Looney Tunes Wiki
Looney Tunes Wiki

Farm Frolics is a 1941 Merrie Melodies short directed by Bob Clampett.

Plot

A realistic-looking horse whinnies, and a comic triple plays out: The narrator asks the horse to do a trot; the horse obliges. The narrator asks for a gallop; the horse again obliges. The narrator then asks the horse to do a "canter". The horse turns from realistic to a cartoon horse with bugged eyes singing "I'm Happy About the Whole Thing" in the style of the vaudeville star Eddie Cantor, vocally impersonated by Cliff Nazarro. The narrator admonishes the horse, who grins sheepishly.

The family dog lazes on the porch, springing to alertness when the newspaper arrives. The dog makes a mad dash to the end of the driveway, gets the paper, comes back to the porch, and immediately starts to read the paper himself, starting with the Sunday comics. In Blanc's early version of Barney Rubble, he says, "I just can't wait to see what happens to Dick Tracy today!"

A hen leaves her eggs unguarded, and a mean-looking weasel stealthily creeps into the henhouse while the narrator frets. Just as he is about to grab the eggs, they all hatch at once, and the chicks shout "BOO!" in unison. The frightened weasel evokes a Joe Penner catch-phrase, "Don't ever DOOO that!" and gasps as his heart pounds.

A group of birds put a little twig, a bit of string, and piece of straw until they make a house approved by F.H.A. (Federal Housing Administration), singing, "There's no place like home!"

A group of ants is coming and going at an anthill. The camera and mike zoom in to allow the viewer to see and hear as a mother summons her son: "Hen-REEEE!" "Coming, Mother!"

A mouse mentions that he is kind to the cat he's snuggling against, and nods with the narrator's observation they're friends. When asked by the narrator if he has anything he'd like to say to his friends in the audience, the mouse yells, "GET ME OUT OF HEEEEEEEEERE!"

A recurring gag has six piglets eagerly watching an alarm clock. When it finally hits six o'clock, one of the pigs yell "Dinnertime!" and they dash off to their mother, to the tune of the military bugle call "Mess Call". She braces for the onslaught as the sucklings pile into her side. The mother pig has a rather dejected face and speaks in the manner of ZaSu Pitts, "Oh, dear... every day, it's the same thing!"

Caricatures

Availability

Streaming

Notes

  • The vocal group heard at the beginning is The Sportsmen Quartet, who often harmonized in Warner Bros. cartoons of the period, later becoming the resident singing group on Jack Benny's radio and TV shows.
  • The ant yelling "Hen-REEE!" refers to the catchphrase from the radio show The Aldrich Family.
  • This is one of the cartoons that Warner would occasionally produce that featured none of its stable of characters, just a series of gags, usually based on outrageous stereotypes and plays on words, and topical references, as a narrator (Robert C. Bruce) describes the action.
  • This cartoon was re-released issued into the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies program on October 15, 1949. However, the title card had Bruce's audio and as such, the opening music had to be shortened.
  • The cartoon entered in the public domain after United Artists (successor of A.A.P.) failed to renew its copyright in time.
  • This cartoon was also one of the first to carry the 1941-45 opening theme for the Merrie Melodies series. It would come to be associated with the a.a.p. package in general, as many color cartoons in that package would be reissued as Blue Ribbons, opening with that version of the theme. That theme would even be played on the a.a.p. logo itself, for the first nine seconds.
  • This is also one of the only two color cartoons that Bob Clampett made with his original unit, the other one being "Goofy Groceries" (the first color cartoon he ever directed) earlier that year.
  • A 16mm print of the cartoon with its original opening titles was found on eBay in late April of 2018.
  • The cartoon was featured in the Pee-Wee's Playhouse episode "Mystery", however the cartoon is cut between the first scene with the piglets and the scene with the cat and mouse, mostly due to the running time.
  • The horse later appeared in the Looney Tunes Cartoons short "Saddle Sore!" in which he is more similar to Pepé Le Pew.

Gallery

References