Scrappy, by Paul Etcheverry and Will Friedwald

Scrappy

Reprinted from Animania #20, February 1981
and Animania #21, June 1981

Scrappy and Oopy

[Click here for 1931-1932]

1933

Charles Mintz attempts to reduce salaries, so Dick Huemer leaves the studio to work for Disney, whose offer he turned down three years earlier.

20. SASSY CATS / January 25 / Story by. Dick Huemer / Animated by Sid Marcus and Art Davis.
Scrappy’s cat longs to go outside and have some late night fun. Shortly after Scrappy kicks him out, the cat gets into a wild fight (treated by nearby birds as a prizefight) over a female of the species. An irate Scrappy tries to quiet them down by throwing dozens of shoes at them, but this doesn’t work. So Scrappy goes outside to deal with them personally. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of leaving the door open, and finds, when he returns, that about a hundred cats have taken over his house! In a frenetic series of gags, the cats raid the place of all possible food. Scrappy gets the situation under control by sucking up most of the felines into a vacuum cleaner. But when he pulls the covers of his bed to find nine snoozing cats, Scrappy goes outside and sleeps on top of a fence. Fast and furious.

21. SCRAPPY’S PARTY / February 13 /Story by Dick Huemer / Animated by Sid Marcus and Art Davis.
On Scrappy’s birthday, he and Oopy invite countless giants of movies, theatre, sports, science and politics to a gala party. Guests include Laurel and Hardy, Greta Garbo, Will Rogers, Joe E. Brown, Babe Ruth, various royalty, Albert Einstein, Frankenstein, Ben Turpin and Roscoe Ates, etc. John D. Rockefeller tosses coins. The Four Marx Brothers dance with Marie Dressler. Mahatma Ghandi, in diapers, speeds in on roller skates. Jimmy Durante and George Bernard Shaw blissfully exchange noses and beards. Al Capone, who phones to make his apologies from prison, is the only celebrity who does not attend.

22. THE BEER PARADE / March 4 / Story by Dick Huemer / Animated by Sid Marcus and Art Davis.

23. THE FALSE ALARM / April 22 / Story by Dick Huemer / Animated by Sid Marcus and Art Davis.
Scrappy and Oopy are unbelievably inept firemen. To make matters worse, the horse they employ, a degenerated Horace Horsecollar type, is only interested in sleeping. After a hectic day, in which they have absolutely no success in fighting fires, Scrappy stomps hard on their fire alarm, and the threesome return to bed, closing an extremely frantic, hilarious cartoon.

24. THE MATCH KID / May 9 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
Oopy, a little match boy, lives in a shanty with his guardian, an evil blind man who beats and enslaves him. While this rogue indulges in an epicurean repast, Oopy dines on stale bread. The boy retreats to his moth-eaten bed and, by the light of his last remaining matches, fantasizes about food and warmth. However, the reverie is soon interrupted by his tormentor. Just as the villain prepares to attack Oopy, Scrappy arrives and hollers, “Stop!” The two of them beat up on the blind man, eventually nailing him under the floorboards. The cartoon ends with Scrappy and Oopy fantasizing by matchlight.

The blind man rates among the ugliest of a long line of grotesque Columbia cartoon characters. Some viewers will find him a bit too repulsive, particularly when he grossly stuffs his face during the dinner scene. Others may enjoy a classic bad guy, so completely removed from cuddly cuteness.

An odd mixture of the classic fairy tale, Dickensian elements and basic slapstick, THE MATCH KID suffers in that there’s too much low comedy for a sly parody, but not enough for an all-out laugh fest.

25. TECHNORACKET / May 20 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis
Scrappy owns a small farm, where the work is delegated to Oopy and some industrious animals. As his employees toil away, Scrappy sits down to read the “Daily Blabber”. A feature article shows a picture of a robot; its blazing headline reads “TECHNOCRACY: A NEW AGE”. Tantalized by the thought of hiring a mechanical man in place of the hapless Oopy, Scrappy fires everybody, and replaces them with robot counterparts. His new farm is operated through a large control board. Everything runs smoothly until the angry animals, led by Oopy, revolt. Oopy sneaks into the control room while Scrappy’s away and does his best to destroy the control board. Mayhem results; the robots run amuck, and then, brandishing lethal weapons, chase Scrappy around the farm. Finally, the control board blows up, ending this disastrous conversion to space age technology.

26. THE WORLD’S AFFAIR / June 5 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
After incoming tourists on all vehicles imaginable perform a lovely rendition of “Chicago”, as they arrive at the 1933 World’s Fair. Scrappy and Oopy act as dancing emcees for a spectacular review, demonstrating recent advancements in art, science, music, agriculture, etc. Caricatures of world leaders congratulate the hosts in their own ways, such as Franklin Roosevelt, with a friendly smile, and Mussolini, with a trophy full of spaghetti. For a finale, international celebrities go into a frantic dance routine, with the ultimate bizarre gag being a shot of Mahatma Gandhi in diapers dancing with Jimmy Durante in diapers.

27. MOVIE STRUCK / September 8 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
Scrappy and Oopy finally land a job with “The Terrific Huge Colossal Gigantic Moving Picture Corporation”, but it turns out to be scrubbing and operating the studio commissary. Soon, countless hungry Hollywood stars arrive. The boys are totally incapable of keeping up with the lunch orders, so Oopy activates a player piano and gives an impromptu party. Joe E. Brown indulges in unrestrained gluttony. George Arliss dances while daintily eating pancakes. Laurel and Hardy prance around, wearing only tu-tus. In percussive frenzy, Scrappy and numerous celebrities pound everything in the kitchen to bits. Studio heads hear the commotion and try to put a stop to it, but they, too, get caught up in the ecstatic mood. The stuffy studio president shakes his immense behind in the fade out.

28. SANDMAN TALES / October 6 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
Scrappy and Oopy fall asleep reading fairy tales. The sandman sends them to a beautiful fairy. On her winged horse, they fly to a mushroom-laden land of cheerful bugs, singing birds and joyful dwarf-fairies. The kids have a great time until an odious, drooling ogre snatches little Oopy. Scrappy and the community waste no time in rallying against the depraved beast, pelting him with stones, beehives, and boulders. The fiend drops Oopy and meets his end in a watery graves. Happiness restored, the fairy sings “Rock A Bye Baby” to Scrappy and Oopy, gently returning them to reality. A classic.

29. HOLLYWOOD BABIES / November 11 / Story by Bid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
The boys venture into the homes of Hollywood stars to recruit their offspring as featured players for their movie outfit. Almost all the caricatures are repeats of those in previous cartoons.

30. SCRAPPY’S AUTO SHOW / December 8 / Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.
Impressed by the new models on display at an auto show, the lads build their own car, utilizing bathtubs, showers, crates, hot dogs, mirrors and anything else they can get their hands on as parts. They invade the exhibit to showcase the unusual contraption, demonstrating, among other things, “Floating Power (the engine swims)” and an “Automatic Windshield Cleaner and Nose Wiper (Jimmy Durante personally demonstrates)”. Henry Ford awards the show’s first prize to Scrappy and Oopy.

1934

All 1934 entries have identical credits: Story by Sid Marcus / Animated by Art Davis.

31. SCRAPPY’S ART GALLERY / January 12

32. SCRAPPY’S TELEVISION / January 29
Scrappy unveils his makeshift television to an audience of Oopy, a saucy cat and a nasty little bird. Included in this forecast of what television would be like: a classical violinist; a jazz band; obnoxiously loud farm animals; a prize fight between Primo Carnera and Ed Wynn. Scrappy, Oopy and their animal chums are so disgusted by the comedian’s strange knockout of the heavyweight champ, that they destroy the primitive set anticipating the feelings of many latter day viewers

33. AW NURSE / March 9
When Scrappy finds his pet cat knitting baby clothes, he rushes her off to the hospital, where he and Oopy pace nervously as they anxiously await the big event. The pair is presented with lots of kittens who disturb the peace and quiet of the hospital; the whole group gets thrown out of the place.

34. SCRAPPY’S TOY SHOP / April 13
Scrappy works, without supervision, while simultaneously looking after Oopy, and practicing his hobby, ventriloquism. His incorrigible brother proves a constant trouble maker, so Scrappy attempts stern punitive measures. Oopy counters by masquerading as Scrappy’s dummy, then crying loudly for help. Hundreds of armed toy soldiers answer the distress call, mounting a massive offensive, with Scrappy as the target. Using a doll’s panties as a slingshot, Oopy joins in. the attack. His harried brother humiliatingly defeated, Oopy grabs the wig of a doll, then impersonates Mae West; in a bizarre closing gag, he imitates the celebrity’s come-hither walk and invites Scrappy to “come up and see ‘him sometime.”

35. SCRAPPY’S DOG SHOW / May 8
Our heroes desperately want to enter a pet in the local dog show. They try to pass of a seedy looking cat as an “airdale”, and are kicked out angrily by the show’s organizer. Scrappy and Oopy promptly return with a hulking St. Bernard. Besides being lazy and stupid, this deadpan dog has an annoying habit of licking Scrappy’s clothes off., The boys’ nemesis returns, and, seeing that this lethargic canine could not do a trick to save his life, orders him and his sponsors to get out. This infuriates the droll dog into becoming a raging beast. While he wrestles the authority figure to the ground, little Oopy steals the trophy for first prize, and actually makes the hound crack a smile.

36. SCRAPFY’S THEME SONG / June 15
Scrappy the songwriter gives a show, starring himself, Margie, Oopy and singing cats, to feature his new song, “I Love You and You Love Me.” Though not exactly Cole Porter, this wows the kiddie audience, even though Oopy’s ridiculous villain costume falls off to reveal him on top of a gigantic ladder on wheels.

37. SCRAPPY’S RELAY RACE / July 7

38. THE GREAT EXPERIMENT / July 25
Scrappy is held prisoner in the lab of a mad scientist, Hugo Plotz. By injections, Flotz temporarily transforms the boy into a fish, then a ninety year old man. Oopy tries to save his sibling, but he, too, is captured. The demented- alchemist shoots them up with a “Serum of Perpetual Youth,” which casts them fifty-six years into the future. Scrappy and Oopy find themselves in a strange society where people routinely fly around, propellers atop their heads and motors on their backs. As a matter of course, they encounter a horrible monster who’s pursuing a helpless little girl on the top of a skyscraper, and rescue her from the demon’s clutches. Just as the boys are being rewarded for their heroism with kisses, they wake up and find that the whole escapade has been a dream.

39 SCRAPPY’S EXPEDITION / August 27
Commander Scrappy leads an expedition to the South Pole A sign on hjs ocean liner reads, “Radio Entertainers Wanted”, and, ‘of course, Eddie Cantor, Kate Smith, Walter Winchell, and Ed Wynn instantly arrive on board. The voyage becomes endangered by a horrendous, storm. A lightning bolt, after winning a game of “odds and evens” with Scrappy, burns a gaping hole in the ship. Fortunately, Kate Smith sits inside it to save the day, as the boys sing, “K-K-K-Katy, Beautiful Katy.” The expedition meets happy Eskimos, walruses and penguins at its destination. Good film-it’s just slightly below the best Scrappy caricature entries.

40. THE CONCERT KID / November 2
In this most unpopular of Scrappy cartoons, Oopy is a prodigy and Scrappy his impresario. Before a recital, Oopy whines, “I don’t wanna play,” and cries obnoxiously. To quiet the brat down, Scrappy gives him chewing gum. Later, on stage, Oopy slicks his cowlick down with the gum from his mouth. It doesn’t take long for Oopy, his violin, and then Scrappy to get completely entangled in the gooey substance. A prop man extricates them from the disgusting mess, so the show Oopy singing “La La La” and playing one note-can go on. The audience rewards this boy genius with roses-and a pie in the face!

41. HOLIDAY LAND / November 9 / the very first Color Rhapsody cartoon / Cinecolor / Academy Award nominee
Scrappy hates to get up in the morning. He sobs, “If every day was a holiday, then no one would call me sleepyhead,” and goes back to sleep. Scrappy enjoys a wonderful dream, in which he experiences every holiday of the year, with all the joys and trimmings, hosted by a lengthy parade of familiar holiday characters. When Scrappy re-awakens he jumps into his clothes, wolfs down his breakfast and returns to bed. HOLIDAY LAND scores as a charming cartoon which effectively draws the viewer into a vivid fantasy world, expressing a childlike sense
of wonder.

42. HAPPY BUTTERFLY / December 20
Scrappy’s butterfly hunt is marred by the constant nuisance, Oopy. A butterfly gives the pair a magical wishing ring, so Oopy wishes that he could become one of the merry, singing butterflies. He quickly regrets the decision. A squirrel throws nuts at him. Bugs sing, “You got two wings and you don’t know how to use them,” harassing Oopy no end. After a frightening’ misadventure with a hungry bird, who chases him through Scrappy’s pants, the little pest is only too glad to resume his human shape. The very handsome backgrounds in this film do not conceal an over-reliance on stock cycles.

[Click here for 1935-1936]

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