Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rudy the Roach

Popular culture parodies have always been a part of Warner Bros. cartoons, it seems. Whole cartoons were built around celebrity caricatures or punny name of products. Others had them dropped in for an instant recognition laugh.

I wonder what Rudy Vallee thought of being portrayed as a roach in The Lady In Red?

Yes, a cartoon where the characters (the villain excepted) were cockroaches, those delightful denizens of the insect world. And in a restaurant, no less. The Vallee roach lets out with a performance of Warren and Dubin’s “Sweet Music.” The roach orchestra demonstrates something common in Warners cartoons once upon a time—things being turned into makeshift musical instruments. I like how in this cartoon, there are a flute, a drum and a stand-up bass being “played,” yet you don’t hear them on the soundtrack.

Today’s product puns: Carnation Milk (“from contented cows”) and Elberta peaches, which lost their popularity after World War Two.

And like seemingly every Warners cartoon, the second half consisted of the girl being grabbed by the bad guy, then all the other characters violently doing him in. In this case, it’s a parrot. He’s lit on fire. My favourite gag is the last one where the blazing bird spells out “The End” with smoke as the soundtrack segues into the title theme from J.S. Zamecnik’s “Comedy Excitement.”

Friz Freleng directed this one.

1 comment:

  1. There was that Tiny Toon Adventures episode "The Roches" where that trio of singing sisters was depicted as... roaches, invading Hamton's antiseptic kitchen to have a concert.