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Busy Bakers is a 1940 Merrie Melodies short directed by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton.


Swenson, the local town baker, is at risk of going out of business due to poor sales. Due to his lack of resources, he has very little to offer a man who has arrived in his store, who wants nothing more than bread and crumbs. The baker offers him his last doughnut, allowing the beggar says that the baker will be rewarded for his act of kindness.

In a thought-provoking "twist," the blind man changes into baker gear and wakes up his group of little baker men. The bakers scramble to the bakery while Swenson is asleep to help revive the business. As the bakers sing "The Happy, Slappy Little Baker Man", they also make all kinds of pastries in a Rube Goldberg-like way. The next morning, Swenson wakes to find the bakers, but they all quickly leave when they are caught. The bakery is flooded with all sorts of people looking to buy baked goods, allowing Swenson to regain his wealth. The same beggar comes back to ask for another piece of bread, and the baker gives him a pie. As the beggar leaves, Swenson states that the pie pan had a five cent deposit in it, so the beggar throws the pie at Swenson. The baker replies, "That's gratitude for ya."





  • This is a parody of the fairy tale "The Elves and the Shoemaker" set in a bakery instead of a shoe shop.
  • This is the final cartoon to be directed by Hardaway and Dalton, as Friz Freleng returned in 1939. As a result, Hardaway was demoted back to storyman. He left after being demoted and joined Walter Lantz.
  • Despite the departure of Hardaway, Cal Dalton continued to work as an animator until 1947.
  • This is the latest released cartoon to be reissued in the 1945 season. What is more, this is the only 1940 Merrie Melodie to be reissued with the MCMXXXX copyright instead of MCMXL.
  • During the scene where all the bakers sing the song "The Happy, Slappy Little Baker Man" while quickly working on the baking of the baked goods, all of their singing voices are higher-pitched, implying that this song sequence has been sped-up during this cartoon's production.
  • The gag where one of the bakers opens a pumpkin straight from the can was previously used in "Cinderella Meets Fella" (1938) directed by Tex Avery two years prior.



External Links

Busy Bakers at the Big Cartoon Database