Friday, 4 May 2012
159. Porky's Romance (1937)
Petunia Pig is seen with the microphone after the curtains rise as she introduces herself. The backgrounds are very stylized and modern for the 1930s which looks very snappy with Leon Schlesinger's name at the background with 'Looney Tunes' and 'Merrie Melodies' over it. I wonder if Leon demanded for his name to be mentioned here or if it was intentional as though Leon created Petunia himself. Petunia then speaks to the public voiced by Berneice Hansell, "My public. I hope you pictured my liking. (Stammers) I mean I hope you lectured my picking. I mean, I hope you like my picture...and I hope you like...Like me in my picture you know. I, maybe you know what I mean. I'm a little...(stammers)...'Cause I'm, I mean, I (stammers on word 'nervous'), you know unaccustomed--' she is speaking very nervously with the microphone stammering. The announcer then tries to speak quietly in the background to her; 'Petunia, don't get excited'. Petunia then starts to break into excited roars shouting; "EXCITED?! Who's excited? That's not excited!' with the curtains closing and Petunia's excited shouts are voiced by Mel Blanc. That was a very unique opening that was done by Frank Tashlin which was pretty surprising but fun as it makes the cartoon interesting. The opening was parodied from the radio programme Community Sing which ran from 1936-1937 as well as other references in this part.
Anyway, onto the credits:
Release date: 3 April 1937.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Frank Tashlin.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Joe Dougherty (Porky Pig), Alan Reed (Narrator) and Mel Blanc (Excited Petunia Pig).
Musical Score: Carl W. Stalling.
Animation: Robert Bentley and Joe D'Igalo.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky Pig tries to marry his dream girl Petunia Pig who has no interest on Porky. While attempting suicide, Porky dreams of what his future with Petunia could be.
This is the final cartoon to have Porky Pig voiced by that annoying actor Joe Dougherty with a speech problem and is painfully unfunny as a voice actor for Porky. He was fired from Warner Bros. as the directors were fed up of using him as it was a bother. Petunia Pig's first cartoon of course as she appeared in a few cartoons of the 1930s and mainly in comics.
After that Porky Pig enters a flower shop with posies displayed in the front part of the shop and Porky Pig steps out of the shop also merrily. You'll notice that in the backgrounds you can hear the sounds of off-screen chorus singers singing a chirpy song which is called 'I Wanna Woo'. Porky Pig appears to have a lot of confidence to ask someone out on a girl who'd be out of Porky's league completely.
She walks down to open up a small door to peep through who it is but is disgusted to find it's Porky Pig who she has absolute no interest in him or respect. She also has a pet dog that looks a little like a Lhasa Apso. Petunia Pig notices Porky as she slams the small door exclaiming angrily, "Porky Pig. Pooh pooh!" Petunia's dog then starts to walk away from Porky and barks at him. Porky Pig has been dejected as he walks out in tears as though it's his only love. He walks off but pecks on the golden bar of her front door with 'Petunia Pig' labelled on it as he walks off depressed.
There is a great example of Tashlin's speed (and I've explained it here) Petunia then exits the scene leaving a speck of dust and her dog standing by the window. She grabs Porky Pig as she has her eye on the box of chocolates but only to fool him. That's pretty good pacing here with the speed effects. She bring along Porky into the house (I love how modernized and curvy the house is) and she seats Porky down on the couch with her as she gobbles up the box of chocolates. "Porky. I'm so glad to see you" while too interested and busy eating chocolates as this was the only part of success that Porky Pig has achieved.
Every time Porky still tries to grab a chocolate - there's always trouble from the dog as he comes up with a plan. He sits up twiddling his thumbs trying to be innocent towards the dog. Porky grabs out his hand in an innocent attitude but the dog still growls at him which would annoy Porky since he can't have a bit of chocolate himself. Porky Pig finally grabs out a bit of chocolate from his hand in which Fluffnins jumps up to eat it before walking off. Coming to think of it; isn't chocolate (what we eat) poisonous for dogs, I know you can get special type for dogs but real chocolate could kill dogs. Petunia then giggles what what Fluffnins and asks; "Isn't Fluffnins cute?" Porky Pig picks up his hat to find that it has been damaged by Fluffnins.
As Porky Pig is about to say those lines to extend his hand in marriage (with an uninterested Petunia) he asks without a sweat; 'Oh shucks, will you marry me?' Just after saying that; Fluffnins then starts to pull the carpet off Porky as he spins off the carpet hitting the floor again. Petunia Pig laughs at Porky for his humiliation. She is laughing hardly as Fluffnins puffs for his effort (which is the same animation that was used from after scoffing the bit of chocolate). Porky Pig then starts to walk out of the house with misery as he walks out as though he has no ambitions or a life to live for after being dejected from Petunia who is still laughing hard at his misfortune.
With luck and his life spared from suicide; the branch with the noose attached to it then snaps as Porky falls to the ground (breaking the step ladder) and is knocked out unconscious to the ground. This is why I find it rather unsettling since suicide isn't a very pleasant topic that I don't like thinking or talking about it. Luckily Porky is unconscious and then the dream starts to blur into the dream sequence that shows us what his future with Petunia Pig could end up to be. The blur effects are beautiful I have to say - it looks very realistic.
Inside the church we've already got to the point where the priest asks if the couple agree to live with one another as Petunia Pig agrees with a "I do" statement. Porky Pig stutters badly at it but then the priest whistles at him to move on as he ends with "do". After the wedding has finished they walk down as they wave to the crowd as they are a new married couple. Fluffnins is holding onto Petunia's dress at the back looking rather obnoxious as usual. The couple drive in their past with the banner reading "Just Married" as we find sneakers attached to the car on the road. Notice the hidden gag that the car's template is "BOOB".
In the birds-eye view shot; Porky takes Petunia out of the car as they enter the hotel. You can see the elevator movement with the light shines from the windows moving upwards which was a similar animation technique used in Avery's 'Miss Glory' cartoon last year. The musical timing for the elevator moving upwards is pretty good by Tashlin and Stalling as Milt Franklyn shows some good musical arrangement here. The couple are at one of the top floors at the hotel. You can then see the pig couples with the blinds covering the window as they kiss but done in silhouette and Porky turns off the light. Notice how Porky looks very large while Petunia is cute and thin. Porky Pig was just designed in this cartoon as a chubby, middle-aged man which didn't look right on him but he was still new as the directors had other versions of him before being finalized in about, say, 1938 or 1939.
We pan along to the kitchen as we find that Porky Pig is doing all the housework in the family as Petunia has taken over him and orders him to do chores. We find that Porky Pig is multitasking with is jobs but struggles to keep up, too. He is also ironing clothes, washing, cooking food, cleaning dishes, etc.
The babies then start to cry after hearing the sounds. It's now shown Porky Pig has a lot of children to look after a Petunia is just very fat and lazy. Boy, Porky sure will struggle at putting them to college. Notice how every single kid is called 'Porky Pig Jr' - now THAT'S just going to create confusion for the kids as they grow up - or even chaos and surely that they must have at least a daughter as it doesn't seem to be a probability here. Petunia is annoyed at the sounds and then starts to henpeck Porky.
Petunia Pig: Porky Pig, shut those kids up.
Porky Pig: I'm doing the the best I can, Petunia dear.
It seems that Porky Pig is too afraid to leave her since who'd take responsibility of everything since she's too lazy to do so.
...it was only the real Petunia who was shaking him to wake him up. Petunia Pig in the last part of the cartoon strokes Porky on the cheek feeling very sorry for Porky Pig almost killing himself and also guilty on her side. "Oh Porky, I'm so sorry. You're my honey man. I'll marry you". Porky Pig then thinks again in his dream of what could happen in the future and believing in superstitions, doesn't want to end up in that situation like in his dream. Petunia is still calling him some lovely-dovely names to him to show her love but Porky Pig doesn't show it this time. He runs away from Petunia grabbing the box of chocolates. In getting his revenge on the dog, Fluffnins (who is rather gentle to him too at the end) he runs back to kick the dog in the behind leaving Flufflins yelping in pain. Okay; I know that Fluffnins has been a jerk to Porky, by humiliating him and being obnoxious but kicking a dog in the behind is just mean; and Porky could get accused for cruelty to animals, but I guess he's been warned for being kind to animals like with Charlie Dog in (Often an Orphan). Still I thought the ass-kicking scene on the dog was a little mean.