Speaking of the Weather

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Speaking of the Weather
Merrie Melodies series
Speaking of the Weather title card.png
Directed by Frank Tashlin
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Treg Brown
Voices by Both uncredited:
Mel Blanc (Hugh Herbert, Conductor, Cholly Jam, Walter Snitchall and dog)
Billy Bletcher (Public Enemy #1, and The Judge)
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Credited:
Joe D'Igalo
Volney White
Uncredited:
Nelson Demorest
Art Loomer
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) September 4, 1937
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes 24 seconds
Language English

Speaking of the Weather is an animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series produced by Leon Schlesinger for Warner Bros.. Released to theaters on September 4, 1937, it was directed by Frank Tashlin and animated by Joe D'Igalo and Volney White. It was reissued into the "Blue Ribbon Classics" series in January 1945.

The film centers around literary figures coming to life — a basic theme that Tashlin would later use in the subsequent shorts Have You Got Any Castles? and You're an Education, both released in 1938. Collectively, the films are commonly referred to by WB cartoon fans as the "Tashlin Three."

Plot[edit]

In a closed drugstore at midnight, the characters from all of the books and magazines are coming to life.

At the beginning of the film, "Bob Boins" (Bob Burns) introduces Ted Lewis who is seen playing Plenty of Money and You, which segues into a caricature of orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski leading the Storm movement from the William Tell Overture. After this, the title song is sung by a girl trio caricaturing the Boswell Sisters on the cover of Radioland magazine; all the while, Hugh Herbert is seen repeatedly smiling and adjusting his necktie. A bullish criminal on the cover of The Gang Magazine, distracted at the sound of the sisters' performance, sneaks about and decides to use a blowtorch from the cover of Popular Mechanics to break into a safe on the cover of The Magazine of Wall Street. He is discovered by detective "Cholly Jam" (Charlie Chan), and after explaining himself to the police on the cover of True Confessions, he is tried, and sentenced to Life. However, he decides to escape through the cover of Liberty; but his escape does not go unnoticed when he is reported by the famous columnist and radio reporter Walter Winchell (here caricatured as "Walter Snitchall"), which then leads to a wide variety of characters, including police officers, Boy Scouts, wild animals, and native Zulu tribesmen, joining the chase. The Thin Man (a caricature of William Powell, who got an Academy Award nomination for playing the role) uses Asta from the cover of Dog World to detect the criminal on the cover of Better Babies, and the criminal gives chase on the carriage, only to be assailed by everyone from Navy battleships to Greta Garbo and even Saint Nicholas. He ultimately ends up imprisoned in the bars on the cover of Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing, and when Herbert laughs, the criminal uses a globe from the cover of a World Almanac to hit him in the head. At iris-out, it turns out he has stolen Herbert's laugh himself.

Censorship[edit]

As one of its many efforts to remove possible stereotyping of African-Americans from Warner Bros. shorts, Cartoon Network excised the footage of the Zulu natives.[1]

Availability[edit]

Speaking of the Weather is available as a bonus on Warner's DVD release of Gold Diggers of 1937.[2] It is also available on Volume 3 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/s/ "The Censored Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Guide"
  2. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029595/trivia "Speaking of the Weather: Did You Know?" at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]

Speaking of the Weather at the Internet Movie Database