A 1942Merrie Melodies short subject directed by Chuck Jones, "The Dover Boys At Pimento University" or "The Rivals of Roquefort Hall" (or just "The Dover Boys" for short) is an animated parody of a series of early 20th Century juvenile fiction novels called "the Rover Boys". This was also Chuck's first attempt at making a cartoon that was actually funny — unlike the cloying cuteness and Disney-like nature of his Sniffles the Mouse cartoons. It was also an early experiment with stylized, Limited Animation, as well as motion blurring, but because of this, it almostgot Chuck fired — he just barely managed to avoid the pink slip from his boss.This cartoon was voted No. 49 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, and has also made it onto The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes list. The short has also fallen into the public domain and can be viewed here. Columbia Cartoons even made their own knockoff of it, 1943's "The Rocky Road To Ruin".The Dover Boys were also used in an Animaniacs Slappy Squirrel Short, acting as musical narrators to Daniel Boone.Unmarked spoilers abound. If you have a problem with that, just watch the cartoon first. It's only 9 minutes long.
Ambiguously Gay / Depraved Homosexual: Dan Backslide. When he celebrates the portrait of Dora Standpipe, he adds that he only loves her father's money and then proceeds to hang her portrait over the body of a muscular man.
Big, Thin, Short Trio: Tom is tall and athletic-looking (and he's the one who gives Dan Backslide the worst beating when the boys finally catch up to him), Dick is slim and weedy, and Larry is rotund and shorter than the other two.
Brick Joke: The old man in an Old-Timey Bathing Suit who keeps popping up out of nowhere in the short to the tune of "While Strolling Through the Park One Day" goes off with Dora in the end.
Cross Counter: A three-way one, delivered by each of the Dover Boys simultaneously to the other two Dover Boys.
Expy: The Dover Boys are, of course, parody expies of Edward Stratemeyer's "Rover Boys," Dick, Tom, and Sam (and their schoolfellows, Larry, Fred, and Frank). "Dan Backslide" represents the villain of the books, Dan Baxter.
Foreshadowing: When Dan kidnaps Dora as she's grasping a tree while counting for Hide-and-Seek, she rips the tree out of the ground without losing a beat or realizing she's being taken. As we later find, she's strong enough to tie Dan in a knot.
I Need a Freaking Drink: The Dover Boys drive Dan Backslide to drink. To drive the point home, he then goes over to the bar and does a baker's dozen shots in the span of about four seconds (with the barkeep knocking one back in the process).
Talking Is a Free Action: Dora and the Dover Boys pass the outside of the tavern of ill repute, wherein Dan Backslide notices them and rants. Once he's finished, the Dover Boys and their mutual fiancée are exactly where we left them, apparently having paused outside for a full minute.
The same happens when Backslide kidnaps Dora in his stolen runabout. He pulls to a stop outside the tavern for seemingly no reason other than to allow Dora to call out to each Dover Boy for help, before continuing on to the hunting lodge.
Too Dumb to Live: Even as she repeatedly Offhand Backhands her captor, she continues to bang on the door calling for help. A door that's visibly locked from the side she's on. She needs help, all right.
With Catlike Tread: When Dan Backslide sees the Dover Boys hiding under his pool table, he shouts his dastardly plans at the top of his lungs. The boys, some two-and-a-half feet away, don't seem to notice:
"The Dover Boys! THEN DORA MUST BE ALONE AND UNPROTECTED!"
And just outside, he follows up with "A runabout! I'll steal it!NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!"