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Director: Charles Nichols
Release Date: 
December 26, 1947
Stars:
 Pluto
Rating:
 ★★★½
Review:

Pluto's Blue Note © Walt DisneyIn ‘Pluto’s Blue Note’ Pluto tries to sing along with some birds, a bee and a grasshopper, but to no avail.

When he discovers that he can use his tail as a needle to play records with, he uses these not only to impress these animals, but also five female dogs, who fall for ‘his’ crooning, Frank Sinatra-like voice. In this short Pluto performs a very silly dance, which is only topped in outrageous animation by his facial expressions while play-backing the crooning voice.

‘Pluto’s Blue Note’ certainly is one of the more inspired Pluto cartoons of the late forties, and its story a welcome deviation from the Pluto-befriends-a-little-animal formula.

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

This is Pluto cartoon No. 23
To the previous Pluto cartoon: Mail Dog
To the next Pluto cartoon: Bone Bandit

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Director: Friz Freleng
Release Date: 
November 1, 1947
Stars:
 Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd
Rating:
 ★★★★★
Review:

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: Bob Clampett
Release Date: January 5, 1946
Stars: Daffy Duck
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

Book Revue © Warner Brothers‘Book Revue’ is the last of the book-covers-come-to life cartoons, a series started by Harman and Ising in 1932, with ‘Three’s a Crowd’.

These cartoons, in which the book titles provide the gags, were mostly plotless, relying on puns and sight gags. ‘Book Revue’ is no exception, but it has the most swinging take on the formula one can wish for.

‘Book Revue’ contains caricatures of some famous (white) jazzmen of the era: Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. At a certain point Daffy Duck interrupts the swing music to sing ‘Carolina in the Morning’, dressed like Danny Kaye (with a blonde wig). Daffy even imitates the Russian accent Kaye sometimes would explore. Daffy immediately exchanges the song for some superb scat singing to warn Red Riding Hood for the Wolf. These two sequences form a highlight in Daffy’s career, and a real tour de force from voice actor Mel Blanc. The ‘story’, if there is any, involves Daffy being followed by the wolf from red riding hood.

The animation of Daffy is extremely flexible in this cartoon, especially when animated by Rod Scribner and Manny Gould, who really push the limits here. At one point Daffy even converts into one big eye – probably the most extreme deformation of a major cartoon star ever put to screen.

‘Book Revue’ makes no sense at all, but it is a cartoon full of sheer joy, and a crowning achievement of the book series.

Watch an excerpt from ‘Book Revue’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Daffy Duck cartoon No. 31
To the previous Daffy Duck cartoon: Nasty Quacks
To the next Daffy Duck cartoon: Baby Bottleneck

‘Book Revue’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two’

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