The Weakly Reporter

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The Weakly Reporter
Merrie Melodies series
The Weakly Reporter title card.png
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Bea Benaderet
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Ben Washam
Studio Leon Schlesinger Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) March 26, 1944 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

The Weakly Reporter is a Warner Bros. cartoon released on March 25, 1944. Directed by Chuck Jones, written by Michael Maltese, and with music directed by Carl Stalling, this cartoon is a spoof of sacrifices made by those on the homefront during World War II.

Outline[edit]

Its opening sequence is set to My Country, 'Tis Of Thee and shows the Statue of Liberty and the presidents of Mount Rushmore in wartime garb, such as air raid wardens and civil defense personnel.

The second sequence, to the tune of California, Here I Come, states that Florida loves California "for the duration". Several scenes following, set to the tune of In My Merry Oldsmobile, deal with the lack of automobile traffic. One of those scenes shows a policeman chasing someone only to zoom out to show a foot chase. The policeman makes a reference to early race car driver Barney Oldfield.

To the tune of "Memories", a scene shows a trio of armored car guards carrying a pound of butter, while the next scene shows a lady at a butcher shop asking if the butcher has Porterhouse steak. The butcher replies, "We certainly have, lady" and allows the lady to sniff the beef, then charges her $1.19 (equal to $15.94 today) for the privilege of sniffing.

The cartoon then switches to a man tossing and turning in bed and, to the tune of "A Cup Of Coffee, A Sandwich And You", discusses the rationing of coffee, both before and after rationing. The sequence after that deals with hoarding, and to the tune of Yankee Doodle, says about war bonds, "You can't hoard too many of these!" A scene, to the tune of Oh, You Beautiful Doll, deals with women regularly visiting beauty salons to improve wartime morale, and one lady is shown wearing a welder's mask as a nod to Rosie the Riveter.

An armed robbery of a jeweler nets an alarm clock. Following sequences deal with feminine intrigue as well as women joining the Army and taking jobs vacated by men who have gone off to war. One "feminine intrigue" scene shows a woman with an accent being affectionate to an American man in front of what appears to be a German castle, saying, "I can't go back without them. Please! Please!" As the camera zooms out, the castle is actually on a calendar advertising meat in a butcher shop. The butcher says, "Oh, very well. Here, that will be fifty cents" (equal to $6.7 today) as he wraps two ham steaks up for the woman.

The cartoon closes with scenes dealing with factory workers building ships, planes and guns faster than they had ever been built before, and features a scene where a female repair person empties her tool box and starts a stalled machine (and the entire factory) with a hairpin.

The closing scene shows a formally dressed man standing with a woman (who is holding a bottle of champagne) at an empty dry dock, ready to launch a ship. The woman asks the man, "But, where's the boat?" The man replies, "Just start swinging, lady!" As she swings the bottle of champagne, the ship rises out of nowhere, gets struck by the bottle and launches to the tune of Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean. The camera pans to a shack, and then closes in on a shot showing the shack's door window marked "Henry J. Kaiser - Private" and a sign hanging from a nail on the shack's door which read "Back in 2 minutes - out to launch". Iris out.

Edited versions[edit]

  • When this short aired on Cartoon Network, some of the introductions to the cartoons' gags (which feature Nazis as stick figures) were cut.

Availability[edit]

This cartoon can be found uncut, uncensored, and digitally remastered on Disc 2 ("Patriotic Pals") of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6.

External links[edit]