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"Goofy Groceries" and "Farm Frolics"

Discussion in 'Warner Bros.' started by Dave Koch, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

    Oct 27, 2013
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    "Goofy Groceries" and "Farm Frolics," both released in early 1941, have the distinction of being the only two Merrie Melodies cartoons Bob Clampett ever did under his old Looney Tunes unit (story writers Melvin "Tubby" Millar and Warren Foster, and animators Vive Risto, Norm McCabe, John Carey and Izzy Ellis), as much of his directing work for all Merrie Melodies since then was after he took over his former mentor Tex Avery's unit.

    Many people believe these two shorts, as a result, to not be among Clampett's finer works (as all of the sight gags were at best rehashes of those "objects come to life" cartoons by Friz Freleng and Frank Tashlin, and those "travelogue/spot gag" shorts by Tex Avery, see next paragraph). Risto was the credited animator on "Goofy Groceries."

    But, in the case of "Farm Frolics" Wikipedia allegedly credits Rod Scribner with animation, which would lead some of you to believe this may have been started by Tex Avery (Scribner joined the Avery unit during 1940, his first such credit being "The Bear's Tale") and finished by Clampett, after Avery was fired by Leon Schlesinger over the ending scene of the Bugs Bunny short "The Heckling Hare." Indeed, much of this particular cartoon does in fact have the kind of spot gags a typical Avery-directed Merrie Melody ("Wacky Wildlife," "A Gander at Mother Goose," "Cross-Country Detours," "Believe It Or Else," "A Day at the Zoo," "The Isle of Pingo Pongo") would have.

    "Goofy Groceries," on the other hand, closely resembles all the kind of "spot gag" and "books come to life" shorts directed by Friz Freleng or Frank Tashlin, such as "Speaking of the Weather" (Tashlin's first Merrie Melody as a director), "September in the Rain," "Have You Got Any Castles," "You're an Education" (Tashlin's final cartoon for WB until 1943), and one Chuck Jones cartoon, "Sniffles and the Bookworm."


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