Tuesday, March 23, 2010

038 Prest-O Change-O

Title: Prest-O Change-O
Studio: Warner Brothers
Date: 3/25/39
Series: Merrie Melodies (on Blue Ribbon print)
Running time (of viewed version): 7:02

Synopsis: Two dogs break into a magician's home to hide from the authorities, where they are harassed by a rabbit who likely has a lot more right to be there than they do.

Comments: I'm uncertain how the capitalization should work in the title, but I didn't want it in all caps like the title card. Return of the pair of dogs from Dog Gone Modern. Horse-voiced magic rabbit is an obvious precursor to you-know-who's early appearances. The rabbit even kisses the big dog. Twice. The dogs end up on top in the end tho, because if you punch anything hard enough, even something magic, you win (that was the message in Lord of the Rings, right?). The music moves well in this cartoon. Noticeably Warner-y, it adds plenty to the movements. This is the second WB cartoon in a row to save some animation with a mostly invisible character. I wonder how much work it saved for the animators, who needed to still plan the whole character to move just some gloves; I'm sure it saved plenty of ink and paint work, at least. The unseen (assuming he's not the rabbit) magician's name is Sham-Fu. This resonates now with both Sham Wow and Shaq Fu. I assume it was a reference to a popular magician of the day (there was a magician named Fu Manchu at the time, but then the joke would seem more likely to be Fu Shamchu...). The cuckoo is vested as the Shadow, but "It's 12 o'clock, muahahahaha" doesn't sound like iconic shadow-speak to me; perhaps it's a gap in my education. There's a silhouette cutout of the devil in the hallway.


  1. The name is a riff on CHANDU THE MAGICIAN, a popular radio show that was also turned into a couple of Bela Lugosi movies.

  2. Credits:
    Supervision: Charles Jones
    Story: Rich Hogan
    Animation: Ken Harris
    Music: Carl W. Stalling