|Title card courtesy of Dave Mackey.|
Warner cartoon no. 165.
Release date: June 19, 1937.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Frank Tashlin.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig), Berneice Hansell (Little Rabbit), Ted Pierce (Sandy C. Ment, Construction Worker) and Billy Bletcher (Dirty Digg).
Animation: Volney White and Norm McCabe.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky Pig and his rival have a race to see who can finish a building first to win the job.
The commissioner assigns both of them to build a city hall and plan it out. Dirty Dugg who is the enemy of Porky then looks at Porky grudgingly. Porky Pig waves back as though he doesn't give a hoot. Nice character animation shown on the hand waving. The commissioner announces that the person planning the building "with the lowest bid will get the job". Porky Pig is needed for the job. The commissioner continues, "These are the plans". He grabs out a poster as he unrolls it with a poster of the future City Hall looking rather splendid in design. The commissioner then asks the contractors to report to their desks to plan out their building with the contractor with the "lowest bid wins". The commissioner then wishes both Porky and Dirty Dugg "the best of luck".
Dirty Dugg and Porky Pig then hand over their plans to Sandy C. Ment. I like the angular shots displayed here of his animated in perspective which is another interesting Tashlin technique. The commissioner discovers that the results are in fact the exact same budget. The results have ended up with $3'000'000.02. The commissioner is unsure on what the next plan would be to take action but then comes up with an idea. The idea now decided by the commissioner, "I have it. You'll both build a building and the one who'll finish it first will win. So"...(and yeah; I wonder how that's going to work since a lot of money will be bought into this competition.
Porky Pig and Dirty Dugg then dash off very quickly leaving a sway of wind on the crowd watching them build. Dirty Dugg then steps inside a excavator is already clearing the soil inside the dump truck. The excavator then picks up a truck but the backhoe chews the rock picking it up trying to make it softer before dropping it to the ground again. Porky Pig is already beginning work on his building site where his excavator isn't quite so useful as the one as Dirty Dugg has got and neither is it fast as well.
This is a good example of Frank Tashlin experimenting with weight in this bit of animation as well as squash and stretch on the backhoe trying to move. Meanwhile there is a digger that is placing some dynamite into a hole whistling as though he's just got a job to perform. The construction worker then walks down to the TNT detonator ready for the explosion.
The construction worker then pops out of the crowd puffing his pipe to find a quite spot. He walks over to the ditch full of dynamite but then the crowd follow his directions again. The small construction man then crawls under the crowd in his usual characteristic walk; puffing his pipe; no expressions on his face whatsoever. The worker then walks over to the detonator as he just implodes the boxes of dynamite (probably blowing off the crowd off-screen) in which the job is done.
It does sort of create a form of rhythm with the shaking spirit going on by a line of turtles that are lining up in an assembly line. They have wheels on top of their shells and as they open they form a dump truck where Mortar is dumped into their shells to help create Porky's building. Meanwhile there is a dog construction worker that has the cement carried as he walks up the beams of the constructed building with plungers attached to his feet so he doesn't need to fall down very easily.
The gag is that after the dog has fallen off the beam; the plunger is still moving as though it's walking which is rather humorous. The flute sounds of the plungers walking is a very good music cliche chosen by Stalling. Porky Pig then warns his team that his building competition is not going too well and orders the workers on his side to "fight" to compete with Dirty Dugg. Meanwhile there is a little small rabbit that jumps in to show "How 'bout me, Porky?" Porky Pig immediately rejects with a "No!" A pelican then decides to create Mortar by mixing water, sand and cement from a machine.
Dirty Dugg then comes up with one of his tricks by attaching a balloon onto a body of the fish in which the fish ends up flying in the sky as the pelican ignorantly eats the fish leaving the compound inside his beak to drop out of it. A line of pelicans are still sitting down waiting for Porky's orders but as Porky enters the scene a whole plodge of cement drops on top of him which was done by the pelican as an accident. Porky Pig jumps up shouting, "Get in there and fight!" the same rabbit dashes into the scene shouting "How about me, Porky?" Don't worry folks; that's going to be used all through the picture - if Tex Avery could put it that way. I like the timing of how the rabbit just dashes into the scene.
During the pan inside the shack we hear the sounds of Dirty Dugg laughing by Billy Bletcher (in Bletcher style) and at the other end of the shack he is back. Yes; he has a new invention called the "Brick Laying" Machine. Now that is just cheating as it's going to be done backwards and not even fair on poor Porky. Porky Pig is already seen doing rather well with the building site and is already in the lead. He is in peril once he looks down to find Dirty Dugg's new invention. Porky Pig complains to Dirty Dugg; "Say you can't do that". Dirty Dugg replies; "Well, I'm-a doin' it ain't I?"
The animation of the bricks being stacked was done by effects animator Ace Gamer and is of course; the studio's only effects animator of that time. I love how that window is already formed while the brick laying machine already appears to know what to do which would be a success. Porky Pig then looks up from the other building site that the brick laying is being performed much more quicker and would even get finished on time. The scoreboard is already being calculated that the highest Dirty Dugg is scoring is "22 Stories up" while Porky Pig's building only has "2 stories" completed which must be very upsetting for Porky Pig not getting the job and probably has to go through the Great Depression scheme again.
Rabbit: How about me, Porky?
Rabbit: How about me, Porky?
Rabbit: How about me, Porky?
Everytime the rabbit dashes in and out - he is wearing a different jumper that reads about how much of a great brick-layer he is as he boasts he's a "Colossal Brick Layer" and then "Super Colossal Brick Layer". The poor rabbit then walks off rather sad about being rejected knowing that he could perform such a capable job as well as winning. Porky Pig finally gives in and stutters, "Alright - go in there and fight". The rabbit then zips past (and I do like the brush effects). The rabbit shows off his chest and is now wearing a "Super Colossal Brick Layer" instead of a plain "Brick layer" shirt.
Dirty Dugg realizes that Porky's building has caught up and speeds up the brick laying paste even faster but the rabbit can still keep up with the fast pace or even faster. Dirty Dugg finds that the belt is caught jammed with the machine and gasps "It's stuck on the belt" or at least that's what he says. I imagine that this is a dated gag or quote reference but I'm not sure where it's from. The machine starts to turn chaotic as it pauses but reverses as the bricks disappear and the floors of Dirty Dugg's building get lower and lower. The machine then starts to get stubbier and stubbier before it bursts.
Overall comments: This was a rather interesting cartoon for Frank Tashlin to experiment with his techniques such as the shots of watching the buildings get taller and taller whilst being built. I like how he has shown some good quality in the animation particularly of the bricks being laid out here from the brick laying machine. Porky Pig is still portrayed as a very large character who is meant to be an adult. You'd expect his voice to be voiced by Dougherty but he needs to be cuter to make Blanc's voice suit the character's looks. I awfully don't have a lot to talk about this cartoon at all other than to say that I enjoyed the animation side to it but as for the story wise I found it rather boring to me as it's just watching a race of buildings being built and it didn't particularly surprise me since in just about every cartoon from this era; the climaxes of the cartoons were just the same and before the days of blackout gags. I had no idea on where the animals came from but I don't particularly find Porky Pig being with cute animals his type of characters but the Looney Tunes directors were still trying him out in many other ways so we can't blame Frank for that. The rabbit was rather annoying to me although it was just a character to make him try to appeal to an audience by using one line used over and over again - which was also used in Porky's Moving Day.