The Fire Alarm (1936) Poster

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Decent short directed by Jack King, a mostly forgotten figure in Warner Brothers animation history
Robert Reynolds13 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This short was directed by Jack King, who has been overshadowed by the bright lights cast by later directors, such as Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett, as well as contemporaneous ones, like Friz Freleng and the incomparable Tex Avery. It's perhaps appropriate that King directed many of the Buddy cartoons (though the fact that he did so many shorts with the dullest character the studio ever created may be a chief reason King is largely forgotten these days). The characters used in this short are all but forgotten themselves. As I want to discuss the short, this is a spoiler warning:

The three main characters in this made their debut in the short, I Haven't Got a Hat, as classmates in grade school, with Ham and Ex, the two dogs, singing the title tune. Animation being what it is, Beans is now their "Uncle" (despite the fact that they are dogs and Beans is a cat-that must lead to so entertaining family reunions). Beans is a firefighter and is called on to watch over the two pups, a duty he's given ample cause to regret accepting almost immediately.

There is very little that's as destructive as an animated child bent on mischief and Beans has charge of two at the same time. They get into almost everything-a helmet, a pair of boots, a fire hose-with rather predictable and at times funny results. They even trigger a false alarm which sends the station crew out on a run to fight a non-existent fire.

For this they are sent upstairs to take a nap, which is the last thing which interests them. They escalate their games until they actually drive a ladder truck through a station wall. Some nice sight gags highlight their ride and they eventually drive right back to the station, run up the stairs (in full sight of Beans) and pretend to be asleep. Beans buys the act and starts to leave when one throws a boot at him and they both start to sing and play, at which point he finally punishes them with a spanking.

Decent, though average. Worth seeing if you get the opportunity. Recommended.
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Nothing to be alarmed by
TheLittleSongbird8 October 2017
It is always interesting to see a Looney Tunes cartoon that doesn't have any of the famous iconic characters, and instead see characters that are not as compelling in personality or are in cartoons as refined or as funny but serve well for historical interest.

Such is the case with the characters of Beans, Ham and Ex, first seen in 1935's 'I Haven't Got a Hat' (most notable for the first appearance of Porky Pig in a decent cartoon that didn't do Porky justice), and this cartoon 'The Fire Alarm'. 'The Fire Alarm' is not a great cartoon, but it's decent and above average without anything to be frustrated or offended by. It is very light on plot, basically stringing along scenes and gags together with not an awful lot going on story-wise, what there is is very predictable.

Like 'I Haven't Got a Hat', while there are smiles throughout the whole duration of the cartoon, 'The Fire Alarm' is short on humour that's consistent or hilarious, it's not that it's unfunny it's just that there's not enough and it's mildly amusing really.

The animation on the other hand is very good. It is nicely drawn and detailed with the black and white looking crisp. The music is lively and lush.

Again like 'I Haven't Got a Hat', there is a warmth and gentility that was appreciated and the cartoon is amusing and charming.

Beans didn't last as long as the previous two Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies stars Bosko and Buddy, and, while there are funnier and more interesting characters around most definitely, he is a much better character than either of those two, being neither an annoying stereotype or bland. Ham and Ex make one smile. The voice acting is solid.

Overall, decent and above average, nothing to be alarmed by but doesn't quite win one over at the same time. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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This is among Warner Bros.' most explicit warnings . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh25 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
. . . to We Americans of the (Then) far future about our Current Predicament. The heads up that THE FIRE ALARM provides comes in the form of an allegory in which Fire Station #5 represents Washington, DC, firefighter Beans stands in for the Red Commie KGB American Strongman Vlad "The Mad Russian" Putin, and Beans' nephews Ham and Ex are, of course, the Deplorable So-called Leaders (but merely Putin's puppets) the odoriferous Rump\Scents ticket. At first Rump & Scents are content to vandalize the fire equipment inside the station house (that is, the agencies of government such as the U.S. Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, the departments of Education, Health, State, and so forth). At one point Rump and Scents join hands, gleefully dancing in a circle while singing a ditty about their burning city. Then they decide to take their demolition act on the road, driving the hook & ladder truck THROUGH THE WALL of the firehouse and proceeding to damage historic Public Art, while destroying private homes and disrupting public transit. According to Warner's prophetic prognosticators, it looks like we're all in for a bumpy ride!
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Two (Too) nasty kids at the Fire House
Goksel Tan14 April 2005
2 puppets are left to their uncle's attention who works at the Fire house.

They are so spoiled and they do nasty things.

You observe some scenes of child abuse, which are not acceptable for our time. But back then it would have been OK to physically punish children in 1935.

It is a good movie just to see how far animation industry has developed so far.

It is a short one and I recommend you too see it if you have time or encounter it on TV.
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