Wednesday, 29 August 2012

201. Injun Trouble (1938)

Warner cartoon no. 200.
Release date: May 21, 1938.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Robert Clampett.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig / Sloppy Moe / Trail Boss) and Billy Bletcher (Injun Joe).
Animation: Chuck Jones and Izzy Ellis.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Pioneer Porky Pig is on the lookout for Injun Joe who controls the territories.

This is the 200th cartoon in the Warner Bros. cartoon library that I'm reviewing (exc. 'Bosko the Talk Ink Kid') and that would be by one-fifth of the challenge completed - officially. Later on about roughly 30 years later of the same name it would be called 'Injun Trouble' but would be the final WB cartoon of then entire original series. The cartoon would be remade seven years later but called Wagon Heels also directed by Clampett.

The cartoon then begins as we find a map of the United Sates long, long ago. The East Coast part is labelled the 'USA" while the rest of U.S. is controlled by a territory called the Injun Joe Territory and it shows that it is controlled by a lot of Indians. We then start to get a close-up view of the map as there is a card pointing to a wagon spot that reads A WAGON TRAIN LEAVES NEW YORK FOR CALIFORNIA.

The wagon then starts to make a track as it's being animated here through the U.S. map. As its being shown through animation - it turns out it is a "wagon-train" as there are a line of wagons and cattles riding past but it also features a boiler at the top as we see that makes the wagon look more like a locomotive. As the wagon train then starts to steam by we then discover that Porky is riding on his horse trying to catch up with the wagons. As Porky then manages to catch up with the conductor on the train who is riding the wagon and also chewing tobacco. He then turns to find Porky as he calls for name, then spits tobacco and shouts for his name again. "Injun scout ahead (?). Keep a sharp lookout for Injun Joe". He appears to keep on spitting every time he finishes a sentence. "Dat varmint" he calls Injun Joe who appears to be an injun who controls must of the terroties in the United States.

After getting the alarm from the sheriff inside the wagon Porky then responds to the alarm as he is fully aware. Even the horse then starts to spit on the ground which makes it rather amusing since he's copying the sheriff's spitting habit. Porky then starts to get his horse to ride faster as he rides past the wagon and then he reaches the territory line. The sign at the board then reads: Boundary Line - PALE FACE KEEP OFF LAWN. Injun Joe.

One thing I must say is that the animation of the horse is pretty fantastic to look at. The horse then starts to make a move as he tiptoes over the boundary which is pretty cleverly animated. The horse and Porky then start to reach the bottom of the cliff as they look under for the spot of Injuns. The horse then whinnies and makes a big take but then starts to slide down the cliff. The whinny take was a rather funny animated scene to look at. After sliding down the hill the horse continues to trot but ends up leaving his legs still dangling in the air which I find is also pretty cool to see as well and also humorous to the audience. Porky and his horse have already discovered something pretty shocking as they discovered that there have been a lot of wagons destroyed by the pioneers that were setting out west to California. Just burnt

After the arrival at the scene with the destroyed wagons - Porky then jumps off his own horse and realises that he knows the cause for this. He makes a hat take which is subtle but shouts 'Injun Joe' knowng that he caused that. He then start to PAN forward as there is the body marks of Injun Joe that ended up walking past a rock as it so appears.

Porky and his horse are then on a investigation on the search for Injun Joe as Porky is carrying his magnifying glass by investigating the massive foot prints that would've been stood by Injun Joe. The animated scene of Porky with his magnifying glass and the horse walking past is a Chuck Jones animated seene for sure with the very good timing but also the drawing too. The plant that they then walk past turns out that it isn't a plant. It turns out that the "plant" was a beard of a type of hermit that then appears and the music completely changes as he shakes his own beard as there are arrows that fly out of the way. I love the subtle part where he uses his own beard to take the arrow off the beard which was pretty amusing. It turns out that he was one of the survivors of the Injun Joe attack as it's shown here. The character named here is Sloppy Moe - but at least in Wagon Heels he was called that so I can perhaps call him that in this cartoon if it's safe for me to do so.

Sloppy Moe then starts to walk over to Porky and his horse jumping over as we still hear carny music. He then starts to jump over in that really kooky Clampett fashion where he jumps with excitement but sings with substitute lyrics to the song London Bridge Is Falling Down. He sings to Porky a secret, "I know something I won't tell, I won't tell, I won't tell. I know something I won't tell!" in which he then kicks Porky and laughs off the last part of the rhyme.

Porky then gets back up as he asks Sloppy Moe, 'What is it?' Sloppy Moe then starts to get into that uncontrollable chuckle where he is about to explain to him what it would be. "Well it's just that---" until he just breaks down with laughter and doesn't appear to be in control of what he is trying to say. Afterwards as he is about to say - he just leaves at the scene refusing to tell Porky or anyone. After all, he did say he wouldn't tell. It appears that Sloppy Moe has left the scene through that rock that was crushed through the body of Injun Joe. Porky and his horse then continue to follow the tracks to discover the investigation.

After that dopey sequence with the dopey hermit - we then starts to change location at a different setting where we see a mountain at the distance. At first we would think that the mountain location would look pretty nice looking as though there is nothing that could be going on. We start to find that the mountain looks as though it's about to erupt but instead - it just splits in half by Injun Joe who is walking his path.

In the background we hear the music to 'The Sun Dance' which is a popular music piece for Native Indians. As Injun Joe is still walking down as he owns the territory - we find some gags and it shows that he is so tough that he can also walk through a pair of trees that are standing close together. As Injun Joe walks past through them - the shape of the trunk on both trees are square-shaped. What even amuses me is the fact that as Injun Joe is just walking past as though he controls the territory - his chest is so tough that he can even break through trees with his own chest and without any effort as well. As we breaks through the trunk of the tree - the top half of the tree then starts to get lower as it then bounces back down making the tree look very short. Standing behind Injun Joe then features a black bear who creeps behind him and growls at him. Injun Joe then responds back to that by roaring back loud at him with a much more aggressive tone and even growing taller than the bear in which he shrinks by comparison. The brown bear then starts to cry like a baby and the baby-crying sounds is a rather funny sound effect heard here.

After the bear then ends up crying like a baby - Injun Joe then starts to dash all the way up to the top of the mountain and he brings the top of the mountain down to the bear as it looks a lot like a bowl of ice-cream. Of course this cheers up the bear as he gets to have the bowl of ice-cream but bringing the top part making it look like ice-cream was a very good gag. As the bear is still holding a spoonful of ice-cream - Injun Joe then starts to gobble it all up - even chewing on the bear's spoonful.

The bear then starts to cry like a baby. I imagine the ice-cream gag was just a part of the Great Depression at the time which was still going even until the 1930s but wasn't a terrible damage effect but it didn't last until around the end of World War II. The fact that Injun Joe brought down the ice cream for the bear just to eat it I thought was very funny as it shows that he's not even caring one bit - also a big bully, too albeit dangerous. The bear crying is very funny. Injun Joe is still walking around the territory but as he is still walking past - his foot ends up being caught in a bear trap. After being caught in a bear trap - he then ends up biting the entire bear trap off his feet in which the bear trap then starts to yelp out of the way like a dog whining. These gags of Injun Joe just walking past and being off his strength become funny gags in my opinion that even work itself.

Meanwhile Porky Pig and his horse are still on the lookout for Injun Joe. As they are still on the lookout - they then start to come across a river as it is streaming by. Porky and the horse then approach closer to the river as they realise that it wouldn't be easy for them to cross. The horse then starts to stand up like a human in which he tiptoes to the lake and unrolls his sleeve so he can reach underwater.

Underwater we find the horse's hand then trying to find the plug to the lake and he unplugs it like taking a plug out of a bathtub. The water then sinks away in which it falls down the drain. Porky and the horse then start to walk on crossing the river.  That was funny since considering that they must be sissies of going through the river but yet again it is flowing so how would they be able to go across? After crossing the river Sloppy Moe then appears at the scene again as his face pops out of a log and we hear that kooky carny music again. Sloppy Moe steps out once again as he then goes into and scampers about jumping over towards Porky and his horse. He once again chants "I know something I won't tell, etc." Sloppy Moe then starts to grab Porky's Davy Crockett hat and stretches it down to his feet as he is caught in it. Porky then places his hat back to normal size on his head. Porky asks him again 'What'ya know?' - Sloppy Moe then replies in that chuckle, but comments 'It's a secret' as he keeps on zipping and running all over the place.

Injun Joe is now on the look out for any deserters in his territory. Whilst on the lookout for any deserters that are coming towards his area - he then manages to spot a wagon-train steaming by. As he then spots the avon that is sailing by - he then plans on an attack to them. He starts to jump from the edge of the cliff like a diving board and then dives down. When I notice him about to dive off - the cape that he's wearing to cover his privates then start to swing up and down but who cares - he doesn't have one in this cartoon.

Injun Joe then starts to make a dive down in which he then quickly transforms into a dive bombing plane. Injun Joe then starts to dive by landing into a parachute - and I recall in the tribute; it was remade with Injun Joe landing to the ground but the timing was much more edgier and sharper than this cartoon - when comparing it. After Injun Joe then lands on his parachute to the ground - he looks over and finds in a shock that the wagon train is coming past. As the train then starts to come to his path - Injun Joe is hiding behind a rock and he is going to use the strength of a branch to move the tracks of the wagon-train physically.

As Injun Joe then manages to do that successfully and physically - the wagon train then starts to go through that path but it turns out that path is a dead-end as there are no tracks leading to where they need to go and it ends up causing the wagons to then circulate in the middle of the dessert as they have fallen into Injun Joe's trap.

Injun Joe then surrounds the entire wagon field as he is so tough and dangerous that one injun against a couple of wagons will still make Injun Joe undefeated. I like how that Injun Joe is pretending to be riding a horse but it turns out that he is only riding on a log. One of the pioneers in the wagon then starts to screech with horror as he grabs out a shotgun and begins to fire at Injun Joe. The shotgun that he is carrying turns out to have a mouth at the end that spits out bullets and makes a ding sound when firing which is some pretty good gag development. Even one of the cattles then also take part in the fight against Injun Joe as they are carrying a machine gun with them trying to fire directly at him. Injun Joe is still alive and still active as he then starts to use the log as he was pretending to ride it like a horse. He uses the horse like using a enormous bow and he uses huge arrows to shoot at the wagon tents.

One of the shooters inside the wagon then fires at Injun Joe. The arrow then shoots straight into the tent of the wagon and the wagon then starts to burst and float down. The pioneer then steps out and pumps it up so that it can still stand before returning back into the wagon. The pumping scene was a clever gag to get it still working which I quite like there. After the wagon is back up again - the pioneer then continues to fire.

One of the pioneers is shooting from his shotgun straight to Injun Joe but then starts to make a halt in which he then starts to look at his gun but we find that the Davy Crockett hat turns out to be a real raccoon shooting straight towards Injun Joe which makes the hat-gag amusing. The pioneer with that shotgun then starts to fire straight at Injun Joe but Joe then starts to collect the bullets in his hand as it wouldn't even come close to giving him pain when he carries the whole stack of bullets. Afterwards - Injun Joe then starts to grab out the bullets from his hand and into his mouth as he starts to chew them. After he has finished chewing the bullets inside his mouth - he then starts to spit out one huge bomb out of his mouth. Very good gag there where he has chewed the bullets to make it up to one huge bullet in which it turns into a bomb as it lands onto the field with the wagon trains. After that effect - suddenly they start to fall back down in the same position - as well as the mountains, etc.

Porky and the horse are still on the lookout for Injun Joe in this cartoon as they are still locating and following his foot prints. The horse and Porky then start to make a take as they find Injun Joe. The horse then makes a trot for it in which Porky is still holding onto the reins as the horse trots on.

As Injun Joe is holding onto an axe after the pioneers - he turns around to look to see who is after him as he makes a 'take' as Porky and his are after him. Porky then slides down his horse as he starts to walk up to Injun Joe. Injun Joe is then about to attack Porky with his axe - but Porky jumps from his trousers (still standing) before jumping back down again. In the copy I am watching there appears to be a weird cut from the part where Injun Joe is swinging his axe which turns into a type of circular saw but there appears to be an awful television cut where the tree he cuts turns into the Statue of Liberty. Then the circular saw controlled by Injun Joe starts to go on top of a building as it forms civilisation buildings. As soon as Porky keeps on running away - he then suddenly reaches the edge of a cliff and is cornered by Injun Joe which means Porky has no other part to escape.

Porky Pig is still standing at the edge of the cliff but then Injun Joe starts to pick up Porky by grabbing onto his hair string. As soon as he arrives at the spot about to chop off Porky - Sloppy Moe arrives at the scene to stop the fighting going on. He then jumps up chuckling "I know something I won't tell" once again. Injun Joe then picks up Sloppy Moe at the spot as he asks "What do you know?" (a Chuck Jones scene).

He then starts to reveal the secret which results being the whole gist of this cartoon "It's just that Injun". He then ends up tickling Injun Joe as Joe then breaks down very ticklish. He soon then manages to let go of Porky in which Injun Joe just breaks down into laughter because of him being ticklish by Injun Joe. Sloppy Moe then tickles him with his beard which results for Injun Joe to be standing by the edge of the cliff. After being tickled off the edge of the cliff - he then gets tickled again by Sloppy Moe who is standing in a parachute. Injun Joe lands into a chopped down tree as a result in which he is trapped. Well, I thought he was so tough he could break that tree open. There is some very loose and fluid animation of where he is being tickled from the tree which I think is some very funny animation of how he moves and all. Porky walks over to shake Sloppy Moe's hand for saving him. Afterwards - whilst being tickled (the iris out then stretches back) as he breaks the forth wall 'Do you want some more? I think that ending scene with the tree might also be Chuck Jones' scene but I'm not too sure to be exact.

Overall comments: I find that with this cartoon that this is one of Clampett's stronger cartoons of 1938 and he was already at that stage of bringing the word "looney" into Looney Tunes - and I feel that here this may be one of his first attempts to really put that into this cartoon. Of course - we already have experienced the craziness from Daffy Duck but here he has some kooky characters here like Sloppy Moe who prances around singing 'I know something I won't tell' which is rather charming to watch - although there is no lip-sync on the character so I wouldn't call it completely appealing animation but its serviceable. The design of Injun Joe is a pretty cool design but I felt that with his under clothing could've been a bit more 'subtle' but at least the design was.

When I compare the animation to this cartoon and 'Wagon Heels' in the era where Clampett was remaking many productions - I think that it makes a huge difference to Clampett's timing. There were some new elements in 'Wagon Heels' but the ending part was altered as Porky and Sloppy Moe were chosen as territory heroes but the ending where he gets crushed to the ground which forms the United States was just animated with perfection. Clampett certainly had a much edgier and sharper timing than he did earlier where in this era his timing was very fluid and I'm mentioning this because I feel it would be interesting to keep going through the years when we watch Clampett's timing get sharper through those years.


  1. In the beginning, the engineer actually says, “Better scout on ahead...”

    Cartoon Network cut the first section of the tree being chopped into the Statue of Liberty. I’ve never seen an unedited copy.

  2. In the end, Injun Joe says "Do-um some more...". Isn't that cute? xD He's begging to be tickled...

  3. The large bullet shell hitting the train is probably THE loudest explosion I've ever heard in any WB cartoon. Imagine how loud it must have been in movie theatres.