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Director: Mannie Davis
Release Date: April 28, 1933
Stars: Cubby the Bear, Honey
Rating: ★★

Bubbles and Troubles © Van BeurenCubby the Bear’s fourth cartoon, ‘Bubbles and Troubles’, has quite a bizarre story.

The short starts when Cubby starts blowing bubbles with Honey’s soap water. He accidentally blows himself up, and takes the air immediately. He’s shot out of the air by a bunch of pirates, and he falls to the ground. While he’s unconsciousness, the mean pirates kidnap Honey and take her to their ship. The absurdity of the Van Beuren studio’s story-telling style is perfectly illustrated by a scene in which the captain grabs some money, saying ‘money’, than grabbing some more, saying ‘more money!’. When Buddy awakes, he places himself inside a bubble and takes flight to the pirate ship, where he disposes of all the pirates all too easily.

In ‘Bubbles and Troubles’ Cubby approaches Mickey’s character as much as apparently possible, and the short could have been a great adventure cartoon if it were better told and less loony. It’s highly recommended nevertheless, not so much to watch, but to listen to, for Gene Rodemich’s score is no less than wonderful.

Watch ‘Bubbles and Troubles’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Bubbles and Troubles’ is available on the DVD ‘The Complete Adventures of Cubby Bear’ and the Blu-Ray ‘The Complete Animated Adventures of Cubby Bear’

Director: Clyde Geronimi
Release Date: December 27, 1940
Stars: Pluto
Rating: ★★★

Pantry Pirate © Walt DisneySurprisingly, in this film Pluto is not Mickey’s dog, but owned by an Afro-American lady, who seems to be the exact copy of Tom & Jerry’s Mammy Two-Shoes, who made her debut in February of that year. However, it was the Disney studio itself who had introduced the Mammy character in ‘Three Orphan Kittens‘ (1935).

In ‘Pantry Pirate’ Mammy puts Pluto outside, but he sneaks into the kitchen trying to steal her roast beef. Hindered by an ironing-board, several tea cups and a bucket of soapy water, he doesn’t succeed, but he does escape Mammy’s wrath by quickly returning to his dog house, pretending to be asleep. Here the cartoon abruptly ends.

‘Pantry Pirate’ is the first of seven Pluto cartoons directed by Clyde Geronimi. It’s also one of his best, with gags leading to more gags in excellent pantomimed and physical situation comedy. This cartoon contains some remarkably flexible animation of Pluto, especially during the ironing-board scene. Pluto’s design, however, seems to be stubbier than usual. The Mammy character would return in ‘Figaro and Cleo‘ (1943).

Watch ‘Pantry Pirate’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Pluto cartoon No. 3
To the previous Pluto cartoon: Bone Trouble
To the next Pluto cartoon: Pluto’s Playmate

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