Porky’s Phoney Express (1938)

Porky's Phoney Express ReviewPorky’s Phoney Express Review

Porky’s Phoney Express is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is quite solid.

This entry is worth remembering for finally giving Porky a good, great even ending as most entries by now had him suffer in the end. That was awesome and the poor guy deserved it. I loved how he eventually became the boss and bossed everyone around and that entire final scene is fantastic.

But the rest of the cartoon wasn’t that great. It had too many cooks in the kitchen from the boss to the delivery to the Indians. All were underutilized except for the boss who really was memorable with his constant yelling at Porky Pig. The entire film is very rushed in pacing and execution and not particularly memorable in animation or score.

Porky’s Phoney Express is technically weak and very rushed, but with a great finale where Porky finally got a happy ending.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Sneezing Weasel (1938)

The Sneezing Weasel ReviewThe Sneezing Weasel Review

The Sneezing Weasel is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a derivative entry.

This was a perfectly competent short film, but the fact that it is so damn derivative hurt it tremendously. The animation is definitely very good with the character designs all being stellar. The action is solid and the film is quite a lot of fun to watch. As I said, perfectly solid and well made overall.

But the story and the action on screen are nothing short of unoriginal. This is basically their rendition of ‘Three Little Pigs’ as the weasel tries to break into the chickens’ house with the disguise as well. That story is always a lot of fun to watch, but in terms of originality, it is the worst offender yet from the series.

The Sneezing Weasel is very well made across the board and with good voice acting, but the story and action on screen are entirely unoriginal.

My Rating – 3.4

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What Price Porky (1938)

What Price Porky ReviewWhat Price Porky Review

What Price Porky is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid Daffy Duck outing.

It’s solid, but I expect much greater things from this character meaning that this is the weakest of his three entries so far. What I did not like is that it did not have any truly memorable gags. The gags were solid here, do not get me wrong, but still far from unforgettable. And those war/documentary elements were overused and the film was very scattershot in its pace and humor.

But still this is a solid episode with a particularly strong animation and score. I loved Porky and Daffy outwitting each other and the ending was very amusing. All the various duck and chicken formations were amusing to watch and the film was an early parody of the Nazis which sure makes it an interesting entry. The war proclamation letter was the highlight to me – quite funny and very cleverly written.

What Price Porky certainly is the weakest Daffy Duck outing thus far, but it has some solid gags and a well executed war angle.

My Rating – 3.8

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Jungle Jitters (1938)

Jungle Jitters ReviewJungle Jitters Review

Jungle Jitters is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a weak cartoon.

This is by far the worst Merry Melody from the latter half of the thirties. It is just not great. It is certainly not bad and there is nothing truly bad or awful in it and for people who may have not seen the other shorts, it should prove fine. However, to me as an avid cartoon watcher, both the animation and the jokes felt recycled from previous, much better entries.

The animation is choppy and not great and the score is forgettable. The plot is nothing to write home about and naturally the worst part about it is the racism which is casual here in both the story and the characterization and character design. And that white girl interest with the face of a chicken was horribly animated and so odd.

Jungle Jitters is one of the worst Merry Melodies so far with a forgettable story, a racist approach and recycled, choppy animation.

My Rating – 2.8

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Porky at the Crocadero (1938)

Porky at the Crocadero ReviewPorky at the Crocadero Review

Porky at the Crocadero is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is not great.

In another musical episode, here Porky wants to be the conductor and starts working as a waiter but eventually is asked to conduct too. The series never did the conductors before so in that sense, this film is an original parody. To me the very best sequence is when Porky Pig parodies the various conductors such as Rudy Vallee and Leopold Stokowski. That was an amusing scene which was bound to make the audiences of its time laugh hard.

But the rest of the cartoon never built on that premise. The ending is fine and I absolutely loved the animation and the costumes. All very well done along with the music. The walrus character is also quite memorable. But the “We want music!” bit is overplayed, the film lags in its middle section and it definitely lacks in the humor department.

Porky at the Crocadero has great animation and a really well done beginning, but the rest of the cartoon lags and stumbles.

My Rating – 3.4

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My Little Buckeroo (1938)

My Little Buckeroo ReviewMy Little Buckeroo Review

My Little Buckeroo is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very weak entry.

It is a cowboy, western-centric Merry Melody with a particularly uninspired story. The animation and score are solid, but everything else is weak. The film is very boring to watch with not a single scene being even remotely interesting or leaving a stronger impression and the action is very weak.

I thought the central character was also very annoying. All the characters here are forgettable or annoying. The setting is well used and animated, but it did not lead to great action and gags at all. Basically it is sometimes a rip-off of ‘Gold Diggers of ’49’ except that movie is so much better.

My Little Buckeroo is well animated, but boring, uninspired and one of the weakest Merry Melodies in a quite a while.

My Rating – 3.2

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Porky’s Poppa (1938)

Porky's Poppa ReviewPorky’s Poppa Review

Porky’s Poppa is a 1938 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid entry.

I liked this entry despite it not being nowhere near as funny as it should have been given the fun premise with the cow producing milk and various dairy product. I really enjoyed Porky’s amused behavior here and he sounds and looks great here as I dig his look and of course Mel Blanc does a great job in the role.

Porky’s Poppa is so well animated with good character design and great looking products. The score is forgettable, but the pacing is solid. The highlight is the chocolate milk mix-up and the various cheeses that came out. The film is definitely amusing and fun, but should have been much better in the end than being just solid.

Porky’s Poppa is a solid Looney Tunes entry with excellent animation and premise, but not the funniest or most energetic execution.

My Rating – 3.7

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Daffy Duck & Egghead (1938)

Daffy Duck & Egghead ReviewDaffy Duck & Egghead Review

Daffy Duck & Egghead is a 1938 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is such a funny cartoon.

This is the second Daffy Duck outing after ‘Porky’s Duck Hunt’ and it is the first Warner Bros. short in 1938 as it opened on the first of January. I really enjoyed it. Egghead is probably the best he’s ever been in here and of course Daffy Duck is hilarious in his loony, crazy behavior. The film is very well animated with a gorgeous color background and a great looking swamp.

It is very scattershot in its humor as the film is very much a series of vignettes and it isn’t well edited at all. One of the highlights is the sequence in which Daffy sings The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down. This is the first time that the series used this song with lyrics and it was unforgettable. Of the gags, Daffy proclaiming Egghead to be blind after missing to shoot an apple multiple times was very funny. And the ending is excellent.

Daffy Duck & Egghead is such pleasant, pure Daffy Duck lunatic craziness with a couple of memorable gags and great character moments.

My Rating – 4.2

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September in the Rain (1937)

September in the Rain ReviewSeptember in the Rain Review

September in the Rain is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty weak short.

This is one of the weaker shorts of this year as it is very much a throwback to the shorts from 1935 and before. It is one giant song and dance routine with various musical numbers and one-off cameo characters. Because it is so short (5:50 may just be the shortest runtime of any Merry Melody) and so full of different routines and characters, it feels rushed, overly complicated and not particularly interesting.

I liked the animation and I have to say that I loved the music here. That song near the end that was sung by black characters was very good and I really liked the titular musical number which was very catchy and well sung. This film is again typically racist, but at least the songs are fine.

September in the Rain is not great as the last Warner Bros. animated short of 1937. The animation and score are good, but the plot and characters are uninspired.

My Rating – 3.4

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Porky’s Hero Agency (1937)

Porky's Hero Agency ReviewPorky’s Hero Agency Review

Porky’s Hero Agency is a 1937 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It’s a very authentic short.

The story here is quite offbeat. Porky has a dream in which he goes to Ancient Greece and has to escape from being turned into stone. Basically every building and piece of art or architecture in Greece is portrayed as having being alive before and that was so funny and unexpected. I loved the second half as it was both fun and funny.

The first half, on the other hand, is definitely the lesser and less memorable one. And I found the dream structure very familiar and that cartoon structure was very tedious and overused by this point. But I liked the animation and especially the character design which was amazing. Porky Pig is so good here as our stuttering hero in peril and some of his lines are quite amusing.

Porky’s Hero Agency has its problems, but it is mostly a very good film which benefits from such an offbeat premise and execution.

My Rating – 3.9

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