Saturday, August 01, 2015

King Koko

Well, Bedtime represents a first, because we see Max doing a drawing not in his studio, but in his bedroom!  Well, that's the artist's life for you.  Same thing happened on House of Cards when Robin Wright had her affair with that photographer... something like that.
Of course, what was Max thinking?  He draws himself a Koko in his bedroom... and now Max can't fall asleep!  Why not just have a kitten in your room as well?  Arguably, at least Koko might be housebroken.  I know, I know, not all kittens aren't potty trained.  But ever the sadist, Max draws a tall, narrow mountain and puts Koko on the top of it, thereby creating the pivotal scene in Gerry.
From there, things get even stranger than they are already.  Koko ends up at the mouth of the Cave of the Winds, which... must be from folklore or something.  Why, is that two politicians flying past it?  Wind, indeed!  And then, try as he might to resist, Koko gets sucked inside of the cave... nearly ripping his clown suit completely off.  Hmm!  Kinda wish I could un-see that part.  Oh well.  Koko uses a gun to shoot at the three big buttons on his outfit.  You know, to get them back!  The really weird part about that is... it works!!!  Oh, this must be a dream sequence.  Anyway, it paved the way for the St. James Infirmary sequence the Fleischers would do later on in... you know, the one about Betty Boop as... Snow White?
But we can't spend this whole cartoon inside of a cave, for God's sake!  Koko eventually comes out the other side... caves have two sides?  Doesn't that make it a... TUNNEL?  What-evs.  And so it's on to Koko's next surreal encounter with a Bluto-esque wrestler who, God bless him, can't seem to brush Koko off of his body.  Happens every time in these iterations of Jack and the Beanstalk.  I'm thinking of that one with Bugs and Daffy, and Elmer as the Giant.  And anytime Bugs and Daffy are running around on the Giant's body, the Giant just can't reach them at the last minute.  Too slow.  Kinda like how sometimes when I try to catch the cat, the cat always seems to outrun me.  Same goes with the fleas that land on my leg, but every once in a while I do catch those little pests.  They're like tiny versions of the alien from Alien.  I know we're supposed to value God's creation and all, but I draw the line at bloodsuckers.  The wrestler sequence seems to get repeated once, BTW.  Maybe a third time.  And then there's that part where Koko crawls under the guy's wrestler tights!  EWWWWWW!!!!!!!!  For that, and other crimes, a mighty chase ensues across the endless Fleischer countryside.  Koko tries to hide in the Hudson River... it was a lot less developed back then... but the wrestler drinks all the water, much like Gertie in Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur.
I've never seen a wrestler so persistent!  The wrestler eventually catches up to the fleeing Koko, and eventually catches Koko in his hands.  It's all Koko can do to avoid getting crushed in the wrestler's fists.  And then... SPOILER ALERT: Koko wakes up, back atop that very narrow mountain. 
It's right then and there that he vows revenge against a sleeping Max.  Koko climbs up on to the foot of Max's bed and starts stealing the bedsheets.  Max wakes up to find Koko starting to grow... much like the pet in Winsor McCay's The Pet... I'm sorry, I mean Winsor McCay's Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend: The Pet (1921), drawn by hand by Winsor McCay, the Inventor of Animated Drawing.  Apparently, McCay's friends finally stopped wagering that McCay couldn't create an animated film, as they grew tired of losing their money all the time.  But the main thing is that there's an animal in The Pet, half cow, half cat (it Meows!), that keeps growing and growing and growing.  Of course, it may be because the pet has a ravenous appetite, much like Homer in that one Simpsons episode ("Married to the Blob") where he eats that "space marshmallow."  "If I can hold down Arby's, I can hold down you!", said Homer.  And yet, Jon Stewart gets all the glory of bashing Arby's.  How does that work?  Did you see that ad that Arby's ran?  It said "Not sure why, but we'll miss you."  I think it's because it's a little easier to take criticism from one guy on television than from millions of disgruntled customers.  But, give the Devil his due!  They seem to be the only franchise that still has Curley Fries.  Love those extremely unhealthy things.  The only catch is: I gotta go to Arby's to get 'em.  Too steep a price for me, apparently.
...where was I?  Oh, right.  So, Koko starts to grow, but not from excess calories.  No, Koko's growth seems to be fueled by his boundless, somewhat justified rage.  Well, some people are just ducky and lucky that way.  All some people have to do is cross their arms, slap their own shoulders, and BOOM!  Grow they go... go they grow?  Anyway, Max flees in terror, and we see him briefly hurrying around in the snow, thereby creating the Coen brothers' Fargo... too much of a stretch?  And then, just like in The Pet, we see Koko growing amid real-life buildings.  In one excellent sequence, there's an aerial view of a big city street, and the animators clearly went to great pains to make sure that Koko fit between and behind the right ones.  Koko pulls off the roof of one building, reaches inside, and his fingers come out of some windows in the middle of the building.  LOL! 
But enough fun and games; it's time to end this puppy.  And with Koko's face morphing into the Devil's face, Max's dream ends like Koko's dream (SPOILER ALERT) with clutching hands of a giant reaching for him.  But Max actually gets grabbed by Koko, and he tries in vain to wriggle free... thereby influencing Roger Rabbit, if only a little.  Max wakes up, sees the still image of Koko, then dumps him into the inkwell, thereby ensuring the serial consistency of the Out of the Inkwell series.

Good double bill with: Winsor McCay's The Pet (1921)... did I mention that one already?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan 

No comments: