Seaman Hook has big plans for after the war, mostly involving rushing home and marrying his sweetie. So do his fellow seaman, but theirs involve buying bonds.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Sailors / Sales Clerk / Realtor (voice) (uncredited)
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Mr. Hook (voice) (uncredited)
Tedd Pierce ...
Sailor (voice) (uncredited)
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Seaman Hook has big plans for after the war, mostly involving rushing home and marrying his sweetie. So do his fellow seaman, but theirs involve buying bonds.

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20 January 1945 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first cartoon to be directed by Robert McKimson. See more »

Connections

References Any Bonds Today? (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
Music by Joseph Meyer
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User Reviews

 
McKimson's Directorial Debut a Late Entry into the War Effort
7 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert McKimson had worked as a dependable animator and model design specialist at the Warner Bros. cartoon unit for a full fifteen years before receiving his first directorial assignment, "The Return of Mr. Hook." Mr. Hook appeared in three very short black and white cartoons and one color item made for the U.S. Navy; he was created by Hank Ketcham, later of "Dennis the Menace" fame. Hook was a thinly disguised version of the Army's Private Snafu, with a piggish, turned up nose being the major difference in his appearance. In this outing, he explains to his fellow sailors -- who are in the midst of gambling -- his post-war plans and illustrates how buying war bonds play into an integral part of his dreams for the future.

McKimson probably got the go ahead for this project as the war was seen as ending relatively soon, and the Navy needed this one in a hurry. His boss, Frank Tashlin, was up to his own nose in projects already and, indeed, McKimson would not direct again until he overtook the unit in the wake of Tashlin's departure the following year. McKimson's first job at direction once he assumed control was to finish "Daffy Doodles," a cartoon that Tashlin had started, and likewise "The Return of Mr. Hook" follows very closely in Tashlin's footsteps, particularly in the breathless middle section where Hook reunites with his sweetheart, buys furnishings for their home, marries her and settles down to start a family in just over two minutes' screen time.

The most effective sequence in the cartoon is the montage when the end of war is declared; the battleships race back from the Pacific theater to the US and Hook propels himself past the crowd -- and the burlesque house -- to the tailor's to transition back into civilian life. Hook's character -- voiced by "Dagwood" actor Arthur Lake -- is presented as an everyman, but actually comes off as kind of a jerk. There is a nod to the spicy humor employed in Private Snafu and designed to strike the funny-bones of hardened military men, but "The Return of Mr. Hook" stops short of the coarser, "freeze the nuts off a jeep" similes employed in U.S. Army subjects. Nevertheless, it is the message, rather than the humor, that is driving this picture, and it succeeds effectively in that, though for a seaman stationed on an aircraft carrier or battleship out in the Pacific all those many months, the card game may have seemed more attractive.


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