|Looney Tunes (Buddy) series|
|Directed by||Jack King|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Voices by||Jack Carr
Billy Bletcher (all uncredited)
|Music by||Norman Spencer|
|Animation by||Ben Clopton|
|Studio||Leon Schlesinger Productions|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||June 23, 1934 (USA)|
|Running time||7 minutes|
|Preceded by||Buddy of the Apes (1934)|
|Followed by||Buddy's Circus (1934)|
Buddy's Bearcats is an American animated short film, released June 23, 1934. 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 a sign that announces "Baseball to-day: Buddy's Bearcats vs. Battling Bruisers." Below, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fans rush into the ball park; patrons buy tickets and walk through a turnstile. One particularly large man is called back to the ticket window after purchasing his admission and is measured by the operator of the window: "Two seats!" the ticket salesman declares. The man happily obliges and purchases a second ticket for himself! Two tall, bearded gentlemen (in top hats, no less), one holding the shoulders of the other in front, compress themselves, and sneak, with impunity, under the turnstile and the nose of the ticket salesman.
A young man with light, curly hair observes the park from without through a crack in the fence and says: "It's Buddy!" We then see Our Hero, grandly bearing the attire of his team and cheerfully tossing a ball about his shoulders and chest. Two other men watch through holes in the fence: as a gag, one's hole in the fence is so much higher than the other's, making viewing difficult, unless one simply reaches up and pulls down the high hole, thereby lowering it and raising the other's hole, to the inconvenience of the other.
A dog sits beneath the same curly-haired man from before, and another fellow uses the canine's tail as a crank that curves the dog's midsection upwards, allowing the young man a far better view of the field (or simply a chance to leap over the fence.) An apparently Scotch couple inflates a set of bagpipes, then ties them, as an hot air balloon, to a drum, which serves as a platform, that the couple might float in the air and leap over the fence as well. The fans sway about in the stands, and an unusually blond Cookie greets Buddy and vice versa.
Buddy uses a baseball to play a set of bats as though they were a xylophone, then catches the ball in his back pocket. A food vendor named Willie King sings about his hot dogs; a whimsical drink vendor walks the stands, sends a soda pop over to a young patron by means of a little propeller. A very musical announcer introduces us to the Battling Bruisers, the team on his right; and on his left, "the greatest team the world has ever seen: Buddy and his Bearcats." The game begins, narrated by a parody of Joe E. Brown, who swallows a ball thrown, in his direction, by Buddy. Buddy rubs his hands with dirt; a Bruiser squirts oil under his arms, and throws a pitch to Buddy, who hits the ball and runs (and skates) to base. The fans are very pleased.
In the next scene, Buddy throws a tricky ball to a Bruiser, who can not seem to hit it; he throws down his bat, blows air (through a bug spray apparatus) at the ball that it falls (as would a dying fly), and simply picks it up, tosses it into the air, and hits it. An outfielder catches the ball. The score, we see in the next scene, stands at forty-nine to forty-seven. The people want Buddy! But Our Hero, behind the scenes, is all too nervous to emerge and play; alone, he genuflects, and appears, for a moment, to pray. Cookie approaches him and tells him of the great clamor for him from the spectators: Buddy is bashfully convinced. Buddy gladly takes the bat from another player (who looks like a taller, balder version of Buddy), hits a ball thrown by a maniacally laughing, mustachioed Bruiser, and runs about the diamond, cheered on by Cookie, who stands at base. The game is won, and the two sweethearts, embracing, are buried in a deluge of the hats of happy fans.
Hot dog vendor
Willie King, the concession stand owner, played by Billy Bletcher, sings an original song by Norman Spencer, the musical director of the short. In the history of Warner Bros. cartoons, Willie King was, in fact, a concession stand owner who operated his business outside Leon Schlesinger's studio.
Cookie in this short
This is the first of but a few Buddy shorts in which Buddy's sweetheart Cookie has blond, braided hair (as contrasted with her usual black.) This would seem to be characteristic only of those Buddy cartoons supervised by Jack King, though not all of them.
- Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: a History of American Animated Cartoons. Von Hoffmann Press, Inc., 1980. p. 406