Conrad the Sailor
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2014)
|Conrad the Sailor|
|Merrie Melodies (Daffy Duck) series|
|Directed by||Charles M. Jones|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Dave Monahan|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Animation by||Ben Washam
|Layouts by||John McGrew|
|Backgrounds by||Gene Fleury|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||February 28, 1942|
|Running time||7 min, 08 sec|
Conrad the Sailor is a 1942 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones. The title character, a.k.a. Conrad the Cat, is voiced by Pinto Colvig. The other featured player is Daffy Duck, voiced as usual by Mel Blanc.
The story takes place aboard a battleship staffed by anthropomorphic cats (which strangely look like dogs with their small ears), most of whom are singing "The Song of the Marines (Shovin' Right Off Again)" as a chorale group. Cut to Conrad, who talks and sings exactly like Colvig's characterization of the Walt Disney character "Goofy".
As Conrad swabs the deck, he is interrupted by Daffy when he spots his muddy footprints on the deck and Daffy on the mast, and he angrily mutters the song to himself. On the mast, Daffy paces back and forth, mocking Conrad's singing, then remarks to the audience "Phew, is that guy awful? Gee, it makes me sick". Conrad tries to ignore Daffy and his pranks, growing more suspicious and annoyed at Daffy, who deliberately swaps Conrad's water bucket with a paint bucket, causing Conrad to paint the deck, to which Daffy comments "Very sloppy, Roscoe. You're a slovenly housekeeper". Conrad angrily throws the mop at Daffy, who then catches it, uses it in a short vaudeville routine before tossing the mop into the air, and shouts to Conrad "Catch! Catch!", only the mop lands on Conrad's head. The camera angle shows Daffy on top of the mop, again taunting to Conrad "Very petite, Betsy. Very, very petite" before sliding down the mop and an infuriated Conrad, twisting him and the mop. Conrad finally gets fed up with Daffy, and proceeds to chase him, but Daffy outsmarts him at every turn from hiding in a lifeboat and after Conrad mistakes him for a telescope, keeping watch for Daffy. A running gag in the picture is that all action screeches to a halt whenever the ship's diminutive Admiral walks by, as both sailor and duck snap to attention and salute. The final gag involves Conrad and Daffy being chased by a shell from one of the ship's big guns. All three, including the shell, snap to attention as the Admiral walks by before the chase continues as the cartoon ends with an iris out.
Animator John McGrew borrowed much of the staging for the cartoon from Sergei Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin. It also saw his first use of match cuts where different objects in separate scenes would have the same basic shape, with McGrew giving the example of a gun and a cloud.
Conrad the Sailor is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 4 Disc 4.
- Amid Amidi, Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation
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