A program for radio KUKU set in the woods, mostly starring birds as caricatures of celebrities of the day. The MC is bandleader Ben Birdie, heckled by Walter Finchell. Wendell Howell ... See full summary »
The rain is outdoors; the action is indoors, in a grocery store, where the characters on product labels come to life (along with one real worm). While much of the picture features ... See full summary »
A mouse fakes blindness and plays his fiddle; he returns home, where it becomes apparent he's rich. The tax collector arrives, and he pulls various levers and presses buttons to make his ... See full summary »
The citizens of Birdville are going about their business: weaving baskets, patronizing the bank (depositing nuts and worms), etc. In the saloon, a gangster type sings the title song, mugs a... See full summary »
A hen's chicks hatch, but one of them is actually an ostrich. She treats it as her own, but the ostrich keeps getting into trouble, first getting stuck after eating a goldfish, then falling... See full summary »
Rooester Bingo, a popular radio crooner, takes a girl, to whom her boy-friend was just about to propose, for a ride to the city. But Bingo soon gets bored of her and when she makes a scene ... See full summary »
Mermaids sing to us about mermaids and fishes at play; they and some other sea creatures dance to it. Buddy as a merman plays tag with a girl mermaid, but he gets too rough and turns her ... See full summary »
Friz Freleng directs his first credited Merrie Melody -- he had directed a few late silents for Mintz and seems to have already directed two or three MMs uncredited -- and, despite the rubber-tube-style animation -- which Termite Terrace would not shake off for another three years -- and the use of Buddy, the most pointless cartoon lead in the history of animation, manages to produce a fine little cartoon.
The whole value of this piece is due to the same strengths he would show for the rest of his career: a fine sense of pacing for his gags, and his unerring ability to pace a purely musical short, which was his forte through such works as SKYSCRAPER SYMPHONY and THE THREE LITTLE BOPS.
Merrie Melodies were made to showcase songs from Warner Brothers' musical library, and here the major theme is "Shanghai Lil", originally used in the Jimmy Cagney feature, FOOTLIGHT PARADE. The plot is standard and pointless: Buddy is a US sailor on shore leave in China, where he rescues a girl who is about to be sacrificed to a dragon. But notice, in the parade sequence, the constant beat of gags that punctuate the parade. Many of them have aged badly, but they match the tempo of Bernard Brown's fast and jazzy arrangement of the song.
While not the best cartoon he would ever direct by a long stretch, this one is well worth your time.
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