Wednesday, 4 April 2012

143. Porky's Moving Day (1936)

Title card courtesy of Dave Mackey.
Warner cartoon no. 142.
Release date: September 12, 1936.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Jack King.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Series: Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig) and Elvia Allman (House owner).
Musical Score: Carl W. Stalling.
Animation: Paul Smith and Joe D'Igalo.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky and his assistant move items out of a house at peril as they work at Porky's moving service. They get nowhere with moving all of the items out on time before danger arrives.

This is the final cartoon to be directed (supervised) by Jack King who would leave Leon Schlesinger's to return to Disney to direct the new Donald Duck series; and was probably the best Donald director. Now the Schlesinger studios consists of three directors: Tashlin, Avery and Freleng - which is good since they're talented directors.

Our cartoon begins with Porky Pig's cart outside his service station that simply reads Porky's Moving Van. The musical score at the beginning is definitely Stalling as it's an improvement to what Spencer would do - make it a musical piece.

Porky is seen inside the service station having a snooze as he is sleeping on top of a cot resting on a pillow. There is a snoring gag that pops up as it shows Porky snoring in (the lamp and chest of draw) is forced forwards by Porky's snoring in; and as he snores out; the force of the snore pushes the chest of draw back as well as the oil lamp. This sequence is repeated quite a few times. An assistant to Porky -who appears to be a black person or even a chimp is sleeping on the cot as well; as he appears to be snoring in and snoring out pushing the bed down  the ground as his snoring causes the amount of weight into it.

Meanwhile at the edge of a cliff there is a very stormy sea  going on down there with very choppy waves as there is a house is built on the edge of the cliff. The owner of the house is a Clarabelle Cow type - Damn; why did Jack King like to use that type of character - and if that's weird - it's even more weird since Elvia Allman does the voice.

The waves then start to crash upwards as it forces the house to jump and crash back to the ground which is very dangerous for the cow owner. She shouts "Help!" as she's calling for help. Well; THAT won't help as she's going to need to phone for help. The house suddenly starts to rock as all the objects inside the house start to slide down one side. The cow house owner tries to push a table upwards to stop it from falling down. She does the same as she tries to push the stove away but it's proving to be useless. As the house is rocking sideways; the stove lands back to position as the house owner falls while holding onto it but slides back into the centre. The cow then picks up the phone shouting "Operator, operator - I want Bunyan" and I'm assuming she means American legend Paul Bunyan. The wire of the phone snaps and how can she still get access to who she's calling with no wire?!

The assistant to Porky Pig in the moving company service is still fast asleep but listens to the telephone wringing. He wakes up thinking somebody is going to pick a fight on him as he starts to aim his fighting positions. The animation is terrible as it's just poses (no full animation) and the movement is so unrealistic; it reminds me of 1970's Hanna-Barbera animation when they draw real humans.

Porky walks into the scene as he whacks his assistant in the head to control himself. He replies, "Okay, boss". Don't worry; he'll be repeating this all through the cartoon and that's all he says - which I guess is part of the joke since he's a lazy character but gets annoying of hearing it all the time. Huh? I don't mean to be mean but as it appears he's caricatured as a black person but also looks more like a chimp. Some might deny that it's a black stereotype - but I'm inclined to believe it's a chimp and I don't want to start confusing people or turn it controversial.

Porky picks up the phone as they speak to each other on the phone with Porky starting off with "Porky the mover [speaking]" and the cow replies as she is going chaotic and talking too fast with words acting very panicky. Porky ends the call with "We'll be right over".

Porky then calls his assistant, "C'mon Dopey; we got a job". So it turns out his assistant is called Dopey. Not the Dopey that we see in 'Snow White'. Dopey replies to him "Okay; boss". Lulu the ostrich makes her second appearance as she is parked outside with the moving van as Porky calls her to get ready. Porky gets Lulu to "giddy up" and before that the chimp Dopey says it's clear to go; "Okay; boss" - Man, King can make up many ways to make the repeated quotes work. Porky's moving van then starts to speed up very quickly as the animation of the moving van is pretty forceful as it moves in good speed. Perspective animation pops up again as the can spins around 360 degrees.

The lady houseowner then finally finds Porky and his assistant Dopey as she fastly nags at them to get everything out of the house. A funny scene sort of pops up but it involves repetition since Dopey hits the door and it appears to be everything he gets smacked or hit by an object he wants to pick a fight.

He rings the doorbell but accidentally whacks the cow house owner. The cow then whacks Dopey on the head with a mallet as he replies; - "Okay boss" and enters the door. Yep; we saw that comin!". The animation on that sequence is very rough and not fluid at all. Porky is throwing everything out of the windows of the house and into his moving van. The seas are still very choppy - but from the window angle I'm seeing - it looks like as though he's tossing all the items either on the boat with the choppy sea - or it appears to be a layout error.

Porky handles the difficult task to try and push the piano out of the way and I think he says to us audience; "Boy; this slow we'll never get out of here!" Porky then drops out a mattress out the window for the piano to land safely but at least realism is shown since the piano falls lower to the ground with piano marks around it. Oh, it turns out Porky is throwing the objects out the window just at the edge of the cliff not in the winter - Duh?! Who'd have thought of that?

 A bike then falls down the sloped living room as Porky bumps into it and is in position of the ride. As the house rocks again; the bike then starts to fall down and hits Dopey onto the floor. Porky stands back up ordering; "Hurry up Dopey, and snap out of it!" as Dopey replies - do I REALLY NEED TO SAY THIS?! We all what he is going to say - "Okay, boss" - my goodness it does annoy me everytime it's heard.

Dopey is up as he is trying to grab some items to take away into the moving van. Dopey being very slow-witted tries to tug the fireplace out but it is impossible since the fireplace is part of the house and not a property to the house owner.

Dopey continues on a couple of attempts to try and pull the fireplace out and luckily; to my astonishment he managed to pull it out 0_0. Attached to the fireplace is of course the chimney which he managed to bring out as well which I guess is a pretty funny gag since fireplaces are long as they reach the roof and Dopey being dim-witted is REALLY going to need to take that not knowing that it's part of the roof. The house is starting to collapse as a huge wave covers the entire screen as a piece of wood used to hold the house is finally removed and it's starting to collapse. Looks like Porky and Dopey need to hurry; and quick!

Porky starts to unroll the rug as he uses his feet to unroll most of it which reminds me of a circus act. The funny part is that the rug appears to be split in some parts as it travels door to door via corridor with not all of it rolled up. It's crazy I know but it works as it reminds me of what Avery would want to do.

While Porky is still rolling the rug up; Lulu the ostrich walks into the scene not knowing about the rug until she is caught rolled up inside the rug making these funny squawking noises as the rug rolls down the stairs. Porky rolls the rest of the rug at the bottom floor and boy it SURE is a long rug. Porky slams into the wall while the carpet rolls up and the ostrich is rolling all the way upstairs. The carpet continues to keep on rolling all the way back as it's very disastrous since it means Porky would have to go all the way back up again. The animation is very simplistic of Lulu the ostrich that I'd be willing to think it could be Paul Smith animation as Jerry Beck confirmed his trait in Warner Bros. cartoons.

Dopey is carrying out a group of tables in size stacked up (smallest to largest) and he is not careful as he drops them  one at a time as they form steps but as he tries to toss them out the window he spins around and doesn't bother to stack it up. Dopey is therefore standing around plucking his lip with his finger like a useless twat.

Dopey then starts to stack up a group of dishes as he tosses them inside a barrel where it he thinks the barrel has a end part to it at the bottom. But it turns out that the barrel has two holes on it as he it just going to do the difficult job of stacking the huge part of it as he walks out of the door.

 Meanwhile Lulu the ostrich is in the next room as she swallows an alarm clock as it brings inside her neck where it's visible. As soon as Dopey hears the alarm clock (just as he heard it earlier in the cartoon) he drops the entire dishes and cups as he prepares to fight another person. Boy so far; about about 5 minutes of watching this cartoon; I've come to hate that character.

A huge plate lands on his head as he shouts "Okay, boss" - thinking it was either Porky who whacked him on the head like he often does to him. Porky runs through the hallway trying to toss a table out the window but spins around numerous times as the table is caught on the door. Dopey is then starts to walk down holding what appears to be some type of harp; but the harp is also caught on the door as he is holding onto the strings that stretches pretty far as we are expected to see a gag pop up.

The gag does pop up since it shows that Dopey is pulled back by the strings in which Porky is whacked out of the door while attemping to pull a table off. Porky flies out of the window as he is holding onto the legs of the table that shows that the stools have stretched and it's exaggeration.

The funnel of the tugboat by the edge of the cliff them starts to produce smoke coming out as the smoke touches Porky's rear end although I would imagine it would be very hot if it touched Porky's ass but it doesn't appear to be that way which makes the gag not funny at all. Porky then flies back into the house as the stools of the table legs then start to go back into normal size and he bumps while landing back into the house.

The waves then start to rise very high again and this time it starts to go through the window which soaks Porky as he tries to swim to the window but he cannot make it.

While Porky is attempting to swim far off. All of the items that did belong to the Cow house owner then start to go inside the moving van as the job is done for Porky since throughout the entire cartoon it was just gags showing us their failures of dumping stuff out of the house.

After the water is all gone from the waves; Lulu the ostrich pops up with an alarm clock still in her neck as that damn Dopey character starts to try and pick a fight but Porky whacks him on the head in time by Porky. Dopey then says smoothly "Okay, boss" as he's done this all through the picture. Everytime Dopey gets hit by Porky or the cow - he gets what he deserves since he's such a lazy cow.

 Overall comments: That Porky Pig assistant character Dopey sure is an asshole and nothing but a chimp. That "Okay boss" line that is repeated over and over again is only probably funny once; or maybe twice but it just isn't funny to me. I know that King was using it for a joke to make him funny and dim-witted but he can't make funny dim-witted characters unlike in later cartoons directed by later directors who could make funny dim-witted voices. The animation was rather rough at times but I imagine this was the same animator assigned on that cartoon; but of course animation was crude back in the 1930s so this is no surprise but the animation here is cruder than what King did before.

This is Jack King's last cartoon for Warner Bros. as this will be a difference since Avery and Tashlin will be turning in with more great cartoons whilst Friz Freleng is showing signs of improvement with good cartoons but they're not great. Jack King's last short for Warner Bros. was probably a disappointing end to it as this is certainly not the best he's turned out. His best cartoon he directed in my opinion was A Cartoonist's Nightmare as it was just a good concept of a studio animator getting revenge from former villains. King also directed his best Buddy cartoon Buddy Lost's World where he goes on an expedition to a lost world. Don't be discouraged if King left without making great cartoons in that era - he would join Disney in 1936 become the best Donald Duck director there was. So it interests me on how his WB cartoons weren't great but his Disney productions were. I guess Warner Bros. was his experimental studio where he was still learning on being a director for cartoons.


  1. My youngest daughter used to imitate the Dopey character whenever I'd tell her to do something (clean her room, etc.) Couldn't figure out where she got it from until I saw the cartoon. The cow asking for "Bunyan" O-O-O! I think that's how old telephone exchanges were. I've heard the word "Klondike" used, followed by a series of numbers.

  2. The running gag of Dopey's delayed reaction is typical of Tex Avery...or even Warner Brothers cartoons in general. In later years, there would be characters like this, even in BUGS BUNNY "period piece" cartoons (for lack of a better phrase), like "NAPOLEON BUNNY-PARTE", and ti is interesting to see such a gag see its debut here. The scoring here is used similar to the way, say, Hal Roach used music cues for his various comedy shorts, often reusing bits of scoring throughout the cartoon. There is a bit of score identifying the speediness and frustration of Porky trying on his own to get all the furniture out of the house, contrasted with that slow bit to identify the all-too-obviously nicknamed supporting character, here, but because of its similarities to live action physical comedy of the day, I like this cartoon.