Friday, 13 April 2012
150. The Village Smithy (1936)
Release date: December 5, 1936.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Tex Avery.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig), Ted Pierce (Blacksmith) and Earle Hodgins (Narrator).
Animation: Cecil Surry and Sid Sutherland.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Retelling of the Village Smithy poem; Porky works as a blacksmith.
The narrator who is annoyed that the village smithy is ruining the story shouts in his soft voice; "I said stand. Stand up you lug." The smithy then realizes that he's supposed to stand and does stand but turns away from the camera. "Hey, this way" - the narrator tells the village smithy. The village smithy then turns to the audience. The narrator then goes on with the poem "The smith, a mighty man is he / with large and sinewy hands". The village smithy then brings out his hands that are HUGE as it's a good gag use of exaggeration. The smithy then places his hands back.
The narrator then moves on with the story, "...and now - the Blacksmith shop". A Blacksmith shop then drops to the ground with a rather loud THUD. While the blacksmith is working in his blacksmith shop; the narrator retells the poem:
The children are still looking at the blacksmith doing his job and "watching the bellows roar" until the narrator becomes bothered as he tells the kids to scram, "Alright, get out of the scene now, you're botherin' me!" All of the kids leave rather annoyed kicking cans out of the way. I guess that this is pretty funny since the narrator certainly has personality.
Blacksmith: Listen, chief. Take it easy. We got plenty of time. This cartoon ain't half over yet.
Narrator: (moving on) Now our hero; Porky Pig!
We pan along to Porky Pig who is a young blacksmith for the village smithy. Porky then shakes to the audience with delight. The Narrator moves on, "Let's see, we have the blacksmith (blacksmith sticks his tongue to narrator) in his blacksmith shop".
The gag is that a camel ends up walking into the blacksmith shop but then a crane pops into the scene to yank the camel out of the scene. Kind of typical of what Avery would do as though this short is being filmed in a studio as Avery liked to show his cartoons that sort of shows us the real world. A horse is then tossed into the scene as it's a white plough horse that has a cart. Work on that horse begins as the blacksmith takes him out and sits him on a chair. The gag is that they're not going to be working on fixing the horse's hoof as we think; they measure the hoofs for the horse for a new horse shoe just like they do when buying new shoes where they measure your feet. The size for the horse's hoof is 6 7/8.
Porky then starts to grab his hammer to work on the rubber horse shoe but since it's so rubbery the hammer then whacks him on the head which is the reaction to hitting rubber. Porky looks at the horse shoe again to see if there's anything wrong with it but instead gets whacked on the head again. The next gag is a very funny one as Porky puts on a safety helmet for his head in which there is little reaction for that but as he takes his helmet off; the hammer then whacks Porky in the head by force which was just spontaneous but devilishly funny.
As the blacksmith is walking down; the step he makes with the blacksmith caught on it is rather a jumpy step for him as it seems to make quick jumps after taking that step. Now that is some funny gag as the rubber horse shoe makes him bounce which is worth some laughs. The blacksmith then starts to hit his head on the ceiling and bumps back down as though what the hell just happened?
The blacksmith then tosses the horse shoe out of the way again but closes the door so it won't return. Instead a gag of which the horseshoe is the antagonist then flies past the window and whacks the blacksmith again like a boomerang. The blacksmith then starts to toss it away very aggressively but after changing his mind from the sounds of birds chirping, he places it back on the ground gently. The horseshoe plays unfair on the blacksmith as it bounces off the ground like a slingshot and whacks the blacksmith again which is pretty funny.
Porky then walks into the scene wondering what had happened but the blacksmith obviously annoyed by Porky's clumsiness and stupidity in this short then pushes him away shouting "Go away and get me another horseshoe". The blacksmith places the horse on the plough cart to get ready while Porky is on the role looking out for another horseshoe. Porky then uses the bellows to steam up the horseshoe until he is finally ready as he is holding onto it with a stick to protect his hands but trips onto a box by accident - stupid of him in which the hot horseshoe lands on the horse's behind.
While on the run, a police officer blows on his whistle ordering the horse and the rider to stop but the horse has completely lost his senses as he can't control himself but run. The zips past the police officer who ends up spinning around. The horse then starts to zip past a bank blowing away much of the building in which the robber is caught trying to open a safe which would be funny since everyone knows his crime. Meanwhile a digger is digging the ground but then sees the horse and the blacksmith run straight past. He scratches his head confused.
They start to jump across a bridge with the horse halting but the cart turns around and hits the other side of the bridge pulling the horse from the other side. This is something that Avery would be experimenting with his timing. While they're still running; the blacksmith and the horse halt as the blacksmith comments, "Phew, what a buggy ride" until they go into action again which is one of them funny jokes that Avery always did; for example like in the middle of an dramatic scene the characters would pause and say "Gruesome, isn't it?" that would inspire Bob Clampett to do that.
The action scenes then continue to happen until the digger starts to think in his mind, "Say, am I missing somethin'?" It's all reverse animation again as the Bank goes back into it's original building. The General store is being built again but notice the horse and the blacksmith are coming back again as they move it slightly so that they don't miss.