Sunday, February 08, 2015

Baby, Baby Butch... Baby Butch I'm a Loving You

...sorry, but I heard that song recently, and apparently I decided deep in my brain that I would just have to use that as a reference to our next Tom and Jerry cartoon, Baby Butch.  ...whew!  Glad that's over.  Back to "Funkytown."
In a slight plot twist, this time it's the cat and not the mouse that's getting a bundle of joy to take care of.  A hungry alley cat sees the bounty of riches in Tom's refrigerator, and the notion is bourne: to dress up like a giant baby, and pretend to be abandoned in order to get some of that sweet, sweet food.  Anyway, the cat's note is quicker to the point, which even David Mamet would surely appreciate!
And so, just as Tom himself played the baby in Baby Puss, we got a different grown cat dressed in adorable baby clothes.  But Tom accepts the situation for what it appears to be, and does some quick growing up of his own, thinking that his job is to take care of this "baby."  He quickly gets some milk and gives it to the cat.  "MILK???!!!" the cat exclaims, throwing the bottle to the floor... he catches himself on the first bounce, however, and drinks the milk as a sign of good faith.  I know, I know... cats like milk as much as ham, but I suppose even a cat can be disappointed when they've got their mind set to ham, and milk comes in its stead.  I'm erring on the side of hope, what can me say?
And so, the black cat gets his paws on the ham bone, but finds it hard to schedule some time to actually eat it.  Needles to say, once the little rat... I mean, Jerry Mouse, gets into the mix, things get complicated, because Jerry (Mouse) sees the ham and wants it too.  They must've started scaling back on the budgets on these things, because they use the footage twice where the black cat steals back the ham bone and crushes Jerry with it for good measure.
Now, it's implied, I hope, that there's humans that own this house, and the various other houses that Tom and Jerry end up destroying.  Which means that Tom Cat is essentially the boss of the house, and is in charge of making sure that the stocks of food are kept safe, and at their proper temperature, or away from moisture and weevils if it's dry food.  And for the most part, Tom does what he can to maintain that oath.  Here, he's so smitten with the idea of stepfatherhood, that it's the mouse's job to point out that the black cat is loading up its crib with the contents of the fridge, and preparing for a quick exit in order to complete the act of robbery.  The blind leading the blind, I tells ya.  If there's a new low for this blue cat, I just ... I just don't wanna know about it.  Hang on while I watch the ending again... yes, the black cat, because he plays dirtier than Tom, knocks Tom unconscious with the fridge door; no small irony there.  The black cat's sailing towards the door, and once again, the mouse has to save the day.  It's a victory for teamwork, to be sure, but still... almost makes me ashamed to be a cat person.
EPILOGUE - Because, yes, there is one.  For some reason, I'm put in mind of all those monster movies that end with a fresh beginning... for some reason, all the ones from the '80s come to mind: your Critters 1, your Troll, your Child's Play, what have you.  Incidentally, why is the Gremlins franchise more beloved than the Critters franchise?  I guess probably because owning the Critters franchise costs way more.  I mean, how many did they make?  Six or seven?  My point being is that Baby Butch is kinda like that, because the black cat dressed as a baby returns.  And right in the middle of dinner, too.  The cat and mouse were sitting down at the dinner table, getting ready to slice up some ham, and as Darrell Hammond as Phil Donahue might say, God is in his heaven above and all is right with the world.  And then... he's back, with the same old shtick, saying "Da da?" and pointing to his mouth.  Well, the church types still say "Love Thy Neighbor" even though in all the history of film, and probably real life as well, it doesn't usually work out too well.

Great double bill with: Porky's Bear Facts; of course, Porky's Bear Facts seems like The Grapes of Wrath in comparison

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

1 comment:

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