Release date: July 16, 1938.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Frank Tashlin.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig / Dog).
Story: George Manuell.
Animation: Joe D'Igalo.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky grows crops in his garden until its infested by chickens.
Porky Pig is still ploughing on the fields to create some crops and he is then moving with some interesting perspective animation. He stutters as he continues to plough, 'All ya gotta do is plough...then throw in some seeds...and (stutters) add a little water..and a swell garden grows'. Porky then breaks into a Elmer Blurt characteristic phrase "I hope, I hope, I hope" and even intimidates the voice. Okay but the Elmer Blurt voice really doesn't sound so good when Porky intimidates him - probably because it just doesn't sound natural for a stuttering, appealing character. Porky continues to plough and even when there is a haystack pile. He ploughs up through to the haystack where there are steps being cut as he steps up and slides down which is also an appealing technical gag.
Meanwhile his own dog named Streamline is sleeping in his kennel and he is snoozing and snoring. As he snores - his ears appear to blow upwards like a party blower and as he snores out they fly out flat which is very typical in these 1930s gags. As Porky continues to plough (and in perspective animation) he then finds that under the ground is Streamline's bone that was dug under there. Porky then discovers the bone as he picks it up and throws it over to Streamline. He calls him to wake him up as he then tosses the bone over to him. The bone then lands on top of Streamline's head as it creates a lump on top of his head. So after the lump, Streamline then uses his own ear to feel the lump as it forms into a hand which is just...weird. He cries and sniffles just briefly for a moment before he goes after the bone.
After closing the vault he then thinks to himself as a voice comes from his mind: None of this share the wealth business for me - performed in one of Mel Blanc's gruff voices which he liked doing. I'm not sure exactly what he means but I suppose its a dated catchphrase from a radio show - but still I find it random, and it must be dated since I don't get it. Any takers?? Porky then continues on with his gardening as he then starts to unroll the grass just like unrolling a carpet. He then grabs out some flower seeds from a bag simply labelled that. After grabbing hold of the seeds he then tosses it over the soil and he walks over to the rolled-up grass. He pushed the rug over as the grass is now back to its normal look. Well, if it were back in the 1930s then rolling up the grass like a rug would be considered a clever gag but since its been pretty overused it makes the cartoon gag a little out of date by comparison.
A flower then starts to form to life as Porky then hands the flower over a small shower for the flower to rinse (or I guess to live). Wait a minute, flowers need water to help grow - they can't be created by a plunger and then grow before being rinsed!! Anyway the flower then starts to come to life and even takes one of her petals off as she rinses herself in the shower. Okay, when Tashlin says he was influenced by Harman-Ising - that petal gag is DEFINITELY a Harman-Ising influence. She then screams when she notices that Porky is staring at her washing (assuming that she must be 'naked'?) and she then grabs out some shower curtains to chose them while she washes. That little sequence with the flower was just bizarre and its already bringing me back to the old Harman-Ising days.
Meanwhile Porky is busy sorting out his farming as he is placing some seeds inside a sack which is a job for Streamline. Streamline then walks past the shed as he walks over to do the job for Porky Pig. Porky places the bag of seeds on top of Streamline's head. Streamline then walks over to the soil as he uses his own tale to drill a hole to place the seeds inside one at a time. I like the tail forms into a type of screw which is rather neat. I also like how the seed just rolls down the dog's back and into the hole - some really neat timing on that. Porky is tossing some seeds from categoric seed bags as he is going to grow some crops in his garden. Porky's dog, Streamline still digs a hole to grow the seed with his own tail.
During a slow camera pan through the garden - much, much later...it's discovered that Streamline has already dug so many tiny holes through the garden--even overdoing it. There are holes through the gate and even through the bark of the trees as we continue the pan. Even the water machine that he is sitting on has holes in it - it sure is an exaggeration but its a rather funny gag in the backgrounds but it must've taken ages of a layout artist to do all that which must've made the task to be rather tedious. It also reminds me of those gags that are featured in the backgrounds that was really a trademark that appears to have started off with Tex Avery (and he appears to use backgrounds a lot for gags in his spot-gag cartoons) and here Tashlin uses it here - but I wouldn't say its an influence since all directors would have gags in the scenery. I like how that Streamline just cools his tail from the exhaustion of digging holes and its a fun harmless gag. Porky then tries to call Streamline over to him (although when stuttering his name, he calls him 'Bognose') he tells him the job is over as they walk away completing the job. Streamline slides away still sitting on the bucket of water.
The chicken comments: 'My my, just look at the delightful garden. Such variety'. The chicken then finishes writing notes as he then attached the pad of paper to a pencil as he sticks it into a tree, and it turns out to be a menu for the chickens that are going to infest the area. The menu reads the following:
MENU Specials Today -- Fruit Cocktails: Shake It Down Yourself & Save Lettuce & Gravel Salad. -Entree- Corn Beef & Cabbage - Side Order of Worms...5 cents EXTRA!
Afterwards; many more poultries then discover the menu as the plan is to raid Porky's garden to take their vegetables. It appears that there is a hall monitor outside the fence as the line of chickens are given a tray each so they can invade Porky's garden.
A chicken then runs at the scene in perspective holding onto a tray where he finds some corn on the cob for him to take since chickens like corn. As he is trying to grab some corn out of the crops - he struggles and he ends up tugging at it. As he keeps on tugging at the corn - it produces a funny little sound effect which is famous before the Treg Brown sound effects (done by a trombone). He then grabs out a cork opener as he ends up opening up the corn in the cob. Most of these scenes now remind me of the lame gags that Avery used in Porky's Garden done by Tex a earlier earlier. Well it is a little charming when we find the chicken who is just cheating the corn on the cob like a typewriter as it moves from right to left and he just pushes it back to beginning eating another layer of corn - okay, I haven't seen that before and the typewriter part makes it rather amusing. A chicken then grabs some carrots which the chicken is going to feast. After tugging the carrot; the chicken eats it and weirdly enough the chicken then takes the layer part off and its revealed that the carrot already has fishbones in them. Okay, but that's just an awful gag - since how can carrots already have bones in them when they're not living things. If that is the gag then its terrible!
The chickens are at another part of the crops as they are in a line cutting the crops like grass from a lawn mower. Porky then scares the chickens out of the way from trespassing in his garden and the amusing part is that they scat backwards and the crops that they had eaten then get back to its usual size. It must've been difficult to stage and interesting for Tashlin to use that idea but I find it rather amusing since how could they get that out while in digestion. Porky chases them away with a broom and some Tashlin pacing is used in these fast shots of the chicken scatting away from Porky's broom with some interesting camera angles. One part that really amuses me is the chicken chewing the corn on the cob like a typewriter scats out of the way (as Porky runs through done by arc animation) and after dust spreads at the scene - the corn of the cob is still standing and chewing like a typewriter - its a rather wacky gag there.
The first time Porky tries to whack the chicken - he misses and another chicken arrives at the spot also tutting him. More more attempts he tries to hit a chicken - more chickens arrive at the top of the fence as they continue to tut at Porky. Afterwards as there is a whole group of chickens at the top of the fence - they then grab the broom off Porky and they whack him with it as they have managed to outwit Porky. In the next sequence - we find that Porky then starts to build his own scarecrow to try and scare off chickens - but yet, they're supposed to scare away crows, not chickens. He comments, 'There! Why didn't I think of this before?! This oughta scare those pesky chickens away!' He then places an overcoat on as he walks away. How is that supposed to scare them away without a mask on there?
He just stands there and he strikes a match and lights a cigar. I don't see how that sequence is supposed to be funny - I really don't find it funny. Porky is still annoyed of the chicken and he even suggests to Streamline to find a way to chase the chickens away. Porky stutters:
Porky Pig: Why don't you do something to keep those chickens outta here. Are you a watchdog or aren't ya?'
Streamline: (thoughts) Sure, I'm a watchdog. I'm full of ticks (ticking sounds).
Porky Pig: Go on, chase 'em out of the garden!
The ticking sound gag was a little bit amusing. Porky then forces his dog to run over and chase the chicken near the scarecrow out of the way. As he scampers on - there is some violence occurring as its censored by clouds and dust covering the scenery as well as sockets. Streamline is then taken out as he is tossed to the ground by the chicken leader who has outwitted Porky and the dog once again.
Porky then starts to hand out some bags of seeds that grow vegetables. The first he hands out is a bag of carrots. 'Do you like carrots?' he asks the chickens. The chickens then look together as they cluck together evidently meaning that group don't like carrots. He then hands out a bag of asparagus and he asks, 'Do you like asparagus?' the chickens then cluck together in dislike and rather indecisive of their decisions. He then hands out a bag of spinach and the chickens then cluck the exact same reason and decision. Then he grabs out a bag of their favourite - corn and asks 'Do you like corn?' when its pretty obvious. They then shout together 'OH YEAH' a reference to the Oswald character in the 'Ken Murray' show which must've been a huge hit back then since it was referenced many times already in the 1938 Warner cartoons.
Some of Tashlin's timing here was rather neat and I like the rough timing of Porky using the plunger to plunge the seeds to make the flowers grow. However, I have mixed feelings for much of the gags - I think its a little bit too much for me to say the gags were funny - they were charming but they just reminded me much of any other 1930s cartoons and Warners were already more advanced with gags and story already in this period in the Avery cartoons. The gags were either re-used or either just some unfunny 1930s ones that just seem last season when I compare it to the other 1938 WB cartoons from this era. Just my two cents but I believe that Frank was just making his own type of films. At least the design of Porky still looks better in Tash's Porky cartoons in this year when a year earlier he looked much beefier looking. In fact some of the story in this cartoon or at least parts of it reminds me of 'Porky's Garden' even though I wouldn't consider it a remake.