Buddy's Day Out (Looney Tunes)
Buddy's Day Out is a 1933 Looney Tunes short directed by Tom Palmer and an un-credited Friz Freleng. It was the first Looney Tunes cartoon produced by Leon Schlesinger himself after his split from previous Looney Tunes producers Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, and also the first cartoon starring Buddy; he was created after Harman and Ising took their star character Bosko with them to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Why It Sucks
- Marked the debut of the notoriously bland Buddy (and his equally bland girlfriend, Cookie), who would go on to be the main character of most of the Looney Tunes made from 1933-1935, despite having absolutely no personality or anything else that would make him an interesting character. Worse still, Buddy only gets two lines of dialogue here (most of the dialogue we do get is actually from Cookie), which does nothing at all to establish him as a character despite this being his debut short.
- Very inconsistent animation, which is sometimes decent, but mostly mediocre. Tom Palmer's original cut of the cartoon was so bad that it reportedly was rejected on sight by Jack Warner, got Palmer fired and Friz Freleng hired back to re-animate most of the cartoon, explaining why the quality is so inconsistent.
- Several bits of animation are also recycled and/or looped multiple times, presumably the result of Freleng trying to bring the cartoon up to length after cutting the bits of Palmer's footage that weren't usable.
- The character designs, with the arguable exception of Cookie, are unappealing. Buddy himself is the worst, as he ends up looking far younger than Cookie, making their relationship unintentionally creepy.
- The voice acting is bland and unimpressive - though to be fair, the cartoon was made during the days when animators and other studio staff members, rather than actual actors, tended to provide the voices in cartoons.
- Despite the title, the cartoon isn't really about Buddy at all, and focuses far more on his baby brother Elmer (no relation to Elmer Fudd), who is never seen again in Buddy's future cartoons.
- Mundane and uninteresting storyline, which starts out with Cookie giving Elmer a bath, then Buddy washing his car, and then the trio going out for a picnic together. This is every bit as boring as it sounds, and not helped by the terrible pacing which results in half of the cartoon being taken up just getting the trio to their picnic site. It's not until the last two minutes of the cartoon that anything of any real interest happens.
- What few gags we do get are very poorly executed. In particular, Elmer smashing a bottle over Buddy's head for absolutely no reason is treated as a "cute" moment.
- The viewer is also expected to sympathize with Elmer after Cookie chews him out for eating or otherwise ruining all the food in the picnic, making the character even more annoying than he already was.
- While the "runaway baby buggy" sequence that takes up the final few minutes is at least something interesting, it was a generic and over-used storyline by 1933. They do at least switch things up a bit by having Elmer in Buddy's car, and Buddy and Cookie chasing him in Elmer's buggy, but it's not enough to save the sequence.
- The ending features Buddy and Cookie rescuing the runaway Elmer from an oncoming train by diverting the train through somebody's house. This is never commented on, either.
- Some decent animation in one of the early scenes, where Buddy's pet dog grabs hold of a hosepipe and is sent flying across the garden, and then again during the chase sequence at the end.
- Nice music score by Bernard Brown and Norman Spencer.
- Despite the cartoon being poor overall, its troublesome production at least ended up bringing Friz Freleng back to the studio (he previously left with Harman-Ising), which would pay off when he made much better cartoons in the years ahead.