Wednesday, 25 June 2014

335. Inki and the Lion (1941)

Warner cartoon no. 334.
Release date: July 19, 1941.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Chuck Jones.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
No cast.
Story: Rich Hogan.
Animation: Philip Monroe.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Inki, while on the hunt for the Mynah bird, he becomes endangered by a ferocious lion for attempting to spear its cub.

The Inki cartoons tend to show a patterned formula which is almost identical in every short. The shorts would begins with Inki hunting more vulnerable animals with his spears, but the Mynah bird catches his attention. The Mynah bird, whose leitmotif is Fingal's Cave, hops and walks in sync to the score.

The bird is symbolic in the Inki shorts, having a supernatural ability of being undefeatable. Inki would turn his attention towards the bird, but at some point in the short, he would face a more terrifying animal, which is usually a lion (an exception would be Inki at the Circus).

Despite having the exact same formulas, Chuck would attempt to make short slightly different whether it would mean using different scenarios or different deliveries in terms of gag approach.

This short, is mostly a repeat of Inki's first appearance, The Little Lion Hunter, in terms of story but Chuck invents some new situations and approaches along on the way. According to Mike Barrier's Hollywood Cartoons, the first Inki short happened to be successful amongst audiences, that Leon Schlesigner requested Chuck to produce another short. You could say this formula is almost prototype compared to the Chuck's Road Runner shorts, where the scenario and situations were no different each short, but just varying gags and ideas. This short is very much a repeat from its predecessor.

Watching the opening of the short, Inki is seen chasing after a monkey who hides on top of the canopy of a tree. Inki rushes to search for the monkey, relating to a gag where both heads are out but don't meet one another. Besides the opening formula being repeated, notice how Chuck Jones' timing and the animation being produced in his unit is becoming more liberal.

Jones shows a more comical approach for Inki such as the spear gag, where he vibrates rather jerkily.Chuck's timing is evident when Inki hears out for the rustling, crashing noises resulting in an appealing airbrush effect to emphasise his speed, when he rushes behind a tree.

When the rustling and violent effects from the shrubs continue, notice how the animation is much more broad and comical, which shows how Chuck is attempting to make his animation more humorous than Disney-fied. And so, the rustling from the bushes only lead up to a gag that actually pays off for Chuck. The Mynah bird approaches and does his hitch step, which only emphasises on the power he has, for such a tiny bird in comparison.

Chuck Jones also appears to try and find a comical approach in terms of power as well as force, which only pays off in some aspects. In the first part of the gag, Inki is seen hunting out for a baby cub who is licking its paws beside a tree.

Inki prepares to aim his spear towards the cub, but finds a larger lion's hands hold onto the spear, and knocking Inki over to the ground.

The gag itself is a little clumsy in terms of timing, as the approach isn't delivered well, as Inki didn't use enough force in order to achieve that effect, making the gag not realistically effective. The other gag, however appears much later on in the short's ending shot. Inki and the Minah bird shake hands, but the Minah bird's hand show a very firm grip which takes complete control over Inki's body, and leaving him to the ground. This was a more better approach as this once again emphasised on the Mynah bird's power, and the whirling effect made the gag more believable in devilry, whilst the spear gag didn't.

Following from the spear gag, Jones uses a great opportunity which would make up from the poor gag delivery. Inki's encounter with the lion is artistically rich in terms of Inki's point of view shots. The lion faces him upside down, but as Inki turns his head, the lion turns 180 degrees to its normal angle, thanks to the geniuses behind Smokey Garner's department.

Both Inki and the lion then respond to one another with a sheepish expression which only Chuck could master. Inki responds first with a sheepish grin towards the lion, but the lion's grim shows a much more intimidating grin, due to the largeness of his teeth, and gums. Whoever animated the scene, certainly captured the fear of this perilous encounter, the lion's teeth are very intimidating in terms of proportions and realism, and there is a great contrast in terms of size between those two characters. Inki, standing up sweating with fear, then makes a little twirl his foot before he skids out of screen. Another trait from the Warner directors, especially Chuck, where a character would attempt to act innocent by curling their foot before leaving, it makes great character animation.

The following sequence is another equivalence involving a vulnerable character standing on top of danger, a formula that Chuck loved in his early years. This time, Inki is standing on top of the lion's head, unaware of the danger he is standing on top of.

Believing that he has escaped from the lion, he proceeds to climb down the lion's head, but finds that his foot is touching the lion's tooth from his mouth. The rich character animation and gloss is evident in the scenes, to add tension.

This is a challenging scene to animate, as Inki has to act through his foot. Inki grabs hold of the lion's skin where he places it over the lion's tooth, in hope that he would be able to escape easily, despite being in a perilous situation. Inki then turns towards the right and then exits on top of the lion's head. This time he is hiding on top of a log, with the Mynah bird standing on top of his head. Inki now turns his attention towards the Mynah bird, in hopes of capturing it with his spear.

The cave sequence, without doubt is one of Jones' longest-paced sequences, where the action occurs for "long periods of time". To start off with, Inki was following the Minah bird who ends up walking inside the cave. Trying to trap the Minah bird, Inki uses the huge stones to block the entrance of the cave.

After a series of crumpling up stones to block the entrance, Inki weirdly mistakens the lion's behind as a stone in which he attempts to  push his behind to the last gap from the cave. The gag itself is flawed because of the terrible contrast with colour between the rocks as well as the lion.

Had the cave and stones been painted like soil, then the gag would have probably worked better. Unaware of his danger, the lion looks Inki smugly, in which Inki's double-take leads him inside the cave.

Inside the cave, Jones only uses the eyes and teeth putting a lot of emphasis of black-and-white to emphasise darkness inside the cave. The animation itself is communicated well, when most of their body is in silhouette, and the sheepish expressions they make really work well. Inki then rushes outside the cave again, scrambling all the stones frantically, but finds he's been outwitted by the cunning lion. The scene then follows through a very confusing and somewhat incoherent sequence where the lion is attempting to entice Inki to walk inside the lion's mouth. The incoherent part follows when Inki ends up somewhat in a trance, and walks straight towards the lion's mouth. The gag itself doesn't pay off, having no indication or a source that casued Inki to almost go in a trance.

Only the Minah bird can stop Inki's trance from the lion's enticement. The Minah Bird breaks open the rocks from the cave, hopping to Fingal's Cave, and the lion stares at Inki out of curiosity. After the Minah Birds hops out of the scene, the lion turns towards Inki, cornering him by the wall. The lion, attempting to charge at Inki without mercy, finds however he has the inability. The supernaturalness and the power of the Minah Bird has prevented the lion, as his tail is revealed to be tied to a tree stump, therefore making Inki safe. Inki, realising the Minah Bird had saved his life, walks over to thank the Minah Bird who, as mentioned earlier, responds with a firm handshake to leave Inki whirling, emphasising his powerfulness. Though the Minah Bird doesn't have much other action other than his hopping routine, the handshake feels somewhat acceptable, and in character.

The short is very much parallel towards the first shot, so it is nothing much different in terms of story, except just new gags along the way. It feels somewhat typical to name the short Inki and the Lion, as it's no different to the previous short's title. Artistically, Chuck Jones does manage to keep it rather fulfilling, not only the animation, but the use of camera angles like the POV shots, as well as the use of colour contrast, even though it worked well in some areas, and others it didn't. The opening sequence I felt showed a lot of promise of a much, improved Chuck Jones when looking at his comic timing and liberal movement in animation. After the opening, however, it felt too slow and much like Chuck's usual cartoons he was making around that era. Overall, the short is nothing new from Chuck in terms of gags and story, and it feels as though I've already seen this short only two years previously.

Rating: 2/5.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

334. The Heckling Hare (1941)

Warner cartoon no. 333.
Release date: July 5, 1941.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Supervision: Tex Avery.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny), Kent Rogers (Willoughby) (?).
Story: Michael Maltese.
Animation: Bob McKimson.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: A dim-witted dog is on the look out for a rabbit. Being a threat to Bugs, he takes advantage of the dog's lack of intelligence with his smart tactics.

Throughout most of the early Bugs Bunny shorts, (with the exceptions of Tortoise Beats Hare or Elmer's Pet Rabbit), the Warner directors were still writing the same story formula for Bugs Bunny, involving Bugs outwitting several different characters each short.

With that said, being a very common trait of Bugs Bunny throughout his career, later shorts on the other hand had more focus towards story and each short had different dilemmas. In this short, this is really the basic, A Wild Hare-type story.

Instead of a hunter: Bugs is being pursued by a dim-witted dog (if you wish to call him Willoughby, fine). Since this is a short where the story formula was still largely the same, Tex still had a new set of gags to invent, and this short he is certainly experimenting with new gag ideas, that would still seem beyond what animated cartoons, then, offered.

The short starts off like how an earlier Bugs Bunny short might begin, the antagonist of the short appears first, as the purpose is the audience would be wanting to know the antagonist better.

Willoughby is seen sniffing out for the scent of a rabbit in the forest. He introduces himself, and explains to the audience of his intended target.

Note the walk-cycle that Tex gives to Willoughby, which shows how Tex's walk cycles only get even more bizarre in each short he is making. With the walk animated by Bob McKimson, Tex shows an urge of attempting to create funnier animation, which is becoming more noticeable in this short.

This then follows with a glimpse of Bugs Bunny's ears once Willoughby discovers a rabbit hole. Bugs' ears then appear out of scene. This requires stronger character animation, as well as a heavier set-up from a scene used several times previously.

Instead of Elmer's gun, Willoughby's mouth is held wide open, and the detail on the teeth emphasise on the viciousness the dog could be. And so, Bugs outwits Willoughby with his presence, where Willoughby is too late for his double-take delivery, a gag formula that Tex loved to use between two parallel characters. Once Willoughby realises his error, this follows through a sophisticated, walk-cycle of Bugs Bunny who walks in rhythm to Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn's synchronisation to I Was Strolling Through the Park One Day. The walk-cycle, likely animated by McKimson or Virgil Ross, shows how the animators at Warners were becoming more confident in exploring their animation, and that cycle alone expresses not only how much better the animators got, but also the freedom to explore several aspects when animating.

A great example of how Tex Avery was definitely allowing his animators to explore further in what they could do with animation happens in the following sequence. This classic sequence in the short centres on Bugs mimicking Willoughby's facial expressions in a psychological effect to have the dog's mind focused on making consistent facial expressions.

The sequence, animated by Rod Scribner, is great for what Tex was wanting his animators to do, as well as what he was attempting to explore. The wacky Tex Avery everybody would come to associate with is only at the tip of the iceberg in this short, and Scribner nails on how Tex probably visioned the scene.

Bugs and the dog go through some far-out expressions, such as the details of their mouths and Scribner was exploring the broadness of his animation in a lot of bizarre ways which no animator in Tex's unit did, he tries to top each pose with a more exaggerated feel towards it. Tex's comic timing is also a striking example of how he is attempting to achieve funnier timing.

The dog, making consistent face-making is already been fooled, to the point where Bugs is no longer a threat to the dog. It builds up with a typical Tex Avery delivery, as he holds a sign reading "Silly, isn't he?", but only returns from his hole with a giant baseball bat. Tex's use of colour to follow the effects is only seen at a brief glimpse, to find that the scene quickly follows with Bugs holding onto a damaged baseball bat. Tex's time couldn't get better for the build up that it got to. He is already succeeding in achieving funnier timing, and his talent of it is already glowing in this sequence. Stalling's choice for Mendelssohn's Spring Song heard briefly in the underscore is an excellent little cliche to emphasise of Bugs's innocent posture.

The following sequence, a gag which is largely borrowed from Tex's The Crackpot Quail, is once again another challenge in terms of animation in order to make the gag easier to follow as well as visualised in a comical way. Bugs, deciding to dive underwater, and placing his bathing cap, dives underwater, but only to end up being pursued by Willoughby on the way.

The effects animation (did they have other effects animators at that time, other than Ace Gamer?), is well achieved in order for the two characters to be communicated under water. One of the highlights would be through the communication of bubbles rising from the surface.

We can identify Bugs from underwater due to the frantic speed he is travelling through underwater, but once he's stopped by Willoughby, the silence then deepens. Their identities are somewhat more obvious as Bugs' ears and Willoughby's tail rise from the surface.

Tex only gets even more bizarre with the gag when a giant log is seen in the middle of a lake. Bugs travels straight towards the log, but manages to dodge by having both ears separate to each corner. Tex used a slightly, though more subtle gag in The Crackpot Quail which featured Willoughby sniffing the quail's gap, and at one point the tracks then become greatly separated. Here, it is more bizarrely visualised, as the ears separating is somewhat very surreal compared to the previous short.

The following sequence is another animated challenge, though it requires a lot of strong character animation, and methodical skills. The gag, being rather straightforward from Mike Maltese's writing: shows Bugs standing on top of Willoughby who is still hunting for Bugs, though without noticing his presence above him. Bugs, pacing up and down Willoughby, comes up with another strategy, and thus tickles him, causing Willoughby to scratch.

Whilst the gag delivery is somewhat basic in terms of how it looks how, the technical side would be a lot more challenging. For one, Willoughby would have to be animated separately, especially since Willoughby, for a small part of the sequence is animated as a walk cycle. Bugs, however, is animated separately, and thus making staging difficult for the animator, in order to achieve an accurate line position for the dog's back. It's likely that both animators were animated at the same time, once Bugs begins to tickle Willoughby, considering how the action is done.

The following sequence, and despite some great strategies and sequences invented by Mike Maltese: the following sequence is somewhat cliched. Willoughby, suspecting the rabbit is inside the bark of a tree has his hand reaching out on the other end of the tree. Bugs, once again taking advantage of the dim-witted dog, grabs out a tomato to place on Willoughby's hand.

Once Willoughby squeezes the tomato in his hand, Willoughby mistakes the tomato juice as Bugs' blood, crying, "I crushed him". He continues to cry, and expressing pity towards himself for killing the rabbit.

I've never been a personal fan of these sequences, and despite making the characters just appear even more foolish: it never made sense to me of their sudden sadness for killing an animal they intended to kill. Perhaps the impact of killing had reflected poorly on them? Well, a cartoon's a cartoon. Willoughby, mourning the "loss" of Bugs, arrives at his rabbit hole to place flowers besides it. Still sobbing, Bugs approaches on top of his hole and feeling flattered, puckers up to Willoughby: "For me, doc? Oh you darling".

This then leads to the cartoon's climax, and without doubt, the most memorable sequence in the short for several factors. One factor was that the sequence was reportedly considered to be the longest fall in cinematic history.

Tex Avery, who was taking new levels that Leon Schlesinger considered dangerous, had wanted to test the audience's patience by having the characters not fall for a great distance, but a total of three falls, which was cut from the print that everybody knows of today.

For further information on the removed sequence, read Thad K.'s enlightening blog post. Though the sequence was considered to be the reason why Tex Avery quit the studios (which wasn't the factor); it just goes to show how Tex was already becoming far more ambitious with his cartoon directing, but his original ending just happened to flop.

Despite the original ending, the edited version does feel somewhat a lot more better in terms of the short's cliffhanger. The audience feel for Bugs Bunny, their favourite character, and this was Tex's vision of testing the audience's mind on how they could make it alive. The problem is solved with them skidding to the grounds safely, with Bugs remarking to the audience, "Ehh, fooled ya didn't he", in which Willoughby responds, "Uh, yeah". The delivery works well as an ending. Whilst the original ending would have shown Tex exaggerating the significant amount of feet they are falling and landing from, it does feel somewhat very anti-climatic, and shows how Tex's original approach didn't work out.

In all, for a short that did itself have a repeated story formula: this allowed Tex to explore at different heights in terms of approach to gags, as well as timing. Tex's timing is only getting faster and edgier compared to his previous shorts, and his idea for gag build-up has certainly gone to high levels which he hadn't yet achieved before. Of course, there are many sequences in the short where Tex had recycled certain gags, though the mimic sequence as well as the fall stand out as being far more original not only as to how they were timed, but also how they were delivered. Mike Maltese, appears to be under much of Tex's influence in the short as many of the sequences feel very Tex Avery oriented, and little of the charms from Mike Maltese. In all, it was an entertaining short for a  Bugs Bunny cartoon, a character who is only getting funnier and broader in each short. The shorts by this point are only becoming a tad faster and edgier, and thus giving Warners a reputable name.

Rating: 3/5.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Six-Day War

Sorry folks, as I haven't had time to write a review today, but instead this will be a very rare blog post that isn't a review. Since we are nearing the end of the month, I thought it would be at least fitting, since we are still reviewing 1941, that we reflect on a big event that occurred at the Leon Schlesinger Studio, which I will tell to a small majority who probably don't know.

That's right, that is the infamous "Leon Schlesinger Lockout" which occurred in May 1941 (also known as the "Little Six-Day War" in the words of Chuck Jones. This event happened when Leon Schlesinger attempted to lock out the Guild animators from his studio from having his studio unionised. Known as the Screen Cartoonists Guild, it was an organisation in which, under the leadership of Herb Sorrel, was attempting to unionise all animation studios in the U.S. Since the Fleischer studio met with victory in 1940, and studios like MGM, Lantz and Columbia had signed contracts--Warners and Disney were the only studios left who hadn't yet signed the pact.
From L ro R: Ben Washam, Roy Laupenberger, ?, Paul Marron, Martha Sigall.

Only lasting six days, Schlesginer quickly relented and agreed to sign contracts, and at that point Leon Schlesinger then reportedly remarked, "What about Disney?", who was the only studio left to not go unionised. Thus, this would lead to the infamous Disney animator's strike, which is another story.

If you want more information, you can read about the "lockout" as well as the unionisation of other animation studios through Tom Sito's excellent book: Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson, as well as information from Martha Sigall's autobiography, which explain a little more about the event, though it did not impact the studio much at all.

Sorry if this seems a rather abrupt post with information already taken from, but the story about unionisation at the other animation studios are a fascinating part that scarred animation history, consider this that they did change the industry forever: especially the unionisation of Disney. Though it definitely had its advantages as well as disadvantages, but that will be for another time..

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

333. Meet John Doughboy (1941)

Warner cartoon no. 332.
Release date: July 5, 1941.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Supervision: Bob Clampett.
Producer: Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Robert C. Bruce (Reel Narrator/Citizen Sugar Cane), Mel Blanc (Porky Pig/Most voices), Jack Lescoulie (Jack Benny).
Story: Warren Foster.
Animation: Vive Risto.
Musical Direction: Carl W. Stalling.
Sound: Treg Brown (uncredited).
Synopsis: Porky Pig presents a mockumentary on the productivity going on in the U.S. military, as well as the draft serial numbers.

Clampett's idea of making a spot-gag mockumentary was produced with appropriate timing around the time the short was released. The U.S. military had already begun preparations for World War II, even though troops did not join the war until December that year, during the attack on Pearl Harbour.

It was clear that Clampett wanted to make a short which at that point was very much up to date in terms of military affairs, and preparations--satirising newsreels which at the time would show some footage of the military preparations and the inventions they were turning out.

The military had already been in production in inventing new machinery as well as testing out artillery, which was what was needed during the war. Though, despite being very head of its time, the mockery and gag deliveries are still rather dated in Warners' standards. The nervousness from the public of an American invasion is perhaps evident during the short's closure. The newspaper headline reads: "Can American Be Invaded???" which emphasises on a worried country, who are aware of the nation likely to enlist in the war.

Porky's appearance, is as usual a lot more limited than what Clampett would allow him. His appearance feels also, somewhat unneeded. The title bears no indication that Porky is the character, and Clampett was allowed to produce one-shot shorts for the first time. Since the whole story is mainly focusing on spot-gags on the military effort, and hell, the narrator is performed by Robert C. Bruce; Porky really didn't need to appear in such a wasted role.

It's a no-brainer to have Porky appear in a small role, when he deserves a lot more opportunities than what Clampett or the other directors are giving him. Though, the "Porky Pig presents" title is a amusing satire the RKO Radios Picture logo of a radar signal, and thus Mel Blanc adds the perfect charm by performing his infamous, wacky 'rubber band' noise.

For a spot-gag being set of its time, it still doesn't exude the short from still being bombarded with very lame puns that don't pay off well, and the results are downright corny. A perfect example occurs during the military productions on the factory.

The narrator narrates: "The need for all types of planes has every American factory humming". Of course, we know the narrator is using the word 'humming' as a metaphor to emphasise the factories are kept busy in terms of military preparations.

Clampett turns this into an unappealing pun which doesn't have much purpose. The factory windows and gates transform into a smile where the factory is humming cheerily to Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. Another gag in the same sequence follows where the narrator explains about the various types of aircraft being invented in the air force. An example being the Spitfire, which Clampett transforms it to a poor pun of the aircraft spitting out flames. It's a gag wholly predictable and lacking intelligence.

However, there are some gags that do pay off rather well. A great example, would be the sequence involving the latest military invention, known as a "land destroyer", and, according to the words of the narrator: "a 100 times faster and more effective than a tank". Clampett, of course, uses rather quick timing to give the weapon a very effective sense of speed.

Once the narrator asks for the 'weapon' to slow down so the audience can identify the weapon: it turns out to be Jack Benny and Rochester riding a Maxwell.  The gag is that Jack Benny did in fact owned a Maxwell, and it was a well known running gag from his radio shows.

Another amusing one which pays off quite well would be the conflict between two soldiers who are being drafted. Both of them with polar opposite heights: tall and short.

The tall man mocks, "They'll take a little runt like you". The following short immediately contradicts that remark, where the little man indeed makes it in the army, but talking in stilts. He responds back, having the last laugh "You and your education" which is an amusing pay-off, as well as perhaps a moral to never contradict little people as not eligible to enlist, even if the solution is to walk in stilts. Another great one, which is a personal favourite, would be in the mess hall scene. The narrator comments on the strong appetite a soldier would need, as quoted by Napoleon: "An army travels with its stomach!". The metaphor is therefore taken into a great visualised gag where the soldiers are crawling outside the mess hall from their stomachs.

For those who appear to have trouble understanding some of the references that are dated in today's standards, perhaps I can answer some questions. One of the main dated gags that appears in the short, would be during the antitank gun sequence. The narrator explains about this new invention that can easily destruct any tank.

From a great point of view shot, a silhouetted tank is seen moving towards its intended destination, but the soldiers in charge of the cannon aren't firing. Frustratring the narrator, the problem is solved.

One of the soldiers is distracted as he looks at two different sized cigarettes and chuckles "Mine's longer than yours". The gag is that it is referring to an ad from Pall Mall cigarettes, and the ad features two soldiers who are both comparing the size of their cigarettes.

Note the reference at the beginning where Porky is identified from an announcement as "Draft no. 158 3/4". The reference is that "158" was in fact the number that the government first conducted for its first peacetime draft in 1940.

Note the Citizen Kane reference which is quite possibly one of the very earliest references to appear in the well-known and beloved film. Around the time of the short's release, Citizen Kane was only released a few months prior in the cinemas, but it gained notoriety as the main character: Charles Foster Kane was loosely based on American newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who threatened to ban the film from distribution. Here, the character is referenced as another lame pun: "Citizen Sugar Kane".

However, you can give credit towards Clampett for making this spot-gag very visually appealing, as much of the layout and style of the short is very unique in its own taste. A striking example is shown at the beginning, where you see an exterior of the factories: the effects animation of the smoke and steam is simple but effective, bold animation. The montages that follow afterwards are also effective in terms of mood and pacing.

Clampett is also rather artistic in his staging, as well as his choice of mood and colour. During the agricultural military work sequence, the animals are foreshadowed through silhouettes.

The narrator explains about the plough horses' origins being "South America", in which their identity is recognised as they dance to the conga beat.

These are great, unique visuals from Clampett as well as background artist Bob Thomas (who was Clampett's layout man then?), in which he tries to make the sequences look rather artistically fulfilling, as well as capturing the silhouette and cinematic effect of newsreel documentaries.

The final sequence, is a focus of the U.S. president who orders out "defense strength" in testing out their aircraft as well as other use of crafts such as navy ships.

This follows through a series of montage scenes of aircrafts taking off, and a navy ship sailing past (the infamous reused animation from Buddy the Gob). As explained from earlier, the newspaper headline shows the nation's concerns of the country being possibly invaded.

The final scene, which you could say foreshadows the Pearl Harbour events, indicates a couple of enemies aircrafts who are seen flying at a completely different target: New York City. In the final shot, the planes are seen flying with no military bases planning on any revolt on these aircrafts. As the narrator frantically asks for any assistance, the gag then reveals that the Statue of Liberty transforms to life and uses a gas spray to stop the planes. This then leaves to a sudden cut, ending the film. It feels that there is certain footage missing that could precede afterwards, but there is no evidence of such.

In conclusion, this was just a hit-and-miss mockumentary short. Some of the gags relating to military production are pulled off in a amusing sense, whilst others just backfire. Porky's appearance in this short felt very much wasted, and not necessarily needed. If Porky were to appear in the short properly, the very best Clampett could have done was at least make Porky the narrator of the reel, and not the lesser role of a distributor. Clampett is without doubt trying to compete with several of his artists when comparing it to artistic levels, and his choice of scenario and mood to represent the scenes are at times on par with Chuck Jones' artistic scenery and unique staging. Overall, this was a average in terms of the spot-gag formula, and not a bad attempt, featuring the Tex Avery influence.

Rating: 2/5.