Follow TV Tropes


Film / Mr. B Natural

Go To
"Knew your father, I did!"note 

Mr. B Natural is an advertising short about a mysterious Peter Pan-esque pixie who helps Buzz, a lonely young kid, learn how to make friends and express himself through music (and hence, genuine Connnote  instruments).

Mystery Science Theater 3000 has riffed on this twice - for the original version, please go to the episode recap page; it was riffed again in the 2023 Winter Festival of Shorts.

RiffTrax also did its own commentary using a complete, unblemished copy of the short; the MST3K version had broken splices.

The entire uncut and unriffed short can be viewed here.

This short provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Alluded to when Mr. B mentions an 8-year-old who's learning the French horn; due to being so young, the child was not intimidated by the instrument's apparent learning curve and mastered it quickly.
    Mr. B: Wait till he grows up and finds out how hard it really is!
  • An Aesop: For all its goofiness and commercial praise of Conn instruments, the short does spend most of its time emphasizing the importance of musical education, even if it does exaggerate just how good it is.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Possibly what they were shooting for with Mr. B, given that he's the living incarnation of music itself.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Mr. B Natural would be Camp Gay if it was even clear he's really a male.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Mr. B Natural is the living embodiment of music, and represents "the spirit of music in you AND you!"
  • As Himself: Bruce Podewell and his parents played themselves.
  • Be Yourself: Mr B encourages Buzz to run with his desire to learn how to play music and not worry about whether or not he'll be any good.
  • Famous Ancestor: Mr. B claims to be related to all musical instruments, and, is (one assumes) also family to all the other notes.
  • Flight: At one point Mr B flings themself out a window, and Buzz's reaction indicates that he sees them flying off.
  • Genki Guy: Mr. B is very very perky.
  • Hurricane of Puns: All the "be natural" puns.
  • Imaginary Friend: Basically? Mr. B claims to be Buzz's personal spirit of music, who awakened when Buzz reached out to play a record in order to make himself feel better. As such, such one else can see or interact with them. The implication is that everyone has a Mr. B Natural of their own. However, since this Mr. B claims to have helped another child, there may be some kind of Hive Mind going on.
  • Leg Focus: Mr. B has a few odd shots showing off her legs as she stands or sits, though the actress was a dancer, so it makes some sense.
  • Meaningful Name: "Be Natural". Also serves as a Double Entendre, as she's the embodiment of the B♮ musical note.
  • Merchandise-Driven: It is a promotional short for Conn band instruments. In case the marching band spelling out the company's name behind the opening credits was too subtle an advertisement, the short's final third drops all pretenses of being anything but a commercial and leaves the characters behind to show off the company's manufacturing process.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Probably the only place you'll ever see high-schoolers marvelling over new band instruments. "Wow!"
    Fred: (turning down a date with a cute girl) Not me, Jeannie! Band practice! I wouldn't miss it for anything! I'm bucking for first clarinet chair!invoked
  • Shapeshifter: Mr. B can assume the form of a note...or is a note assuming humanoid form?
  • Shout-Out: The short is deliberately trying to emulate the Peter Pan stage play.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Mr. B can make musical instruments appear out of thin air. Buzz still has to pay for his own trumpet, though.
  • Stop Trick: Whenever Mr. B pops in and out of view.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: This is nowhere near constant, but Mr. B says two things like Yoda: "Knew your father, I did!" and, "Taught him how to play the French horn, I did!"
  • Telepathy: In the full short, Mr. B reveals s/he can read minds.
  • Teleportation: First shown when Mr. B suddenly appears in Buzz's locker, then in his room.
  • Totally Radical: According to the short's log line, Mr. B is a "hep pixie".
  • Vocal Dissonance: For such a hot... person, Mr. B has a screechy, high-pitched, constantly fluctuating, harpy scream of a voice; described as "a shrill, peculiar succubus" in The Amazing Colossal Mystery Science Theatre Episode Guide.