Tuesday 31 January 2012

99. Country Boy (1935)

Warner cartoon no. 98.
Release date: February 9, 1935.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansen (Bunnies).
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Bob McKimson and Paul Smith.

This cartoon reminds me of an adaptation of Beatrix Potter's A Tale of Peter Rabbit. Why do I think that? The concept of the story is pretty similar to the book and the fact that the boy rabbit of this cartoon is called "Peter" so there's no doubt it's a possibility they could've got the rights to the Potter story - but who knows??

Our cartoon begins with these background singers singing in the background about the life of a mother and her bunnies that she's raised. They appeared to have lived a happy life and "not worried about the rent". Today for the bunnies is a school day for them and the mother pats the children to walk on to school. The girl bunny then steps out of the door of the tree they live in. Peter Rabbit steps behind the mother and grabs out a handkerchief. The mother grabs out a hankie for the girl bunny to blow her nose. Peter Rabbit makes the effect by tearing the hankie in half. The vocals sing "It's a very hard job you can see, underneath the big oak tree".

Meanwhile inside the house, we see these two boy bunnies who are running to put their shorts on and they are strapping their suspenders. The suspenders are then tangled to another bunnies' suspender and as they are about to run - the straps stretch and then loosen with the bunnies crashing each other. Ouch - but it's a fine gag. The mother notices all her bunnies running to school but notices that Peter isn't around and shouts "Peter". Is the elderly bunny meant to be the mother or grandmother - of course; the vocals singers tell us it's their mother but she really looks like an elderly grandmother - in my opinion.

The mother then searches for Peter through the hen farm where all the chickens are. Peter is hiding with the chickens until the mother screeches for his name and all the chickens scatter off. Peter Rabbit is therefore still     hiding not knowing the mother is about. Peter has a duster behind his rear end trying to disguise himself as a chicken - which obviously didn't work. Peter still makes those chicken sounds until the mother snatches the duster off Peter. The mother then grabs Peter's behind and smacks him with the duster. Gee, she really thinks that would hurt - I'd thought it would tickle. Apparently it must be that painful that Peter Rabbit squeals in pain. Peter Rabbit then walks out rather sad and tearful. Bob McKimson? Anyone?

Peter Rabbit then sees a used can lying on the ground and kicks that out of the way. After doing that the second time the can then lands on a root that is sticking out of the ground. Peter then tries to kick the can but doesn't realize that he kicked a bit of wood in which it hurts his throbbing feet. As Peter yells for his foot in pain, he then notices a garden full of carrots. Peter Rabbit looks at the garden of carrots and appreciates the looks of it. He's about to take some rabbits until the voices of bunnies shout "We're gonna tell"...

It appears to be that Peter Rabbit's schoolmates are goodie two-shoe teacher's pets. They then go into song and I have to say that it's all set up quite well with the argument. The bunnies sing, "We know what you're thinking, Naughty Boy. You better stop your (slinking ?)  naughty boy. You'll be playing hooky on the way to school, teacher's gonna get you 'cos she's not a fool". Peter Rabbit argues back into song; "If you tell the teacher - tattletale. I'll be sure to beat ya - tattletale". The bunnies then warn Peter that he ought to stay away from the garden "or that man will do him in a pot". Nice hand movements going on there from the bunnies.

Peter Rabbit then tries to act all brave claiming that he's "not afraid of any man". He thinks that he will just beat the man on the garden and thinks he's tough enough - which is all nonsense. All the bunnies don't take it all seriously and stick to the conclusion that they'll tell the teacher, and that he'll be sorry once "she's" met them. The schoolbell rings which is of course - school time for the children. All the bunnies rush to the school hall; and so does Peter Rabbit as he grabs his book. They all run inside the school hall but Peter Rabbit runs up and runs down pretending to run back. He stops and thinks if he ought to go indoors but the bell rings again and runs away from the school. I like how the song was organized as there was some rhythm in there.

Peter Rabbit runs off and then trespasses into the garden field. Mmm - remember when "Peter Rabbit went into Mr. McGregor's garden?" - Yeah; that's what it's like. Peter Rabbit then runs starts to eat all the carrots all in one bite - with only the roots of the carrots showing. Peter Rabbit then approaches the next part which are these peas in a pods and chews them. I wonder if Paul Smith animated that scene of the rabbit eating the peas since Peter Rabbit looks fat and not so solid.

It turns out that it wasn't peas in a pod that Peter Rabbit was eating - it was "Mexican Jumping Beans" - Uh-oh. Peter Rabbit then starts to jump due to eating those reactive beans. Of course it was meant to be a gag - but the timing wouldn't tell but I imagine if Friz made that cartoon years later - he'd make the timing really funny. But anyways the speed in timing wasn't really brought along yet before someone like Tex Avery or Frank Tashlin could do it right.

Peter Rabbit's next attempt is to pull some beetroots out but it's proven to be too tough to pull out. He attaches a rope to a beetroot and then to a wishing well. Peter Rabbit then turns the well which causes all the beetroots in a row to fall out (with that funny sound effects). Mmm, I seem to notice better sound effects are being used. Another fine gag that is used is a cow chewing the beetroot but gets pulled by the rope and falls right into the well. Poor cow.

The cow then starts to moo down at the well. Meanwhile there is an old man who is mowing the lawn (doesn't he resemble Mr. McGregor - anybody?). The old ma then hears the sounds of the cow mooing and is furious because he believes that somebody has trespassed onto his farm and therefore he grabs out his rake. He finds Peter Rabbit standing on the well and then he starts to run away from the angry farmer.

Peter Rabbit hops away from the angry farmer but manages to try and get away by sitting on his lawn mower to speed away from the farmer. Peter Rabbit pulls a silly face with the attitude as though he "can't catch him". But Peter Rabbit jumps into a rock in which the lawn mower starts to go all over the place. Peter Rabbit then starts to damage a lot of the farm - mowing the flowers off; and then the bushes. This of course angers the angry farmer - I feel sorry for him. At least in the book Peter Rabbit didn't make such a damage.

Peter Rabbit (who can't control the lawn mower) then starts to mow the crops off but they are organized into stacks. Poor Peter Rabbit then gets covered in barrels of maple syrup as he is about to fall off that darn lawn mover.

Peter Rabbit then reaches into the farm full of chickens. All the chickens scatter around making clucking sounds due to the horror they're seen. All the feathers start to fly out and the chickens fly out of the henhouse. Peter Rabbit comes out of the barn and is covered in chicken feathers. He sees a fence so that he stands on stop of it making a chicken call - and that's all folks.

You can't be certain if this is an adaptation of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter because we don't have evidence if it was true or not. But Beatrix Potter tales did fall in the public domain in the U.S in the 1920s so they probably didn't need the rights. The similarities are the name "Peter Rabbit" itself - inc. the mother and bunnies; also the part when Peter Rabbit trespasses into the garden. Peter Rabbit has a red coat while in the book; his coat is blue. I quite liked this cartoon - the song of goodie two-shoes bunnies was quite good and set-up well. I thought it was kinda silly for Peter to look like a chicken at the end by impulsively clucking like a chicken.

Sunday 29 January 2012

98. Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name (1935)

Release date: January 19, 1935
Warner cartoon no. 97.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansen (Mermaid) and Jack Carr (Merboy).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Ben Clopton and Cal Dalton.

Alright - some folks say that this cartoon is the "only" Merrie Melodies cartoon to feature Buddy and Cookie - and is it even official. Besides, Cookie really doesn't look like that mermaid girl and Buddy is even different in designs - only the voices remain similar, and if you say that this is a "Merrie Melodies" Buddy/Cookie cartoon - I'm not gonna count that...

 Our cartoon begins with the tides coming up in the rocks - we see a shipwreck that's full of mermaids - topless mermaids. There are three mermaid singers (one of them playing the guitar) singing the song Mr.. and Mrs. Is the Name but it's substitute lyrics. From the first time I'm watching this - they're not wearing any clamshells to cover their breasts - or starfishes. Instead, we can see them. One might stare at them (if they're a moron staring at cartoon breasts), but my thought is how did this past the censorship? Well, their nipples aren't seen so I guess it doesn't make much deal - in fact; the centaurettes in Fantasia in one scene show their breasts and they seemed to have gotten away with it.

 There is a hula-dance of a mermaid on a ship standing - and of course the mermaids don't even look attractive at all - in my opinion. A sawfish joins into the music by using his horn to play xylophone music with a mallet. The singing of the mermaids then continue for a brief amount of time, until we view under the sea. Oh man, looks like Sebastian the Crab won't sing us an R/B song for us back in 1935 ;-). Well, once again we see the lobster animation from How Do I Know It's Sunday and (Cookie's dancing from Viva Buddy) and  it's gonna be like that for a while. Oh dear - well, at least I haven't got mad about that dancing crab - yet. Of course the crab just looks silly and balloony - that's why it's off-putting.

After viewing that lobster again - the sea then shows us some mer-kids in a playground part where they are playing around happily. There is a merboy and a mermaid who are then playing around with each other and no, I'm not going to count them as Buddy or Cookie because of their different design. Another thing, if that is Cookie then she would be appearing in her 3rd redesign, and her hair from the 2nd design is not even a close approach to that design. Anyway back to the review; the merboy then slaps the mermaid in the behind in which she squeals. "Tag, you're it" yellls the merboy in which he laughs.

We can see the throbbing looks of the mergirl in which she slaps the merboy and storms off. The merboy then walks out with embarrassment and sadness until he bumps himself from a shipwreck - and boy that really doesn't look like a "bump" to me as it wasn't animated so well. The merboy then swims to the mermaid   and shouts "Wait", and takes her along to the ship in which he wants to show her something. She is still rather disgusted at the merboy but she changes her mind once she takes a look at the inside of the ship with it's treasure.

The merboy and girl then look inside the shipwreck with a lot of treasure chests in there. Look at the bubble effects there - they sure don't look great but at least it makes the sea slightly more realistic - but everything the merpeople move - there isn't any bubble effects. Certainly different if you compare it to The Little Mermaid. The mermaid then looks through a treasured chest in which she is happy to see many coins and precious items - until she gets pinched by a lobster.

The merboy then takes the crab off the girl. The merboy finds another part of the treasure chest which is a "derby hat" - Mmm, I guess that they find human valuables rather fascinating. The merboy then puts some black makeup below his nose to make a fake mustache and grabs out a walking stick pretending to be Charlie Chaplin and does that walk that he does in his silent comedies.

 The mermaid then walks in with some lipstick makeup on. Where did she get the lipstick make up from? She walks down to a shipwrecked piano doing a type of lady pose. As she sits herself down to play the organ-piano she is playing the title song Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name (without the actual lyrics) and then sings the main part of the title song. A Harpo Marx lobster then enters the scene playing the harp strings to the song and sings in a low voice "Mr. and Mrs. is the Name". There is then a dance routine done by these inanimate pirate hats where the skulls inside it are doing a dance routine - well that's something special I'll say - with inanimate humans dancing.

She then sings the verse "Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name" with a fish swimming out of her mouth - gross. Notice how that the lyrics are not really being sung except for the verse. Well, it's true that at least a verse of a song HAD to be sung and this was probably when Friz Freleng was starting to get off the singing routines - but not yet since 1935 was still full of those songs and no-one got out of that routine soon enough.

Meanwhile under the sea there is an octopus that is swimming around who looks rather nasty and vicious - with those pointed teeth. The octopus then swims through the shipwreck in which that he hears some piano playing of the title song, he sees the mermaid which catches his interests - to eat her. He enters the shipwreck and captures her off-screen, leaving her to scream for help. The merboy (still wearing the derby hat) then swims off to try and rescue his girl (or should we say "Mergirl").

The octopus glances behind quickly to see if anyone is trying to get it's way past the octopus but notices the boy swimming in which the octopus uses it's eight legs as a propeller in which the gag does work well in it's way (with those bad looking bubbles, too). The merboy realizes that he would never be able to catch up with the octopus in his speed and somehow; just ON THAT spot - he finds a propeller for luck. Just a coincidence for that to happen!! He uses the propeller for HIM to speed up.

The octopus (still has the mermaid attached) reaches into the cave in which he tries to hide from the girl. The mermaid then finds an aerial on the cave and whacks the octopus on the head to try and break free. The octopus then tries to eat the girl in time only to be interrupted by the merboy's speed limit on the propellers. The merboy then takes the propeller off his body and picks up the club and tries to give the octopus a bigger beating. But it's too late since the merboy is given bigger beatings by the octopus' many arms.

More beatings continue until the merboy goes off flying and the octopus traps him by using it's arms as bars. The merboy then tries to get the octopus off (with that funny sound effect used - wonder if Treg Brown had involvement in that short with the sound effects or is that too early?). The boy is therefore being chased by the octopus in which he starts to dash off...

The merboy then lures into a pipe and swims out leaving the octopus stuck through that pipe. The merboy then starts to tie the legs for that octopus so that it won't escape - and probably suffocate. The octopus' head is stuck on the other end of the pipe and realizes he's trapped and tries to escape - but fails. The merboy then grabs out a pole attached to a string in which he hits it at the octopus and we hear some wonderful sound effects here. Internet Movie Database says that Treg Brown did sound effects (and Bernard Brown) but who knows? IMDB isn't always right.

Buddy uses the battering ram a few times on the octopus until the mermaid then swims to the merboy and gives him a kiss on the cheek for saving her life. The battering ram then slides back and whacks the merboy in the head almost making him unconscious - and that's all folks.

Buddy and Cookie - alike? Not really - but they sort of resemble each other only Buddy looks similar enough - the voices make them sound similar. I really wonder how that the topless mermaids really didn't seem to be censored by the censorship and let the kids watch it - considering that this video is from "Cartoon Network" and that kids will look at the breasts. Some of the sound effects in there were good which Treg Brown would use. The animation in it wasn't so great at times, and overall this cartoon was kind of bland at times. I liked parts of that cartoon - some of it wasn't bad like the octopus and I didn't mind the design of that octopus.

Saturday 28 January 2012

97. Buddy of the Legion (1935)

Warner cartoon no. 96.
Release date: January 12, 1935.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Ben Hardaway.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Jack Carr (Buddy).
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Bob Clampett and Charles "Chuck" Jones.

The first entry of the new year (1935).

The cartoon begins with Buddy walking around the block in a street and notices an advertisement outside a book shop that reads "Boy Wanted". Buddy likes the idea of working in that job, he picks up the sign and walks in. He walks into the shop all interested and then looks at the lady at the counter who owns the shop doing some writing. He tries to get his attention, but I guess his "blandness" doesn't get the fat lady's attention. He goes up to her closely and goes "Ahem" in which she finally has his attention.

Is it me or is it that bookshop owners just happen to be stereotyped as old, fat people? The fat lady in the bookstore then starts to examine Buddy over to see if he's right for the job. Buddy turns around to be examined (even tries to show off his biceps but he's too weedy). It turns out that - he's qualified. So the woman then brings out a duster for Buddy and kicks him out of the door "Get busy" she demands. So Buddy has now got the job easily and starts to sweep up the place.

As Buddy then starts his new job by cleaning up the book shop - he is using his duster to clean up the place, and even cleans up a goldfish with a duster. As Buddy is sweeping through some unstacked books in a shelf; the large shop owner walks out and asks "Take care of the store, and be sure to put a lot of books away!" Buddy responds with a "Okay-dokey". Buddy finds a pair of books together and then tries to lift them into one big pile and does so but there is a fly in the room distracting him and Buddy struggles with it - the animation isn't so good and not very realistic. Anyway Buddy struggles as he runs off to get the fly off and loses his balance of the books.

 He crashes into a stove and all the books fall. A book falls down on Buddy in which he takes an interest in reading it - which is about Life of a Foreign Legion. Buddy has then taken interest into a book in which he starts to walk over to a desk to read - and flicks through the pages. Well this is another take of Beau Bosko and I find "legion" stories difficult to review since I don't know much about them except I think they protect deserted places.

Buddy then fades into a dream sequence in which that Buddy is a leader of a legion of the Amazons. They are marching through the desert chanting. We see another chanting leaders who are singing (and there's a small gag in which it shows someone's hat flaps are blowing out in which is annoying another soldier of the legion). Another soldier is sitting on top of the camel. Alright, I'm already confused with this story - because I don't like these type of ones with a confusing history (legions).

Meanwhile they then take a look at the private town of "Amazons" located in the desert. Here inside it appears to be that we see these group of locals who are being treated like slaves; and probably why the legions are approaching there to protect it I guess. There is a guard who is whipping a local who is pulling a stone round and round. Two slaves have to set up and use their energy for a assembly line washing machine. All these fat jerks who are guards are just sitting down with their hookahs making sure they're doing their jobs.

One of the Amazons is looking through a pair of binoculars and then sees the legionnaires. She then gets excited about and informs a lady with a hookah about it and dashes off. A black slave then enters the scene in which a lady Amazon asks to open it in which a female belly dancer (who looks really thin, stiff and rotoscoped) will do the job to --- to distract the legions I guess and that's why she is taken onto a magic carpet to go to the Sahara desert. If the legions were supposed to defend the fortresses - then the guards just wanted them out because I thought that outsiders didn't like being ruled by the French?

The belly dancer then arrives at the Sahara desert and does a belly flop in order to distract a guard. All of the other guards then take a look at the attractive belly dancer who is dancing in which their heads extend to make a wolf-whistle. Instead of approaching the fortress, they turn around to follow that belly dancer. All the other guards who are following Buddy then turn around to approach the belly dancer - Buddy is still marching. Even that bloke on the camel does the same. In fact, they're all doing it - except Buddy. The legionnaire then pulls the camel's tail in which the camel speaks in a accent "Don't ever do that!" and it is a catchphrase of Joe Penner - and of course this is a dated gag since Penner is pretty much forgotten.

All the other guards are then copying the movements of the belly dancer as well as following her. Buddy is still walking but doesn't notice as he is then calling for a "halt". He halts and turns around to find the other legionnaires walking in the wrong position. Buddy then calls his trumpet as an alarm to see if there are any soldiers about - no answer. He does it again - no answer. He then dashes off to find them - and the running gag isn't so great as he's just running straight over the desert hills.

The belly dancer then follows the legionnaires into the doors of the fortress one-by-one. Both of them enter the door one at a time, and there's a lady guard who just whacks each legionnaire away one at a time.Well, if you think that why they all women - well this is an "Amazon" fortress - which means feminine warriors of course! One of the guys who is wearing specs then tries to point to her that he's got glasses on - she takes them off then whacks him in the face. Boy, what harsh treatment. The next part then shows a man with the donkey who gets knocked out. The camel stands up and tries to start a fight.

As Buddy enters the scene the woman tries to slam him but due to his height - she slams the door in which her hand is caught on a wooden door. As Buddy punches the door - there is the same gag of a guy in a camel who is on the assembly line washing machine who remarks "I'm so tired". The Amazon leader then tries to chase after Buddy in this chase sequence.

Buddy then starts to run off and hides under the laundry chute. The Amazon leader tries to get down there but her derriere is too big to even fit in the laundry chute. Buddy then reaches out through a door and hurts her behind by slamming a gate down there to hurt her. Buddy then runs off as he is being chased by these guards who have their swords. Buddy grabs out a bucket and a circular stone through a well and spins it - knocking off every guard out of the fortress who try to capture Buddy. The Amazon leader then comes out of the well and grabs Buddy and starts to shake him until...

It turns out that Buddy was having that dream the entire time from the lady who owns the "Ye Olde Book Shoppe". She pinches Buddy's ear as she is about to lead him to the door because he was sleeping on the job. Buddy gets kicked out of the shop with a book flying out trying to hit Buddy. Buddy replies with a "Okay dokey", then he walks away from the book shop - and that's all folks.

Well, I admit that I didn't like that cartoon much mostly because of those stupid gags and that I never did quite understand the terms of a legion and fortresses - but reviewing I did manage to learn a bit more. I didn't understand why there were women leaders there until I realized they were "Amazons" and I had to do a bit of research. Dated cartoons like this are kinda challenging for me to review. The animation wasn't so good here, and that Clampett and Jones were both animating on that short. Mmm, since they were both enemies - I wonder if they had conflicts in this production? ;-) It's rather a wonder to me on why most of the Amazons just happen to be just fat women - unless it's a portrait of the fat woman who owns the book shop.

Friday 27 January 2012

96. Buddy the Dentist (1934)

Warner cartoon no. 95.
Release date: December 15, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Ben Hardaway.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Bernice Hansen (Cookie) and Jack Carr (Buddy).
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Jack King.

NOW this is the last year of 1934. I wonder why Jack King was demoted briefly to animating - it comes back again on I Haven't Got a Hat in 1935.

Our short begins with Buddy in his kitchen cooking with his frying pan and his dog Bozo is sitting on a chair looking at the food at the pot. It turns out that Buddy is reading through a cookery book on his recipe. He is making a: Candy Makino Fudge - basically he is making fudge. Notice the gag in the recipe that reads "Think of a Number Between 1 and 100" - Okay, I know this meant to be a joke - but a number of what?? Buddy appears to pour in a box of? - cinnamon I imagine but throws the box in (why?). As Buddy pulls out a spoonful of fudge out Bozo is about to sniff it but Buddy says something like "Ah-Ah, burnie, burnie" - and I assume it means that it's very hot.

As Buddy exits the scene to do something; Bozo then starts to lick some of the chocolate fudge in there and then his tongue burns - as he was warned. He rushes to a bucket under the sink to cool his tongue. Buddy walks in to see what happened, but Bozo pretends to be licking water from his bowl. Buddy returned with a squirt tube for him and pours the fudge in their.

Buddy walks into the living room balancing the squirt tube on his finger. He then reaches a baking tray in which he squirts the fudge out into tiny blocks. As Buddy does about half of what he wants - Bozo begs for some fudge - Buddy squirts out two pieces into his mouth. Buddy then finishes off the remaining parts for his tray. He places it neatly on the table and warns Bozo, "That's all you'll get. Besides candy's bad for dog's teeth" - Buddy forgot that candy's bad for EVERYONE'S teeth. Buddy exits the scene in which Bozo talks behind his back and speaks to us audience - something total gibberish!

Bozo walks to the table and sniffs the fudge. Buddy enters back to double check Bozo but catches him, "Hey there, you come here!" he says. Buddy persists Bozo to lye down, and encourages him. While Bozo is lying down Buddy operates the phone to dial Cookie. We see the dial scene - in which we see both lines (and a third of a crow landing on a telephone wire - for some reason. Buddy asks Cookie what he's made; and after she guesses a few times, she gives up. Buddy tells her that he's made some fudge for her. While Buddy is chatting her heavily on the phone - Bozo quickly leaves the scene into the kitchen without Buddy noticing.

 Bozo then reaches the table in which he accidentally bangs the table with all the fudge falling down on the carpet. Bozo then gobbles up the pieces of fudge one by one - uh-oh; trouble. Bozo then ends up with a tooth ache and starts to howl. He reaches the mirror and looks at the tooth to see the problem. He see an amusing shot of his tooth aching of a dog flea with a mallet banging at his tooth making a bell sound. Bozo then starts to yell in pain. Buddy then holds the phone in which he yells at Bozo to "shut up". Cookie thinks that Buddy is telling her to "shut up" in which she responds in a funny message "You can't tell me to shut up" and then she hangs up.

Buddy then hears the painful sounds of Bozo as though it sounds rather serious. He is about to run into the kitchen but is then interrupted. Buddy looks through the kitchen calling out Bozo's name twice before he stands his foot. Buddy then notices Bozo under the table and asks him to "come here". As Bozo refuses, Buddy grabs his collar by force to do that. As he tries, Buddy smacks his head under the table.

Buddy then pulls Bozo on top of the table and tells him off "Now see what you've done", until Bozo's tooth ache returns again. I like these socket effects for the tooth ache on his tooth. Buddy opens Bozo's mouth to see what's the fuss in which he clearly sees the aching tooth. Buddy goes, "See, I knew that candy would hurt your teeth". He brings out some tools from a table draw that includes a hammer, a screwdriver and pliers. Buddy now does the job as being a dentist - and of course he has no qualification to do that skill. He decides to try and pull off Bozo's tooth.

Bozo then starts to squirm and then both of them bang on the wall (why no sound effects for the banging wall). Buddy picks up an avertisement that lands on him that reads, Dr. Mohler (obviously a pun to "molar" which is a part of tooth) Painless Dentist. WE USE GAS. Buddy then tries to get inspired with that idea from "Dr. Mohlar".

Buddy starts off his experiment by placing Bozo on top of an ironing board, and then places a mouthpiece in Bozo's mouth. Buddy turns on the gas for Bozo to see if the experiment does work, his mouth starts to steam but it ends up with his body turning into an inflatible-type balloon. Bozo is then floating on top of the ceiling - with that plan proven to have not worked. Buddy thinks of another plan by using a vaccum cleaner, and stands on top of an ironing board.

He places it through Bozo's mouth in which his body gets smaller, but the vaccum cleaner starts to inflate until it bursts. Buddy was stuck on an ironing board the whole time but goes off flying. Well that proved to be too complicating and not to have worked!! As Buddy has fallen out of the house and back (by laundry wires).  Bozo is still in pain and Buddy still has to at least try to find him. He finds Bozo under Buddy's pillow and takes him out.

Buddy then comes up with another plan but it is going to be painful (and I wouldn't dare to look, but if I don't then how will I review the rest?). Buddy attaches a string to a type of toy bone of Bozo's onto his tooth. He throws the toy for Bozo to fetch but nothing happens. Since the string isn't being pulled and there's no way that it could work. Bozo returns to Buddy with the toy in which Buddy taps his foot with impatience. "Listen Bozo, I'm trying to help you", says Buddy - but he's helping him in a painful matter. Buddy throws the toy for Bozo to fetch but then he crashes into a wall and sniffs to investigate. Bozo returns with some weight lifts in which Buddy asks him to put them down.

Buddy thinks of another idea for Bozo to have the tooth of his taken out. Buddy ties the end of the string to a doorknob in which it causes the dog to bark. Buddy ties it to his teeth and tries to assure Bozo that it "doesn't hurt". Meanwhile a cat enters the house - how did that cat get in there?! Surely something must make sense. Bozo then starts to chase after the cat with Buddy's tooth being forced.
The chase is then being led to outside in which Buddy is still being knocked all over the place (make sure that his tooth being pulled isn't the baby tooth). Buddy and Bozo both land in the garden with a sprinkler sprinkling over them making them wet. The cat blows a raspberry at the dog in which Bozo continues the chase. Buddy is still being dragged and lands onto a toy wagon as he's still pulled. They pass through a truck that contains beer (with the sign reading "Burpo Beer"). The cat, Bozo and Buddy then tremble over a man digging.  The chase continues to be wild and also dangerous for Buddy.

They then reach Cookie's garden where she is sitting down relaxing on her hammock until she reaches the choatic chase by the cat, Bozo and Buddy on the toy wagon. Buddy falls onto her hammock and they both pop out of the fallen down hammock. Buddy then finds a tooth and thinks he's got Bozo's tooth. Bozo's tooth is out, but Cookie then finds another tooth and points that Buddy's tooth came out as well - ouch. Hope it wasn't permanment. They both laugh at what happened - and that's all folks.

Well this is the 1934 reviews and I must say this has been a REALLY tough year of reviews. Seriously, all the stories had just been focusing on the same story routines. This cartoon in my opinion wasn't so terrible in my opinion but there were some pretty limb stuff in there or that didn't make sense such as how did that cat enter the house. The dialogue stuff was pretty good and at least I could hear it clearly (probably due to better TV quality). The aching tooth gags were good I have to admit, and I thought that it was a good way to express aches and the feeling of it with that flea using a hammer to make it hurt. Well, that's the 1934 cartoons finished (Thank God). Now next is 1935 and that will be the turning point with Porky Pig and Tex Avery coming soon...

Wednesday 25 January 2012

95. Pop Goes Your Heart (1934)

Warner cartoon no. 94.
Release date: December 8, 1934.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast unknown.
Musical Score: Norman Spencer.
Animation: Frank Tipper and Sandy Walker.

Our cartoon begins with a beautiful view of a mountain and forest with some lovely snow. A bird flies into the scene and lands on a limb to chirp for the other animals to wake up. We fade in to the next shot of the bird still chirping and all the snow is gone - Ahh, looks like the snow melting away really couldn't be achieved back then. Hummingbirds are outside smelling the scent of beautiful flowers. We see the next shot of this bird couple and the male couple sees that the eggs have been laid and makes a tally on the tree - is that meant to mean how many eggs were laid?

There are a line of bees that are flying past and sucking up the honey with their stinger. Meanwhile, there are a group of grasshoppers and the adult one is teaching them out to chew tobacco and spit. The first child grasshopper tries on his attempt but accidentally burps them out leaving him with soggy tobacco stuck on his mouth - which is rather gross.

A mother turtle and her children then start to dive from the log into the lake. They all dive into the lake; the mother turtle is swimming while the baby turtles are on their backs rowing themselves by using cattails as oars. Meanwhile up in a tree we hear these strange sounds of some type of organ playing in the string section. It turns out to be a pair of spiders who are playing a harp on a spider web. Boy that "harp playing" sure does sound very strange.

From what I've been watching in this cartoon so far, with all those cute animals doing notable things - am I confusing THIS to a early Silly Symphony colorized?! (Not likely). The 2-strip Technicolor stuff isn't very good and the colors just look to reddish to me.

The next scene to be shown is another one of those: "dance routines" and there are these apples with worms doing the job as being the arms and legs. They are doing the dance and my goodness that just looks creepy with those apples dancing. From my own personal views how can these worms really do the job of doing a dance routine like that (acting as arms and legs), they're just going to likely get squashed by an apple - well worms do have bones - but are they really that strong? Look at those tiny eyes that they have - worms don't have eyes. Meanwhile there is then a frog chorus standing on lilypads - Lilypads - Gee, I hope we won't get confused with this!! Well; it turns out that these frogs are singing the title song Pop Goes Your Heart, the "boomp-boomp-da-boomp" sounds from a frog sounds like something that inspired Paul McCartney to be involved in that We All Stand Together frog song - doubt it.

We are then seeing a shot of a swam who is swimming in a river; but dives underwater to find some fish to eat. Once the swan dives back in again for some wish; best I can remember - that gag was reused from One Step Ahead of My Shadow and I almost forgot about that. But still; I can't bear those gags of a fish eating a swan. Sure the audience will find it amusing because it's not possible; but fishes can't eat swans - it's creepy and unnatural. Meanwhile there is a bird who is sitting on a tree in a  bird's nest - and notices a worm inside an apple. The baby bird tries to look through his head into the apple for the worm, but the worm makes an escape and slaps the bird from the apple.

The bird then yelps in pain with the worm laughing. Once again; this worm has a mouth and eyes - which is NOT what they have - but I guess it was used just to show caricature and what we know about the worm. We then see these group of beavers who are having fun in their part of the forest and there are a group of beavers who are playing baseball. I'm just curious but when Friz Freleng was making these cartoons - did he ever use model sheets to make them? I'm a little curious because the designs aren't much and I thought that did the animators just design a beaver from scratch and draw it?

Meanwhile there is a grizzly bear who is sniffing through the forest probably to find animals to eat. The bear then growls but sprays perfume in his mouth (oddly enough for some reason). The bear then continues to walk on and sniff for some animals to eat. The bear then starts to walk behind the turtle sniffing it's shell. The turtle starts to speed up slightly, but the turtle then changes position of its shell and bites the bear on the nose. Well, that certainly showed that bear.

The bear starts to walk to the next part of the forest where he then plans to eat some beavers for supper. It's working well since the beavers are running for their lives as the bear chases after them. The beavers start to run away and they hide inside the trees in which the bear tries to dig through to try and eat the beavers up. But he doesn't quite make it yet since his head is stuck. A beaver comes out and smacks the bear's derriere.

The beavers then reach the top of the tree through the role in which they are carrying a bee hive with them. Is it me or is that shot of the beavers laughing just weird to watch - it just seems unsettling to me, but I can't explain why? They drop the bee hive in which honey lands on top of the bear's behind and there are a swarm of bees flying around him. The bear is covered with honey all over - and I admit the animation of the bear being chased by bees is just really weird because there is hardly any inbetweens on there, and the animation is not very good because you can't see him move properly - just bad inbetweening.

The bear then starts to crash through a gate by accident and rolls down a field will of hay in which it sticks into the honey attached to his back. As he rolls down - he's turned into a haystack. Meanwhile, there is a farmer working on his "Hay bailer" machine. The bear rolls down and looks like another haystack to the farmer. The farmer uses his pitchfork to pick up the bear and dumps it into the machine. The haystack comes out all sorted into a block. The bear's head, and legs pop out. Much to the bear's surprise - he is shocked and runs out of the scene. The farmer looks at the haystack bear running, rather puzzled - and that's all folks.

This is another cartoon in which shows some creepy 2-strip Technicolor. The colors look really reddish/pinkish to me and it doesn't suit it well; but I guess that to it was to keep budgets low. Michael Barrier confirms that when Technicolor was brought to Merrie Melodies - it was raised to around $9'000 when the Schlesinger budgets used to be $7'500. Some of the scenes in there don't look very much like color to me and that it feels as though it wasn't painted. The short is something that reminds me of a early Silly Symphonies cartoon in black-and-white when there were plants and forest creatures dancing. Some of the animation didn't look so splendid - particularly the bear scenes. Well, with 1934 almost complete - 1935 will hopefully be better (at least towards the end).

Sunday 22 January 2012

94. Buddy's Adventures (1934)

Warner cartoon no. 93.
Release date: November 17, 1934.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Ben Hardaway.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Cast: Jackie Morrow (Buddy), Billy Bletcher (Old Man). Cookie voice unknown.
Musical Score: Bernard Brown.
Animation: Bob McKimson and Don Williams.

Our cartoon begins with Buddy and Cookie standing at a hot-air balloon. Buddy is dropping a few pieces of equipment and why?! I don't know - probably to stop the hot-air balloon from being heavy, I guess. Buddy appears to be the captain of this balloon and Cookie is rather afraid of being up there as she is afraid of heights. (I can't tell what the dialogue is telling us, but I can imagine that's what she means - from the looks of her emotions).

All I can hear of Cookie saying properly is "I'm afraid" - I can't make out the words before that. As there is a thunder bolt that flashes near the balloon - Buddy falls. Buddy gets that up and excuses himself "Must've been what I ate", Cookie assures that something terrible will happen but Buddy denies it. But she is right when there are these clouds and thunderbolts that are beating the hot-air balloon up.

The hot-air balloon is being blown away from these cloud faces - and one of the clouds then flick them; with the hot-air balloon starting to spin around numerous times. The same cloud then does a John L. Sullivan pose by thumping the cloud many times. The hot-air balloon then starts to move slowly - but there is a swirling camera effect that takes us to a different land - I assume. Buddy and Cookie are both frightened on the balloon, and they notice a rattling-snake cloud. The rattling-snake cloud uses it's tongue as a thunder bolt. The thunder bolt strikes at the ropes that carry the hot-air balloon. Until both of them go falling, falling...

Buddy and Cookie then start to slide down the long fall as they slide through the mountains and then in the field with that rather funny looking bird. Heh, not quite Porky in Wackyland - isn't it? The burst balloon then rolls (with the lifebelt as the wheel) and they each an inanimate castle in which the bridge opens (the mouth). It seems that Buddy and Cookie have arrived at a very bizarre land. Very interesting. Buddy and Cookie crash inside a protected town and Buddy thinks that this is the destination until...

...Buddy and Cookie notice a sign that reads THIS IS SOURTOWN. Oh dear, this doesn't sound like a pleasant place to go if everyone is "sour". The sign continues to read: The following rules must be obeyed - NO LAUGHING, NO SINGING, NO DANCING, NO JAZZ MUSIC. Followed by some tiny bit of writing I can't read - thanks a lot! Well this is really bad news for Buddy and Cookie - but if I lived there I wouldn't mind except on one condition - the "no laughing" part would have to be removed. ;-)

Buddy laughs at that sign as nonsense, but Cookie persuades him it's serious. We see Laurel and Hardy who are imprisoned in stocks - Hardy's sign reads "In Ye Stocks for Laughing" while Oliver Laurel's says "For Smiling". Buddy and Cookie then walk around the streets, but they notice these rather sour looking guard walking past them. The guards then walk to a barrel and line up. They all take a squirt of vinegar (to make them more sour I guess?). They then turn to the camera and they do a type of song on why they're sour. What the hell?! I thought the rules in this town was "no singing" and they're going in rhythm in which is still a form of singing! Bloody hell.

 Buddy then walks to the guards and tells them that they're sung "all wrong" and that the way to sing a song is to be more cheerful. Buddy then grabs out a guitar and starts to sing a song (the song is a mystery to me - I can't find anything on Internet Movie Database). The song has caused a bird in it's cage from an apartment window sill to sing it but a sour woman enters the scene and shuts the bird's beak by tying it with a cloth. The same woman then places a pot over the flowers to stop them from singing the song too. The policeman then enters the scene as he sees that Buddy is breaking the law that reads in a note "No singing". The police officer then tells Buddy and Cookie are under arrest and then off they go! They are placed in a cart as the officer drives them.

Buddy here in this film sounds very different here. He sounds like a child doing a voice for him and I wouldn't imagine that Jack Carr did the voice for Buddy. Cookie's voice still remains anonymous to me. Bletcher seems to be the only known actor here voicing the policeman and the King of Sour town. Anyone able to help me out? Other than that, this cartoon so far shows some great character personalities and there is EVEN a story here. The whole Sourtown idea works very well, about the laws of no singing, laughing, etc. It reminds me of what Roald Dahl would write about.

 Buddy and Cookie are then placed in the King of Sourtown's headquarters. He is sitting in the throne rather sour as there is a squire who is giving him some lemons for him to juice with a lemon mixer. He pours in some lemon into a bowl for him to drink which makes him feel even more sour and better. Mmm, it's like as though it's as enjoyable when taking a visit to the toilet. A police officer then enters the scene in which he grabs Buddy and Cookie. The King then goes into dialogue:

King: You've broken the rules of Sourtown. Now you'll be sentenced to the spanking hand.

We see the next shot of a "spanking machine" in which is Buddy and Cookie's penalty. Cookie, rather worried asks Buddy "What'll we do?"; Buddy's reply "Leave it to me". Buddy grabs out a harmonica in which he plays it that damages the King's ears. Poor King. At times - the harmonica playing doesn't sound like a harmonica - unless this is just bad TV quality.

Cookie  is then doing a type of dance which is going to annoy the King and the guards even more. Buddy is playing the harmonica so loudly that even the candle waxes are so sour that they're melting. That's a lot of sourness. Buddy goes along to a picture frame of these bearded men and he plays the "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Te-Doh" musical scale. There is some fighting going on between a group of knights (why are they being involved)? Oh hang on, it turns out that a knight is taking off another knight's foot in which he starts to play it like a saxophone - which the "no jazz" law is being broken. The music is starting to turn very chaotic that even the sour King starts to dance, which is pretty mildly amusing.

The guards are then going into song - and it turns out that the WHOLE TOWN is dancing to music and Buddy & Cookie are heroes for turning them from being sour into cheerful. A group of guys at a table raising their drinks then go into the "Do-Re-Mi" musical scale - hitting a guy in the head who is sleeping and not going into rhythm. The King then takes over the spotlight by dancing, but he slips on that rug in which he falls into the spanking machine and is getting spanked; but is laughing. Buddy and Cookie then take over the throne and are declared as leaders. They hug each other - and that's all folks.

This was a delightful cartoon to watch and it even has a strong plot compared to all the other plots we had. What a great imagination that Ben Hardaway used for his "Sourtown" concept. I love the character personalities and the idea that everyone is sour here. I certainly do like the redesign of Cookie here (which we saw in Viva Buddy). Of course what really puzzled me and it was beyond my grasp was that they were going into rhythm (which still counts as singing) and the rules were "no singing" - why didn't they get arrested. Well, since this cartoon is called Buddy's Adventures it's fair to say that this cartoon certainly was an adventure. The cast of the actors appears to be unknown to me (and probably the first time where I realized that Buddy's voice actually sounds different). But I think that Buddy had two different voices - one of whom is anonymous.