Monday 31 October 2011

50. Bosko in Dutch (1933)

Warner cartoon no. 49.
Release date: January 14, 1933.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman and Friz Freleng.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Thomas McKimson.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

Friz Freleng's first film that he got the chance to direct, but only co-direct - so he wasn't fully in charge, like Hugh was. Since I've done 50 reviews, and out of roughly 1001 shorts (951 to review), I've only completed roughly 5% of the challenge. A long way to go.

The short starts off in a rather wintery Holland scenario, we wee a frozen-pond and there are several animate animals skating on it, and even a hippo on skates has to have support with smaller animals to push her to go forward. We then see Bosko skating along with two pails on a stick that he's carrying on his shoulders delivering milk. The buckets attached to the stick hit the ice to make a rhythm pattern. Bruno follows Bosko as he is running while loaded with a cart with cartons of milk at the back. 

We then see a dog skating (that looks like Goopy Geer - goodness, he must've been used many times), and the dog is dancing while on his ice skates, with clogs as "ice skates". It's a good visual gag including clogs for ice-skating as it's Dutch shoes. Even a dachshund in skates, but has to where a couple of skates, because of it's length. We even see a duck on skates quacking (wouldn't they have gone south?) and her ducklings are attached to her from a piece of string that has clogs, and each duckling is inside one clog.

We then see a reused gag of a duck that goes inside a windmill, (taking a dump) and then comes back outside back onto the clog. Okay, I really don't see the point of that pathetic gag - yet again, it's a reused gag and Friz Freleng co-directed this cartoon and it sounds like his involvement. The dog continues to dance, as he starts to spin around in his skates and then he spins that fast that his legs suddenly twist and twist, until it's as twisted as it gets. His twisted legs then loosen and go back to normal, and continiues staking.

Bosko continues to skate as a milkman (wearing ice-skates with clogs), and Bruno continues to run with the cart attached to him (wearing clogs too), and as Bruno jumps on top of a log, the cart bumps and a carton of milk falls off, in which a group of "seacats??" come out of a area where the pond shows and they lick the carton of milk.

Bruno continues to skate, until he halts and starts to scratch and we see a dozens and dozens of Dutch fleas coming out (they're wearing clogs too), and Bruno continues to run. It's interesting here on how Harman and Freleng were pretty accurate in which they had to include every character wearing clogs here.

Bosko finishes skating and arrives at a windmill and rings the doorbell. From a long-shot, Honey shouts on the window "Oh Bosko", and Bosko grabs hold of one of the giant fans, and lands on top of the roof with Honey - who is wearing a Dutch bonnet. The pair of them start clog dancing inside the windmill, until Bosko mentions a popular phrase "Ain't we got fun?", and the pair of them sing the song It's Tulip Time in Holland. At least, we see an interesting dance sequence for once - in which it involves clogs.

As the song is being sung, we see outside that there are two small skaters that both look like Wilbur (shall we call it twins?), and they are dancing while skating as well. They skid as they are almost falling onto a pond which isn't frozen. Back to Bosko and Honey, they both continue singing the Holland song, and then there is a shot of a cuckoo clock sleeping and bangs a bowl with his spoon as the time read 4 o'clock. Wilbur and his twin continue to skate happily, but they end up skidding again and trying to run away from the thin ice. They both fall in the pond, and start crying for help. 

Bosko and Honey are still singing the song, but are interrupted with the cries of help coming from Wilbur and his twin. They scream help so cautiously, that even the letters "HELP" come out, with a hand pointing at what the trouble is (I've never seen the words come out from Harman-Ising before, but I wonder if Freleng contributed to that). Honey pleads Bosko to "save them".

Bosko then starts to jump onto the clothesline, and lands on a pair of long underwear. He pulls the line, up to where Wilbur and his brother are drowning on the icy water. Bosko's head pops out at the rear patch, with his hands coming out of the sleeves to rescue Wilbur and his brother - a very clever part (clothing). Honey then pulls the clothesline towards Bosko, but suddenly even more trouble happens as the pair of long underwear suddenly rips and causing Bosko to fall down on thin ice, in which Wilbur and his brother are stuck on a piece of ice screaming for "HELP".

The Wilburs end up being stranded on a frozen river, and Bosko is at shore running to catch them up hoping to find a plan to get those two back safely. He does find one as he climbs down a ladder at the edge of a bridge, and instead the Wilburs go through a pipe - which is EVEN MORE problematic. Bosko quickly discovers a water pump, and starts pumping until Wilbur and his twin come out of the spout in which they reunite with Bosko and Honey happily - and that's all folks.

Well, as this was Freleng's first time he got to do some directing, but not in charge of production; and I notice some interesting parts in that cartoon that probably was one of Friz's contributions. The fact that this cartoon was quite analytical and accurate with having all the characters with clogs on, and that the settings really do look Dutch - I wonder if Hugh and Friz did some research? The word "HELP" coming out reminded me of something that wasn't by Hugh Harman or Rudy Ising - unless a gag person like Bob Clampett or Earl Duvall was involved with that? I didn't mind this cartoon at all, but it wasn't very special, even at Friz's first attempt - it shows how a later-great director like him wasn't great at the first attempt (well, he only co-directed), not really in control of the cartoons.

Sunday 30 October 2011

49. The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives (1933)

Warner cartoon no. 48.
Release date: January 7, 1933.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Cast unknown. 
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

This is the first cartoon to be released in 1933, and it was obviously created and finished in 1932, as it was probably meant to be released in Christmas 1932, but due to production schedules, it would be delayed to January. Sorry if the screen grabs have rather crappy quality. Oddly enough, this is October 30 - and I'm reviewing a Christmas production - I should review something Halloween like, but my schedule says that I have to review The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives - oh well. We are getting near to Christmas, aren't we? I mean some of my aunts and uncles are already talking about Christmas present lists.

The short starts off with church bells playing as it's Christmas Eve. We then see a layout view of a church with the lights on and the choir and those attending night Church are singing Silent Night. An orphan boy then walks past in a snowstorm, with no home and no friends. The boy then walks past a house in which we can hear music in the background playing Jingle Bells - he sees all the kids holding hands together like a circle, and running around the Christmas tree. The boy wishes that he lived in a comfortable home.

Suddenly, the wind blows and the boy ends up blowing and hitting a hut with a pile of snow on top of the roof falling on top of him. The boy then starts sniffing and sobbing as he enters in for some shelter. As he arrives, he learns that he hasn't got any coal to keep the fire on, and nothing to keep him warm. He then starts to break down in tears, until - a miracle arrives. Santa Claus comes to town!!

Santa arrives inside the shelter, to which the boy turns astonished in amazement that a miracle had arrived in excellent timing conditions. To the boy's amazement, he gasps "Santy Claus!". Santa enters the shelter as he is singing the chorus to the title song. He sure is a jolly Santa Claus in this short. The boy says how he wishes to go on his sleigh, and his wish is Santa's command as he's been a good boy this year - yep, one of Santa's trademarks for children "behavior". So the boy is going on an exciting ride to "the shanty where Santy Claus lives".

The little boy then stands on top of the sleigh, as Santa sits inside his sleigh. Santa asks the orphan if he's ready, and as soon as the reindeers start to move - the boy falls off the sleigh and lands on the snow. He runs to the sleigh to catch up. Santa grabs him and places him on his lap as he will be safe there. The sleigh then rises up in the sky and they finally arrive at Santa's shanty, and it seems that the journey didn't take very long after all.

I must say that the introduction to this sequence is very good, I love the music for the church bells at the very beginning as it shows a rather dark introduction to the orphan boy, and the toughness he has to go through, since he doesn't belong in a good home and he lives alone.

 As Santa and the boy enters the shanty, all the toys start to welcome him. The boy chants "Oh boy" in delight, as it's full of toys and it looks like the boy is in paradise. The boy goes along to play with the other toys, he plays on one toy in which he plays with a type of kangaroo doll, in which a small kangaroo comes out of the mother's patch. The boy then plays with a music box in which a jazz band plays music. Napoleon is then playing on the drums, until a baby doll cries "Mamma", in which the baby falls down onto a bucket of ash, and turns into a blackface and shouts "Mammy". A blackface woman then looks at the blackface baby and replies "Sonny boy".

That gag with the "mamma" transferred to "mammy" through design would've been a funny gag back when it was released, but I don't think the audience would understand the joke watching it today - as joke like these are not common anymore and strict in terms of censorship.

We then go to the next shot of a doll and her backup singers (both of them Bosko and Honey looking). They are singing the chorus to the title song The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives with all the other toys dancing. WAIT A MINUTE?? Haven't we seen this before - the exact same animation from Red-Headed Baby. Aw, man - this ruins a cartoon that was sentimental to start of with, and now a reuse? After the song is over, there is confetti being tossed and the doll runs to get a pair of marakas, in which the backup singers start to dance to Mexican music, that even causes Napoleon to dance.

We see a shot of a doll that is blowing a balloon and wants the doll has blown a good-shaped balloon, and sucks the hellium inside her body into a rather obese woman which is a caricature of Katie Smith who sings a song called Shine on Harvest Moon. Well, at least the caricature would be entertaining at it's time, and it would make the audience laugh. There is a brief scene of two Scottish terriers who say Ben Bernie's line "Are ya listenin?" Another funny scene I like is a bear playing the trombone, and keeps hitting the jack-in-the-box with the trombone and the jack gets knocked onto a drum numerous times.

Napoleon is bouncing on a Christmas tree, in which he accidentally spills a candle hanging that causes a Christmas tree to go on fire which turns out to nearly become a Christmas disaster. The toy fire engine department try their best to put the fire out but their attempt doesn't work. The orphan boy tries to put the fire out, as he spots a pair of bagpipes, and he attaches a hose into the bagpipes. The boy puts the fire out successfully in which all the toys and the boy cheer - and that's all folks.

This cartoon was quite sentimental, and the beginning scenes were quite good with good character development going on. Up to the point in which he arrives at Santa's workshop - the short gets weaker as the toys enter, and we just see nothing but toys and not much of the orphan. The reuse scene from Red Headed Baby was just poorly reused, that I almost forgot that scene, and just remembered it because it was reused.

Saturday 29 October 2011

48. Bosko's Woodland Daze (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 47.
Release date: December 17, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Paul Smith.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with Bosko playing the harmonica while Bruno is running around the woods with Bosko. He's playing the harmonica in a rather jolly way, while Bruno is just barking away as normal running like a happy dog. While Bruno is sniffing, Bosko decides to trick him, by shouting "Look Bruno", as he points at what is behind Bruno. Bosko runs off as a prank, by running away from Bruno and hiding under a rake of leaves.

Bruno doesn't spot anything behind Bruno's back, and is worried if Bosko is lost or something. There is suddenly a breeze, in which all of the leaves blow away, so Bosko's identity can be found. The assistant work on the leaves isn't great - just poor inbetweening. Bruno spots Bosko after the leaves have blown away. He then creeps up to Bosko, as he's lying down flat. Bruno bites the vine as he runs away, as Bosko can feel it on his crotch. Boy, it seems that Harman-Ising sure liked that painful gag - and it does very boring and dodgy when you keep on looking at it, but it tickles Bosko.

Bosko then decides on playing hide and seek with Bruno, as he hides behind a tree and starts counting. Bruno then starts to hide inside a tree, but then a woodpecker that resides there starts to peck Bruno, as he yelps outside in pain, as he's being pecked on the head. As he runs off, he lands in a river as the woodpecker floats in the air and flies away.

Bosko then turns around to see what was going on, and finds Bruno in the lake in which he laughs, and shouting that he's found him. Wait a minute, he just interrupted his counting as he heard the noise, didn't he? Bruno rinses himself, as Bosko says it's his turn to be "it". Bruno starts to count, and breaks the fourth wall - telling the audience something that I can't even understand. Bosko starts to run off, by sliding down vines and hides behind a tree. Bruno finishes counting and as he runs to find Bosko he gets distracted by a turtle, and ends up following it.

Much to the impatience of Bosko, he suddenly falls asleep assuming that Bruno hasn't found him yet. (Bruno still follows the turtle, as the turtle bites him on the nose, and walks off). Suddenly, a group of elves start to dance around Bosko while he's fast asleep on a tree. It seems that now Bosko is having a dream of pixies having a plot on him. The gnomes are then carrying a tub of bubbles with foam, and a bubble pipe.

The elves are now blowing a bubble inside Bosko while he is sleeping. The bubble gets so huge that Bosko fits inside there himself. Bosko starts to float, in which the timing of the bubble is done quite well. Suddenly, the petals of a flower start to open with a tiny human woman (who probably resembles Thumbelina) starts to sing a song - with flowers in the background having petals transforming into dresses, with ladies dancing. Bosko is still sleeping in the bubble, and doesn't even notice that he's up floating in the sky.

Bosko then wakes up inside the bubble and wakes up as though he is in paradise or something. Suddenly, Bosko starts to sneeze, and as he sneezes by accident - the bubble bursts, and he starts to fall down. The gnomes then start to rescue him by catching a spider web. Bosko does land on the spider web, but he falls down a gap in which he starts falling, falling, falling...

Bosko continues falling (and shouts "is there a doctor in the audience?") and he lands in the grounds of Hell. In Hell, he lands on a piano, as he's shrunk to small size. He starts to play the piano by using his feet, and he's playing it rather skillfully. All the other elves (you seemed to have arrived at hell, for some reason) all start dancing to Bosko's piano skills - as he continues to play some upbeat music. He even kicks the keyboards by sliding on one side, with all the other keyboards piled up, and kicks them back into it's normal position afterwards.

Suddenly a giant enters the scene (and not the devil - what is this Jack and the Beanstalk?) the giant starts to make a grab for Bosko in his greasy hands, but Bosko slips out of his hands, and is being chased by the scary giant. Bosko then climbs up on top of draws, and lands on the table part as he's sliding in grease. The giant then places him on a bun, and strokes him with a brush of mustard...

The brush of mustard that's stroking Bosko's face was actually Bruno licking his face - as it turned out that Bosko was dreaming all along. Bosko wakes up from the dream he had, as Bruno has found him. Although, that it's Bosko's turn to be "it" in hide and seek, he's still glad to be with Bruno again - and that's all folks.
This cartoon is rather strange to be in a reason. The elves sequence was rather strange, as it's sort of a fantasy land. Those flowers in which it shows lady singers were rather creepy looking to me. It's certainly not one of the best material produced by Harman-Ising, either. It was just a mediocre cartoon, much like any other Bosko cartoon. This is the last cartoon produced in 1932, and next we go to 1933 - in which later on it will become a completely different Looney Tunes afterwards.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

47. Three's a Crowd (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 46.
Release date: December 12, 1932.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Cast unknown.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Larry Martin.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

This is the first Warner cartoon in which it evolves book illustrated characters coming to life for the night, as it followed on in shorts like Have You Got Any Castles? (Frank Tashlin, 1938) and Book Revue (Bob Clampett, 1946).

The short starts off with an old man happily sitting in his rocking chair reading a book peacefully by the warm fire at 1.20AM (look at the watch),  but at least for an old person - he likes to stay up. But as the clock strikes at 1.20am  - the man stretches and yawns as he decides that it's time that he ought to go to bed. He brings out his candle holder and places it on a table outside his door, and blows it as he's going to sleep. A settling and calm introduction to start off this short...

 ...but as soon as the old man closes the door for the night, the book that the man was reading: Alice in Wonderland (actually, the book is called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland is a title you see in films), in which Alice pops out of the book. She jumps out of the book and onto the table in which he is going to turn on the radio to dance to some music. This is probably the ugliest character design of Alice in any animated-adaptation, isn't it? I know that it's presented in it's Harman-Ising form but the design is very ugly and cartoony. Definately not like the Alice you will find in Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Alice tunes onto the radio going through different choices, but none of them suit her picks, but then she dances to the title song, Three's a Crowd. Do I hear some Rudy Vallee in the radio singing? You see some characters from Robinson Crusoe pop up humming to the music. We see that Rip Van Winkle is sleeping in the book titled with the same name, and he is dancing to the music. Perhaps, he's woken up early as he's slept for 700 years in the book.

Alice continues to dance along the books, as she opens up The Three Musketeers - the musketeers step out of the book illustrations and say their famous line "All for one, one for all", which was the motto for The Three Musketeers. The musketeers start humming together to the song as well as Robinson Cruesoe characters, Napoleon and Omar Khayyam. We even see Henry VIII clapping after the song shouting "Whoopee", (book titled Henry VIII which was one of Shakespeare's many plays).

The next sequence we see is the book Antony and Cleopatra (another Shakespeare play), we then see Antony step out of the scene and shouts "Ladies and gentlemen, lend your ears to the old Maestro". We see Emperor Nero (the old Maestro) who is playing the violin, while we can see in the illustration backgrounds of Rome burning.

We then see a Cleopatra sequence with the her doing a dance with the music. I must say I just find the dance very spooky to me and weird movements. The animation is very nice and subtle, but the dance movements just put me off because it just looks really weird. I wonder if Bob McKimson did an uncredited role as he was a great draftsmanship - could he have done this particular scene; if not - Rollin Hamilton??

Alice continues to walk along (as no one seems entertained with the Cleopatra bit) but then Alice opens the book with the title The Specalist of a shack in which a man saws a hole through it. Everyone claps at that part. Alice then wonders to the next book along to open up Uncle's Tom Cabin. Alice quickly turns on the light switch so Uncle Tom can appear at the spotlight. He appears at the light and sings the song Got the South in My Soul which gives the audience of book characters some spirit. 

Everyone is enjoying the book, but as we PAN right, we see the book title of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Mr. Hyde steps out of the book cover looking for some trouble. He's very well designed here for this bit of animation, I mean - at least he looks creepy looking. He creeps out of the bookends and spots Alice dancing - why that's why he plans to capture her to cause a riot. Mr. Hyde then captures her which causes Alice to scream.

I must say that having the book characters casted in this short is just fantastic. Mr. Hyde is just the perfect choice as the villain to steal the girl, as Alice is great for the main role. In fact, it's sort of a skeleton of the Alice in Wonderland story as she wonders through different book - except she's not looking for a White Rabbit, and wanting to turn on a radio. There is no Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit or Queen of Hearts. The story here is very well done, and it's great to see some familiar characters from literature pop up.

As Alice screams for help, Tarzan pops out of his book and screams as Tarzan would scream. He swings down a rope to rescue Alice (so, will that make Alice, Jane in the book - they're both British characters :). Robinson Crusoe and Friday (the tribe) try their duty to rescue Alice and defeat Mr. Hyde by squrting ink out of an fountain pen onto Mr. Hyde's face. The attempt worked, as Alice runs for her life - but Mr. Hyde hasn't finished yet.

Meanwhile, Cleopatra characters start to help out in persecuting Mr. Hyde by holding onto a pipe and burning Mr. Hyde's rear end. Robin Hood helps out by shooting matchsticks with his bow. Now that gag, I just simply love. His bow doesn't just come in handy with arrows, but matchsticks for characters in book illustratrion sized works very well as well. I must say, I think Rudolf Ising was at his best here.

The Three Musketeers then help again by playing pen points onto a pencil sharpener and shoot them at Mr. Hyde, in which he starts to hide inside a small box as a shield from the pen points. Various book characters then hold the box, with the "Death March" music being played at the background. The box is then tossed into the bin with all the celebration going on from the characters - and that's all folks. If only the man didn't own Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde there wouldn't be any trouble.

Great cartoon. Just a great cartoon. It's very creative and I think it was the best cartoon made by Harman-Ising at that point. The story was very creative, and the choices of characters was well-thought. It was certainly better than the other cartoons they were producing in terms of story and character development. There isn't even a reused gag in there, which makes the cartoon even more rich itself. Even though, I complained about the character design of Alice and the dance movements for Cleopatra, but that's separate - that's animation standard. The animation quality is still the same as the other Harman-Ising - I'm afraid. But the way the animation looks doesn't matter, the story really does and the characters too. I think it was Harman-Ising's most creative and inventive work at their time at Warner Bros. You have to agree, the short inspired guys in a new generation to make more of those cartoons like Book Revue and Have You Got Any Castles.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

46. Bosko's Dizzy Date (1932)

Here is a review in which was a remake of Bosko and Honey which was supposed to have been released earlier in 1932, but had to be reworked due to so many reuses in it. Bosko's Dizzy Date is the remake and improved version, and if I did review Bosko and Honey it would be reviewing the same thing.

Warner cartoon no. 45.
Release date: November 19, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko, Wilbur).
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Bob McKimson.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with Honey and Wilbur having a violin lesson in the learning room. Wilbur is trying to learn to play In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree while Honey is trying to teach him. After a few muck ups, Honey keeps interrupting everytime he goes sloppy and to start at square one. After a couple of attempts on going back to square one, nothing gets better - as Honey gets even more impatient towards Wilbur. Wilbur gets fed up with his violin lessons and shouts "I wanna play cowboy!", but Honey keeps on asking him to try again. After he tries again, she gets fed up and goes over to the phone to ring Bosko.

The phone is ringing, but Bosko is fast asleep but Bruno enters the scene trying to wake up Bosko by licking his face, but Bosko replies "Go away Bruno!", as he turns to the other side of his bed. Instead, Bruno runs to the telephone that's really desperate to be picked up. Bruno picks up the phone and barks. Honey recognizes that it's Bruno on the phone, and asks to put Bosko on.

Bruno drags Bosko out of bed and continues to bark, in which Bosko walks to the phone as Bruno leads him. Bosko picks up the phone groaning in a gruff voice "Hello", but as Honey answers "Come on over, Bosko", in which Bosko turns enthusiastic and replies - "Ok Honey". As Honey hangs up and returns to the learning room, she finds Wilbur standing on the piano keyboards playing some upbeat music on the piano. She claps her hands to Wilbur warning him to stop. Wilbur jumps off the piano and slides down as he continues his rather annoying violin lesson.

Bosko is cycling on his way to Honey's house as Bruno runs and follows him. Bosko does a trick while cycling as he jumps through Bosko's arms as he grabs them together like a loop. Without looking, Bosko bumps into a pipe, but as they exit the tunnel, Bruno is riding his bike as Bosko is running like a dog barking. Now that's funny as they are changing roles. As soon as they bump onto another pipe, Bruno is a dog again and Bosko is on his bicycle again. 

Bosko continues to ride but as soon as he gets onto a treadmill, the treadmill rides backwards as Bruno is running inside it like a hamster, and Bosko can't control himself to go forward. The treadmill lands on a gap where there is a river, so it stops and Bosko continues to run as Bruno catches up. Bosko then brakes with his bike, but bumps onto a gate which sends him flying into Honey's house.

Bosko pulls out a saxophone as Honey can hear the sound from upstairs. She steps out at her balcony and finds out that it's Bosko. There is now a dance on the balcony scene in which they start to sing the song, (We've Got to) Put that Sun Back in the Sky, but Wilbur doesn't appreciate their music talents. Bosko starts to do some step-dancing on the wooden walkaway. It seems amazing on how every new dance for Bosko in a new cartoon is sort of new each time. 

Wilbur continues to imitate Bosko and Honey (but he always has a special dislike for Bosko), so he grabs a bathtub full of suds, with the soapy water landing on Bosko. He thinks he is swimming after the water lands on him. Another one those shenanigans caused by Wilbur, but at least it wasn't as brutal like putting barbed-wire on his crutch.

They both are on the bicycle with Bosko cycling and Honey sitting on the steers. Bosko suddenly rides on an area with lots of bumpy stones which nearly makes the bicycle trip. As soon as the bumpy stones are gone, they continue to sing but then there is a bumpy rock that sends Honey flying but Bosko pedals faster for Honey to land safer on the bicycle. She tells him to be careful next time. They continue to sing and Bruno follows holding a picnic basket.

They end up riding in a farm: at first they ride inside a hen house with a hen running out of the scene. They still continue to ride totally unaware of the farm they are trespassing. They crash inside a barn, in which Honey is riding a bull (see, no udder), but then she falls off the bull.

Bosko steps out of the barn laughing at Honey because of the joke he pulled on her. She personally didn't take it as a funny joke and is rather insulted. Bosko laughs, "That sure was funny", with Honey's reply "Oh yeah??" She scowls at Bosko and turns her back on him. Bosko just whistles in innocence. You'll notice in the background that the clouds are getting darker, until lightning strikes. The lightning frightens them in which they start to scram.

It's good to see that Hugh Harman added some new animation into it like the farm scene for instance. Originally the sequence was just re-used animation sequence from Bosko's Holiday in which he eats the sandwich, and Honey scolds at him with the exact same animation.

Bosko and Honey run away from the storm, as there are thunderbolts striking as well. Bruno runs as well - and as a sign of cowardness; he hides at a rabbit hole with his bottom sticking out. Suddenly a thunder bolt strikes at his bot in which Bruno yelps in pain and Bosko & Honey don't return to save Bruno. Instead, they hide under an archway. He sings that no more water will pour on him, but a pipe right on top of him has water flowing out soaking Bosko completely. Well, the jokes on him when Honey replies "You're all wet, Bosko" - and that's all folks.

Comparing this cartoon to Bosko and Honey this cartoon was a real improvement to what Harman-Ising made before. In Bosko and Honey about 50% of the animation was reused that even Warner Bros. were aware of that and they wouldn't accept it. The animation in that was mostly reused from Bosko's Holiday and much of the animation in Bosko's Dizzy Date was actually the original animation from Bosko and Honey. I liked Bosko's Dizzy Date, I think there wasn't much animation - but to me I feel that the cartoon went on an expensive budget due to the new limited animation and the details in the background and characters - and the fact with new animation in it. But, I guess it would make it even cheaper that they recycled most of the animation from Bosko and Honey as it was being reworked - but this version is better, even though both shorts were exactly the same but with some slight changes.

Monday 24 October 2011

45. A Great Big Bunch of You (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 44.
Release date: November 12, 1932.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Cast unknown.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Thomas McKimson. 
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with an old timer sleeping in his cart full of junk, and he's riding a mule. The recurring gag, is that everytime one of the wheels bumps onto a rock, the hats all fly up and land back into it's same position. If you look very closely at the cart, you can see a manneguin sleeping in it. As soon as the cart stops at the edge of the "City Dump", all the junk fall down in the junkyard, with the manneguin landing on one of the legs. Is it me or does is the character meant to resemble Charlie Chaplin in his "Tramp" pictures, as it has the mustache and all?

As a cuckoo clock lands in the junkyard, and cuckoos at the dummy,  he sees a broken organ with no piano strings on it. He spots one, and attaches it onto the piano. Before that, he strucked a few notes on the keyboards but no piano sounds except sounds like clams opening and closing their mouths. He starts to play some music and then the dummy sings the title song. I must say that the title song is quite good actually, and I imagine it created a beat for the audience after the cartoon finished. Very catchy here.

A very good gag that evolves are a pair of shoes that dance, with the tongues of the shoes sticking out like actual tongues. Of course, it's more of a visual gag as you get tongues of the shoes in which you pull to make your shoe fit, and there's tongues in which the shoes stick out like what humans and animals do.
The mannequin then starts to dance and that he moves with his stilts rolling around. He then comes up to a hatstand and does a Maurice Chevalier impression at the hat stand - I guess that he does it to a hatstand because they both similar brands. All inanimate objects come to life as they clap as they think his impression was good. Now the mannequin does an impression of Ted Lewis and playing on a clarinet with a top hat on.

I've noticed that the mannequin's stilts are kind of curvy, since it's made of fun. But if he's leaning with just straight legs, then it would just fall to the ground on a side. I suppose we need to break the rules a bit and show some realism with the walking, even though we can't be so sure on how a mannequin walks.

We then go to a next bit of entertainment, with a grandfather clock (with the beard, too) starts his part with a dance, as he dances to the oven with a duck (skeleton-like) quacks and then the oven door closes. The grandfather dances with a group of alarm clocks, as they huddle together and start a merry-go-round by one of them holding on to a pendulum, but there wasn't five pendulums in there though?

There is now a dance routine going on with three Napoleon-looking soldiers who march down the junkyard, they shoot beer bottles with bullets. The soldiers then go to a portrait painting of a man on his rowing boat in the Arctic. The soldiers shoot at the boat, in which the portrait becomes animated as it sinks. The flag is only visible above the water, but then the captain and sailors come up with the drums as peace treaty.

 The mannequin then stands on a carpet, in which it turns into a magic carpet. The magic carpet arrives with a band that starts to play music as the mannequin starts to conduct the music with other mannequins. The grandfather plays the drums with it's pendulum, while another mannequin plays drums with a barrel and cutlery as cymbals. He also plays with the shower spray as heart strings, a gag reused from Sinkin' in the Bathtub.

A group of manneguin ladies start to sing the title song chorus, which is rather upbeat and fun to listen to. The same manneguin playing the drums also hits an owl that makes beat sounds. Two pairs of hatstands then come to life by dancing, holding onto canes and dancing the exact same movements at the exact same time. One of them kicks the other handstand in the booty.

The main mannequin character who was conducting the music with his band, when grabs an old vacuum cleaner, in which he plays it as bagpipes - but there is hardly any bagpipe sounds. An inanimate motor mechanical has it's engine nearly exploding. As the tramp continues to play on the piano, the motor mechinal parts fall on top of the mannequin, in which he pops up shouting "Is everybody happy?" (a Ted Lewis impression) - and that's all folks.

I'd say that this cartoon is acceptable as a Warner Bros. cartoon. The music is very upbeat and the song is very catchy to listen to - catchy in a positive way. It's a very ironic idea to have a main character as a mannequin (even though much of the time he doesn't look like one), but at least the junkyard looks like a very exciting place for music. It's very good to see that there are at least that there are hardly any animal characters in there, as there usually is. Typical cartoon or not, this cartoon was good enough for me to enjoy.