Release date: October 10, 1936.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansell (Emily).
Animation: Paul Smith and Cal Dalton.
Musical Score: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
This is the first 'Merrie Melody' cartoon to use the famous 'Merrily We Roll Along' which would continue to be it's theme until 1964 and even the theme to Blue Ribbon reissues.
There is an orchestra band that is playing outside the Hicksville train station with a small sign reading "Welcome Dizzy Dan". The train then arrives at the platform of the train station. The train is found to still be moving as it stops further away from the train station. All of the other civilians then think of an idea as they move the train station further up as they push it.
The chick girl (who we have seen in the cartoon Let it Be Me known as Emily) then starts to admire Dizzy Dan while on the platform dreamily remarking "Isn't he handsome?" as she goes into the giggles. Her boyfriend (I imagine) with the baseball bat looks at Dizzy Dan rather enviously as he replies with an "Arr". Looks like this is another repeated storyline from 'Let it Be Me' but instead it involves baseball; but the chick isn't going to be the major part of the story but seems to be willing to beat him in the game.
Dizzy Dan then tells the band, "Okay Maestro, strike up the band" - in which of course "Maestro" is a Ben Bernie word he would use. The band then starts to play while Dizzy Dan is going into words about how he is the "Boulevardier from the Bronx" as he bounces his baseball and bragging on about skillful he is. A drummer then bangs on the drum with the letters "Hicksville Band" as the drummer bangs on the drum with the letters flying out. He then appears to go on about his standards with the "birds" as the chick is still admiring Dizzy Dan. Okay; but that Dizzy Dan certainly needs to lower his standards with the chicks. The crowd then cheer on Dizzy Dan after his speech about himself and certainly HAS A LOT to say about himself.
The announcer then calls "Pitching for the Giants; Dizzy Dan!" The crowd goes wild as Dizzy Dan walks into the arena and it's funny how he's resting his arm on a cushion with someone holding it as though he's resting it and using the energy to pitch. The game then starts to begin as the microphone guy shouts "Play ball!". Everyone else then starts to get into their positions as they're on different teams with the Chicago Giants fielding and the Hicksville team are batting.
Dizzy Dan then starts to begin the game as he uses incredible speed to throw the ball at the Hicksville players and it causes a "strike one" on the Hicksville player (remember that Hicksville have uniform that is a greenish look to it) since the turtle grabs it but hits a wall after the baseball produces incredible force. Dizzy Dan then starts to show off with his pitching skills while he is clucking loudly.
The turtle encourages Dizzy Dan to continue defeating the Hicksville players as there is already a "strike one". Dizzy Dan then starts to make a "spin" with his pitching movement until he spins his arm very fast and lets it go. The turtle manages to grab it again - and also hitting the wall by force which means it's a "strike two" for the player. On the next strike; the pig player is still trying to bat through Dizzy Dan's powerful aims towards the backstop turtle. This time the turtle uses a stovepipe for it to shoot out in which the three strikes are up and the pig player is out of the game. It causes Dizzy Dan to cluck again with sheer arrogance.
It's now the Hicksville's team to field while Claude the rooster is pitching for Chicago Giants. I don't know baseball very well since I'm no American and parts of this game confuses so forgive me if I make any errors while reviewing it. From what I'm seeing - Claude is aiming very fast as well as the dachshund Chicago Giants player misses the first ball as he complains "Hey be careful!" Claude the pitcher then starts to throw the ball as the Giant batsman has managed to take a hit - which will show some defeat for the poor Hicksville team since they haven't got a chance.
The sausage dog is winning the game as he's making a home run as he uses his own long body to stretch from one base to the other which I guess is pretty clever. The sausage dog has given the Chicago Giants a home run as Claude was just standing there like a tool as though it's his natural skill. Claude the rooster is annoyed once again since it's a win to the Chicago Giants. Meanwhile Dizzy Dan is seen flirting with the chick girl (could it even be Emily - I would doubt it) who is giggling while Dizzy Dan is rubbing his cheek. Dizzy Dan then walks to the baseline as he has his bat to the ground as though he's too good for the show. Let's hope that he will end just like Casey in 'Casey at the Bat' where he was a bad player but a good baseball personality to the ladies.
Chick: Oooh, you better hit it.
Dizzy Dan: That's alright, I only need one ball.
He certainly does need that one ball but as he whacks the ball with his bat; Claude manages to catch it but the force is pushing him back which becomes a disadvantage of Dizzy Dan which means he's out. Those speed-lines of Claude throwing the ball with his arm is some pretty cool effects. Unfortunately - the bad luck's on Claude as the baseball accidentally lets go of his hand since Dizzy Dan is still able to run without worrying. The lady chick then starts to beg for Dizzy Dan to run.
Chick: Run, run.
Dizzy Dan: I've got lots of time.
With only one inning left from the Chicago Giants; while Hicksville got more and 2 outs. It's now Hicksville's turn to bat. The commentator then announces that Claude is at the bat as Hicksville are still performing rather poorly in their baseball game and them batting is their last hope for them to win.
The umpire shouts "Strike one!". Dizzy Dan turns to the audience shouting "Now I'll you my slow-ball". He starts to move his arms around very slowly and carefully. There is some good movement of Dizzy Dan slowly moving the ball which is a good use of timing consisted here. I wonder if that was actually animated like that or they used the camera to film the shots of Dizzy Dan spinning the arm slowly in slow-motion. The baseball then starts to shoot very slowly; too. What's weird to me is that it doesn't hit the ground when it's very slow and yet it does feel rather unrealistic to me in it's ways.
The slow-ball was proved to fail Claude; but Claude starts to take it seriously as he hold his grip on the bat. Dizzy Dan then starts to spin his ball around again using the usual technique as he lets it loose. The ball is then whacked by Claude as he's successfully hit the ball which comes much to a surprise to Dizzy Dan as he could lose the match.
The final score on the scoreboard then adds up to the final which is 3 points to Chicago Giants and 4 points to Hicksville which tells us that Chicago Giants have lost the match (in probably recorded history). I wonder how THAT worked out (unless there was a draw in the match before) but Claude making the team win. Everyone is throwing their hats at Claude for a very victorious match. Claude then starts to wave at the audience extending his thanks. Dizzy Dan then walks into the scene and Claude gets him back by revenge by clucking arrogantly at him which was what Dan was doing all through the baseball match.