Goofy Groceries

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Goofy Groceries is an animated short film in Warner Bros.' Merrie Melodies cartoon series, originally released on March 29, 1941 and re-issued into the "Blue Ribbon Classics" series on April 19, 1947. Bearing a similar premise to such earlier WB shorts as Speaking of the Weather and Have You Got Any Castles? but having a cast inspired by food products instead of magazines or books, the cartoon was written by Melvin Millar, directed by Robert Clampett, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. The animators included Vive Risto, Izzy Ellis, John Carey, and Rod Scribner.

Synposis[edit]

The cartoon takes place one winter night, in a grocery store whose owner has just closed the shop. The mascots on the labels of the food products come to life and perform various song and dance numbers.

First, a cow for "Contented Milk" sings to a "Fulla Tobbaco" bull "If I Could Be with You," while two other cows on cans reading "Discontented Milk" ogle and whistle at the bull. Meanwhile, a crab imitating Ned Sparks states "This love stuff makes me sick!", after which a rabbit named Jack Bunny (a parody of Jack Benny) tells the music maestro (a dish mop caricaturing Leopold Stokowski) to start up, and a label for "Big Top Popcorn" comes to life while a dog barker for "Barker's Dog Food" addresses the crowd and introduces each of the circus's attractions including "Little Egypt Wiggly Gum," "Billy Posie's Aquackade" swimmers, and the "Tomato Can Can Dancers". Meanwhile, an "Animal Crackers" gorilla (intended to parody King Kong) hears the noise and starts growling, at one point stating to the audience, "Gosh, ain't I repulsive?" This gorilla stares at the female performers and smiles, he then begins his attack attempting to abduct one of the "Can Can Dancers"; Jack Bunny sees this and rides a bottle of "Horse Radish" while an army of "Navy Beans" and "Turtle Soup Turtles" shoots at the gorilla, who defends himself with a Roman candle while at one point destroying the bottle of Horse Radish that Jack is riding. Jack sees a box of "Chocolate-Covered A1 Cherries" and snatches the axe on the label amid cheering from an army of chicks, at which point the gorilla shoots the axe with the candle causing it to shrink. As Jack Bunny dons a sheepish grin and backs into a corner, the image of Superman on a box of "Superguy Soap Chips" comes to life at the sight of the gorilla lighting a stick of dynamite with Bunny's cigar. Superman flies up to the gorilla and shouts at him, "Hey, you big ape!" and the gorilla replies "Yeah?" which scares Superman so much that he turns into a helpless, whining baby. Then, as the gorilla is about to destroy Jack Bunny with the dynamite in his hand, a voice calls out "Henry!" (in reference to the opening of The Aldrich Family), causing him to pause and run towards the direction of the voice, saying in a frightened voice "Coming mother!" (another reference to said opening) while his apparent "mother" drags him away by his ear, chastising him for his naughty behaviors. Jack Bunny breathes a sigh of relief only to realize he's still holding the dynamite, which explodes leaving him in blackface. After being exploded on, he then concludes the cartoon with a Rochester impression: "My oh my, tattletale gray!"

Censorship[edit]

  • The cable television channel Cartoon Network (excluding The Bob Clampett Show where the short aired uncut) omitted the aftermath of the explosion from the lit stick of dynamite held by Jack Bunny; after the candle exploded, the cartoon would instantly fade to black. Also gone were a scene with black children diving and swimming in a sink, and a scene with a black native boy running away when he sees the gorilla swinging from a lamp.[1]
  • KOFY (a local TV station in San Francisco, CA), much like CN, also edited the aftermath of the explosion. Unlike CN however, KOFY slowed the "That's all Folks!" end card to last 15-20 seconds to fit in Jack Bunny's final line "My oh my, Tattletale Grey!" which was cut altogether by CN.

Availability[edit]

The cartoon is available restored, uncut, and uncensored on Disc 2 of the 2005 DVD Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/g/ "The Censored Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Guide"

External links[edit]