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Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! (1931)

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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 263 users  
Reviews: 9 user

A streetcar conductor has adventures with a would-be passenger hippo, a cow blocking the tracks, and a runaway train while he, his passengers, and some hobos sing the title song.

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(uncredited)
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Title: Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! (1931)

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Storyline

Foxy is a streetcar driver who sings "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!" as he drives along the tracks. Nearly everyone he encounters sings along: the hippo who can't fit into the car, the girl-fox who can, and the hobos on the side of the tracks. Even the characters on the billboards come to life and sing. Foxy's job is not without troubles. His first difficulty is the cow who blocks his way and refuses to move. Later, he's in more serious trouble when he loses control of the car, sending him and the girl-fox careening down the tracks at top speed. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

streetcar | hobo | cow | foxy | song | See All (42) »


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Details

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Release Date:

5 September 1931 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This short film is included as a bonus on the Warner Bros. DVD of The Public Enemy (1931). See more »

Goofs

The girl-fox on the streetcar sits down, but the animators forgot to draw the bench. (In the next shot, she sits down again, but this time the bench is there.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Foxy: [singing] Smile, darn ya, smile! / Smile, darn ya, smile! / Come on and smile, darn ya, smile!
See more »


Soundtracks

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
(uncredited)
Music by Edward Elgar
Played as the cow marches off
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Film and the Character. Some Lesser-known Info.
18 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Smile Darn Ya Smile is a cartoon that has some plot similarities with Trolley Troubles, a 1927 Oswald film Harman-Ising worked on along with Disney. Both cartoons involve a cow blocking the track but both trolley operators were able to get pass. The only difference is this one has more improved graphics and makes clever use of the music.

One notable gag in the film involves Foxy using a pin to deflate a hippo, making her fit in the trolley. This gag has been branded by critics of the character as a so-called "Disney Swipe." I don't think Harman-Ising can be blamed for applying that, considering a similar one also appears in Spooks, a 1930 Oswald cartoon. Plus, it's probably not possible to patent a gag the way it's possible to copyright a film.

Due to Foxy's appearance resembling Mickey who is much more famous, a number of film fans are so quick to criticize the fox as a cheap copy of the latter. However, a document from a book called The Hand Behind the Mouse gives a much different story. In it, Hugh Harman drew pictures of mice on a portrait of Disney in 1925. A few years later, Disney and Iwerks used this idea as their basis for creating Mickey. Therefore, I guess it is true to say Harman and Ising were never imitating Disney or anyone in particular.

Why Foxy was short-lived in the Merrie Melodies series? As logical of a reason I can suggest, it's possible that he was only created as an experimental character, along with Piggy and Goopy Geer. In other words, they were intended to be just curtain raisers for Harman-Ising's main character Bosko. Bosko was a character whose popularity once rivaled Mickey until some flawed redesigning cause that guy to end up in the scrap.


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