Wednesday, March 10, 2010

033 Porky's Movie Mystery

Title: Porky's Movie Mystery
Studio: Warner Brothers
Date: 3/11/39
Story by
Musical Direction
Series: Looney Tunes
Running time (of viewed version): 6:39

Synopsis: A phantom causes problems of some kind for Warner Brothers, and is ultimately caught by Mr. Motto, played by Porky Pig.

Comments: Self referential again; the villain is on the WB lot. 3:40 into it before Porky show up (other than in the title cards). And he's just a slightly misspelled version of Mr. Moto when he does show up. Yet again, a cartoon that is trying to ditch the main character, this time for someone else's main character. The Mr. Moto franchise was about to take a break tho, what with a Japanese main character (and actually Japanese, not Japanese American) and the slide of the empire into decidedly non-neutral stances at the end of the decade. Five Mr. Moto movies starring Peter Lorre had been released before 1939, and thee more came out in 1939. Strangely, the sub headlines seem to be non-gags yet are readable; "Modified Labor Act Included in State Plans", "L.A. Majorities for Democrats Grow", "Bourbons Lose 3 State Senate Seats in Election", "Murder Charged to Embalmer in Slaying of Fiance" (that last one is kind of a guess). Oddly, the paper name seems to be a joke; Podunk Journal. The next one doesn't have a joke name, but has regular sub headlines a well. "Job gains in Upswing Set at Million", "Dionne Quins 'Doing Fine'; Eat Solid Food", "Baldwin Widow's Eltius Tomorrow" (again that last one is a guess; the lower right corner isn't clear in these). (The Dionne Quins were quintuplets born in 1935 (the first quints to have been known to have all survived any length of time) and turned into a tourist attraction by the government of Ontario who took them from their parents for no good reason; presumably these were older genuine headlines recycled from when the quintuplets were young enough to be transitioning to solid food). THird set of headlines: "Editorial" (possibly followed by a date), "Presidents Vacation", "Public Believe". I wonder if the studio space is actually a WB space. Someplace where there was a spiral staircase, with a Venetian gondola at the top of the stairs. There's really a lot of text based jokes in this cartoon. I like the polar bear rug. More headlines: "Duke may be Called Home", "(Rder?) Tomorrow For L.A. Singer", "French Cabinet Crisis". There's a weird live action insert. As if the invisible stuff and all the static newspaper shots and background based gags didn't decrease animation needs enough... More headlines: "Philippine Riots End As Voters Select Legislature" (might be legislators), Volunteer Aid Lauded at Chest Meet", "3000 Mexicans WIll Be Returned By Los Angeles County". This (and some others) have had a date of Friday the 13th. The final reveal is Hugh Herbert again (hoo hoo guy, ripped off for Daffy Duck). That's two Bob Clampett cartoons in a row using the guy. I wonder how they justified that. You could get away with reusing gags down the line, but there were only three weeks between the releases of the two cartoons; they would have been in circulation at the same time. Wouldn't that have looked especially bad?

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