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Western Animation / Book Revue

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A 1945 (released in 1946) Looney Tunes short subject directed by Bob Clampett, Book Revue is a semi-remake of the 1938 Frank Tashlin short Have You Got Any Castles? (or a Genre Throwback to the "things come to life in a store" plot that was very common in early 30's cartoons). However, pop culture references are up-front and center this time, along with Clampett's trademark expressive distortions and caricaturing, as well as some very catchy music. Midway through the short, good old Daffy Duck appears and intrudes on the story of "Little Red Riding Hood" — and the fun really begins!

"Book Revue" provides examples of:

  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When The Big Bad Wolf falls into Dante's Inferno, everyone immediately celebrates.
  • Bowdlerization: When this short aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang (barring its appearance on The Bob Clampett Show), the scene of the Wolf chasing Daffy through Uncle Tom's Cabin was cut. The former WB network also cut the Uncle Tom's Cabin chase, and cut Daffy's line, "Ah, cucaracha. So round, so firm, so fully packed, so easy on the draw".
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: The bird in the cuckoo clock at the beginning is now stone-cold plastered while shouting "Cuckoo! Cuckoo! It's twelve o'clock!".
  • Dance Party Ending: Everyone celebrates the wolf sliding into Dante's Inferno.
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: "Stop that dancing up there!... ya sillies."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: At the end, the Wolf is sent tumbling into Dante's Inferno in awe of Frank Sinatra's singing.
  • Gratuitous Russian: See Malaproper below.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Henry VIII's mother chews him out and spanks him for wolf whistling at the local Cherokee Strip, only to her and other girls to fall head over heels for Frank Sinatra's singing and start cat-calling themselves!
  • Malaproper: As suggested by the image caption. A balalaika is "a stringed instrument of Russian origin, with a characteristic triangular body and three strings". A samovar is "a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia, with an attachment on the tops of its lid to hold and heat a teapot filled with tea concentrate."
  • Mood Whiplash: Daffy, in his smooth-talking Danny Kaye persona, suddenly breaking into "La Cucaracha" in rather typical Daffy style:
    Danny!Daffy: Dey vould seeng to me a gypsy love song. Like zees...leesin: CUCARAAAAAAAAAAAACHAAAAAAAAA!!!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Where to start?? Even for a 40's-era Looney Tunes short, this one has a lot.
    • Daffy imitates Danny Kaye (signalled by his appearing in front of the book Danny Boy).
    • The short also parodies a number of popular band leaders and musicians:
      • Young Man With a Horn is Harry James
      • The Voice in the Wilderness is Frank Sinatra
      • Brass is Tommy Dorsey (who snags W. C. Fields' nose in his trombone slide)
      • Drums Along the Mohawk is Gene Krupa
      • The Pie-Eyed Piper is Benny Goodman
    • So Big is Jimmy Durante (known for his ginormous nose)
    • The Big Bad Wolf, in his last appearance, does an imitation of comedian Joe Besser, going, "Ya sthillies!"
    • Little Red Riding Hood is child actress Margaret O'Brien.
  • Poirot Speak: Used by Daffy in his Danny Kaye persona.
  • Product Placement: The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies comic book is featured.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: When the Judge, the Wolf, et al, start singing to the tune of the Sextette from Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor
  • Pun-Based Title: The title is a pun on "Book Review", "Revue" meaning "Variety Show", which this short basically is. However, the pun was tarnished in its re-release when the new title card inexplicably changed it to "Book Review".
    • That's because the studio's producer Eddie Selzer (who reportedly had no sense of humor and an interfering bore), genuinely thought Bob Clampett messed up, and used the word "Revue" by mistake, so when the cartoon was re-issued, Selzer "fixed" it.
  • Recycled Animation: During the montage of women reacting to Frank Sinatra's singing, a cover of Little Women features dozens of women fainting one after another in the exact same manner and positions as the chickens from Swooner Crooner
  • Scared of What's Behind You: When Daffy is trying to warn Little Red Riding Hood about the Big Bad Wolf, he imitates him and pretends to bite her leg. She starts screaming not at Daffy, but the real Wolf salt-and-peppering his leg.
  • Scatting: Used by Daffy (in keeping with his Danny Kaye impression) to warn Red Riding Hood in song about the Big Bad Wolf.
  • Shout-Out: Daffy's famous "morph into a giant eye" wild take (officially dubbed the "Clampett Corneal Catastrophe") would appear again in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Inside Plucky Duck", where Plucky successfully pulls it off... only to remain stuck in it for the rest of the episode.
    • Also, in the short itself, there is a reference to The Aldrich Family, a popular radio comedy series of the time, when the mother calls, "Hen-RY! Hen-ry-the-Eighth!" and he replies, "Coming, Mother!"
      • Incidentally, this is not the only Looney Tunes short of the era to parody that show.
  • Squee: Every female character (and the wolf) in the library does this at the sight of Frank Sinatra.
  • Toothy Bird: Look at the page image. This is probably the reason why we don't hear Daffy talk with his famous lisp.
  • Visual Pun: Tons. For instance, when the Wolf receives his sentence from the court, he's thrown behind bars for life — or rather, behind bars on the cover of an issue of Life Magazine.
  • Wild Take: One of the most famous in all of animation — Daffy transforms into a GIANT EYEBALL.


Video Example(s):


Big Bad Wolf Scat

Daffy (whilst impersonating Danny Kaye) warns Red Riding Hood in song about the Big Bad Wolf.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / Scatting

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