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The infamous though short series of Hubie-Bertie cartoons kicks off with
this short, in which they convince Claude that he's a lion (I'll let you
for yourself how they do it; Hubie's lines are great) and do him up to
like a hairless one in miniature. The dog is supposed to be his prey, and
the dog hasn't read the script.
This cartoon is really funny. Again it makes me sad watching it, because of those eternally sadistic mice. I hope one day that Claude gets his own back. Visually, the cartoon is funny to behold, as Claude hunts the dog determinedly, but then decides he needs smaller prey after each attempt. Fortunately for the star rodents, the prey is never reduced to something the size of, say, a mouse. The dog, after some psychological warfare by the mice, plays along. But it doesn't work for long. But you don't only have these four stars. Watching from his nest in a tree is a bird, who's an added source of comic relief. He is completely baffled at what goes on below in the yard, cat hunting dog. The peculiar ending features the bird, who seems to think the world has been turned upside-down. And so it has, or at least the yard has. As I was saying, visually the weirdness of what's going on is enough, but it's the lines that really make this cartoon great to watch. That's the key element to the series. You see the beginnings of the Chuck Jones style, as you see the distinctive expressions that only he can create. Even when silent, the characters, can say so much, especially the bird. He's a really funny addition to a really funny cartoon. I haven't yet achieved my goal of seeing all of Claude's cartoons, but I aim to. For fans of the sadistic Hubie and Bertie as well their victim Claude, and for anyone who likes cartoons, I highly recommend Roughly Squeaking. It's a riot.
Along with Pepe le Pew, Pussyfoot & Marc Anthony, Hubie & Bertie are
one of my favorite characters created by the late Chuck Jones, my
favorite animator. I've recently watched (and taped) this short on
T.C.M.'s "Cartoon Alley", when they were showing the first ever three
Hubie & Bertie cartoons; this short was #2.
In this short, Hubie was brown, and Bertie was grey. And also they had convinced a slightly ignorant cat that he's a lion. I love the display of irony, when Hubie tells Bertie to put antlers (sticks) on the dog in Pig Latin and Bertie didn't understand. The cat replies "He means the dog." Then Bertie gets it, and then later outside the house, upon seeing the dog (with sticks on his head), sleeping in his doghouse, he points out "MY! he's an awfully familiar-looking moose"...OH! the irony. Another scene I love is when Bertie uses subliminal messages on the dog: "You're a Gazelle. You are a Gazelle."
There are not many Hubie and Bertie cartoons around, and it's a shame,
as they are all well made and entertaining and at least three of them
take on dark and bold subject matters with the full impact rather than
While not the best of their cartoons, 'Roughly Squeaking' is still great. It's their third cartoon, having featured in 'The Aristo-Cat' and briefly in 'Trap Happy Porky', and while better was to come with 'Cheese Chasers', 'The Hypo-Chondri Cat' and 'Mouse Wreckers' (darker, grimmer and bolder, but still delicious in their entertainment value) this was still a fine early effort.
There is excellent animation, very like with the rest of the Hubie and Bertie cartoons and Chuck Jones in general. Attention to detail is meticulous, the colours are rich and vibrant and the characters are designed in a way that's distinctively Chuck Jones. Music from Carl Stalling always elevates cartoons he composes for to a higher level, have always said that he's my favourite of the regular Looney Tunes composers and he rarely puts a foot wrong and I don't think any differently still.
In 'Roughly Squeaking', the orchestration is clever, rich and luscious, the energy, character and appropriately dark atmosphere are evident throughout and it not only fits with what's going on but adds to it.
'Roughly Squeaking' is not as memorably grim or as dark as the likes of 'Cheese Chasers', 'Mouse Wreckers' and 'The Hypo-Chondri Cat', being more ironic and playful, hence not as daring which gives those cartoons the edge. This said, it is still very funny and entertaining, with the usual razor sharp wittiness and imaginative gags. One really has to love the delicious irony throughout, right up to a wonderfully strange ending.
Even with the Hubie and Bertie cartoons adopting a bold twist on the cat and mouse dynamic, with the mice being the antagonists and the cat the victims, Hubie and Bertie are colourful and appealing characters and one does feel immense sympathy for Claude and the dog. Nothing to complain about with the vocal characterisations of Mel Blanc either.
Overall, great cartoon though not my favourite of their cartoons. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"' . . . mouse,'" Warner Bros. misinforms the kids of America in its animated short, ROUGHLY SQUEAKING. Even if English teachers refrain from quibbling over the substitution of "singular" for "plural" (since this cartoon features TWO mice, but only ONE alleged "moose"), it sets a dangerous and confusing precedent in regard to the future of the American language. For instance, by Bertie's logic, "loose" would become the plural of "louse," as in, "I think I've caught loose from the lice woman." Similarly, when "whose" is the plural of house, how could one keep track of to whom a home belonged? By letting the mice give their hapless feline foil "Gilmore" or "Claude" (but definitely NOT Sylvester!) a LION KING 'do, Warner seems intent upon making inroads penetrating Lewis Carroll's uncharted "Jabberwocky" Territory. As the traumatized Bluebird of Happiness looks on during ROUGHLY SQUEAKING, that rabbit hole leads to grammatical horrors only hinted at by Looney Tunes muse H.P. Lovecraft. "Snicker-snack," indeed!
This was my second look at a "Bertie and Hubie" (two mice) cartoon,
featuring Claude the Cat. It was better than the initial appearance of
these guys in an animated short (which was awful), but it still was no
It had a few quick funny moments, though, but it sure makes the cat and the dog look insanely stupid. Hubie, the braver of the two mice, dresses Claude up to look like a lion, after explaining to the clueless feline that cats and lions are from the same family. The "lion" then goes out to eat a moose (because "moose" is plural for mice, Hubie tells the cat) and the moose, of course, is the dog dressed in antlers. (How the dog allowed a mouse to put that on him without his knowledge is not explained!)
Neither of these poor dumb creatures knows what is going on and that's the humor of the cartoon, which is "fair," at best.
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