Release date: December 19, 1936.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Frank Tashlin.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Berneice Hansell (Betty Beaver), Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig) and Billy Bletcher (Jean-Baptise).
Animation: Volney White and Norman McCabe.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky is a game refuge up in the North Woods who keeps it restricted for animal safety. This becomes a problem as he's hassled by a poacher.
This is the final year of 1936 with reviewing as I will be moving on to 1937. This is also Norm McCabe's first screen credit in this cartoon and would later be Clampett's head animator from (1938-1941) as well as a director from 1941-1943 and he certainly did direct some good cartoons.
The next moment after the animals cheer; we see a figure off-screen who is laughing evilly as he doesn't listen to the rules ordered by Porky Pig who is a game refuge of the northern woods.The villain laughing evilly is Jean-Baptize. The name is a parody of explorer Jean Baptise Charbonneau who was also known to be a fur trapper. The first thing what Jean Baptise does is shoot with his shotgun deliberately disobeying the rules of "No Shooting" as he goes; "No shooting, eh?". He shoots the signs. Jean Baptise then sets up a trap off-screen where the sign clearly reads "No Trapping"; but he brings out a bear trap, "No trapping"; he laughs. Baptise then starts to fish in a "No Fishing" sign just for the fun of it; poor fish as it's caught on a fishing rod. The villain continues to laugh at these rules breaking them by dropping a log of fire just by the "No fire" sign as he's a big brute who doesn't follow any rules.
I like how that Frank Tashlin uses the villain at the beginning where we don't see his figure at all but only the objects thrown into the scene that shows he's disobeying the rules; as it would be very unique to animate and a bit of a challenge for the animators as they've got to give those objects weight when it's being thrown to the ground. I love the fire effects animation on the last scene. Would that be AC Gamer's animation by then? I think he was already there at the studio.
The beavers then come across something that amazes them after they're jumping around excitedly. There is an apple attached to a hope hanging onto a branch of a tree. The two beavers then approach to the tree with curiosity. Hope that curiously *didn't* kill the cat. The two beavers then start to approach to the apple on the tree excited as they sleigh on each other's tails.
The beavers fight for the apple by slapping each other in the hands each time one of them attempts to grab the apple. After they have finished using their hands; they then use their tails to smack each other. While they're still smacking each other; one of their tales then starts to spin around in a tornado effect that is done in a Tex Avery style. The beaver then starts to make a trap for the apple on the tree until...
The beaver is pushed by Benny Beaver as the other beaver is on the run trying to find Porky as there are little frames in each scene it dashes off which is a good use of Tashlin's timing. The beaver then realises something until he turns back all the way back and while Benny Beaver is caught on the bear trap; the other beaver catches the apple off the rope and eats it. THEN returns to Porky. Meanwhile Porky is busy hammering signs again until the beaver runs up to him, "Oh Porky, Porky, Porky, Porky! Benny's caught in a trap. A very big trap! Oh, hurry, hurry, hurry! Get him out! Get him out! He's trapped himself frightening. Oh, hurry, hurry, hurry!" The beaver is spinning around Porky in panic while Porky is watching the beaver just run around and around until the beaver drags his hand in circles.
Benny Beaver: Oh Porky, I'm so glad you came.
Porky Pig: Hold still, Benny. I'll get you out.
Benny Beaver: Be careful, Porky. Be careful.
Animal: (off-screen). Help! Help!
Porky Pig: Another one.
Porky Pig has already opened up the bear trap to free Benny Beaver but unfortunately his tail is just very crooked and ruined with zig-zag looks on it. Benny Beaver cries, "Look at my poor tail. I hope it won't be a permanent wave". A permanent hair is a type of bonds in your hair but it appears to have it look rather curly. Porky then starts to free other animals that are caught in bear traps such as a rabbit with it's poor ears, Porky also unleashes a poor otter out from the bear trap with it's body ruined. Bless those animals. Porky encounters another animal but goes "Uh-oh" as he places a peg on top of his nose as he pulls out a skunk in a bear trap; which I guess makes the gag rather "cute".
Jean Baptise remarks on the bear trap that isn't buried, "So, they robbed my traps, eh? What do you think of that?" The Jean Baptise villain then goes on with very dark comments that he's willing to do to Porky, "I will kill him. They can't do this to Jean Baptise" as he appears to be a French type villain as it's a French name. Jean Baptise then goes on vowing about what he will do to Porky, "When I catch him. I will tear him limb from tree. You wait and see". Hah; a pun intended since a "limb" is a tree and that we'd expect him to say "I'll tear him limb from limb". Some good layout on this sequence as it makes the sequence slightly dramatic as well as the lines he comes out with about how he's committing to kill Porky just for "robbing his traps" when the rules were restricted.
I love that pan on how the animals are lining up waiting for their surgery and as we quickly PAN the animals exiting the First aid station they walk out rather satisfied with their new tails all fixed and refreshed. It turns out that Porky is in the medical room as he is placing a towel on the beaver's tail as he irons it to make it flat and good as new again. That is a pretty good idea since it would smooth it out again; and good idea to use a towel for ironing, though. That small scene of Porky ironing the beaver's tail is animation by Norm McCabe as Mark Kausler said so in the DVD Commentary. He seems to draw Porky much more beefier but draws cute animals though.
The figure then walks in until we finally get to know what he looks like. He doesn't seem to be very frightening to a local member of an audience. It's basically the face of a bulldog with a type of pointy moustache that most of the villains have. Porky is still busy inside the station ironing and flattening the tail of a fox. Jean Baptise then places his fingers on the table but Porky doesn't realise who he is doing that to until he irons his fingers. Ouch; that definitely would hurt - but not for Jean Baptise as the gag is that he's too tough to feel the pain of iron. Porky then turns around to see Jean Baptise as a quick scared glimpse as to what he's doing in the station?
Porky shouts "Hey, let me go" as Jean Baptise places a hot iron on Porky's tail; and that's way too harsh. That hurts. That scene there of Porky and Jean Baptise on the table is Volney White animation. As Porky's tail is flat; it is pinned on top of the table in which Jean Baptise uses it as some sort of punching bag. Jean Baptise then punches him out of the way in which Porky is steaming on a kettle. I believe this is also White's animation, too.
Jean Baptise then starts to run back to whack Porky with the racket again and running forward like like being in the tennis racket. The timing of Jean Baptise whacking Porky feels a little too quick for me by Tashlin but at least he was trying at the age of 23. A beaver approaches the cabin to see what is happening (all of the animals are watching Porky being beaten) but the beaver is horrified by the looks as he dashes off. According to Kausler, Volney White animates the entire sequence in with Jean Baptise and Porky in the cabin as well as the tennis scenes.
The beaver then grabs hold of a moose's neck in which the moose bellows making an alarm call. A rather funny moose sound, don't you think? All of the bears are on the loose to get Jean Baptise back. The skunks charge after him and the perspective shot is pretty decent. The turtles are on the match drumming on their shell which are caricatures of George Arliss (as I've already mentioned in my CooCoo Nut Grove review) and it appears he has the knack of being caricatured as a tortoise. Well; to tell you the truth - he looks a little like one. More beavers are on the loose joining the north woods animal tribes to capture Jean Baptise. The animation of the animals moving are pretty good with the movement; even though it may not be 'Bambi'.
As Jean Baptise exits the hut wearing ski shoes, the beavers are let loose attacking Jean Baptise with a club. Doesn't the timing seem a little rushed here? As soon as Jean leaves the cabin? A group of George Arliss turtles then join into the rampage as they attack Jean Baptise with clubs as well. A group of deer's use their antelopes as slingshots for the logs to shoot straight at him. The logs then hit Jean Baptise and notice how his false teeth fall out but we never get the chance to see them placed back into his teeth. I love the shots of how the skunks throw snowballs straight towards Jean Baptise with the snow dust effects.
Overall comments: I love how Tashlin experimented with the villain (Jean Baptise) in this cartoon as he made him rather mysterious towards the beginning and we already get to see him in the middle of the short and the end of it as well. The animation is pretty solid animation - most particularly the effects animation which I believe were by AC Gamer who would've already have been at the studios by that point being their effects animator. Treg Brown got to experiment with the sound effects here making it rather inventive; as well as Carl Stalling's music of course. I like how Tashlin has used a good use of speed for the beaver running through different backgrounds very quickly; and reused them twice as it appears to be rather suitable in its terms.
That is the year 1936 completed with reviewing and I have to say that with some reviews - I've certainly enjoyed it. I think that 1936 was a rather slow start to me and it was very interesting as well. Beans was still the star of the Looney Tunes and yet by the end of the year Porky Pig is already the studio's star. Jack King was already there, but left when Frank Tashlin replaced him. The cartoons got better by the end of the year; although my personal favourite of this year is definitely 'I Love to Singa'. We will be moving on to 1937 where there will be improvements too. The main factor about 1937 is that Mel Blanc joins the Studio being the main voice actor as he's a HUGE contribution to the 'Looney Tunes' as we just hear the knack of Joe Dougherty or Berniece Hansell who haven't really got settling or appealing voices. Bob Clampett becomes a director and gives Porky appeal. Also, the first appearance of Daffy Duck.