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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Tweety and Sylvester parody from McKimson

Author: carryall from Hungary
10 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's Hummer Time (1950) is one of the best shorts directed by the heavily criticized Robert McKimson. It features an unnamed cat who tries to catch a little, but very clever hummingbird, and often runs into a vicious and sadistic bulldog who bullies him in various ways. The cartoon is often remembered by the popular quotes of the cat "No, not happy birthday" or "No, please, not the Thiiinker", and its reference to Tweety "I Tought I taw a Puddy Tat".

Why I think this is an excellent cartoon is the great timing and the musicality which rarely can be seen in McKimson's filmography. I always thought his shorts from 1950 (along with other great ones like "A Fractured Leghorn", "Hillbilly Hare", "Boobs in the Woods", "What's Up Doc?" or "Dog Collared") are the peak of his career as a director, and it's too bad he started to slump after this year with losing Warren Foster, his story-writer.

The cartoon itself seems to be a Tweety parody, and the whole thing is done in Friz Freleng's style. There are a lot of scores here: "Ain't we got fun", "I'm looking over a four leaf clover" or Raymond Scott's popular "Powerhouse" and many others. The timing is very precise, it made even the weaker gags better, and I was rather satisfied with the ending. The hummingbird itself is very much like the early clampettish Tweety, that's another strong point.

I'm a bit baffled why this cartoon haven't been added to the Golden Collections yet (much better than its weak and unfunny successor "Early to Bet" which was on the 1st volume), but maybe next time. Recommended to watch it on the Looney Tunes website.


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Stop........ Hummer Time!

Author: ( from Lincoln, England
22 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robert McKimson's 'It's Hummer Time' is a gorgeous and extremely inventive cartoon that expands on the usual bird-cat-dog chase formula by incorporating sadistically pre-prepared punishments on the dog's part. Like many Spring/Summer based cartoons ('Swallow the Leader', 'Springtime for Thomas' to name but two), 'It's Hummer Time' is beautiful to look at, filled with uplifting bright colours. The plot pushes the whole thing into the realms of the classic as predictable spot gags are hysterically punctuated with unpredictable follow-ups in which the insistent dog drags the cat kicking and screaming to punishments that have been carried out so frequently in the past that the cat has named them all ("Oh no, not the thinker!"). There's also a pleasingly cyclical nature to the plot in which the cat begins and ends the cartoon as a bird bath. 'It's Hummer Time' was remade the following year as the infinitely inferior, over-complicated 'Early to Bet' which comes nowhere near recapturing the magic of this unique cartoon.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The cat and the hummingbird in a Robert McKimson classic

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
26 June 2013

Robert McKimson's cartoons are always entertaining to watch, and when they are on top form they positively deliver. It's Hummer Time is one of his cartoons that I've always enjoyed the most. The animation is bright and colourful with everything lovingly drawn and careful in detail. The music adds so much character to everything and like the best of the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons have a sense of humour of their own. As well as being energetic and characterful, it is also lovely music to listen to. The writing is deliciously manic with lots of freshness and wit, and the inventive and cleverly timed gags match perfectly. The "thinker" sequence with the bulldog is comedy gold. The story is simple but thanks to the zippy pace it is never dull, and it is nice to do something a little different with an idea that would easily pass for a cartoon with Sylvester and Tweety and sort of parody it also. The characters are not among Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies' most memorable but they are huge fun to watch and all have moments to shine. Mel Blanc's vocal characterisations as always are spot on. So overall, colourful and immensely enjoyable, one of McKimson's best and like McKimson perhaps undervalued(especially when compared to the best work of the more revered animation directors Jones, Clampett and Freleng, all geniuses in their own right). 10/10 Bethany Cox

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Ooooh, I HATE that!"

Author: slymusic from Tucson, AZ
10 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by Robert McKimson, with a fine music score by Carl W. Stalling, "It's Hummer Time" is a fun Warner Brothers cartoon about a griping feline's travails in attempting to catch a hummingbird. A bulldog gets into the act, and I won't reveal much more than that.

My favorite highlights include the dog's hilarious "I tawt I taw a putty tat!"; the "Happy Birthday" punishment; and "The Works", in which the dog finally gets his comeuppance as he and the cat get dragged all over hell's half-acre.

Among all the wonderful popular songs that I recognize in "It's Hummer Time" are "I'm Looking over a Four-Leaf Clover", "Powerhouse", "By a Waterfall", "Baby Face", "Teddy Bears' Picnic", and "Ain't We Got Fun". So you see, when you watch these classic Warner Bros. cartoons, especially those with music scores by Carl Stalling, it's really fun to be able to listen and pick out various melodies you may recognize.

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Back in America's Innocent Daze . . .

Author: Edgar Allan Pooh from The Gutters of Baltimore
27 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . under Haberdashing President Harry, IT'S HUMMER TIME could be used as the title of a kiddie cartoon, rather than the grabber for a live-action pornographic feature flick. Though this Warner Bros. animated short includes a brief spat between the Birds & the Bees, it mostly deals with the fowl machinations of a devious winged nut who hums too much. This feathered fiend is keen to set his neighborhood's mammals at loggerheads, as he tries to buzz through pretty much every ditty in Warner's 1950 Song Catalog in about seven minutes. (My Grandpa told me about reading a novel by Clifford Irving titled THE SEVEN MINUTES when he was in College during the Free Love Era, but I cannot remember it having much to do with hummingbirds.) Art critics have long questioned how sculptor Julius Rodin churned out so many weighty objects during his career. IT'S HUMMER TIME suggests that there may well have been a cement mixer involved. Rodin's THE THINKER was the Motor City's main Object of Art before Detroit got Fisted, thanks to Joe Louis.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

hummer time, when the living is queasy

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
3 March 2007

Maybe I would have liked "It's Hummer Time" more had they cast Sylvester and Tweety. Still, the hummingbird and anonymous cat do some neat things. The cat keeps trying to catch the hummingbird, but always awakens a nearby bulldog, who proceeds to put the feline through increasingly nasty punishment. But the bird turns out not to be quite what he seems.

I think that the best part was "The Thinker". Like the "books come to life" series and the Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd pairing "What's Opera, Doc?", it exposes children to high culture. All in all, this cartoon is worth seeing, if only once. Available on the Looney Tunes website.

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