Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hey Bulldog

We leave the world of money behind and get back to fundamentals with our next Tom and Jerry cartoon, The Bodyguard.  I'm guessing it's the mouse's bodyguard... just a wild guess.
(after viewing the short) It's a semi-familiar theme in these one-reel cartoons, but when it's done this well it's hard to complain.  It's the proverbial lion with a thorn in its paw... ah, Christians.  What is your obsession with the iconography of the Roman Empire?  Then again, there's Androcles, and there's Aesop.  And there's my résumé for Senior Researcher at the Rachel Maddow show.  Symbiosis, baby!  Attraction of opposites!  And that thin line between Plagiarism and homage.
The point being that somehow Tom and Jerry instinctively know that they alone aren't enough to carry a one-reeler.  New characters need to be added to the mix.  After Jerry Mouse hides himself in a garden behind the sign for potatoes, he sees the new character: a bulldog trapped in the back of a dogcatcher's van.  Jerry Mouse liberates the dog, and the dog is grateful.  "If you ever need me, just whistle!"  And of course, the great Billy Bletcher does the voice of the bulldog... and at one point, Tom the Cat as well!  Double duty!
After a couple poundings, one with alliterations based on words beginning with 'P', (the twitch of the cat's whiskers at 1:48 ought to put you in a digital-type mood!) the cat eventually figures out what's going on, so he comes up with an ingenious ruse to thwart the mouse's ability to whistle.  As if that wasn't bad enough, the bulldog can't quite figure out what's going on.  They're apparently kinda dumb, you see.  Ain't that always a trade-off?  Why can't you have both brains and brawn?  Like Jillian Michaels?  Anyway, I further hate to spoil the ending, but just as Stella got her groove back... I confess, I haven't read the book or seen the movie, so I don't know if she actually did get her groove back or not.  Besides!  It's not the destination, it's the journey! ... so too does the mouse get his whistle back, and after the resultant hurricane winds subside, the cat prepares for the worst.  Also, how does a mouse have the strength to lift an anvil?  I mean, seriously?  Anyway, we're all expecting the worst... but that wouldn't be too funny, would it?

Good double bill with: Bad Luck Blackie or Scratch a Tiger (not on YouTube)

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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