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Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: February 22, 1947
Stars: Tom & Jerry, Spike
Rating: ★★★★★

Cat Fishin' © MGMTom goes fishing in a no-fishing area, guarded by Spike. He uses Jerry as a live bait to catch an enormous pike.

The humor of this perfectly timed cartoon follows logically from the clever interplay between these four characters, it’s highlight being the sequence where Tom tries to land a big fish, which turns out to be Spike. The result is one of the most perfect Tom & Jerry cartoons ever.

Watch ‘Cat Fishin’’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 27
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Solid Serenade
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Part Time Pal

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 October 31, 1947
Stars: Goofy

Foul Hunting © Walt DisneyIn ‘Foul Hunting’ Goofy is hunting ducks, which all resemble Sonja from ‘Peter and the Wolf’ in ‘Make Mine Music’ (1946).

‘Foul Hunting’ is Jack Hannah’s third Goofy cartoon, and it is very different from his first two (‘A Knight for a Day‘ and ‘Double Dribble‘ from 1946)This cartoon returns to the original Goofy character, arguably unseen since ‘Baggage Buster‘ from 1941. More surprisingly, Goofy suddenly has his voice back – apparently, Pinto Colvig had returned to Disney.

Unfortunately, it’s this voice that slows down the action, making the cartoon less funny than the voiceless entries and giving it a painfully old-fashioned appearance. After five years of cartoons with multiple Goofies, this return to the ‘real’ Goofy feels like a retrogression. Pinto Colvig would be Goofy’s voice again in the equally unfunny ‘The Big Wash‘ (1948).

Watch ‘Foul Hunting’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 20
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Double Dribble
To the next Goofy cartoon: They’re Off

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: 
November 1, 1947
 Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd

Slick Hare © Warner BrothersIn ‘Slick Hare’ Elmer works as a waiter in a restaurant full of celebrities.

Humphrey Bogart (voiced by Dave Barry) is one of the costumers, and he tells Elmer to bring him a rabbit or else… By chance, Elmer discovers Bugs in his kitchen and what follows is a wild chase involving more celebrities, like The Marx Brothers and Carmen Miranda.

‘Slick Hare’ is a hilarious cartoon. Highlights are a well-timed pie throwing sequence and a a great dance routine by Bugs on an irresistible samba, animated with gusto by Gerry Chiniquy. The cartoon contains some more caricatures of Hollywood stars, like Leopold Stokowski, Frank Sinatra and at the end, Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall.

Watch ‘Slick Hare’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 45
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: Easter Yeggs
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Gorilla My Dreams

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: 
June 28, 1947
 Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd

Easter Yeggs © Warner BrothersMcKimson’s second Bugs Bunny cartoon is way funnier than his first one, ‘Acrobatty Bunny‘ (1946).

In ‘Easter Yeggs’, Bugs Bunny encounters a lethargic Easter Bunny who makes Bugs replace him, because he has ‘sore feet’. Bugs ends up delivering Easter eggs in some slum, where he’s troubled by an unbelievably annoying little red-haired kid. In his next attempt he encounters Elmer Fudd, who’s only after Easter bunny stew.

Penned by Warren Foster, ‘Easter Yeggs’ is a hilarious cartoon, and without doubt among both Robert McKimson’s and Bugs Bunny’s all time best. Its highlight may be Bugs’ performance as a magician conducting a misguided trick with Elmer’s watch.

Watch ‘Easter Yeggs’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 44
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon: A Hare Grows in Manhattan
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Slick Hare

Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: 
May 22, 1947
 Bugs Bunny

A Hare Grows in Manhattan © Warner Brothers‘A Hare Grows in Manhattan’ starts with a great premise: Bugs is a Hollywood star who has it made.

He is visited by one “Lola Beverley” (only a voice over) who asks him to tell of his humble origin. Next we watch a youthful Bugs in East-side, New York encountering a group of tough street dogs led by a rather dumb bulldog wearing a bowler hat.

Unfortunately, this section remains an ordinary chase sequence, which does not differ from an ordinary Bugs Bunny cartoon. Three years later, McKimson would reuse the idea of Bugs reminiscing his origins in ‘What’s Up Doc?‘, with much better results.

‘A Hare Grows in Manhattan’ contains a ‘little piggy’ gag which was to be repeated by Tweety in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit‘ (1988).

Watch ‘A Hare Grows in Manhattan’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Bugs Bunny cartoon No. 43
To the previous Bugs Bunny cartoon:  Rabbit Transit
To the next Bugs Bunny cartoon: Easter Yeggs

Director: Charles Nichols
Release Date: 
February 2, 1947
 Pluto, Butch, The Little Turtle

Pluto's Housewarming © Walt DisneyIn ‘Pluto’s Housewarming’ Pluto’s got a new and very fancy home at the beach, but even before he moves in, it’s occupied by the little turtle from ‘Canine Patrol‘ (1945).

Pluto manages to dispose of the little fellow, but then bulldog Butch squats his house. Butch chases Pluto away, but he himself is chased away by the little turtle. In return, Pluto allows the little fellow to live in his mansion, too.

‘Pluto’s Housewarming’ is one of those numerous Pluto cartoons from the forties in which Pluto befriends a little animal, which he doesn’t like at first. The addition of Butch, however, brings in a new dimension. Nevertheless, this is cartoon is still rather cute than funny.

The little turtle would reappear in the equally cute and unfunny ‘Pluto’s Surprise Package‘ from 1949.

Watch ‘Pluto’s Housewarming’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 20
To the previous Pluto cartoon: The Purloined Pup
To the next Pluto cartoon: Rescue Dog

Directors: William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Release Date: April 26, 1947
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★★★★ ♕

The Cat Concerto © MGMIn ‘The Cat Concerto’ Tom unexpectedly appears to be a star pianist, playing Franz Liszt’s second rhapsody in concert, and doing it with enjoyable flair.

Unfortunately his playing awakes Jerry, who sleeps inside the grand piano. This leads to a hilarious chase in and around the piano, while the playing of the music continues.

‘The Cat Concerto’ almost looks like a remake of Friz Freleng’s ‘Rhapsody Rabbit‘ from 1946. However, it shares only two gags with the earlier film: that of the mouse suddenly interjecting a boogie-woogie theme and the final gag in which the mouse steals the show. The main difference between the two films is The Cat Concerto’s higher sense of realism and its integrated story, in which every gag follows from the one preceding it in almost continuous action.

‘Rhapsody Rabbit’, in contrast, is more absurd and contains more totally unrelated black-out gags. In the end, ‘The Cat Concerto’ is the better cartoon, because of its great characterization, its outstanding animation, its perfect timing. Indeed, it won an Academy Award, and together with ‘The Band Concert‘ (1935) it can be considered the best concert cartoon of all time.

Nevertheless, there seems to be something fishy about ‘The Cat Concerto’, when compared with ‘Rhapsody Rabbit’. For more on the controversy about these two all too similar cartoons, see Thad Komorowski’s excellent blogpost on the issue.

Watch ‘The Cat Concerto’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 29
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Part Time Pal
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse

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