Wednesday, 28 March 2012

136. When I Yoo Hoo (1936)

Warner cartoon no. 135.
Release date: June 27, 1936.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast unknown.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Bob McKimson and Sandy Walker.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: In order to end the feud of the Weavers and the Matthews ordered by the sheriff; a tournament between a rooster fight is held and the loser gets out of the county.

Our cartoon begins with a sign on a house that tells us we're in the town of Hickory Holler and the population is 42 Weavers and 41 Matthews; which altogether is 83 people. I wonder what happened to the 42nd Matthew if there was one? I imagine this is meant to be a spoof of the "Hatfield-McCoy" fued that happened back in West Virginia-Kentucky in the 19th century. The countryside where they live is sure lovely.

We then go to a shot of these hillbilly animals that are enjoying hanging around at a shack playing music. The title card tells us it's "The Weavers". As we pan to the left side; we see the "Matthews" in which the citizens are sleeping in their beds with  two dog snoring and rolling the duvet up and down because of them snoring. Everyone is basically asleep; and there's a pig that snores in which the feathers of a chicken's behind almost fall us - best I remember that gag was reused from "Buddy and Towser".

Back to the Weavers as we know they're the spiritual family in the town in which they like to dance. A yodeling dog is going into song singing the title song When I Yoo Hoo. The yodeler continues to spit to the floor while singing the song.

A cow (who I imagine is the yodeler's wife) steps out to the front porch of the shack as she performs us a dance. The dance scene is really nothing to be amazed at and I guess because yokels aren't amazing; even they're singing. I imagine when the song is being song; the folks playing the instruments is cycle animation; as well as the chickens pecking the ground but the yokel yodeling is probably full animation which interests me on how it would work on paper.

One of the banjo players continue to play until the sounds of a bomb explosion is heard coming from the Matthews. The banjo player warns the Weavers; "Hey the Matthews are up". The gun firing continues as they run inside the shack while they are continuing fighting. This is the parody of the feud that is shown here.

Inside the shack belonging to the Matthews is a dog leader who is shooting with his gun by using his toes; to keep it at a skilled position. Every time the gun outside the window fires; the gun seems to turn all sloppy but as it's taken back inside it's straight again. A Pig Matthew wearing a Davy Crockett hat then shoots with his gun but flies back and hits his bed in which the bed folds back to the wall before landing back down in which the Pig bounces. Wow that pig knows some maneuvers (not).

Back inside the Weaver shack the bog Weaver wearing the Davy Crockett hat are shooting from inside by the window in which a bullet hits a Davy Crockett hat. The very weird part is that the hat jumps out of his head and yelps in pain scattering like a dog. I guess that is meant to be a gag but how does it make sense? The dog grabs out a cub as he whacks the Davy Crockett hat to place it back on his head.

Meanwhile while the fighting continues there is a driver on the road on one of the early motorcars in which when he trips on the road; the engine flies out but lands back on the same position. I imagine that the dog driver must know about the feuds between the Weavers and Matthews and probably a governor considering that he grabs out a paper and hammer to display something.

The governor dog then starts to hammer the notice sign to the paper for the Weavers and Matthews to see and then drives back. The notice reads; "NOTICE For the Peace of the Valley the Weavers and Matthews are hereby notified to settle their Fued by a Rooster Fight to be held at Higgin's Barn - Loser Will Leave the County". As it turns out it was written by the sheriff in which he wants the feud to end so they can separate valleys.

A Matthew pig grabs out the truce flag to show no mercy reads the notice sign on the tree in which he runs off knowing the news to tell the Matthews.  A Weaver dog is also holding the truce flag as he reads the notice sign on the tree and runs off to tell the Weavers, "Get out those roosters; we're going to beat them Weavers"; okay but is THIS meant to be a Weaver or a Matthew since he was from the right; this confuses me?!

The Weavers and Mathews then enter Higgin's Barn with their guns just in case of a feud. They all cheer inside of the arena of the roosters in the boxing center. The referee then orders everyone to be quiet as he will be announcing, "Tonight you'll see the valley of peace for Hickory Holler". He points to his right is a rooster defending the Weavers. The Weavers cheer on the rooster they were given.

The referee points to his right the rooster that will be fighting for the Matthews team in which the Matthews both cheer. Now the roosters fighting should be easy to identify if you seen at it.

The referee also announces that after the fight will be the end of the feud of the Matthews and the Weavers. He then declares the rooster fight to begin. The cages of the roosters then open as they both charge to each other. As they come close to each other they glare at each other face to face as they move their necks still in position.

Their necks are then tall in which they both walk around in circles looking at each other in which their necks get tied up like a rope. This is only the bodies of the rooster being animated while the faces are just still for a couple of seconds - this is a good idea to use but I imagine that it's a very difficult animation process to do. The heads then unswirl as they both hit the ground.

The roosters then jump back up again as they both start fighting with each other jumping with William Tell Overture heard in the background. The voices of the Matthews and Weavers are heard in the background as though they're arguing nothing is happening.

The Matthews rooster then kicks the Weaver rooster which almost flies off with the feathered part of the neck almost flying off. The Weaver rooster then fights back with its feet kicking the Matthews rooster's head. The Matthews rooster then repeats the same maneuver. It then gets to the point where they're both fighting at the same time.

As the fighting of the roosters continue; the bell then bangs in which they go back into positions before fighting again. I quite like the way of how they are fighting and not touching the ground which does entertain me in a way.

As the two roosters stop fighting the Matthews rooster then starts to stomp his feet in rage clucking and complaining. The Weavers rooster then kicks the Matthews' rooster's neck up in which his neck stretches. The Weavers rooster then jumps on top of his head in which he jumps down for the neck to lower back into it's normal size.

The Matthews rooster is completely weary in which the Weavers won that round. The Matthews rooster reaches the end of the canvas when he notices a Matthew holding onto a bucket of moonshine. The rooster takes a jig from the bottle in which it comes very energetic and mad. The Matthews rooster will be able to fight with such movement.

The Matthews rooster then walks up to the Weaver rooster jumping the rooster in the stomach with feathers flying out until the feathers lye back into his skin. This maneuver is repeated a few times (My gosh; I do keep on repeating that word - I guess it's the appropriate word to use for this cartoon since it involves movement and fighting). This is a happy round for the Matthews in which they are cheering on for the rooster as the Weavers are being defeated.

The Weaver now keeps on swinging back and forth on the rails of the canvas but does whack the rooster on the head which shows some type of physical comeback.

They lie both lie on top of the ground unconscious until the referee enters the arena pitch trying to decide who is the winner. The winner as chosen by the referee is the Matthews chicken which means the Weavers have to get out of town. The Weavers boo at the referee in which a Weaver grabs out his shotgun to try and shoot the referee but only got his hat.

The referee is also turning indecisive since he can't make his mind up and instead chooses the Weaver rooster as the winner but the Matthews get the same reaction from the Weavers. Fearing that he'll get shot again; he shouts "It's a draw" that shows that they both win.

This turns into a fight into the arena as they all start to beat up the referee. This is pretty funny character animation of the referee who can't make his mind and I'd say; pretty meek behaviour to have. The animation of the citizens fighting is just clumsy to look at; it looks bad; couldn't someone not tackle out a fighting action scene like that? The two roosters that were on the sides of the Matthews and the Weavers each are then sitting on the seats cheering on the fight on who's going to win. You'd think that at the end the feud will be settled when the joke is that nothing changes.

Overall comments: Friz Freleng has chosen an interesting idea to make as a short that was a disguised caricature of the Hatfield-McCoy feud and this short wasn't bad; but it wasn't until about 10 years later when Disney made a short based on the feud "The Martins and the Coys" where it was really funny or even going to 14 years later when the animator on that short; Bob McKimson made another funny cartoon spoofed of the feud 'Hillbilly Hare'. There weren't too many gags focusing on the feud really but the fun parts are probably the rooster fight. I enjoy watching the parts such as when the roosters are fighting on mid-air. There really isn't much for me to comment on the short except that it had a funny ending when we thought the feud would end but it's still as strong as ever; with the roosters only being the fans cheering on their sides (Weavers) and (Matthews). This short definitely didn't focus on the routines Friz Freleng always did such as a singing and dancing routine, a chase sequence that has to have a villain in it; or the girl. This definitely had its own story with the fight of the roosters, and only the song was played at the beginning.

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