Have You Got Any Castles?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Have You Got Any Castles?
Have You Got Any Castles title card.png
The 1947 Blue Ribbon reissue title card.
Directed bySupervision:
Frank Tashlin (uncredited on 1947 release)
Produced byLeon Schlesinger
(uncredited on 1947 release)
Story byUncredited story on 1947 release:
Jack Miller
Additional story from the previous shorts in the uncredited
StarringAll uncredited:
Music byMusical direction:
Carl W. Stalling (uncredited on 1947 release)
Uncredited orchestration:
Milt Franklyn
Animation byCharacter animation:
Ken Harris (uncredited on 1947 release)
Robert McKimson(uncredited)
Phil Monroe (uncredited)
Paul T. Smith (uncredited)
Additional animation from the previous shorts in the uncredited
Uncredited effects animation:
A.C. Gamer
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Leon Schlesinger Productions (Original)
Warner Bros. Cartoons (Blue Ribbon Reissue)
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
June 25, 1938
Running time
7 minutes 23 seconds
LanguageEnglish

Have You Got Any Castles?, reissued as Have You Got Any Castles, is a 1938 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Frank Tashlin.

Plot[edit]

When the cartoon opens, the cuckoo clock in the library sounds, and the camera pans over the library, to the aforementioned Town Crier who gives a brief introduction. After this, we meet four monsters (Mr. Hyde, Fu Manchu, the Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein's monster) who introduce themselves roaring, but then dance briefly to Gossec's "Gavotte." As characters from other books cheer them on, the globe-shaped protagonist of The Good Earth prays by his bedside. The library is panned over to the right, revealing the books The Invisible Man with an invisible man dancing, Topper (a novel from a series by Thorne Smith, as well as a contemporary film) with a similar theme, The Thirty-Nine Steps with a caricature of "Bojangles" Robinson dancing down the steps, So Big with a caricature of Greta Garbo, and The Green Pastures which turns out to feature a big band presentation of "Swing for Sale" led by a caricature of Cab Calloway. That clip was from the Friz Freleng short Clean Pastures.

Panning over the cheering crowd, the camera reveals a singing Heidi on the cover of her eponymous book, a literal Thin Man (a caricature of William Powell as Nick Charles) walking over into the White House Cook Book and coming out fat, Whistler's Mother on the cover of a Great Works of Art book performing literally, and three Little Women (three Jane Withers clones) and three Little Men (three Freddie Bartholomew clones) singing together with Old King Cole (spoofing deep-voiced Warners character actor Eugene Pallette), the characters of The House of the Seven Gables (seven identical caricatures of Clark Gable), and a drumming bulldog intended to parody Bulldog Drummond. Next Louis Pasteur (a caricature of Paul Muni in his Oscar-winning role) mixes chemicals from test tubes until they blow up, revealing Pasteur in Seventh Heaven. Also appearing is Captain William Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty (caricaturing Charles Laughton's portrayal of him). None of this pleases a sleeping Rip Van Winkle (Ned Sparks, a well-known Hollywood "grouch"); the hermit complains, "Old King Cole is a noisy old soul," while using the Valiant Little Tailor's scissors to snip hair from the title character of Uncle Tom's Cabin to plug his ears.

The music gets louder, as The Three Musketeers (The Ritz Brothers) sing the title song, with Drums Along the Mohawk providing a beat, Emily Post (here portrayed as "Emily Host") scolding Henry VIII of England for his rudeness, and a character from Katherine Mayo's controversial 1927 book Mother India playing along on his pungi. Then Rip takes scissors from the Tailor and tries to use them on Uncle Tom, only to be beaten back by him. Then Diamond Jim Brady (an Edward Arnold caricature, from the 1935 film of the same name) comes along pitching mortgage payments as the Drums beat louder, Henry becomes even more gluttonous (and Emily Post joins in the gluttony), and Oliver Twists. W.C. Fields (here portrayed with a red nose in a parody of So Red the Rose) joins in, as does the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The Musketeers become Three Men on a Horse, grabbing the Seven Keys to Baldpate along the way, and then free the Prisoner of Zenda over Aladdin's objections. As the Three Men pass The Informer (a caricature of Victor McLaglen, who won a 1935 Academy Award for playing the role), he whispers to Little Boy Blue (here named "Little Boy Blew") who then trumpets for a Charge of the Light Brigade. Robinson Crusoe also fires at the Three Men, along with guns from All Quiet on the Western Front and backup cavalry from Under Two Flags. With the incessant firing, Rip has had enough of having to sleep with the noise, so he loses his temper and has the fighting characters run into The Hurricane, so that all of them, peacefully, end up Gone with the Wind (in a play on the then-recent book).

After this, the Town Crier appears again, concluding the cartoon with a brief message ending with "All is well, all is well ...", and the camera pans back to the cuckoo clock where Rip, who has apparently muzzled the cuckoo, is finally getting the sleep he was needing all that time.

Availability[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • This cartoon was re-released into the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies program on February 1, 1947.
  • The cartoon entered the public domain in 1966 when its last rightsholder, United Artists (successor-in-interest to Associated Artists Productions), failed to renew the original copyright within the required 28-year period.
  • The "Town crier" in this short is a caricature of Alexander Woollcott, in reference to his radio program of the same name. He has similar mannerisms to the owl caricature of Woollcott in another Tashlin short, The Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos, which was released the year before. When the cartoon was re-released, Woollcott asked that his scenes be excised from the film when he died, deducting about a minute from the film. Eventually, these scenes were restored to the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set.[1] This version retains the Blue Ribbon opening and closing titles.
    • After the cuckoo clock sounds and the camera pans over the library, the shadow of the Town Crier appears, and afterwards, instead of hearing him ringing his bell and shouting "Hear ye, hear ye! ...", we see a fade-out to the books being presented.
    • The cartoon fades to black after Rip van Winkle eliminates everyone into The Hurricane and Gone with the Wind pops up. As a result of this, the brief scene where the cuckoo bird's mouth is covered and van Winkle sleeping on the clock is also cut.
  • The original song is from the film "Varsity Show" (1937) Music by Richard A. Whiting, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
  • The daily publication Film Daily called the short a "fine fantasy", and gave it the following review:

The story takes place in a library, with all the characters coming to life from well known works of fiction, both classical and modern. Rip Van Winkle is the center of interest, as he cannot continue sleeping with the noise. Finally he gets The Hurricane to blow all the noise-makers back into the covers of their books again, and he goes peacefully to sleep. The final titles show the pop book Gone with the Wind. Produced by Leon Schlesinger. Story by Jack Miller. Animation by Ken Harris. In Technicolor.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Censored Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Guide: H". intanibase.com. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "Review of the New Films-Shorts", Film Daily, Vol. 73, p. 4, Monday, June 13, 1938

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

  • "A Coy Decoy", which uses a similar premise
  • "Book Revue", which uses a similar plotline, but more comedic.