Oh, people call me Daffy
They think that I am goony
Just because I’m happy
Is no sign I’m looney-tooney!
Boobs in the Woods marks a lingering vestige of Daffy as a lunatic, as he originated from his screen debut; Bob McKimson directed only two more Daffy/Porky entries (1951’s The Prize Pest and 1952’s Thumb Fun) using this persona, until Daffy was depicted as conniving and greedy from thereon in. Compared to other titles starring Daffy released the same year, such as Chuck Jones’ expansive The Scarlet Pumpernickel, this cartoon appears as a remembrance; in one sequence in the film, Daffy exits by riding an imaginary tricycle, with a bell attached, lifted from an earlier film–Bob Clampett’s Porky and Daffy (1938).
In this film, Porky Pig is essentially trapped with Daffy in the woods, but without any preference to hunt him, though he attempts to murder him — by shotgun and axe – on two different occasions. In some instances, Daffy heckles Porky by acting as a sort of woodland regulator—disputing infringement on having his own lake painted, posing as a sheriff (and executor) governing gun laws, and questioning if Porky possesses specific licenses, including one to sell hair tonic to bald eagles in Omaha, Nebraska.
Emery Hawkins animates the amusing opening sequence as Daffy displays various nonsensical gags, set against an equally absurd song, which almost sounds like an off-key version of “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down.” Hawkins also animates Daffy erasing his lake from Porky’s painting, followed by his disguise as “the old man of the mountains,” erasing the summits on the painting he claims are his. Starting as an inker at Lantz in 1930, at age 18, Hawkins was certainly a transitory animator, working in about every theatrical animation studio in the West Coast during the ‘30s and ‘40s, including Charles Mintz, MGM, Screen Gems, Disney– in three consecutive stints– arriving back to Walter Lantz in the early ‘40s—he served as a co-director there, as well– and moved over to Warners a few years later.
He moved away from theatricals into industrial films and television commercials, animating for John Sutherland, John Hubley’s Storyboard Inc., Playhouse Pictures, Pelican Films and Zander’s Animation Parlour. Hawkins associated with Bill Melendez—who animated on the “Daffy as Pocahantas” sequence and the zany baseball game in this film—later in his career, animating on the Peanuts television specials.
Pete Burness handles a large section where Porky rushes back to his fishing lure, a bell, which Daffy rings to his attention–only to find nothing in the water. After he is duped a second time, Porky implicitly informs the audience he is wise to Daffy’s tricks, with a devious expression as he steps away. In the third attempt, Daffy rings again, but Porky catches him behind a rock; Burness’ trademark “pose-to-pose” attributes to his work are applied here, as the frightened Daffy is carried away by Porky to the chopping block.
Select contemporary songs in Carl Stalling’s musical score, composed for films released during Boobs in the Woods’ production, compliment the quaint woodland setting; Jules Styne and Sammy Cahn’s “There’s Music in the Land,” from the 1948 Warner Bros. film Two Guys from Texas, accompany the opening titles. Porky’s introduction and painting the landscape is a rare moment of tranquility, in a film that offers frivolous antics—the song used during these scenes is another Styne/Cahn tune entitled “Put ‘Em in a Box, Tie ‘Em with a Ribbon (and Throw ‘Em in the Deep Blue Sea),” originating from Romance on the High Seas (1948) with Doris Day. A composition from Raymond Scott seldom heard in Warners cartoons, “Singing Down the Road,” from the 1945 film Bells of Rosarita, is heard during the sequence with Porky’s fishing lure. (The music was by Scott, and Charles Tobias wrote the lyrics.)
The closing line of Daffy’s silly song, before submerging into the lake: “Good evening, friends…” is borrowed from Al Jolson, as he sung those words as a host in the beginning and end of the Shell Chateau (1935-37) radio program. The phrase may have earlier origins; however, it’s debatable if Jolson said it during his theater shows, before he appeared on radio. Daffy’s remark of disdain, after he reads Porky’s license to use him as a motor at the end of the cartoon—“What a revoltin’ development this is!”—was lifted from the character Chester A. Riley from the radio sitcom The Life of Riley.
Enjoy the breakdown video, ya crazies!
(Thanks to Michael Barrier and Keith Scott for their help.)