Book Revue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Book Revue
Looney Tunes (Daffy Duck) series
Bookrevue.jpg
Title card of the original print
Directed by Robert Clampett
Produced by Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Story by Warren Foster
Voices by Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Sara Berner (uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Robert McKimson
Rod Scribner
Manny Gould
Bill Melendez
Layouts by Cornett Wood
Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) January 5, 1946 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

Book Revue (later re-issued on May 19, 1951, as Book Review[1]) is a Looney Tunes cartoon short featuring Daffy Duck, released in 1946, with a plotline essentially being a mixture of the plots of 1937's Speaking of the Weather, 1938's Have You Got Any Castles? and 1941's A Coy Decoy. It is directed by Bob Clampett, written by Warren Foster and scored by Carl Stalling. An uncredited Mel Blanc and Sara Berner provided the voices. As originally released, the title is a pun, as a "revue" is a variety show, while a "review" is an evaluation of a work (this pun is not retained in the reissue).

Plot[edit]

The cartoon starts out in the same, pastoral "after midnight at a closed bookstore" fashion of Frank Tashlin's trio of "books coming to life" cartoons, to the strains of Moonlight Sonata. A colorized version of the storefront from A Coy Decoy can be seen. Inside, an inebriated "cuckoo bird" pops out of a cuckoo clock to announce the arrival of midnight (and signaling the "cuckoo" activities to follow) and the books come alive. The cartoon's first lampoon and pun appears, a book collection called "Complete works of Shakespeare". Shakespeare is shown in silhouette while his literally-rendered "works" are clockwork mechanisms, along with old-fashioned "stop" and "go" traffic signals, set to the "ninety years without slumbering, tick-tock, tick-tock" portion of "My Grandfather's Clock".

Cut to a book titled Young Man with a Horn; a caricature of Harry James breaks loose with a jazz trumpet obbligato similar to James' "You Made Me Love You", in which he segues into the standard, "It Had to Be You", as a striptease is about to begin on the cover of Cherokee Strip. Book covers for The Whistler and The Sea Wolf show their characters shouting and whistling at the off-screen action. Many of the women begin fainting for an emaciated Frank Sinatra caricature, gently singing "It Had to Be You".

Annoyed by the revelry, Daffy Duck steps out of the cover of a Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies comic book (in the background is a book by "Ann Anonymous" titled The Invisible Man: A Biography of Robert Clampett) and starts rifling through a trunk (Saratoga Trunk) for clothes, with the classic Ukrainian tune Ochi chyornye as background music . He dons a zoot suit and a curly, blonde wig, as well as what appears to be a set of fake teeth (which explains why his trademark lisp is nowhere to be heard in this film).

The background changes to a strange one with legible newsprint superimposed on silhouettes of urban buildings; Daffy continues in his fake Russian accent as he sings Carolina In The Morning a la Danny Kaye, inadvertently teasing the Big Bad Wolf, who at this point is still in the window of "Gran'Ma's House"; Daffy beats a hasty retreat to stage left. Meanwhile, Little Red Riding Hood, based on Margaret O'Brien, skips past Daffy and toward Gran'Ma's House.

Jimmy Durante, incongruously illustrating the cover of So Big, turns toward the wolf, and his huge nose trips the wolf, who goes sliding down Skid Row, nearly falling into Dante's Inferno. The wolf scrambles to the top, but the Sinatra caricature reappears, held in the orderly's hands as if he were a doll. The Wolf, being in the grandma archetype, just as the female characters did and skids head first into the inferno.

The rest of the characters proceed to celebrate the wolf's death. Suddenly, the wolf pops out of Dante's Inferno and tells everyone to stop the music, which they do.

Influence[edit]

  • Later releases of the short had the title card replaced with Warner Brothers' "Blue Ribbon" title card on which the title was misspelled (see above). The original title card has since been located and the fully restored short can be seen on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Vol. 2 four-DVD box set, the Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection: Vol 2 two-DVD set and on the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2 Blu-ray set[1]
  • In 1994 it was voted #45 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.[2]
  • In one episode of Animaniacs, Yakko Wakko and Dot held a Video Review after being released in a videostore. Just like the books, they run in and out of films and mingle with movie characters. Daffy Duck made a cameo in the episode.
  • In one segment of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Inside Plucky Duck", Plucky performs Daffy's giant eye double-take (dubbed "a Clampett Corneal Catastrophe"), only to be stuck in eye form, unable to "de-take" until the segment's end.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Book Revue (1946) - Trivia
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry (ed.) (1994). The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals. Atlanta: Turner Publishing.

External links[edit]