Release date: September 19, 1936.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansell (child).
Musical Score: Carl W. Stalling.
Animation: Bob McKimson and Sandy Walker.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: A baby child wants to listen to radio but during his sleep the toys come to life as they use radio entertainment all through the night to entertain the child.
Carl Stalling's first Merry Melody that he has composed. This is the last cartoon to use the regular theme to the Merrie Melodies I Think You're Ducky which was used since 1933 after Harman-Ising left until the very famous theme Merrily We Roll Along would be the regular theme - sort of the anthem to the 'Looney Tunes' franchise. Merrily We Roll Along is sung in this cartoon, too.
Remember folks, following Yowp's great discovery about voice actress (who we used to call her as Bernice Hansen) was in fact called Bernice Hansell; which I will use for future reviews when her voice is heard. I don't make changes from "Hansen" to "Hansell" in previous reviews as it takes too much of my time and to show that this was written before Yowp's post.
The cartoon begins with what looks like a real-life radio set and on the radio is Ben Bernie speaking. There is a baby child who is lying on the carpet listening to the glorious of radio as Bernie says his "Yowsa" phrases which he often used to say.The mother then turns off the radio as it's bedtime for her child. "Come on, Sonny - it's way past your bedtime" the mother tells her son. The baby then starts to wail in a Bernice Hansell voice "I wanna hear the radio!" The animation of the baby is very good and solid drawings and I'm quite sure this is Bob McKimson who could draw very realistically; and I can't imagine this scene was done by anyone else apart from McKimson. Meanwhile in the bedroom; the child is still wailing about wanting to listen to radio; but the mother replies "No radio tonight. Now close your eyes and go to sleep. Goodnight." The mother tucks her child to bed as he goes to sleep. Notice how the weather outside the window starts snowing as he sleeps.
As time flies by very fast as it shows on the cuckoo clock. We see a group of toy soldiers that walk into the centre as they blow with their trumpets using up their breath to play it as their pumped up bodies but as they play their bodies get thinner and thinner and they use too much energy. All of the toys then start to clap after theThis animation is exactly the same from the 1934 cartoon Those Beautiful Dames. Yes; I am aware that this is still the Great Depression (or least coming to the end of it when this cartoon was made) but this cartoon had a lot of reuses from earlier Freleng productions that I'll post to show the similarities.
A jack-in-a-box then pops out as it turns out to be a caricature of Fred Allen who was a host of his radio at the time called Toytown Tonight as he is holding onto the ABC station microphone as he is telling us about what is going on at 'Toytown Hall'.
The next sequence then turns up as it is a scene of soldiers marching and dancing. The soldiers are leading a parade of caricatures riding on toy horses with wheels that include Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee that are celebrity toys in this short. Now; as for the soldiers marching; have we seen this animation before? Yes we have:
'Beauty and the Beast' was filmed in Cinecolor.
The Fred Allen jack-in-the-box is about to announce the next act to perform but a doll interrupts the Fred Allen jack in the box character when she admires him.
Doll: "Oh, Mr. Allen, Hello".
Mr. Allen: I'll be switched. You here again?
The doll then leaves in which Fred Allen jack-in-the-box then shouts "and now, introducing". There is an elephant toy that jumps on an armchair that turns on the light. This is also reused animation from the same cartoon; Those Beautiful Dames. Which I've pictured down of course. I'm not going to analyse any more of the reuses - I'll only show the pictures to show you to see what I mean.
The next sequence that is being sung is not at all reused animation as it's new animation but it's the same concept and song - there is a Bing Crosby bird (after the curtains open) that sings to Let it Be Me with the microphone. It's the exact same singing from that cartoon released earlier; if you listen to both of them carefully.It appears to be that Friz Freleng definitely had Bing Crosby in his mind for cartoon ideas when he was directing the 'Merrie Melodies' since now he's used him three times. Nothing against the idea but you can tell that he's been influenced by the crooner and the swoons he's used in that year. The next act to be out of the curtains is a mini version of Eddie Cantor singing 'Merrily We Roll Along' it's the same animation and same singing from 'Billboard Frolics'. Here's the comparisons:
The Fred Allen character then announces the next act; "The Rubinoffs - and their violins", a reference to David Rubinoff the violinist also referenced in 'Billboard Frolics'. It turns out the "Rubinoff" are these three jester people inside a 'Mother Goose Book' and it's the same characters from 'The Merry Old Soul'. I won't make a print-screen they're simiar from that cartoon but I think it's new animation. They're definitely not singing silly songs but playing violin.
There is now a Rudy Vallee toy that walks into the scene who has his speaker out (that Vallee used in performances) as he sings his Ballard. Rudy Vallee was pretty popular when it comes to being caricatured and used a couple of times in Warner Bros. cartoons. After the song has finished; the Fred Allen jack in the box character then responds, "Wait a minute; that's not all. I want you to meet that little Lady in Red".
The next sequence is reuse animation of 'The Lady in Red' as it's also the same songs and the same dance routines with these Mexican cockroaches. It just feels very badly placed in this cartoon since what would cockroaches want to be doing in a little baby's bedroom. Come to think of it; the baby isn't shown much at all in this cartoon.
Once again it does look better in this cartoon since it's in 3-strip Technicolor compared to in 'The Lady in Red' as it's in 2-strip. The lady girl cockroach dancing her way to the stage is also reused animation. Although the dress that the ladybug is wearing is more of an orange dress than a red dress. Anyway the re-used Lady girl is dancing her way on the spotlight as she delights the toy audience. The baby is joining in the audience shaking the rattles like maracas.
There is a balloon that is a member of the toy audience that puts some helium on a spout on the woodwork part of the floor. As the balloon is full of helium; he is able to play the flute with it on top. Is it me or is the balloon's grin kinda creepy.
It continues to play the flute until the balloon starts to get less helium from playing. The lady bug in an orange dress then walks up to the balloon is flirting with him. The balloon is flattered by her looks, beauty and flirtation that he lets all of the helium go out which is some pretty good timing there.
The toy characters then start to clap as they enjoyed the show (not me; as I've seen them - not once but twice). There is a present in the middle of the child's bed as it crashes around. It opens as it reveals to be a stuffed rabbit doing a Joe Penner impression, sung by Tommy Bond and singing 'My Green Fedora'. Oh yeah; I've seen that before.
Since it's the same audio; I think the animation is different. The definite difference here is the colours of the stuffed rabbit is different. The skin of the rabbit is polka-dot blue with a different coloured derby fedora and jacket from the other cartoon 'My Green Fedora'. The baby child even does the Joe Penner chuckle which was what the baby brother Elmer did the 'Fedora' cartoon. The rabbit then finishes off singing the rest of the cartoon. I have to say but this is very hard for me to review this damn cartoon because of the re-uses and I really don't know what to say about them since I'm afraid that I'm disrespecting the crew on this short and probably the reasons why it was reused. This is just my opinion at the end of the day.
There is a group of toy band bugs that are also playing music to some clink music. At least the animation is pretty good of those music boxes that it makes me feel slightly better.
All of the toys are dancing to the music box playing band music here. I notice a little bit of perspective animation of the toy ducks dancing with good motion. The clock then starts to move forward very quickly as the night goes past since all of the toys and even the baby child have had a blast. The clock starts to fast-forward to 8 in the morning where the child would have to be woken up by that point.
All of the toys have then gone back to their stuffed positions as stuffed toys. The boy is still snoozing as he would've hardly gotten much sleep. The sun rises after a dark and snowy night there was. The child is interrupted as he hears the sounds of his mother shout "Wake up, Sonny, wake up Sonny. It's time for breakfast".
The baby was probably influenced by radio talk or entertainment as he talks rather rudely to mother as he impatiently shouts "Al right, all right" as he whacks the hammer. If I wouldn't be mistaken; did Bob McKimson animate all of the scenes with the baby child? I wouldn't be surprised if he did.