Screen Gems cartoons of the mid-‘40s were, at best, watered down versions of Warner Bros. or MGM shorts, complete with pirated characters. At worst, they were just plain bizarre.
Here’s a telescope-eye take from Bob Wickersham’s “Snap Happy Traps”; it’s the kind you’d find in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon. A young mountain lion—at least, I think that’s what it is—doesn’t like milk fed to it by a Barney Bear stand-in. Why? Who knows. Columbia cartoons don’t make a lot of sense at times.
The animation can be pretty good in these Columbias—Chick Otterstrom and Ben Lloyd get the credits on this one—but Cal Howard’s stories are all over the place. Why does the bear dress up like a mouse? Howard doesn’t seem to care as long as there’s a gag in there (when the gags fit, they’re not too bad. There’s a funny one about a mousie cheering squad that zips into the scene, complete with bleachers).
The guy who does the dopey dog voice on “Kitty Caddy” and Meathead in the MGM cartoons makes an appearance in this one as the bear.