Three's a Crowd (Merrie Melodies)

Last updated

Three's a Crowd
Directed by Rudolf Ising
Produced by Hugh Harman
Rudolf Ising
Leon Schlesinger
Music by Frank Marsales
Animation by Rollin Hamilton
Larry Martin
Color process Black-and-white
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
December 10, 1932 (US)
Running time
7 min.
LanguageEnglish

Three's a Crowd is a 1932 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Rudolf Ising. [1] The short was released on December 10, 1932. [2]

Contents

Plot

An old, bespectacled gentleman, an open volume in his hands, sits in his library, in a rocking chair, in his stocking feet, comfortably before a warm fire. A clock above the mantle strikes (the face apparently reading about five, but the number of rings indicating eight) and the gentleman, rising, sets the open book down on his seat; yawning and stretching, he makes his way across the room, a well-used, lit taper in his hand, which he sets on a table near the threshold, extinguishing the flame with a great breath as he exits. We cut back to the rocker and the open book, Alice in Wonderland , out of which who should emerge but Alice herself! Up leaps the tiny girl to the arm of the chair, up she leaps to a nearby table, the which she runs across until she meets a radio, whose great dial she adjusts with some effort. The song of the title comes through, our little heroine swaying and scatting her way through it. Merrily she rolls along, skipping and sliding past some untidily shelved volumes, out of one of which, Robinson Crusoe , emerges some accompaniment, likely Robinson himself and Friday. Meanwhile, Rip Van Winkle's book snores away; the cover is pushed away by Rip, apparently awakened by and much enjoying the music. Alice trots along, coming across The Three Musketeers , whose cover she pries open: "All for one and one for all," cry Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, raising their rapiers as they segue into their own scatting-routine. Cut to Robinson, Friday, Napoleon, and Omar Khayyam, who stand amongst the books bobbing about happily to the tune.

There is a universal burst of applause as the musketeers conclude their number: Henry VIII, surrounded (presumably) by some of his wives, shouts "Whoopee!" Nearby, Marc Antony crawls out of Antony and Cleopatra , shouting, as if in Julius Caesar , "Friends, Romans, countrymen...lend your ears to that dear old maestro!" The camera pans to a portly Emperor Nero, who stands before a book containing an image of the Great Fire of Rome and holds his iconic, anachronistic fiddle. He plays an exotic tune: Cleopatra comes dancing out of her book, looking like an Egyptian tomb-painting. Alice skips over to Uncle Tom's Cabin , summoning its title character: Uncle Tom sings Stephen Foster's Old Black Joe as well as "I've Got the South in my Soul," the other characters his chorus (Alice occasionally interjecting, "O Lord!") Snarling, Mr. Hyde peeps out from his book, meaning trouble as he clutches one of the skull-shaped book-ends that contain his volume: he snatches Alice as the song concludes; on a high shelf, Tarzan takes notice, crying valorously as he swings down to the table by way of a couple of pull switches. The manly figure stands in Hyde's way, prompting the cad to turn and run: Robinson and Friday snatch up a nearby fountain pen as Hyde comes close and they spray his devilish face full of black ink. In an effort to clean himself, Hyde ejects Alice only to find, once he can see again, that two Roman soldiers are advancing towards him with a lit pipe; as they gain on their adversary, one of the soldiers blows into the tail of pipe, scalding Hyde's bottom with a breath of fire. Robin Hood loads his tiny bow with a match whose tip, as Robin pulls back his string, rubs against the coarse side of its box, igniting as it hurtles towards the villain; Hyde runs away in a panic as projectile after projectile thus flies at him: but, again, the fiend has nowhere to run, for, in the other direction, the musketeers are loading steel pen-points into a pencil sharpener, winding the sharpener's crank in order to fire the nibs as though bullets from a gatling. Overwhelmed, Hyde leaps into a small hinged box nearby and, as he cowers there, four of the characters shut the lid and carry the box away in the fashion of pall-bearers; a dirge plays as they drop the ersatz coffin from the edge of the table into a waste-paper basket at its foot. The ensemble cheers!

Relation to other Warner Bros. shorts

Three's a Crowd is the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature the theme of literary characters' coming to life and escaping their books, [3] one famously revisited in 1937 and 1938 by Frank Tashlin in Speaking of the Weather , Have You Got Any Castles? , and You're an Education and by Robert Clampett in 1946's Book Revue .

Related Research Articles

Charlie Dog is an animated cartoon fictional character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes series of cartoons. The character was featured in five cartoons between 1947 and 1951.

<i>Merrie Melodies</i> Cartoon series owned by Warner Bros.

Merrie Melodies is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1931 to 1969, during the golden age of American animation. As with its partner series, Looney Tunes, it featured cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Elmer Fudd. Between 1934 and 1943, the Merrie Melodies series were distinguished from the black-and-white, Buddy or Porky Pig-starring Looney Tunes shorts by an emphasis on one-shot stories in color featuring Warner Bros.-owned musical selections. After Bugs Bunny became the breakout recurring star of Merrie Melodies, and Looney Tunes went to color in the early 1940s, the two series gradually lost their distinctions and shorts were assigned to each series more randomly.

Buddy (<i>Looney Tunes</i>) Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon character

Buddy is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Leon Schlesinger Productions series of cartoons. He was the second star of the series, after Bosko.

<i>Bosko the Doughboy</i> 1931 film

Bosko the Doughboy is a one-reel 1931 short subject animated cartoon, part of the Bosko series. It was directed by Hugh Harman, and first released on October 17, 1931 as part of the Looney Tunes series from Harman-Ising Productions and distributed by Warner Bros.

Marc Antony and Pussyfoot Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon characters

Marc Antony and Pussyfoot are animated characters in four Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. Three cartoons focus on the dog and kitten pair: Feed the Kitty (1952), Kiss Me Cat (1953) and Cat Feud (1958). They also appear in one Claude Cat cartoon, Feline Frame-Up (1954).

Petunia Pig Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon character

Petunia Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons from Warner Bros. She looks much like her significant other, Porky Pig, except that she wears a dress and has braided black hair.

Piggy is the name of two animated cartoon characters in the Merrie Melodies series of films distributed by Warner Bros. The first character was a fat, black pig wearing a pair of shorts with two large buttons in the front, and his first film was You Don't Know What You're Doin'!

Buddy the Gob is a 1934 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon, the first directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on January 5, 1934, and stars Buddy, the second star of the series.

Babbit and Catstello are fictional characters, based on the comedic duo Abbott and Costello, that appeared in Warner Bros. animated cartoons. The characters appeared in three cartoons between 1942 and 1946.

<i>Have You Got Any Castles?</i>

Have You Got Any Castles? is a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Frank Tashlin. The short was released on June 25, 1938.

<i>Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z</i>

Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z is a 1956 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. The short was released on May 5, 1956, and stars Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! is a 1931 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on September 5, 1931, and features Foxy, an early Merrie Melodies star.

<i>Meatless Flyday</i>

Meatless Flyday is a 1944 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on January 29, 1944.

Beauty and The Beast is a 1934 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film, directed by Isadore Freleng. The short was released on April 14, 1934.

Bosko the Musketeer is an American animated short film. It is a Looney Tunes cartoon, featuring Bosko, the first star of the series. It was released on August 12, 1933, although some sources note September 16 as a date; this is problematic, as that would imply that the last films featuring Bosko as the star of Warner Bros. cartoons were released after the first film featuring Buddy, the second star of the series. It was, like most Looney Tunes of the time, directed by Hugh Harman; Frank Marsales was the musical director.

Pagan Moon is a 1932 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on January 31, 1932.

Moonlight for Two is a 1932 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on June 11, 1932, and stars Goopy Geer, one of the few recurring characters in the early Merrie Melodies series.

Big-Hearted Bosko is a 1932 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon, featuring Bosko, the original star of the series. It was released on March 5, 1932, although one source offers for it only an ambiguous release date of 1931–1932. It was, like most Looney Tunes of its time, directed by Hugh Harman; its musical direction was by Frank Marsales.

<i>A Great Big Bunch of You</i> 1932 short film

A Great Big Bunch of You is a 1932 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on November 12, 1932.

I Like Mountain Music is a 1933 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on June 14, 1933.

References

  1. Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 15. ISBN   0-8050-0894-2.
  2. Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 104–106. ISBN   0-8160-3831-7 . Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  3. Schneider, Steve (1988). That's All, Folks! : The Art of Warner Bros. Animation. Henry Holt and Co. p. 40. ISBN   0-8050-0889-6.