Author Topic: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon  (Read 1249 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23705
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2017, 09:05:01 PM »
There you go, people!

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 28044
  • Marathon Man
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2017, 10:42:29 PM »
I'll go first. Might be interesting for the first reactions to come from someone who isn't much of a fan of Looney Tunes.

Page Miss Glory
* *
Not a strong start. I watch a lot of comedies from the 30s so it’s not something alien to me, but the frenetic pace and random acts of surrealism hide the fact that none of it is funny. (It reminded me of the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’, which is generally liked.) There’s style to some of the shots, but I quickly burned out trying to keep pace and find something truly entertaining.


I Love to Singa
* * * - Okay
The Jazz Singer done by owls. After the first one, I was glad this had a story, simple as it was. (What do you expect for 7 minutes?) I also liked the song.


Wholly Smoke
* * * - Good
Didn’t expect a message short so early, but that’s what this anti-smoking cartoon aims to do. There’s also meta humor, celebrity impersonations – I liked seeing Bing Crosby – and lots of surreal humor. Unlike Page Miss Glory, the visuals and parodies were more clever. Maybe because they were attached to something this time.


Porky in Wackyland
* * ½ 
I often end up on the bad side of discussions about depictions of race in the early days of cinema. If you can’t put away your modern sensibilities – we get it, it’s offensive and wrong – then you should skip this short… and I imagine many others to come. I’ve seen much worse and putting it into such surreal content and moving quickly through helps. The short doesn’t rely on racial humor, but it’s woven into the middle of this African Alice in Wonderland.


Porky in Egypt
* *
The camel was not funny. I think if you find the camel funny you will like this one. He bugged me, and this seemed to have less to it than any of the other shorts, including Page Miss Glory.

Knocked Out Loaded

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • All temperatures are in centigrades.
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2017, 09:25:45 AM »
Page Miss Glory (Tex Avery, 1936).

Nothing much of a story, really. I loved how the bell boy's dream partly was in black and white and also the art deco style it had. Very much a style over substance short, this one.

35°

I Love To Singa (Tex Avery, 1936).

A cute little morality on the stay true to your dreams theme. The harsh parents of course had a German accent.

25°

Wholly Smoke (Frank Tashlin, 1938).

I am not that fond of bookended movies. Here it worked reasonably well and the part in the smoke shop was very imaginatively conceived.

40°

Porky In Wackyland (Robert Clampett, 1938).

As 1SO noted, not entirely political correct. The funniest thing about this one is how much of Disney's Clown Of The Jungle from 1947 is reminding of it.

20°

Porky In Egypt (Robert Clampett, 1938).

The way we view Arabs has not changed so much in 80 years time. The camel was a little funny!

21°
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 28044
  • Marathon Man
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2017, 09:37:33 AM »
Porky In Wackyland (Robert Clampett, 1938).

As 1SO noted, not entirely political correct. The funniest thing about this one is how much of Disney's Clown Of The Jungle from 1947 is reminding of it.

The Aracuan from Three Caballeros. Of course!

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23705
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2017, 01:40:06 PM »
Of course I failed to do this yesterday. Not sure I'll have time today, either. So it goes.

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2017, 02:08:34 PM »
Page Miss Glory
This first Warner Bros cartoon takes its name from a movie released the previous year about a country woman who dreams about becoming a starlet, and gets her chance to play a starlet, which becomes real.  In this cartoon, we see a page dreaming of serving a starlet in a fancy hotel, although he is in a small town.  It is interesting that there are a lot of references to alcohol here, as prohibition just ended a few years before, so people are pretty giddy at the opportunity to partake openly. 

As an early cartoon, it isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have lasting power.  At this time Betty Boop and Popeye were hosting cartoons of genius.  I also don’t think it was intended to.  Warner Bros. cartoons were more successful when they tapped into a lasting myth (e.g. the rabbit and the hunter reversing roles), but many of the cartoons were simply reflections of the culture at the time of the cartoon.  That works for newsreels, but not necessarily for later generations.

3/5
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 03:48:42 PM by oldkid »
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2017, 02:32:56 PM »
I Love to Singa

This cartoon is based on the Warner Bros. movie, The Singing Kid, starring Al Jolson, which has the song “I Love to Singa”, played three times in the film.  The tune is repeated a number of times in the cartoon as well.  The main characters are owls so they can have the joke, “Owl Jolson”.  Note that Chuck Jones is a main animator here.



I remember seeing this one as a kid on television.  It is more successful than Paging Miss Glory because it reflects the trope of the child who is naturally opposite to his parents.  At this point the trope is overused, but the cartoon still has it’s fans.  I love the reference to Jack Benny (a bunny) and the old amateur hours that was similar to American Idol today. An interesting point is that Mel Blanc was on the old Jack Benny radio show, as well as the Warner Bros. cartoons.    This is as much about radio as it is a movie, and the popularity of it. 

Overall, fun.  3.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2017, 03:01:24 PM »
Wholly Smoke

Porky Pig was introduced in cartoons in 1935 in the film “I Haven’t Got a Hat”.  He was originally voiced by Joe Dougherty, who had a severe stutter.  In fact, the stutter was so severe that production costs were too high to keep him as the voice, so Mel Blanc took over as the voice of the popular Porky Pig in 1937.

There are a couple places that seem influential on Disney—the position and look of the “bad kid” on Lampwick in Pinocchio, and the chaotic end of the dream sequence on Dumbo.  The original was black and white, but it was colorized later on.  The song “Little Boys Shouldn’t Smoke” is based on the song “Mysterious Mose”, which was used to better effect in a Betty Boop cartoon in 1930.

I like a good sermon, but this one just seems dumb—a repetition of “children shouldn’t smoke” and a weird dream sequence.  The cameos work better—the Three Stooges, Bing Crosby and many puns based on different cigars/cigarettes.

Okay, but I’m not impressed.  2.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2017, 03:27:27 PM »
Porky in Wackyland
I remember much of this, but I wonder if I didn’t see a colorized version of this film called Dough for the Do-Do from 1948, which cut some of the scenes, added a couple others and tried to avoid most of the racial stereotypes by giving the “African” characters skin of primary colors.

Honestly, I think that the imagination and animation quality are excellent here.  The Dali landscapes and the number of unique creatures are fascinating and fun.  This is basically a “hunt daffy duck” cartoon, but the insanity of those early cartoons really work with the unique insanity of this one.  It also has a great punchline at the end.

The animation is really smooth, unlike most of the cartoons at this time.  It doesn’t have any fuzzy edges but is perfectly clear.  Even Porky Pig’s voice is clearer.  They worked hard at this one and it shows.

It isn’t laugh out loud funny, but there’s a lot to see and be interested in, even today.  Quite surrealistic and fun.   4/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2017, 03:44:19 PM »
Porky in Egypt
The introduction of “Egypt” containing not only Arabic, but black and East Indian stereotypes is pathetic, but expected.  The film really gets on when Porky and his camel  Humpty Dumpy goes into the desert.

My favorite part is the camel’s speech about “desert madness”.  It must be based on some speech, but I can’t find out what.  Very well done.  The depiction of madness devolves into the desert mirage joke and Daffy Duck imitations, but there are some good sections here.

Still, I probably wouldn’t recommend it apart from the middle section with the sun hammering down and Humpty going crazy.  3.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky