|Looney Tunes (Buddy) series|
|Directed by||Jack King|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Voices by||Jack Carr, Billy Bletcher (both uncredited)|
|Music by||Norman Spencer|
|Animation by||Frank Tipper, Cal Dalton|
|Studio||Leon Schlesinger Productions|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||September 29, 1934 (USA)|
|Running time||6 minutes|
|Preceded by||Buddy the Detective (1934)|
|Followed by||Buddy the Woodsman (1934)|
Viva Buddy is an American animated short film, released September 29, 1934 (though one source gives as a date December 12). It is a Looney Tunes cartoon, featuring Buddy, the second star of the series. It was supervised by Jack King; musical direction was by Norman Spencer.
We come to Buddy, who, ambling through a Mexican town, strums a guitar and sings "Monterey" (to the tune of "Madrid"): he walks off of a balcony & falls on the myriad hats worn by a hat salesman, trapping him therein; a swift kick in the pants from Buddy, and the salesman is on his way. Buddy attempts to enter the sleepy Cantina El Moocher, but is physically rebuffed by the enormity of snores within, & compelled instead to enter through an open window. Everywhere, men sleep, even at a checkers table, where jumping beans play for them. Buddy slips one of the lively beans into the mouth of a man at the bar's piano, and he begins to play with his toes. The people are roused by this, and begin happily dancing & drinking; a makeshift mariachi band plays in tune; Buddy is apparently able to play his guitar with his teeth; his guitar can also play itself; Buddy also can play while his feet hang in the air!
Enter the outlaw Pancho, who does some fancy gunwork to frighten the townsfolk and ties up his horse by shooting an hole through a stake & tying the horse's tail through the hole. The villain steps into the saloon & starts firing; the patrons (except Buddy) shout: "Pancho!" "Pancho!" "Pancho!" (and then, from a bed that folds out from the wall, in succession, the four Marx brothers: "Zeppo!" "Harpo!" "Chico!" "Groucho!") But Pancho makes a mistake in shooting & destroying Buddy's banana. Our indignant hero boldly squeezes the remainder of the fruit in his adversary's face. Pancho puts one of his guns to Buddy's head, but declares that he likes the little fellow, and commands him to play the piano (into which he has been backed.) Cookie, heretofore absent, begins to dance to Buddy's tune, "Famabella". Pancho proves himself a dancer as well, to the anger of an unstaged Cookie, and requests a kiss of her. Of course, the scoundrel winds up with his backside through the canteen door, & back again into the canteen by the fury of a cranky goat. Pancho again makes an advance on Cookie, and an annoyed Buddy fires a serving fork at Pancho's behind by means of a cello. "I kill you to little pieces!" shouts Pancho. But both of the dastard's pistols are blocked by a two-pronged candelabra thrown, with marvellous accuracy, by Buddy. Pancho shows his whip, and with it snags Buddy from across the room: Buddy punches his captor in vain. Eventually, Our Hero grabs a ceiling fixture that spins both competitors round and round, flinging them finally into an easily-breaking counter. The cartoon concludes on a friendly note: Pancho takes Buddy by the shoulder & announces that he was "only fooling." The competitors together heartily laugh.
In those Buddy shorts supervised by Jack King, Cookie generally has blond, braided hair; it is odd, then, that this cartoon should feature Buddy's sweetheart with her more traditional black hair.
The Marx brothers
Uniqueness of the title
This is the only Looney Tune starring Buddy whose title does not begin with some form of the main character's name.
Sources differ on the release date of this short & of the order of its release. This article follows the chronology given in the article Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies filmography (1929-1939). For more on this issue, see the relevant section of the article Buddy's Circus.
- Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: a History of American Animated Cartoons. Von Hoffmann Press, Inc., 1980. p. 406