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Classic Cartoons, anyone?


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Initial post: Jan 11, 2009 10:28:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2009 10:30:44 PM PST
Oh, hewwo.
So, it looks like you should have taken that "left turn at Albuquerque". But this place promises to be fun.

Welcome, fans of zany animation!

Do you ever catch yourself saying or thinking, "You're despicable"?

Do you enjoy having an anvil dropped on your head?

Do you ever sleepwalk through a skyscraper construction site?

Do you regularly order all of your traps and weapons from The Acme Corporation?

Do the names Chuck Jones, Bugs Bunny, Tex Avery, Popeye, Wile E. Coyote, Mel Blanc, Donald Duck, Friz Freleng, Droopy, June Foray, Tweetie, Carl Stalling, Humphrey Bear, Yosemite Sam, Goofy, Woody Woodpecker, Ub Iwerks, and Foghorn Leghorn make you all happy inside? Me too.

Here's a place to celebrate your love for classic animation. We can trade stories and memories, ramble sometimes, share favorite quotes, link to reviews or videos, make lists, and so on.

[Please keep in mind that some cartoons and conversations about them might contain references to stereotypes, violence, and rabbits dressed like Carmen Miranda. Those easily offended might think better of joining in, LoL!]

I'll start things off with a short that's a riot, "Bushy Hare" (1950).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb_HtzUy7gI

Bugs Bunny encounters mayhem in Australia via a mother kangaroo and an angry native fellow wielding a spear.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 10:44:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2009 11:04:24 PM PST
Sard-- Thanks for the topic.

I tried post my cartoon file, but there's a 16 KB limit here. It would take 4 or 5 posts, alas.

So, here's a few of my faves, with brief synopses.
Studios represented-- FLEISCHER [fl], HALAS & BATCHELOR [h/b], SULLIVAN [su], WARNER BROS [wb], WINKLER [wi]

BETTY BOOP'S RISE TO FAME (1933) [fl] - During an interview, Max Fleischer interacts with Miss Boop. Highlights of three earlier shorts are included.

A CAR-TUNE PORTRAIT (1937) [fl] - Animator's hand draws an orchestra of animals who try to play the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody in a dignified fashion.

A CHRISTMAS TREE (1959) [??] - Unique Soviet-made holiday cartoon.

FELINE FOLLIES (1919) - Felix the Cat's rather dark screen debut. When Master Tom (Felix) learns that his girlfriend (Miss Kitty) already has a litter of kittens, he decides to end it all. (silent)

GREAT GUNS (1927) [wi] - Walt Disney directed this silent cartoon starring Oswald Rabbit, who looks a lot like "you-know-who."

HA! HA! HA! (1934) [fl] - Betty Boop and Koko the Clown come out of the inkwell and go crazy with laughing gas when Boop tries to pull Koko's bad tooth at a dentist office.

HOFFNUNG'S PROFESSOR YAYA'S MEMOIRS (1965) [h/b] - On his birthday, the Prof. looks through a family albumful of his musical but eccentric relatives.

SPORTS CHUMPIONS (1941) [wb] - Series of sightgags lampoon Olympic and other sports.

THE TIMID TOREADOR (1940) [wb] - Hot tamale vendor (Porky Pig) accidentally lands in bullring.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 10:58:58 PM PST
Hi, Annie.

Glad to see you here. I had a feeling you might be first.
Wow, that is a slew of studios. No Disney? Just curious. I have the Goofy Treasures set and one of the Donald Duck Treasures sets. They're delightful. I ought to get the Treasures set with the rare cartoon shorts... before the limited quantities run out and then the bottom feeders charge $75 for 'em.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2009 11:01:23 PM PST
Disney is represented by Winkler. Remember, my list is of public domain cartoons.

(Can still email it if you're interested-- I have the addy already lol).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 11:43:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2009 11:46:51 AM PST
ronzo says:
Baron,
As you know:
One Froggy Evening is an approximately seven-minute long Technicolor animated short film written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones. The short was released on December 31, 1955 as part of Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Some critics and observers regard this cartoon short as the finest ever made; so do I. It is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhq0N4ORYjM

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 1:02:13 PM PST
Ronzo,

"One Froggy Evening" is one of the best ever, no doubt.
I appreciate its humor and its timelessness, and mostly its message about greed and desiring money and fame. It's impressive that Jones said so much in seven minutes, and made it hilarious at the same time. He was a wizard with comedy and drawing and thinking of cool ideas.
I still can't believe he passed away seven years ago. He will never really be gone, as he left such a great legacy for generations to love and laugh with.

There are a handful of cartoons that are like that one, without the usual familiar characters but that still win us over totally.

PS: I love the Looney Tunes Golden Collections on DVD. They are a dream come true. Some people moan about the selections or the themes of each disc ("Eeew, they shoulda all been chronological!" etc etc), but they need to get over it. I'm glad these toons are available for home viewing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 5:23:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2009 6:05:22 PM PST
ronzo says:
Baron,

I can't think of any other moral tale told so succinctly and so enjoyably.
Maybe the closest kin are the Aesop's Fables?

You draw me in with the "handful of cartoons that are like that one" that "win us over totally". There is a list in there somewhere Baron; out with it! LOL

Regarding the Golden Collections; I'm just irked that they are now half the price I paid for them!!! crakey!

Here's another goodey:

Bug Bunny in Wet Hare (1962)

I'm starting to see that I like the ones with the musical element; like the song Bugs sings under the waterfall. But what sets this one apart for me is the "Not this one Jacques!" I've used that quote once or twice on archaeological digs.
LOL
Apparently, this is one of only two shorts made with Blacque Jacque Shellacque; the other is Bonanza Bunny (1959).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAPlyGCDA-o

p.s. I'm also a fan of Tweety singing "Singing in the Bathtub" (I've just looked and it was used 21 times by the looney tunes folks!) I especially like the lyric: "You can sing with feeling, while feeling for the soap."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 6:29:35 PM PST
What I hinted at was a few cartoons that don't feature the recognizable characters. I remember one about a martian baby ending up in a human household... and one that was called The Bear That Wasn't (here's the link for it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq0a5JTSGvU

It's narrated by Paul Frees, whose voice I love.

I also recall The Dot and the Line; and Now Hear This. They are really interesting but don't follow the basic formula of Looney Tunes character-driven comedy like Bugs vs. Sam or Sylvester chasing Tweetie.
More thoughtful fare from Chuck.

Of course I remember Blacque Jacques Shellacque (or however it's spelled, LoL). Another fine villain for Bugs to drive bonkers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 7:51:42 PM PST
ronzo says:
Baron,

Thanks for posting these; I've had fun today watching them, and some of the ones Annie posted too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 9:00:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2009 10:24:53 PM PST
ronzo--
Maybe you or Sard can help with a title.
This is my favorite Warner cartoon.
It's from around 1942. Tex Avery's redefined Bugs Bunny (the best one, in my opinion) with black at the tip of his ears, and the potbellied and bowler hatted Elmer Fudd (voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan).

Setting is a national park. Elmer is off for a vacation, in an open top car loaded down with all sorts of gear. The auto does a conga dance as it goes: dun-dun-dun-dun POW POW!

Bugs constantly disturbs Elmer's reveries and the desperate camper tries to trap that wabbit by nailing boards over the opening of his rabbit hole. Elmer leans back triumphantly and says, "There! That oughta hold him! He-he-he-he-he!" and walks away.

Bugs pops out of the ground unhindered by the barricade, leans back, grows an instant potbelly and mocks Elmer's "That oughta hold him! He-he-he-he-he!"

In another scene, Bugs paints Elmer's glasses black so he thinks it's the middle of the night while the sun is still out, and he goes to bed.

.
One more Warner toon moment:
In YANKEE DOODLE DAFFY (1943), Mr. Duck tries to sell his client, Sleepy LaGoof to talent scout Porky. Daffy runs through a bizarre series of things the rather letharic LaGoof is suppesdly capable of while the kid licks a giant lollypop (at one point he puts the entire lolly in his mouth and his head becomes wide; when Sleepy flips it sideways his head gets long and narrow!).

One of the talents Daffy demonstrates is an imitation of Carmen Miranda, complete with fruit hat and stacked heels. Daffy sings in a sped up voice a song I would LOVE to have a translation of!

Eventually, the prodigal boy puts his sucker away in a banjo case, gets up and in a very dramatic baritone bellows a bit of opera, until he starts choking! Interesting note: that voice was supplied by silent era slapstick comedian Billy Bletcher, who was a regular in the stable of Warner voiceover artists.

.
None of the newer Warner toons mentioned above appeal to me. My favorite era is 1936 to about '50, with the early '40s being best. I just love Tex Avery's crazy animations. It's a mystery to me what happened to that free-wheeling sense of humor once he left Leon Schlesinger for MGM and elsewhere. Inevitably, the cartoons that get me guffawing are Warner/Avery ones.

A little animator's vignette here.
Naturally these men were all total pranksters and zanies in general. One of them rigged up a series of lightbulbs at each desk, so that whenever the man at the first desk saw Leon walking down the hall, he would throw a switch to alert everyone. When Schlesinger entered the artists' studio he'd find every man napping, chatting, reading the paper, talking on the phone with feet up, and so on. Leon would leave scratching his head-- he couldn't understand how these guys got their work done when all they ever did was goof off!

Another one of these crazies would glue sets of airplane wings on houseflies, and you'd see them buzzing around the room looking like miniature cropdusters! Total clowns!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 9:14:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2009 9:18:47 PM PST
ronzo--
Here's a few more suggestions.
If you can find this one in good condition it will absolutely amaze you. Once Disney's monopoly on Technicolor ran out MGM released an absolutely stunning Ising/Harman short. My synopsis:

TO SPRING (1936) - Gnomes prepare to paint the white Earth at winter's end. Tour-de-force of animation skills dazzles with its color swirls and infinite detail.

Also recommend these:

THE TWO OF A TRADE (silent-1922) - Odd Prohibition-era toon. Al and his cat go fishing. Cat buys hootch from an octopus, and the Farmer drinks it, then hallucinates.

The "Hoffnung" cartoons were a drolly surreal British-made series that used snippets of popular classical music for inspiration.
THE HOFFNUNG PALM COURT ORCHESTRA (1965) - A trio is oblivious to bizarre happenings all around them.

THE IMPATIENT PATIENT (1942) - Telegram deliverer Daffy Duck seeks medical help for hiccups at Dr. Jerkyl's place.

BILLY MOUSE'S AKWAKADE (1939) - Swimming mice do ballet and water sports in bathtub. Spoof of "Billy Rose's Aquacade."

THE HUNTSMAN (silent-1928) - Hunter Al Falfa and cat encounter a dinosaur (!), a lion, a giraffe, an ape, an elephant herd, and more.

Van Beuren's "Cubby Bear" was an early rival of Mickey Mouse.
FRESH HAM (1933) - Cubby Bear as a theatrical agent auditions many strange performers.

THE HENPECKED DUCK (1941) - Daffy loses Mrs. Duck's egg during a magic trick and she sues for divorce.

THE MECHANICAL COW (1927) - Silent-era Disney short stars Mickey Mouse's physical predecessor: Oswald Rabbit.

This original Van Beuren team is NOT the MGM cat and mouse!
ROCKETEERS (1932) - Tom and Jerry blast off for the moon but end up elsewhere.

SPINNING MICE (1935) - Animation with live characters and backgrounds. A dwarf transforms animals with his magic potion, which eventually leads to problems for him.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 10:51:26 PM PST
Annie,

It's "Wabbit Twouble", a grand short from 1941. I don't see black on Bugs' ears, but this has to be the cartoon you like.
It's terrific. Elmer is such an easy target. I love when Bugs paints his glasses to convince Elmer it's night. Good cartoon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOJv3-H1sYQ

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2009 10:58:17 PM PST
Annie,
Just a thought: If a person glued anything to a fly's wings, the fly wouldn't get airborn. :-)

I love the Warner cartoons from around 1935-1957. After that I see a severe drop in quality (animation, music, voices, writing, backgrounds, etc). I think the popularity of TV took its toll strongly, and enthusiasm in the studios for theatrical shorts plummeted drastically.

I'd love to go back in time and be able to visit the Warners animation studio (nicknamed 'Termite Terrace') and see some of those cartoons being created in the 1940's. What a treat that would be.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 6:09:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2009 6:09:44 AM PST
Boy, I really wish there were a DVD set of Tex Avery cartoons. I haven't seen any of those since back when Cartoon Network was really good, in 1999 or so. The Looney Tunes Golden Collections are great though, I agree.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 7:22:48 AM PST
I hear you about Tex Avery. They need to put out a box set on DVD. Why it hasn't been released yet is a mystery; we have a nice Droopy set, so why hold back on the rest of his stuff?

As for the folks who get easily offended or don't comprehend the purpose of these cartoons, all the company has to do is slap a sticker on the DVD package that says "For Adult Animation Collectors; Includes Violence, Sexuality & Stereotypes; Not For Children". (It's sad that many consumers just consider all cartoons to be children's fare. Ignorance is bliss.)

I miss seeing Tex's funny cartoons like King-Size Canary, Magical Maestro, The Cat that Hated People, Red Hot Riding Hood, Swing Shift Cinderella, and the hilarious Rockabye Bear...which I could not find on youtube, but here it is on another site:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfzvo_tex-avery-rockabye-bear

This cartoon has the trademark Tex Avery timing, comedy and slapstick.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 8:11:00 AM PST
ronzo says:
Annie,

Thanks for the new posts, I'll check them out!

Baron,

Well done! I'll add it to my viewing list too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 8:11:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2009 8:13:08 AM PST
ronzo says:
crakey! double posting again! this is getting chronic!!! LOL!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 9:53:45 AM PST
Ronzo,

When you post something I'm assuming it posts the message twice and then you edit the second one and type 'crakey! double posting again!'
Why does that phenomenon occur? Does it happen to anyone else? I am always curious about strange occurrences.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 10:32:53 AM PST
I wanted to mention some more of my favorite Looney Tunes today.

The Golden Collections on DVD include most of them. (I still have to get Volume 6.)
[By the way, the release of the sets on DVD has given us the benefit of being able to not only watch the cartoons we love, but to enjoy the backgrounds, to freeze frame a moment and examine facial expressions or drawing style, to take advantage of some of the Music Only tracks available on some of the shorts. It's lots of fun.]

As I mentioned earlier, the Bugs/Daffy/Elmer trio of toons is excellent: Rabbit Seasoning, Rabbit Fire, and Duck, Rabbit, Duck.

Wabbit Twouble, also mentioned in an earlier post by Annie (love that jalopy of Elmer's that does the conga!), is delightful. Elmer's 'westful wetweat' at Jellostone National Park becomes a nightmare when Bugs annoys him.

Duck Amuck contains Daffy Duck trying to deal with an indecisive and cruel animator who keeps changing the props, themes and backgrounds. A really fun and unusual idea.

Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid is absolutely wonderful, in which Bugs bothers a doofy, gullible buzzard in the desert. The animation, music, gags, and sound effects are all first rate. This is basically the pinnacle of Looney Tunes quality and zaniness... at least for me.

Bugs and Thugs is a sentimental favorite from 1953 that's highly quotable. Bugs is abducted by diminutive gangster Rocky and his big dimwitted goon Mugsy. Contains the oven gag, and the repeated line "You might, rabbit, you might".

Broomstick Bunny finds Bugs trick or treating at Witch Hazel's stylized house, and she wants him for a potion ingredient. Voice artist June Foray (Rocky the flying squirrel, and many others) has a ball voicing the witch. I love when she flies off and leaves a cloud of bobby pins. Nice touch. And the designs and backgrounds of her home are just wild, weird and very colorful.

There are two shorts involving the formula of Elmer chasing Bugs in a theater: Stage Door Cartoon and Hare Do. Both are lots of fun. There are gags about seating, the usher, vending machines, intermission, getting Elmer on stage to embarass him, and so on.
There is something so pleasing about Elmer's tenacity and his gullibility. He makes it so easy for Bugs.

Operation: Rabbit, which finds Wile E. Coyote (with a speaking part) after Bugs Bunny, is a gem. Maybe it's the pomposity of the Coyote and his terrific voice, or the way his weapons backfire. I enjoy the mechanical female weapons.

As I mentioned earlier, Little Red Riding Rabbit is fantastic comedy. It's another short that I feel represents the zenith of Termite Terrace. I love the references to WWII. And of course, Bugs getting the Wolf to belt out 'Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet' is a riot.

Ali Baba Bunny, from 1957, features Bugs traveling with Daffy, and they come upon a cave of treasures. This is Daffy at his greediest (and stupidest) ever. He collects every bit of treasure and intends on taking it with him. When he comes upon a lamp and a genie appears, Daffy instantly thinks the genie will want his treasure, and stomps on the genie. (Doesn't it occur to Daffy that this genie could give him even more than the treasure he just collected? LoL)

[Note: Many people find What's Opera, Doc (aka Kill the Wabbit) to be the cream of the crop. I think it's wonderful, but it's not a favorite. Maybe I've just seen it too many times. I appreciate its comedy and cleverness, and its importance in animation history.
It is a fun spoof of classical music, just as Rabbit of Seville and Rhapsody Rabbit are; they're both awesome cartoons, too.]

There are others that I could list, but those are the ones I adore most. The first several Road Runner cartoons are delightful. Plus, I have my favorite Tweetie shorts, and Yosemite Sam (I love him as a cowboy or a pirate), and Foghorn, and the rest. And I'm sure everyone has her or his favorites.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 4:17:37 PM PST
raja99 says:
Baron -

Where's the love for my favorite Looney Toons character - Yosemite Sam? Those are, without a doubt, my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons. I like Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck, but Yosemite steals the show ("Yrrrhhh, sufferin' succatash!!!").

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 5:49:17 PM PST
ronzo says:
Baron,

I'm on a wireless laptop system, so it is less stable than a plugged-in connection. But it is also my Toshiba computer; it is as old as the hills, I've taken it on excavations and it has endured heat and sandstorms, and I've even pulled it out of a plane crash when it had my thesis on it.

The Ins and Del keys, located just to the right of the space bar, are no longer connected, and often dance across the keypad when I type. Otherwise, they just sit on weird angles in their places.

I highly recommend Toshiba for a computer that will never die on you. Some days I wish it would, but for now I'm copying my postings before sending them, so if the message isn't transmitted, I can attempt to send it again. The odd time it won't send, I'll resend, and then it comes up twice!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 5:57:50 PM PST
ronzo says:
Baron,

We are in the same boat; I'm still waiting to pick up volume 6 too. And then I read they are discontinuing the Golden Collections.

Your post made me want to ask, what percentage, would you say, of the top-drawer (or good) Looney Tunes cartoons have been released in the 6 volumes?
And what percentage of their total output? (Just roughly, in your opinion.) You have a better grasp of the Looney universe. I haven't the vaguest idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 7:30:19 PM PST
Ronzo,

I am in a very sardonic(us) and wry mood tonight. Fair warning. (It's probably because I was coerced into watching American Idol. A guilty pleasure, admittedly. I feel cheap and shoddy. It does nothing to enrich my life but it's fun.)

By the way, what was that earlier post you wrote, something from The English Patient? Like, I have taken my trusty laptop on a plane in the desert, on excavations and archaeological sites, where I met my dearest Katharine and we shared romance, a bathtub and tragedy, and I pulled her out of the burning plane, and then sadly I had to leave her in the Cave of Jugglers where she wrote in her diary 'How long is a week without moisturizer?'...

Couldn't resist. I saw 'excavations' and jumped on it.

Okay. The Golden Collections. Top-Drawer cartoons released on them? Quite a few. Most of the ones I consider true gems are there. Of the ones I cherish I would say that 70% are on those volumes.
Some cartoons are missing, of course. I hope they release other types of collections in the future (I heard they plan to, but not under the name Golden Collection). I am longing for certain ones (not utter gems, but more like nostalgic favorites).

Why do I use parenthesis so often? The world may never know.

And Warners really needs to do a disc of the notorious 'Censored Eleven' (which includes, among others, Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs).

Ciao for now...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 7:49:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2009 7:53:01 PM PST
raja99,

I do like Yosemite Sam, very much. He's so ornery and short-tempered. He is as good a nemesis for Bugs Bunny as Mr. Fudd.
I love Sam as a pirate in these three films...

Here's "Mutiny on the Bunny"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xub5W7XJyv4

and "Buccaneer Bunny":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw_zJBrEieM&feature=related

(at 6 minutes Bugs tosses matches downstairs... fun gag there)

and "Captain Hareblower"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXmUVNDtjR8

Unfortunately the Looney Tunes Golden Collections only feature a few Yosemite Sam shorts. He made quite a bunch with Bugs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2009 10:32:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2009 10:55:45 PM PST
Sard--
I shouid have said glued to their heads?
The story is in an oversized softcover book with Bugs' face and the Looney Tunes circle on the cover. It's the history of the cartoon studio, has many fine stills in it, practice drawings and such and also has a complete list of all Warner animations.
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Discussion in:  Classic Movie forum
Participants:  34
Total posts:  745
Initial post:  Jan 11, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 12, 2014

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