Author Topic: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon  (Read 419 times)

1SO

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2017, 10:32:26 PM »
There should be a poll or some kind of Metacritic/Rotten Tomatoes rating for the Index since there's no consensus to these. Plus it might encourage others to spend the 35 minutes a week watching the shorts.

Junior

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2017, 12:51:53 AM »
I'd be into that. There's no telling if I'll be able to continue with this on a weekly basis, but it's the start of break now and I can do some watching. Something like that would both keep me going and let me catch up a little more easily. Anyways...

Page Miss Glory

Nobody's mentioned my favorite gag yet, the animals making car sounds. It's like a two second thing, but so is everything else here, and it stood out to me as something that made me actually laugh (ahem, 1SO). Not much else did that outside the great gag about trying to get on the elevators, but it was a fun time throughout and the song was kinda neat. The thing that got me most here was the weird bent-back thing. I've seen this elsewhere in cartoons of this era, but nothing quite to this extent. The one bit that went on longer than 2 seconds was the lady with the fronds, and I'm not sure physics were entirely working there. Probably won't end up being a standout, but it's a good enough start.

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Junior

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2017, 01:05:58 AM »
I Love to Singa

I really enjoy oldkid's comment about how this is as much about radio as it is anything else. It is a changing medium if not a dying one, and cultural artifacts like this will be essential to understanding what it was all about in the first place. That's cool. That it's wrapped up in a fun little package is cool too. One of my favorite things about these old cartoons is the double-bopping strut when characters are happy. It's cool that it comes out in this right after what should be a sad scene. Little Owl Jolson gets kicked out of his house and makes his way in the world, double-bop strutting and singing his song about liking things. That's something to aspire to. It will be interesting to note the use of Jazz in these. I loved the opening sign gag. Who would possibly make a sign like that!

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Teproc

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2017, 08:11:46 AM »
A little late on this batch, kinda forgot about this.

Page Miss Glory - 3/10

The character animation here is very disconcerting, I'm curious to see how quickly this evolves... or if we're going to be stuck with these weirdly elastic people all the way through. I'm with 1S0 in that it's a lot of not-very-funny gags stringed together as fast as possible, though I did smile at the duck-as-cars gag and the elevators thing.

I Love to Singa - 7/10

Very cute. I wonder what the significance of the German parents being owls (I think ?) is.  Aren't owls supposed to be wise ? This is the year of Benny Goodman playing at Carnegie Hall I think, which is pretty much the moment jazz becomes accepted as vaguely respectable, they had their finger on the pop-cultural pulse there.

Wholly Smoke - 4/10

Educational cartoons are generally a bad idea. This is no exception. I also wonder why children shouldn't smoke, in 1936 ? Obviously cancer isn't a worry yet, I guess the emphasis on nicotine means that addiction is the concern, that makes sense.

Aside from the message, it's all just "hey, here's some cultural things you might recognize", which I mostly don't, and even if I did, meh.

Porky in Wackyland - 6/10

I'm pretty sure chuckling at the "Darker Africa" gag makes me a racist, but there you go. This is a much better execution of "let's throw a bunch of stuff at the viewer" than Miss Page. The dodo being introduced like a huge star was amusing, then we get some proto-Roadrunner humour, that's nice. They weren't afraid to go meta either.

Porky in Egypt - 3/10

Wait, what ? I don't... what ? I guess the joke is that when the camel gets "desert madness" he starts talking ? I don't know. I liked the Mario-Bros-like angry sun, but it lost me after that.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 08:53:43 AM by Teproc »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2017, 08:46:38 AM »
Glad to see so much participation already. Might be Wednesday night before I can add my thoughts but keep it up everyone!

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2017, 11:24:28 AM »
Welp, seems like this week got missed by everyone. I'll do my best to lead us back on track this week.

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2017, 05:46:57 PM »
Porky's Hare Hunt (Ben Hardaway, 1938).
Hare-um Scare-um (Cal Dalton, Ben Hardaway; 1939).

Two pre Bugs Bunny cartoons where the rabbit is chased by a hunter. The gags are lined up one after another, just as the hunter fires shot after shot. Some are funny but in the end it all becomes a bit exhausting. And why are the dogs so often this stupid?

30°

Katnip Kollege (Cal Dalton, Cal Howard; 1938).

Cute kittens taking a class in Swingology. Nice school desks made out of sardine cans. Wafer thin story, but still entertaining. The song was good.

35°

Prest-O Change-O (Chuck Jones, 1939).

Two dogs meet a rabbit that expose them to magic tricks in a house. I have never thought on how well animation and magic go together! Easily the funniest cartoon this week.

50°

Old Glory (Chuck Jones, 1939).

War propaganda.

10°
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2017, 08:49:22 AM »
Okay, going to try to post reviews throughout the day as I catch up.



Page Miss Glory

First noticeable thing is how similar in style this is to the Disney films of the same period. The bellboy looks and emotes a lot like Goofy and there’s a little musical interlude that reminds me a lot of the pacing and rhythm of Disney’s Silly Symphonies.

The Disney influence isn’t surprising as director Tex Avery worked on many Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons, the predecessor of Disney’s hit character Mickey Mouse. As the medium is young, it makes sense that there would be some similarities, but obviously Looney Tunes would evolve into something far more abstract. We get a hint of that abstractness with the art deco style that makes for a lot of those more simplistic, bold backgrounds.

The plot is rather loose, more a series of quick gags that don’t have enough setup or punch to be all that funny. It does show that Looney Tunes would evolve into something much more modern than Disney’s work. There’s also a sequence that evokes a style that would become attributed to Busby Berkeley’s musicals of the ‘30s. Whether or not Berkeley got the idea here or someone at the company saw some of Berkeley’s earliest work, I’ve no idea.



I Love to Singa

The short opens with a shot containing the kind of rich, lush backgrounds you’d expect from something like Disney’s Babes in the Woods. It moves into a sign that says “no jazz.” As the owls of the house have children, they’re all classical musicians at birth until the final egg hatches and the last newborn breaks into a jazz ditty.

Here’s the kind of pacing that Looney Tunes would go on to master. The gags mostly hit, in part because the core concept is funny and the juxtaposition is enough to continue making gags. I also wonder if this film is a jab at Germans as jazz represents American culture while classical music in this short is positioned with the Europeans and his parents have heavy German accents.

Other gags like the radio talking directly to the worried mother or the secretary saying aloud all the stops of a telegram as she shoves away the pushy telegram delivery boy are timed superbly and got a good laugh out of me. This short quickly differentiates itself from Disney with the heavy jazz influence. It still looks a lot like Disney, but the sound and pacing are signature Looney Tunes.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 08:35:59 AM by Sam the Cinema Snob »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: What's Up, Doc? - A Looney Tunes Group Marathon
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2017, 08:52:58 AM »
Also, just throwing this out there, does anyone have a better idea for structuring this marathon? I'm gonna watch em all, but I'm not sure that many want to go that deep down the rabbit hole (pun intended).