Friday, October 10, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Bacall to Arms

Bacall to Arms
Directed by Bob Campett (uncredited)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5

This cartoon is a real treat! The premise is simple, a night out at the movies. Gags come from the newsreel, feature, and the antics of the audience. There are both black and white and color segments, and the character design and animation style varies throughout. It's interesting that the characters in the audience have the look of early generic Warner Brothers characters, but the characters in the movies, and the Avery-esque wolf have a different style altogether.

The newsreel segment features a story about the new technology of radar being used in the home. It ends up being used to detect an approaching mother-in-law, which brings to mind the mother-in-law jokes often used by Tex Avery in his shorts at MGM.

The feature film parodies "To Have and Have Not," so we are treated to some wonderful caricatures of Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.

There just so happens to be a wolf in the audience who becomes quite...uh...enamored with the lovely Miss Bacall. The expression of his excitement, once again, draws to mind thoughts of Tex Avery. Avery had left Warner Brothers in 1941 and in 1943 brought "Red Hot Riding Hood" to the screen for MGM. It's hard to believe that Riding Hood didn't have an influence on this cartoon, but "Bacall to Arms" is still a fun short.

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