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"We will now open our exercises with a recitation of our little friend, Porky Pig."

"Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere (Porky does an impression of Revere on his horse). On the eighteenth of April 1775; (waves out American flag that remembers American Revolution). Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and (stutters) year. 'Half a league, half a league onward rode the four hundred.' 'Forward, the Light Brigade!', 'Charge it to me', he said, 'Cannon to the right of them!'"
Porky Pig's first lines of dialogue
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I Haven't Got A Hat is a 1935 Merrie Melodies short, directed by Friz Freleng. It is notably the debut film of series star Porky Pig, as well as several other long-forgotten would-be stars of the series, most notably Beans The Cat, who was intended to be the picture's lead star. It was also the very first Merrie Melodie cartoon in the two-strip Technicolor process. (Disney had an exclusive contract to use the three-strip Technicolor process, but eventually, Warners would share that contract, which would lead to them using the process for Gone with the Wind.)

The cartoon is set around a school musical and recital, where a group of animal adults and children alike are gathering in the small schoolhouse to watch. The teacher, Mrs. Cud, introduces Porky Pig, who gets up and goes through a lengthy, stuttering struggle to recite the poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (with a snippet of Charge of the Light Brigade sandwiched in). The kids get bored with Porky and whistle for a pack of dogs to chase him off stage.

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Mrs. Cud calls for Little Kitty on stage, who tries to sing "Mary Had A Little Lamb", but ends up running off stage in stage fright. The twin pups Ham and Ex come along and sing the cartoons title song, "I Haven't Got A Hat", in a duet. Meanwhile, Beans the Cat tries to steal fellow student Oliver Owl's candy, but Oliver catches him and snubs him as he's summoned to recite the Poet and the Peasant Overture on the piano. Beans, disgruntled, sneaks outside to the window near where Oliver is playing, where a ladder is conveniently located. Beans finds a stray cat and dog wandering nearby, and when no one is looking, he lures them inside the piano. To Oliver's bewilderment, the piano plays itself perfectly, to the audiences cheers. But once the cat and dog break back out, the audience boo him. Beans the Cat is left laughing at Oliver's predicament, but Oliver sees him and responds by squirting him with a green ink pen. Beans then falls off the ladder inside, and a red bucket of paint nearby is launched inside and covers Oliver Owl. Since the two are even now, they shake hands grinning as the cartoon ends.

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Tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of the The Little Rascals comedies — known in the day as "Our Gang".
  • Animated Music Video: Like all of the early Merrie Melodies, they were mandated to have a song from the Warner Music catalog present as the cartoons title and centerpiece. The song number (sung by Ham and Ex) barely lasts a minute on screen though, and the rest of the cartoon is just gags.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Ham and Ex are introduced, they look at the camera and start whispering about the audience.
  • Breakout Character: Despite being Porky's first major appearance, he barely has any screentime and isn't even the central character in the short—he was supposed to play second fiddle to the trickster Beans the Cat, who gets the most important scenes in the cartoon. Porky is the earliest Looney Tunes character most people remember today.
  • Chaos Architecture: The window and door near the piano Oliver Owl plays seems to either trade places or vanish depending on the scene.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Beans the Cat ruins Oliver Owl's piano recital, just because Oliver caught him trying to steal his candy and blew him off.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Porky is a lot fatter looking here, and he isn't a major player yet—plus, there are a crop of other characters who were to be potential stars for the Looney Tunes studio, including Beans the Cat, but all of them (sans Porky) vanished shortly after the cartoon was made. On top of that, his voice is slightly different than later on, and his famous stutter is a lot more frustrating looking—apparently, his actor at the time (Joe Dougherty, who preceded Mel Blanc as Porky's actor) had a very real stutter that he couldn't control. Also, the "That's All Folks" ending card has an unnamed falsetto jester saying the phrase.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite ruining his recital and getting covered in paint, Oliver Owl is satisfied at Beans just getting ink squirted at him, and shakes hands with Beans in the end.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Beans the Cat trying to steal jam in the opening, plus Porky's stuttering recital.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Porky is chased off the stage by dogs.
  • Looney Tunes in the '30s
  • The Owl-Knowing One: While he isn't given much characterization, Oliver Owl is described by Mrs. Cud as a very competent piano player, so at the least, he seems cultured (and rather snooty towards Beans when the latter tries to steal his candy).
  • Off-Model: In one scene, Beans is drawn with noticeably smaller eyes than in the rest of the cartoon.
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: From the Trope Namer. Porky has this out of the starting gate, but here you can tell it's really holding back Porky—the poor piglet is literally sweating just to get through his lines.
  • Punny Name: The intention of Porky and Beans' names were to be a play off of "Pork N' Beans". Ditto for Ham and Ex (ham and eggs).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: All of the children are rather adorable looking little animals.
  • School Play: Of the recital variety.
  • Screwy Squirrel: While Beans the Cat tended to be portrayed as a bland protagonist in shorts after this, here he's presented as a greedy little trickster, who ruins Oliver Owl's piano recital (by stuffing a dog and cat inside) just because he won't share his candy with him.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Ham and Ex sing "I Haven't Got a Hat" in a falsetto appropriate for their age, but then Ex does the "Bum-bum-bum-bum" accompaniment in a deep bass.
  • Wham Episode: This is not only the 100th Warner Bros. short, but also the introduction of Porky Pig, who would go on to become one of the most iconic Looney Tunes characters.

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