Saturday, September 24, 2011

One More Time (Oct. 3, 1931)

Foxy is a cop walking his beat.  The fat hippo is driving here luxury car and is annoyed by a small mouse in a little car.  She runs down Foxy and he chases after her.  She stops and he sings One More Fine to her.  She cries trying to get out of it and he puts a trash can on her head to stop her.  He meets up with his girlfriend and her dog.  They dance around to the title song and then someone gets robbed and Foxy chases after the crook.  Sme other police chase after the crooks and get blown up with a grenade.  The bad guys grab Foxy's girlfriend and he gets her back with a mechanical horse.  He then trickes hem into driving into the jail.
Notable Gags:

  • Foxy's gun has a mouse with a mallet on an extendable arm that hist a crominal on the head
  • The hippo has mice with trumpets for a horn
  • The hippo gets over the mouse's car with extendable tires. Go Go Gadget style
  • Foxy sharpens his pencil on the hippo's mouse hood ornament
  • Foxy uses the dog as a player piano
  • The police have a cat that they use for a siren
I liked this cartoon. It looks as though the Merrie Melodies are going to hit a stride well before the Looney Tunes. There is plenty of random silliness, especially around the necessity of promoting the song, but a cop in patrol is still more of a plot than we've seen so far. Too mch happens for this to be a truly good cartoon. The crime and chase at the end are a little too separated from the rest of the story. Many of the gags were clever, and it was a nice change to have some to include in this post. If I were creating a list of Warner Cartoons that everyone should see at lease once (and I will do that at some point) I would definitely put this cartoon on it.

Bosko Shipwrecked (Sept. 19, 1931)

We start off with Bosko on a ship in a storm.  There is an old man with him but it is unclear who he is supposed to be.  Bosko washes up on a island by himself.  Some monkeys find him and steal his hat.  the drop an egg on him and he wakes up.  There is a parrot who loves puns.  Then a lion shows up and chases Bosko around the island.  The lion eventually is tricked into jumping into an aligator's mouth.  Bosko finds a boat and then runs into some natives who are canibals.  The king orders him boiled but Bosko pulls a pop gun on them.  He then escapes on the back of a hippo.

This artoon is terrible.  The storm scene lasts way too long and obviously repeats whole segments to make it that way.  Other than that, there isn't much else to say than what is in the summary.  That's all that happens and it isn't very funny or interesting.  I was really hoping for more out of this one because the title offer so much room for real plot.  Even a lame Robinson Crusoe rip off would have been OK.  This one loses for not living up to what little potential it had.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Smile, Darn Ya Smile (Sept 5, 1931)

Foxy is a cable car conductor singing the title song (which to me comes from Roger Rabbit).  There is a rather large hippo that has much trouble getting on.  Foxy is forced to let some air out of her, which she does not appreciate.  Foxy has an enconter with cow and some hobos sing the title song to tell him to get ovr it.  He can't get her to move, so he jumps under her.  He is thrown from the trolley and his girlfriend is trapped on the out of control trolley.  They are then trapped in an old Bosko cartoon*(reused animation).  Foxy wakes up and it was all a dream.

Notable Gags:
Foxy puls his cat's tail to ring the Trolley bell
Foxy deflates the hippo because she won't fit on the trolley
The Trolley wheels run off without the rest of the car
The billboards come to life
Foxy jumps under, not over the cow

This cartoon actually has a little potential.  It's still very weak, but it has a plot of sorts.  The singing is much more in line with a musical rather than random seeming.  There isn't a whole lot that is funny, though I have to admit that I was impressed with the jumping under the cow gag.  I can see why this one was put on the Golden Collection DVDs.

Lady Play Your Mandolin! (Sept. 1931)

Our first Merrie Melodie.

The setting is a bar and the initial focus is on the gorilla waiter, who is scary on many levels.  There is much chaos, till we are introduced to Foxy(who looks nothing like THAT mouse).  Everyone loves Foxy.  The entertainment comes on and this is what Foxy is waiting for.  It is a girl fox who sings the title song.  Foxy's horse tries to make his way into the bar, gets a bottle broken over his head and is instantly drunk.  This can happen, it happend to my Uncle Freddy twice last Flag Day.  The horse drinks a lot more and becomes the life of the party, until he catches fire.

Notable  Gags:
Foxy ties his horse by the neck to a cactus
The hat rack takes Foxy;s coat and hat like a butler

It's noce to have a break from Bosko and I like that there were no improvised instruments.  But this cartoon is just chaos.  I guess it was somewhat funny at the tail end of Prrohibition.  It was much more of a primitive music video than a cartoon.  The onl.y food thing about it really is that it brings some relief to the monotany of a one star series.

The Tree's Knees (Aug 1931)

Bosko goes to cut down a tree, which reacts in fear. So he does the only logical thing, play the harmonica.  He then chases a small tree around and pulls off his bark.  He then comes on a tree that is rocking a bird's nest while the bird sings. Warner Bros must own rock-a-bye baby.  After deciding he no longer needs lumber, Bosko chases a butterfly and then plays some saplings like a harp.  Some mice play with a saw and they fall into a small puddle.  Bosko saves them.  They then turn themselves into a record payer.

Notable Gags:
I give up - there really aren't any and I'm tired of reaching for them

This cartoon returns to the improvised musical instrument  series of gags that we saw in cartoons like Congo Jazz.  It is a step backward and therefore soubly disappointing.   It doesn't even have the benefit of having fresh gags.  It has all been seen before.  This is another one to skip if you watch these for anything other than historical curiosity.

Bosko's Holiday (July 1931)

Bosko and his alarm are asleep and the phone is ringing so it is trying to wake them up.  The alarm wakes up and tries to get Bosko up with difficulty.
Bosko answers the phone and its Honey, who wants to go on a picnic.  Bokso whistles for his car and then winds it up.  He sings while he drives, his hands are never n the wheel.  This isn't so bad because he is using a real musical instrument.  His hood ornament mouse doesn't much care for his tail being used to replace a string though.  Honey's dog bites the tire and Bosko has to tie it up.  They flirt a little until Bosko whispers smething that is appearently very inappropriate and Honey won't talk to him.  He gets her back by chewing with his mouth open and the the dog gooses her and she leaves.

Notable Gags:
The car has little kids that follow Bosko for a while
The mouse hood ornament is alive
Not really much else

Come quickly Porky!  I have to admit that I am getting tired of Bosko and that is one reason(other than being lazy) that has kept me from posting.  This cartoon has little going for it.  It is not full of gags, nor does it have a compelling or funny plot.  If you never see this one, don't feel bad about yourself.  That is really the most I can say about it.  Next post in a few minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yodelling Yokels (June 1931)

The cartoon starts off with Bosko yodelling in the mountains, playing the accordian. After a walk he yodells at Honey, who yodells back andcomes out to play. Bosko is high on a cliff and slides down a very tall tree. When he lands, he and Honey end up on some improvised skis and Honey f herself in trouble floating down the ice on a river. Bosko and his dog manage to save her before she goes off the waterfall. There is alsoa mouse in Honey's house putting into a wedge of Swiss cheese with a piece of spaghetti.

Notable gags

  • There are 3 bears(I think bears, thet have Mickey Mouse ears
  • Bosko shoots an owl that laughs at him and laughs hysterically
  • Bosko's trip down the tree is filled w8th painful encounters with branches
  • Honey turns into a huge rolling snowball
  • The dog's teeth stretch out to save Honey


This is not a great cartoon, but it does have a couple of things going for it. The first is avoiding the "everything is an instrument" standard that the Looney Tunes were getting away from. It may not actually be a plot, but this cartoon does have something happen. The spot gags here are more slap-stick than the early Looney Tunes. I have to admit that Bosko's long ride down the tree made me giggle, even if it was broad. The clever bit here was the timing of the branches. The last set was just a little bit longer than expected.

The other plus for this cartoon is the absolutely random and unexplained mouse playing golf. I can't say that it works completely, but it's a start. Overall this is a missable and forgettable cartoon.