Friday, November 11, 2022

Toons Salute the Troops

Began an extremely wet Veteran's Day with breakfast and a couple of Popeye shorts. The Fleischer Brothers tossed Popeye into the Navy even before the war began. "The Mighty Navy" came out in the fall of 1941, shortly before the US entered the war. The enemy isn't even named. By the release of "Blunder Below," Popeye was definitely fighting the Japanese, to the point where watching many of Popeye's wartime shorts can be uncomfortable today. "Navy," "Blunder," and "Fleets of Strength" are variations on Popeye trying to prove to his superior officers that he's an experienced seaman, even if he doesn't understand the Navy way of doing things. 

They're on more traditional turf with "Kicking the Conga Around." Bluto shows off his dancing skills to the Senorita Olive on a tropical dance. Popeye can't join in, until spinach really gets him moving!

While the wind and the rain weren't that bad at 11 AM, they were supposed to get a lot worse later. I called Uber for a ride. They arrived in 7 minutes and got me there in a little over five. I arrived a little earlier than I thought, so I picked up pads and more muffins for lunch this week. They also had Thanksgiving and winter-themed bags that would be perfect for my holiday and seasonal decorations.

Ended up spending my afternoon pushing carts. It rained hard on and off. Thankfully, I only got very wet once. After that, I did returns until the rain slowed down again. The weather scared everyone off. We were off-and-on steady, and only that due to people calling out. They even had bagels and coffee in the employee's room in honor of Veteran's Day. I did have to clean up a rather nasty mess in the men's bathroom. Otherwise, the day was fairly calm and went quickly.

It was just damp and heavily humid when I called for a ride home. Got them quickly. They arrived within 13 minutes. Got me home in a little over five, due to traffic on Nicholson Road and the White Horse Pike. 

(The rain returned later in the evening, and has been going on and off, frequently hard, ever since.)

Went straight upstairs and into dinner and Match Game '90 when I got home. Buzzr ran the Armed Services weeks for them and the 2002 Family Feud for their Veteran's Day Salute marathon this year. I arrived right in time for Match Game. While Halloween was the funniest individual episode of the show, the week they had Marines as contestants and in their audience may have been the best overall. The Marines were absolutely wild, cheering on everything lovely Karen Witter and sarcastic Brit Fiona Hutchinson of One Life to Live said or did. Bruce Baum had less luck introducing his weird inventions, including a shower with a hand meant to conserve water.

(Oh, and it looks like Buzzr's next marathon will be their day-after-Thanksgiving "Black Friday Frenzy" shopping show theme. With Sale of the Century off the schedule and Let's Make a Deal having already had a marathon in July, this one focuses on Supermarket Sweep and their "Second Chance" week. Couples who didn't get the 5,000 the first time around returned for a second try. I haven't watched this in ages; I might have to check it out.) 

Finished the night with more war-related animated cartoons. Donald Duck became Disney's number one star in the early 40's with a series of shorts that depicted his adventures in the army. "Donald Gets Drafted" when he buys into the glamorous posters. He soon learns the Army's a lot tougher than he thought when Sargent Pete picks on him. "The Sky Trooper" continues this story. Donald still wants to be a glamorous pilot, but first Pete gives him a difficult test, then sends him up with the paratroopers!

"Der Furher's Face" won an Oscar for its surreal animation, depicting Donald living in a bizarre Nazi nightmare. The catchy title song became a surprise hit for comedy orchestra Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Donald's "The Vanishing Private" when Pete tells him to make a cannon "hard to see," and he covers it with invisible paint. When he ends up in it, too, Pete has to chase "the little man you can't see" all over the base. All Donald wants after a hard day's hike in "Fall Out, Fall In" is dinner and a rest, but first his tent won't cooperate, then his fellow soldiers make too much noise. "Commando Duck" finds himself on assignment in a stereotyped Japan, where he manages to, wash...out the enemy. 

Donald wasn't the only Disney character who went to war. The early sound short "The Barnyard Battle" pits Mickey against mean Hun cats...and he wins, of course. Goofy contributed "How to Be a Sailor" to the war effort. The first half depicts sailing through the years, but it ends with Goofy as a modern sailor who literally throws himself into destroying the enemy.

Woody Woodpecker's only World War II-themed short, "Ace In the Hole," had a lot in common with "Donald Gets Drafted." Woody also wants to fly, but his sergeant has him shaving horses. He definitely regrets it when Woody finally gets in the air! 

The Pink Panther finds himself in the Vietnam War without a paddle in "G.I Pink." If Donald was swayed by the glamour of the Army, then Pink was swayed by the power. Cranky mascots, mine-riddled fields, and impossible obstacle courses makes his sergeant wish he'd joined the Navy instead.

And we honor all of the brave men and women who fought and died for our country on this (very wet) Veteran's Day!

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