Crosby before a spider arrives to attack the females.
This is the cartoon that apparently Bing Crosby filed for lawsuit to sue Leon Schlesinger because he disliked the way he was caricatured in this short as a fly. Friz seemed to have had Bing Crosby on his mind in 1936 when he also made the caricatured Crosby in Let It Be Me which is more insulting than this short - although I think he sued Schlesinger for BOTH shorts. Crosby seemed to have disliked being caricatured as animals in shorts as he disliked the way he was caricatured in "Swooner Crooner".
Another group of flies then grab out a piece of macaroni from the cupboard as they find an orange fruit. They use the macaroni as a straw to suck the juicy parts inside their bodies but since their bodies are small - they turn fat from the food before they need to digest. Eating gags here are being presented in this short but at least I can say it makes the cartoon charming overall; since Freleng has his own humor of gags although so far this just feels like one of his 1935 shorts.
The bug starts to lose his patience in which he almost shoots with the tooth pick not aiming at the pea in which the bug runs off with the bug rather confused. The bug returns with a huge pumpkin on his head rather convinced he won't get jabbed by the tooth pick but the bug loses focus and accidentally shoots it at the bug in which he flies out of the scene. Now that is a rather funny gag since he thinks he will aim at the pumpkin easily. The fly has it's wings stuck to the wall; luckily it wasn't his stomach or any parts of the body. Some rather neat effects on the blur shown here; although watching this cartoon again it feels like another remake of The Lady in Red but instead it just shows bugs, and no civilization, Spanish cockroaches or even a parrot.
The women bugs are then singing the title song I imagine (although I'm not too sure of the song they are singing) in which there is a male bug standing by a water bottle trying to get attention from the bugs as well as a few other bugs.
The Bing Crosby bug then walks up to the lady bugs in which he swings his hat around his body in a greeting pose. All of the girls then start to giggle with admiration as the Crosby bug starts to go into song as he picks his guitar up. Although I must say; why does the guitar he has only got one string?! Did he keep on tuning the guitar wrongly in which the strings broke?
After the song has completed the Bing Crosby bug then starts to demonstrate on what he can do (to probably woo the ladies even more I guess). He says; "You ain't seen nothin' yet" as he throws his guitar inside a pot as he is about to prepare himself. He runs down the table in which he starts to fly with his wings out like an airplane.
The Bingo Crosby bug then flies past the men bugs on top of the table as they duck their heads. The boyfriend bugs then step back up as they shake their fists with jealousy and rage. As a cuckoo comes out of a clock; it jumps with fright as the Bing Crosby bug flies past it removing all of the feathers.
As the fly has the buttons by the thread; he lights a match on an attached metal match box in which he starts to write in smoke. He writes up in the air "How'm I doin'" until he flies down the table with a bumpy stop. The animation timing of the bumpy stop is pretty impressive to look at. At the fly has finished the lady bugs all go up to him admiringly as he is the man of the hour (well; he could be the man of the hour forever).
This is certainly some dance routine that is being shown so I can't imagine it being boring at all. It's lively and at least the off-screen chorus show some spirit here. The movement is done pretty well but I wonder if any live-action was used for the animators here or if this was all done by scratch?
The female lady singers are still going into song while the Bing Crosby bug and the lucky woman bug are still dancing to the spiritual song. After the song has finished - all of the ladies appaer to be very satisfied - but not the men bugs who are groaning with jealousy.
The Bing Crosby bug then turns around in which he starts to turn yellow with fright - only the colors change - nothing really expressive animation wise. The spider then starts to try and kidnap the lady bug but fails to do so in which he keeps on trying to grab her with his arms and hands. Is it he or is the animation of the spider there just really sloppy when you look at the movement and it's very unrealistic with unrelated poses. The lady bug then starts to run off in which the chase sequence begins as it appears to be Friz Freleng is back to his old formula that he loved to use back in 1934.
The girls then start to hide in a piece of wax paper so that the spider won't be able to get through. The Bing Crosby bug then steps out of the teacup in which he steps inside the wax paper but only to be pushing the women bugs out because of not much room. Which means that the ladies are in trouble since Bing Crosby bug is acting all cowardly - probably why the real Bing Crosby didn't like it.
One of the bugs hold onto the reel in which the whisk spins around as the spider gets the horrible feeling of it on his behind which even looks painful as it's presented. The spider then steps out with an aching behind until he spots a bug in which he starts to chase after him since he was part of the whisk scenario.
The spider then starts to land after the electrocution from the socket but his luck runs out since he lands onto a piece of flypaper on the table which means he's stuck and has no chance of escaping. At least that was a wise idea to have the spider trapped by a piece of flypaper since he now has no chance of escaping and at least the women are impressed with what's happening.
The Bing Crosby bug then walks over standing on a spoon looking at the spider stuck on flypaper. The Bing Crosby says in an arrogant tone, "Well we certainly got him this time" in which the male bug has had enough of him and stands on the edge end of the spoon catapulting him in which he lands onto a cup of tea. I wonder if THAT also annoyed Bing Crosby when he saw that cartoon? The Bing Crosby bug looks over rather confused at to what had happened.