Thursday, November 11, 2021

Animation Celebrates the Troops

Kicked off a late morning with breakfast and more wartime Looney Tunes shorts, these by legendarily nutty director Bob Clampett. Bugs becomes a "Super Rabbit" when he eats a carrot enhanced to give him strength and invulnerability. He travels west to keep a cowboy and his horse from harming other rabbits, but his powers keep running out at inopportune times. When push comes to shove, he dons the uniform of a real hero...a Marines officer. "Draftee Daffy" would do anything to avoid that Little Man From the Draft Board, including blowing both of them sky-high. Bugs becomes a "Falling Hare" when he takes on a gremlin sabotaging planes who can give as good as he gets. 

Given the patriotic tenor of the comic books at the time, it was inevitable that Superman would fight the Axis on the big screen, too. Lois stows away in a huge bomber, only to be taken hostage when stereotyped "Japoteurs" steal the plane. Superman has to rescue the plane and the girl from a free-fall. "The Eleventh Hour" has wonderful, shadowy animation and a relatively mature plot that involves Superman sabotaging the Japanese while he and Lois are prisoners behind enemy lines. 

Went online after breakfast. I did try calling the Imperial Arms Apartments in Audubon, who had an ad on Craigslist. Turns out the ad was dated. They rented their last apartment three days ago, though apparently there are some open in their building in Bellmawr. They also said that all tours are scheduled and applications signed online. 

After that, I figured there was no reason to call anyone else. I don't think any of the office workers would be able to give me information I couldn't find online. I fired off e-mails to apartment buildings in Runnemede, Audubon, and Mount Ephram instead. One building was actually pretty near-by on Collings Avenue, so I figured I'd just walk there and see if their office was open.

Since it's on my way, I made my first stop at CVS. Found gifts for Lauren and Amanda for Christmas. Picked up a Perrier for me. Was hoping to get dishwashing liquid, but they had no good sales. 

Rose called while I was in CVS. I ducked into the stand of trees along the river to call her back. In good news, she finally called Jodie. She's still upset with her over her getting rid of Dad's stuff in the house without asking anyone if they wanted it or asking us to help more, but at least they touched base. (And she swears she has called Jodie several times in the past two months. Jodie claims she hadn't heard from her at all.) Oh, and poor Khai sprained his knee wrestling and is now at home for a few weeks. She also mentioned she and Craig will try to get my bike to Deptford tomorrow or Saturday.

Strolled down Collings Avenue and into West Collingswood Heights. It's mostly huge old Victorian and early 20th century family houses, but there's a few apartment buildings. I was interested in one gray brick block, the Collings Avenue Apartments, but the front door was locked, and I didn't see a side door into an office. I guess I'll have to e-mail them, too. 

Strolled further into West Collingswood after leaving Collings Avenue. I wish there was one little rental sign out, but most of the few realtor signs showed large houses or townhomes for sale, not rent. The houses here ranged more in age, from the sprawling Victorians to little 20's bungalows like Rose's home and 50's brick boxes. I even got a rare opportunity to check out Peter Creek on the other side from Oaklyn. It was lovely down there, warm for the time of year, a little cloudy but not bad, and very fall, with the gorgeous scarlet and gold leaves.

Since Jodie wasn't home when I got in, I tossed my laundry in the wash, then had lunch. Finished up the Superman shorts while I sipped my smoothie. Nazis command stereotyped natives with "Jungle Drums" while using their temple as a cover to shoot down planes. Superman keeps Lois from being burned at the stake and helps her catch the Nazis in the act. "Secret Agent" is the only cartoon Lois doesn't appear in. Superman rescues a beautiful spy carrying important papers to Washington DC from the saboteurs she infiltrated. 

Moved on to Popeye as I scrubbed the kitchen. The Fleischers tossed Popeye into "The Mighty Navy" before the war even started. "Navy," "Blunder Below," and "Fleets of Strength" all feature variations on Popeye trying to show his new commanding officers that he's an experienced seaman. He doesn't know the Navy way of doing things and isn't great at taking commands, but his spinach-fueled way proves to be equally effective in taking down the enemy. 

He and Bluto are "Kicking the Conga Around" when they try to impress Latin senorita Olive with their South American dance moves. Olive's visit to their ship turns explosive in more ways than one when they attempt to show it off to her in "Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix." Popeye's not saying "Many Tanks" after Bluto dumps him in the Army and he has to rescue his date with Olive. "Baby Wants a Battleship" when Swee'Pea finds Popeye's battle cruiser more interesting than any little toy boat and treats it like his personal playground.

Quickly ran two wartime Walter Lanz shorts as I did the dishes and switched the laundry to the dryer. Woody Woodpecker wants to be an "Ace In the Hole" and flies planes. His sergeant has him shaving horses instead. He's really not thrilled when Woody does finally make it into the air. The new "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" is a Chicago musician who gets his camp jumping with his swinging revelie. This cartoon is awash in African-American stereotypes, but it also features an energetic version of the title song and is one of the few cartoons I know of to depict minorities in the military. 

Jodie came in with half of a pork roll hoagie as I finished off the dishes. Yes, Rose called, and they talked. Their primary concern is Jessa. No one's heard from her in weeks. She did mention having a small tumor to me...but apparently it's getting bigger, and she's not taking her medicine for it anymore. I was going to call her tomorrow and ask her to come over next week anyway. Jodie says her husband Joe should take care of her, but I'm not sure they're getting along that well.

Switched the laundry to the dryer, then did some writing. Sir Richard says he can take Brett, her sons, and the others to Looking Glass Land. They may be able to find a way to Brett's house from there and get Charles out of Limbo. Queen Betty offers to show them where a mirror large enough to walk through is in the palace hall. Got the laundry out and put it away right before I broke for dinner. 

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Had that pork roll hoagie with steamed broccoli for dinner while watching Match Game '77. Lovely and sweet soap star Trish Stewart joins crusty Mary Wickes and neurotic Bill Daily here, along with the regulars. Mary flirts with a good-looking older man contestant while the others figure out the Audience Matches "Abbey __" and "Compound __" with a different guy in the box behind the answers. 

Spent the rest of the night making snickerdoodles while watching wartime shorts. Donald Duck became Disney's top shorts star in the 40's, thanks to a brash and bold personality that made him a great soldier. "Donald Gets Drafted" when he's lured by the glamor the Army posters depict, but the reality is a lot less pleasant when Sargent Pete makes him drill on an anthill. He wants to be a "Sky Trooper," but Pete won't let him up...then makes the mistake of sending him with the paratroopers. 

Donald gets him back in "The Vanishing Private." Told to paint a cannon so that it's "hard to see," he uses a paint that makes things invisible...and gives Pete the run-around when he also lands in it. He has to "Fall Out-Fall In," but first he can't put up his tent, then his fellow troops keep him awake. "Commando Duck" parachutes into Japan with orders to wash...out the enemy.

Don wasn't the only Disney character who went to war. "How to Be a Sailor" begins as a Goofy lesson in sailing history, but ends with Goofy on board a modern battleship, inadvertently using himself to take down the enemy. Mickey signs up for "The Barnyard Battle" and takes on a whole platoon of Hun cats twice his size...and wins, of course. 

While Donald was lured by the glamor of war, The Pink Panther is lured by the idea of power in "G.I Pink." He does no better in the Army during the Vietnam War than Don did 20 years earlier. Land mines, nasty drill sergeants, impossible obstacle courses, and cranky dog mascots make him wish he'd stayed home. 

Finished the night online after the cookies were out of the oven and I took a shower with Best Foot Forward. I go further into this tale of a star who accompanies a military school boy to his prom at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

And I salute all our fighting men, women, and animals on this Veteran's Day! 

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