Wednesday, 31 July 2013

294. The Egg Collector (1940)

Warner cartoon no. 293.
Release date: July 20, 1940.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Chuck Jones.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Margaret Hill-Talbot (Sniffles) and Mel Blanc (Owl).
Story: Rich Hogan.
Animation: Rudy Larriva.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Sniffles participates in his hobby for collecting eggs, and sets on an ambitious task to collect an owl's egg.

The short itself, sort of feels like an established series produced by Chuck as past events appear to occur back into the novel. For one, Sniffles has a hobby of collecting eggs in this cartoon, and this follows up from Little Brother Rat. A side character, the bookworm also makes another appearance from Sniffles and the Bookworm. This is rather a rarity for animated cartoons to appear as continuous follow-ups; which it appears Chuck Jones was particularly aiming for, as well as building up possible new stars for the Schlesinger studio.

Also Rudy Larriva's first animation credit for Warners, who was famous for his early animated for Chuck Jones, as well as considered to be his favourite animator during the Sniffles period. As noted, his departure to Disney had hit Chuck pretty hard, due to Rudy's dislike for working with Chuck..but his future career wouldn't turn out great by reputation. He would leave Chuck to go on to work on the sluggish-paced Road Runner cartoons which were subcontracted and made at Filmation/Format Films, and also spent much of his career there, well into the 80s.

Taking place in a bookstore; we find that during the pan; the bookshop is closed for the night, which appears to be the usual setup for cutesy cartoons which feature mice. As the camera fades in to a close up; Sniffles is seen reading a book about an owl from an egg collecting book, for amateurs.

Sniffles looks at the egg in the illustration and comments, 'Gee Willikers, that certainly is a lovely egg, isn't it?'. The camera pans in towards the bookworm; a side character who was introduced in 1939 in Sniffles and the Bookworm.

At this point, he feels as a particular established side character for Sniffles. The next point of view shot focuses on Sniffles reading a passage of the owl's locations, which reads about owls mostly living in barns, church lofts, etc. just like it is written in the book.

Sniffles reads it aloud, and the part where Sniffles struggles to pronounce, 'etcetera' is a rather touching little sentiment in terms of acting. After Sniffles reads about the owls generally eat small rodents; clueless of the work he asks the bookworm for the definition.

He then shakes his head as a suggestion to not collect eggs. Sniffles, clueless, suggests: "Probably some kind of a flower or somethin'". He continues to read briefly, and wishes with a great felling: 'Golly, I'd certainly like to amateur collect one of those beautiful eggs. Golly, if only I knew where one of those old barn owls lived'. Chuck organises the series of close-ups of Sniffles and the bookworm; into a dialogue sequence, where the bookworm then indicates through sign language he knows where to collect owl eggs for Sniffles. Sniffles then leads the way, 'Come on, what are we waiting for? Maybe we can find a real owl's egg'. The introduction itself was paced a little evenly, even though the dialogue may have been slowly paced, as well as the many filled pauses..but it does the job.

In the following scenes, as Sniffles and the bookworm leave the dark bookshop; the camera pans towards a silhouetted church tower which is seen in the distance. The scene fades into a chuch in a closer form, where its detail is present. Sniffles and the bookworm walk inside the empty church.

The following shots have a very live-action influence towards it in terms of staging which creates mysteries.

The point-of-view shot of Sniffles and the bookworm looking upwards to the church loft, from a far distance is what sticks out with a influence of live-action staging..which is evident in Chuck's approach for realistic, Disney-esque suspense. The bookworm gulps so Sniffles proceeds to climb up the pole, and the bookworm follows.   Up the top; Sniffles and the bookworm have made it to the church loft, but the bookworm turns afraid and rushes towards Sniffles; clinging onto him, afraid. Sniffles struggles to take him off, and asks: 'What's the matter with you anyhow? You're not scared, are you?'. At first the bookworm nods, admitting his scared, but already intimidated by Sniffles, changes his mind and shakes his head.

Just then, Sniffles takes the situation as settled; and gives the bookworm and himself different coordinates to find owl's egg. As Sniffles walks to the left, the bookworm walks behind him, but to his left..too scared.

Meanwhile; as Sniffles has already walked to a extent, but manages to find an owl's egg, sitting on a cradle labelled 'Junior'. In a close up, he looks at the owl's egg with glee, 'Gee willikers! A real owl's egg'.

At this point, when Sniffles has already said 'Gee willikers' numerous times, it feels Chuck is attempting to establish that as a possible catchphrase for Sniffles. Sniffles then proceeds to pick up the egg, (which is cracked) but only picks up the first half of the shell. On the bottom half, still sitting, a baby owl pops up hooting. As Sniffles staggers from the hooting, he turns round and looks at it with more amazement: 'Gee willikers, a real owl too'..which is seen as a bonus for Sniffles.

Just like you would see in a Disney-ish cartoon; where a group of characters split, a sequence tends to focus on each of them. Here, we focus on the bookworm who slides backwards but meets a dead end as he is behind a huge owl. The camera pans to the fierce owl we've seen in Little Brother Rat; who is glaring threateningly at the bookworm.

The bookworm; standing by the owl's stomach then pulls out his feather, in which the owl winces. The bookworm finds he is placing himself in such a deadly position that he is almost risking his own life as he pulls out another feather from the owl's stomach.

As he drops the feather to the floor, he discovers he is pulling them off a gigantic owl which the bookworm would be seen as bait. The bookworm, sweating with fear, sheepishly and hopelessly places the feather back inside the owl's stomach, as he attempts to place it back inside. Chuck uses a wonderful facial expression on the owl's face where it reads a lot of emotions the bookworm is going through: frightened, timid, guilty and hopeless.

Just as Sniffles returns, carrying the egg, he approaches a sweaty bookworm who is sweating with fear. Believing the hobby is still continued; he announces: 'Look, I got it, an owl's egg. A real one. Isn't it pretty?'. Just then, suspense and drama is delivered in the dialogue as the owl then responds smugly, 'Yes, isn't it?'.

Once again, the series of close-ups become relevant through dialogue sequences. Sniffles responds, 'Yeah, there's an owl in it?'. The owl responds ironically, 'There is? Hmm, isn't that interesting?'. Sniffles, not realising his risky situation responds:

'Yeah, and I just walked right in and took it right out from under the nose of that stupid old  owl'. Smugly, the owl responds; 'Stupid old owl?!'. Sniffles already pushes his luck foolishly going further on to comment: 'Yeah. A big, fat, stupid, old, dumb nincompoop. That's what he is'.

The facial expression of Sniffles, afterwards is such a priceless look that Jones is already at the top of his game with these expressions of fear and panic. After a subtle double-take, he realises the bookworm can't talk and explains that to bookworm.

The bookworm nervously points upwards towards the giant owl who was speaking to Sniffles, and then faints. The owl responds, questioning Sniffles to intimidate him: 'A big, fat, stupid, dumb nincompoop, eh? That's a nice healthy way for a rodent to talk?'. Through these gentle dialogues; Sniffles realises the meaning of a rodent, 'You mean I'm a rodent?'. The owl responds ironically, 'What do you think you are, sonny, a cow?'. Just then, Sniffles realises that owls eat rodents, as explained earlier in the book. The book from earlier becomes important for the climax of the sequence. What's worse; the owl also adds that he eats worms..making it a double whammy for Sniffles and the worm.

As the owl is about to eat up poor Sniffles, he covers his face to hopelessly defend himself. Just then, the egg shell opens up again with the baby owl hooting. The giant owl then looks at his baby owl with joy and picks it up. Sniffles unveils his arms from his face slowly and quietly drags the fainted bookworm out of the scene.

Just then, as Sniffles attempts to quietly exit the scene, the mother owl admires the baby owl with affection. After a moment of affection, he turns his attention back to the child: 'And now, my little friends..' he turns towards them but finds they've vanished.

Sniffles picks up the bookworm and runs off frantically. They exit the church loft and back towards the bookshop in these quick paced shots; which you could say would be inspired from Frank Tashlin's fast-paced shorts except without the energy.

Just then, Sniffles retrieves his breath; whereas the bookworm then manages to regain his consciousness. He wakes up, blurry-eyed; where in his POV; the illustration of the gigantic owl in the book looks directly towards him. He makes a 'take' as he exits the spot, and jumps of Sniffles which causes the action to swirl. As they turn towards one another, realising it was only an illustration; Sniffles' hat and the worm's glasses jump back to them; except they are mismatched. With Sniffles wearing the worm's glasses, vice versa. They then stare at each other, with supposed joy as the cartoon ends.

Overall comments: As I have explained earlier on, this short has certain follow ups as well as continuity from the previous Sniffles shorts. The whole owl concept is certainly brought back here, although I'd interpret it would be a different owl, despite the voice, though the character personality is a little different. Instead of finding an owl's nest at a mice birthday party, Sniffles collects eggs as a hobby, and an owl's nest is just what he ambitiously wishes to collect. The bookworm is a little more of a established character, but is presented as a rather scaredy-cat like character. Of course, it features the usual techniques and routine Chuck loved to experiment on during his early years: slow-paced, full of suspense, close-ups in dialogue scenes, live-action staging, etc. it features the usual trademarks that Chuck Jones would use throughout his career.

The bookworm sequence where he pulls out the owl's feather has been acted rather greatly, without any dialogue which Chuck was the master of; in pantomiming characters without dialogues. Some of the facial expressions on Sniffles, as well as the bookworm are rather evident in this short; and they are very expressive in terms of fear..even though not as hilariously and exaggerated as Chuck would use it. Despite the many, wonderful wacky expressions he loved; he is very capable of bringing expressions that looked so human, so subtle. The animation, as usual is top notch in those early Chuck Jones cartoons, and it would be one of the last shorts which have McKimson's touch before his transition to the Avery unit in the next cartoon, as well as the following review on the blog: A Wild Hare.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

293. Little Blabbermouse (1940)

Warner cartoon no. 292.
Release date: July 6, 1940.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Little Blabbermouse), Bill Thompson (W.C. Fields Mouse), William Days (Order Book) and Thurl Ravenscroft (Bad Tobacco Face).
Story: Ben Hardaway.
Animation: Richard Bickenbach.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Spot-gag where a WC. Fields mouse gives a tour of a pharmacy store.

Ben Hardaway's last credit for Warners; where he had only briefly headed the Story Department before his departure from Warners in early 1940, except when he came back very briefly to write one cartoon: Bone for a Bone for Freleng about a decade later. He would also go on to contribute a great deal to Woody Woodpecker, as well as providing his voice for a while. Bugs would continue to have his reputation for the most bizarre and insane gags for Lantz, as well as continuing with his trait consisting of unfunny puns.

For Hardaway's departure, he creates a new character for Freleng; but one of Hardaway's own kind of characters. Instead of the characters Hardaway loved; wacky characters who are completely off the wall, he also appears to have an appeal towards chatterbox characters with annoying voices.

He used this before in It's an All Wind; and has been used in previous Warner cartoons, as it was apparently funny in the eyes of Hardaway. Evidently; the character is Blabbermouse; who would prove to last in only one more cartoon, which was released later this year: Shop, Look and Listen.

The opening shot of the pharmacy takes place during night where the camera pans through the dark, empty store. Stalling uses a lovely melody during the underscore of the opening shot. Inside a mouse-hole is a tour guide mouse who is a caricature of W.C. Fields. He gathers the crowd to go through a 'sky ride' tour of the pharmacy store for the price of 10 cents.

The voice of the W.C. Fields caricatured mouse is believed to be voiced by Bill Thompson, ; thanks to Keith Scott for identifying the voice for the character..even if it sounds a little unlike Thompson.

Back in Thompson's early career; beginning with Fibber McGee and Molly, one of Thompson's voices was of a boisterous W.C. Fields voice, although it is partially different in contrast to this cartoon; and he even changed the vocal tone for the voice, whereas in 1939; it was much broader than it was three years earlier. Blabbermouse then makes his screen debut, and of course an unfunny and obnoxious debut where he continuously asks the tour guide mouse questions such as ('What is a Skyride?', 'Could I get in free?', etc.) just like those 1930s voices you've heard in the Warner shorts--it's sped up, and has the exact same deliverance and monotone. The Fields mouse then moves Blabbermouse out the way with his cane, 'Step aside, my little lad!'.

Just as passengers are about to step aboard on the sky ride; through the admission, Blabbermouse approaches the admission counter asking the Fields mouse continuous and annoying questions. He looks at Blabbermouse with grief, 'What? You again?'.

Blabbermouse hands out a dime coin to pay from, and the Fields mouse then makes a very subtle eye-take, as he accepts the price. Friz's comic timing on the eye take couldn't be any more subtle, as it only appears in a few frames, before his eyes remain back to normal.

Just then, he speaks to the remaining crowd for the next sky ride to leave in a few minutes, and Blabbermouse walks through the entrance to the sky ride. Just then, a group of passengers then board the sky rider; where the expedition around the pharmacy is being prepared. The W.C. Fields tour guide then grabs out marshmallows towards any fellow passengers as a 'soft seat to sit on'. Just a lady mouse trips on the steps; he remarks 'Watch you're Ps and Qs, lady', which I believed is used as a abbreviation for manners, or carefulness.

Just as the sky rider then takes off upwards; Blabbermouse finds he is still standing on the ground due to the rails on the floor being far too wide. He makes a take; realising he is back down but the sky ride then drops him back down to collect him. The tour mouse then asks: 'Are you goin' with us or not? What do you want from us, a car?'.

Blabbermouse explains: 'I was standing here like this'. He continues to explain a fastly paced voiced which almost irritates the WC Fields mouse. Freleng's timing on Blabbermouse explaining shows off his particular traits such as the jerky timing when Blabbermouse explains.

Just then, the Field Mouse then halts the continuous taking: 'Okay, skip it! Skip it!'. He grabs out a mat and places Blabbermouse through it, so he wouldn't fall off, and proceeds with the tour. The following scenes shows a very complex animated shot in terms of perspective where the sky rider moves upwards during the horizontal pan, and its perspective is rather realistically animated. Still a technique in animation which is difficult to accomplish, but Freleng achieves the target well.

With the tour beginning with a proper and established start; the W.C. Fields mouse begins to show his passengers the displays in the pharmacy; the first being the newly invented vanishing cream. In a background shot of the vanishing scream; it would've been displayed as a overlay where it would've faded away. He comments: 'Now you see it, now you don't'.

He then chuckles and states, 'No, it wasn't done by mirrors'. Blabbermouse asks annoying questions such as why it vanished, which almost provokes the tour mouse, as he snaps; 'Quiet son, don't interrupt'. Moving on after a little mutter, he gives his passenger a new glance of a 'scientific phenomenon'..which is the reducing pills.

It is labelled so in a bottle, the bottle itself however reduces from the effect. Both very corny and unoriginal spot-gags; although the cork popping out of the bottle was timed fittingly. Another section of the pharmacy store; the sleeping powders. The inanimate packet of sleeping powders have faces where they are displayed as snoring.

Then the 'smelling salts' bottle where the bottle forms into a motion of a dog and sniffs through the table like a dog. The gags and its delivery are very delicate, and sluggish; although the cough medicine shows some good character animation and execution.

The next small sequence is one of those climatical structures which Tex used frequently in his spot-gag cartoons; although Freleng takes it at a different approach. He describes the next tour stop to be 'colossal, stupendous, breath-taking'..the typical praise words to be used from hosts. The passengers then whistle with joy.

From the bottom; the camera pans towards a huge poster; where its staging in terms of the layout is rather challenging. The camera pans to the top, with its music score full of surprise and suspense; features a 'Giant Malt' with a milkshake as the illustration of the poster.

Rather breath-taking for a mouse considering the size. The finishing pun to finish from the host is: 'in contrast, we have a little squirt'...the camera pans vertically horizontally where a spray squirts out perfume. Although this is supposedly meant to be funny in terms of size; its execution and contrast was rather great, but the punchline was very tepid.

Another quick move is the shaving brush, where the shaving brush actually shaves with a shaving blade; as Sinkin' in the Bathtub plays in the underscore. The next gag is explained from the Fields host as, 'the wild man from Texas' which is actually a 'Krazy Mineral Water' bottle which then starts to act wild and nuts. Blabbermouse then ruins the screen to irritate the audience by asking questions concerning of the crazy bottle, and the host just ignores him frustratingly.

Moving onward; the host then exclaims with surprise, 'Ooh, a rubber band, is a liven' breathe'. The box then opens where a group of rubbers stretch upwards and downwards playing their musical instruments. The gag is very punchy, where it is executed well, the animation is realistic, and well as cheery. A great little pun, itself.

Just as the rubber band plays, a pair of 'military brushes' step out as they march to create a percussion rhythm. After the little rubber band finishes, the host remarks: 'Snappy little outfit, was it, or wasn't it?'.

The next part of the tour proves to be a delight where the passengers are to be enchanted for the inanimate objects to sing a various selections of popular songs. For the music and animation enthusiasts, also a real delight..for songs we all would know. It's a great little sequence to be placed at a fitting part of the spot-gag as it jazzes up a whole lot of gags to be combined with the popular songs; which may be a little clever and fun way of organising the songs to match the gags. Instead we'd just ignore the gags itself and enjoy the music which is a pleasing occasion for the spot-gag shorts.

The clocks then sing together in a group to the popular song: (Ho-dle-ay) Start of the Day, which is a popular Stalling cue, particular for the Warner cartoons as well as a very cheerful and catchy tune.

After the little tune; an order book comes to life holding a pencil singing substitute lyrics in the melody to I'd Love to Take Orders from You; with the brief singing covered by William Days.

Following up, a group of dancing powders then perform a little dance routine as Shake Your Powder Puff is being sung by the Rhythmettes, whilst the male vocals are sung by the Sportsmen, thanks to Keith Scott. Following after that is a little cheery scene as a group of coins, two liberty and one a penny with a mohican dancing and singing to We're in the Money--the song we all know. Following that is a a bottle of pink pills which sings solo of the song: You're the Cure What Ails Me.

A pipe tobacco product then features an angel side, and the other a devil side; where considering how tobacco was considered, perhaps: 'naughty but nice'; where the popular song is: Half of Me (Wants to Be Good), William Days, I believe is the angel voice, and Thurl Ravenscroft, himself is the devil voice.

The concluding scene combined with a popular song is Sinkin' in the Bathtub with a bottle of bath suits bathing itself in a tub.

Afterwards; a group of 'Xmas seals' which are stamps though modelled as seals also clap like them as an applaud for the song sequence. After the song sequence finishes; the usual routine is then restored back to the short where the W.C. Fields host mouse then moves over towards the 'Greeting Cards' section. Over there, the cards show illustrated characters who wave and greet the passengers on the sky ride. Listen out for the Jerry Colonna reference mentioned, 'Greetings gate'.

As the host then moves onwards; he then exhibits the dangerous mousetraps which, of course, are very deadly for mice; and they then dash out of the sky-ride; minus Blabbermouse. No, not because the thought of the mouse-traps or the sight of them, the sight of a fierce-looking cat. He continues: 'Now don't go away folks, these traps are perfectly harmless, as long as you keep it a safe distance'.

Blabbermouse then looks upwards of the cat and makes a subtle take as he shakes the host's waistcoat trying to catch his attention of a hungry cat behind him. He then struggles to speak, as he hesitates, panic-strikened in explaining of a cat behind him.

The host then appears to be explaining on a particular object, which ironically is the similar features of the black cat standing right by him. As he explains, he provokes the cat even further by whacking him with his cane before he breaks into a double-take. He exclaims, 'Whoa, who let him in?!'. He then breaks down a policy announcement: 'Due to conditions which we have no control the tour will be temporarily discontinued'.

 This then results into a brief action scene as the sky rider then zooms through the table knocking over medicine bottles. The sky rider then manages to escape to the exit throughout the mousehole; with the cat knocking to the wall, just missing them. The host and Blabbermouse heavily breathe due to the intense action and risky escape. Just then, Blabbermouse starts to chatter towards the host; which then almost drives him to the limits.

He explains quickly on how he would his father, whose supposedly an officer to stop the cat. The host, not caring, then grabs out a bottle of aluminium and stuffs it at Blabbermouse's mouth. Just then, the host removes the bottle away from Blabbermouse. In the final shot, Blabbermouse asks:

'Why did you do that? I don't see why you got mad at me. I'm not mad at you at all. All I ever did was ask you many--' at this point his lips then get compressed tighter and tighter. Of course, being the obnoxious Hardaway concept created; and of course the ending was probably not what Hardaway interpreted to be, at least Blabbermouse got his justice.

Overall comments: With a supposedly new character being introduced; it still had the same formula of obnoxious, chatterbox characters which were used in previous cartoons (i.e. I Wanna Be a Sailor, It's an Ill Wind, She Was an Acrobat's Daughter, just to name a few). In most of those shorts, the character really didn't get any justice for annoyance where it was interpreted that those characters were generally meant to be amusing or charming for an audience. Here, Blabbermouse is used as a deliberately annoying character, that the crew working on the short are already aware the character is more irritating than amusing. As for story wise on this short; being sort of a spotgag cartoon it seems, it has been structured a lot more solidly in terms of its pacing and story.

Instead of a typical spot-gag where it shows a string of gags, and also a recurring gag to appear throughout the all sorts of unique activity flow through the cartoon rather juicily. A song sequence is played later in the short; where the audience would be thrilled to hear their favourites played and used as gags, although in that case; the gags would require little attention from an audience. The cartoon also had a little climatic sequence towards the end, where it generally shows that there is certainly a little bit of story going on. If so, the short itself would've been a treat considering Bill Thompson made his appearance as the W.C. Fields caricatured mouse; since he was already a star on Fibber McGee, where Freleng asked him, and he agreed to do the voice. The next short: Shop, Look and Listen would be a definite followup from the short, although it feels more of a continuity, and a less surprising experience.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

292. Porky's Baseball Broadcast (1940)

Warner cartoon no. 291.
Release date: July 6, 1940.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Friz Freleng.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Porky Pig/Clueless Attendee/Trapped Player).
Story: Ben Hardaway.
Animation: Cal Dalton.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky is a commentator of a baseball game; where he commentates on particular actions.

With the newspaper front headlines; the big news is about a particular baseball game which is seen as national news...Giants pitch Carl Bubble. I believe that 'Carl Bubbles' is a little reference to a baseball catcher Bubbles Hargrave. Over at the press box, the crowd are cheering for the upcoming baseball game.

Past the press box, Porky Pig is in the commentary box where he delivers the news: 'Good afternoon, ladies and gentle--(stutters), folks. This is Porky Pig bringing you a play-by-play description of the decisive game of World Series being played at the  Yankum Stadium'.

Well, without any doubt towards baseball fans or Americans; this is a deliberate, corny pun (probably contributed by Bugs Hardaway) of Yankee Stadium. Just as the big game is about to warm up; Porky mentions metaphorically, 'Tickets are selling like hot cakes'. Hardaway, as it appears, takes the metaphor into a gag where a chef uses a fish slice to give tickets to those attending the match, and pours cream which form into baseball tickets. A very off-the-wall gag, which is very Avery-esque humour.

Whilst Porky comments on the atmosphere of the stadium, he continues: 'The scalpers are having a big day'. In terms of a baseball game, we associate scalper as a person who resells tickets for people. The gag is exaggerated to an Indian who is chasing a few attendees outside the stadium.

Rather politically incorrect in today's standard; but one of the few puns in the short that is mildly amusing. Meanwhile; a particular stubby dog-like person is walking around the stadium seating part looking for a seat; and even uses his ticket to find which row and seat to sit on.

He keeps on walking down the stairs trying to find the row he is sitting on; he keeps looking for the wrong row as he proceeds to keep on walking. He turns towards a row as he asks, 'Pardon me, please'. He walks through the row as he barges through the crowd sitting down, blocking the view. Just as he reaches an empty seat which was for him, he believes its the wrong row and continues to move out of the row annoying the crowd sitting on the row.

Just as the game is about to start; Porky commentates on the giant pitcher to be pitching in the match named Carl Bubble (as mentioned earlier in a newspaper article); which I do believe to be a parody name as Bubble Hargrave.

Pitching for the New York Giants, he is indeed portrayed as a huge giant, as he tosses the ball to the backstopped who even gets a reaction to the ball tossed to his glove. His huge size and proportion would've been an amusing result for an audience of its time.

The next part, Porky commentates on the doubleheader for the opposing team to be a Larry O'Leary from Walla Walla. Hardaway already makes the most of his time with these ridiculous and corny puns where the doubleheader, in fact has two heads. One head speaks to the other, 'You pitch the high runs', whilst the other agrees to pitch on the low runs; which of course would be a very complicating result.

Moments before the big game begins; the umpire walks in; although presented rather amusingly considering he is blind and has a watchdog walking through the stadium. The game is about to begin; the mayor, in honour, is picked up by two assistants as he tosses the baseball in the stadium. The caricature of the mayor is Fiorello LeGuardia; who was a well-loved mayor of New York back then.

More cartoony puns coming on from Hardaway as the 'batboy' flies into the scene with bat-wings handing over a bat to the first batter. At that point, 'the game is on!' in Porky's words. Just then, a turtle backstop watches the first ball about to be pitched.

The pitcher; holding onto the ball, stands in the arena of the pitch but his clothes then sink, and picks them back up. Some great personality animation there where he picks up his sunken clothes, which has a lot of weight. After the nice little personality touch; the pitcher throws the first ball to the batter.

The next sequence; the turtle catcher then persuades for the ball to catch so the first batter would be out. The animation is mainly reused from Boulevardier of the Bronx; a Freleng effort from four years earlier...except the voice of the turtle is only slightly altered.

The first ball is missed by the batter, but hits the turtle in the stomach, not catching it. The turtle walking up, saying 'That's the stuff, etc!' is new animation. The gag then repeats the second time round. The next batter, a dachshund, then takes a strike where Porky commentates the dachshund has made a home run from his view.

The dachshund walks over towards the first body; letting its body stretch from one base to the other. Also reused from Boulevardier of the Bronx.

Instead, he goes through the entire pitch with his entire body stretching through. Although a reused gag; its decent to see some of Stalling's step notes played in the underscore. Porky also makes another comment about the pitcher; 'They got the pitcher in the hole already'. A huge hole, already created from the effect shows the pitcher stepping out feeling rather weary. A little lightly amusing although there is already so much puns being contributed here. Meanwhile, as the game goes on; the same overweight attendee is still looking for a seat to watch the baseball game. Stalling creates a little appealing cue which is used as the theme of the attendee.

The next gag which features a Babe Ruth caricature (also with animation taken from 'Bronx'; some of it) then makes a swing at the bat and hits the ball. The ball screams as it soars through the arena of the stadium. The screaming part is just so like the Warners humour, which helps lighten up the short from its many flaws. The Babe Ruth pig runs around through the pitch and manages to make it home safely.

Back towards the pitcher; who is seen having a problem from his clothes that sink; picks them up once more, with the same animation reuse. He aims the ball to the batter; but the batter strikes back where it causes the batter to duck from the ball striking almost through him. Porky comments on the action, and spots the troubled pitcher; 'Looks like the pitcher is blowing up'.

We'd probably believe the pitcher blowing up, meaning his temper, but literally does blow up. Friz's timing is very useful for this particularly when animated, but just the pacing. He punches it at the funniest moment possible; and the pitcher is completely unseen after the blow-up that his gloves fall into the exact spot he stood at.

After a successful round for the Giants; the Red Sox team takes over as Carl Bubble is the pitcher for the Giants. He then throws, a baseball technique, known as the slow ball. Freleng makes use of the timing where the ball travels very slowly, in this cartoony gag. The pitcher for the opposing team then attempts to hit the ball twice but misses, the third time he hits the ball.

Just as the the player runs around the bases, through Porky's commentary; he comments that he is blocked through the second and third base, 'and he's trapped'. Yes, he's trapped from a rattrap which is laid between the 2nd and 3rd base.

Just then, the player who has his foot trapped from the mousetrap; then start to perform a dramatic panic attack. 'I'm trapped' he exclaims with horror! He then shrieks several times, 'This is hor-r-r-r--ri-b-b-ble!'. Mel, as usual, puts on the great over-dramatic performances that he was great at, and his delivery evidently steals the performance of this supposedly wacky baseball game..even if the game had such light and thin amusing moments.

The following shots then follow through a series of montage scenes from previous, recycled animation that appeared earlier in the short. The montages quickly span throughout what the rest of the time is; and from the looks of it (with the reused animation) it all occurs on 'autopilot' mode.

Just as the game then goes into its final round, Porky Pig commentates on the actions occurring. Meanwhile over at the stadium box, the overweight attendee then appears once more where he has finally found his spot in the row; even though he's made it at the very last minute.

He looks at the seat, and finds he the spot he is sitting at: but unfortunately, his seat is the very unlikely position. He finds he is sitting right in front of a bar just as the finale part of the game finishes off. The crowd then cheer as the Giants win the game. Later that night, the same attendee is still sitting in the exact same position. He is the only person left in the stadium sitting there and twiddling his thumbs. Moments later, he then goes into a hysterical mode as he crashes and breaks everything; due to not getting a chance of watching the match. A rather, amusingly satirical occurring gag throughout the cartoon, but also you can't help but feel sympathy for him.

Overall comments: Like how Clampett had treated Porky in those years; Friz Freleng also does the same for this cartoon. Instead of giving Porky the main star as a leading baseball player for this stadium; he is given a much more unimportant role where he is a commentator. This also strongly; suggests on how Porky was just not an enthusiastic character for the audience in directing a Porky Pig cartoon. Since Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton lost their positions as directors with Friz's return, he is also assigned to direct a fair share of Porky Pig cartoons, as it is already very evident in You Ought to Be in Pictures where you can see Friz gives Porky the spotlight to carry the cartoon, unlike Clampett. Here, Friz appears to have followed the routine Porky was given, where he has a limited amount of screen time, and hardly lit a candle throughout the entire cartoon. Without Porky, you could say this would be considered another Tex Avery spot-gag on baseball, but completely billed with silly and bizarre puns from Bugs Hardaway.

The short itself is very thin in terms of comedy. Sure, there is comedy in the cartoon, but a lot of it is very poor and is lacking effort. As said, it is riddled with completely ridiculous and corny puns which certainly do not carry the cartoon; and get groan-worthy. The recurring gag for the attendee trying to find his seat was a little fresh idea, and it came down to a witty conclusion, where he misses the entire game and tears up the stadium. Friz's comic timing is evident in some parts; particularly with the pitcher, as well as the explosion gag. All in all, it feels a sort of a 'cheater' short where a considerable amount of recycled animation is repeated; which was used cleverly considering Friz's earlier short which was on the reuse wasn't too terrible, except it is noticeably behind the time period of 1940; when animation had already advanced in four years, even for Warners.