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Western Animation / Rocket Bye Baby

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Rocket-bye Baby is a 1956 Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.

In the summer of 1954, an alignment between Earth and Mars causes a cosmic disturbance in which a human baby bound for Earth and a Martian baby bound for Mars collide and end up swapping destinations. On Earth, the expecting father, Mr. Joseph Wilbur, is shocked to find his son is green. At the behest of his wife, Martha, Joseph tries to treat the situation normal, despite the child communicating with bees and his appearance freaking people out. When the baby shows remarkable intelligence for his age, Joseph and Martha are concerned, but find it adorable when he starts building his own miniature spaceship based off a television show. Then, one night, they receive a message from Mars, and, after realizing the implications, learn of the mix-up, with the Martians promising to exchange their real baby, Yob, with the Martian baby, Mot, but warning them to protect Mot until then. However, when Mot takes off in his spaceship, Joseph has to chase after him if he is to have any hope of getting his real baby.


Tropes appearing in this cartoon:

  • All Just a Dream: Joe chases Mot off a building and falls, but then wakes up still in the waiting room, and realizes he just dreamt the whole thing after reading a science magazine.
    • Or Was It a Dream?: When the Wilburs' son is brought out, a close-up of his bracelet reveals that he's named Yob.
  • Brainy Baby: Mot shows advanced intelligence by Earth standards. He has made a DNA molecule out of Tinkertoys, spelled out Einstein's mass-energy conversion formula on building blocks, made a model of the solar system, drawn a chart predicting hurricane possibilities in 1985, filled out the family's tax forms, and drawn plans for a better mousetrap and a better mouse.
  • Cassandra Truth: After Mot communicates with a bee, Joe expresses his concern over the chance of Mot talking to any strange bees he might meet. Martha thinks that Joe is just making up excuses to not take Mot out.
  • Competition Coupon Madness: The Show With In A Show had a contest to give away a toy spaceship by having kids send in twelve boxtops from Cosmic Crunchies. Mot didn't need to enter as he took measurements of the spaceship to build his own.
  • Advertisement:
  • Conveniently Close Planet: Earth and Mars aligning so close caused Mot and Yob to switch destinations and be born on each other's planet.
  • Cry Laughing: The lecturer chides the audience for believing in aliens and laughs, but it turns to crying as Mot flies by on his flying saucer.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": When Joe and Martha receive a message from Mars, they act casual about it until the realization hits them.
  • Delayed Reaction: An old lady has a two-fer. Upon seeing Mot, she initially dotes on him, until she realizes he's green. Mot doesn't help by pulling her glasses off with his antennae to try them on. Then while Joe hightails it back to his house, she just stands there flabbergasted for a while, before playing a pitch pipe followed by screaming.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Joe when waiting for his child to be born, complete with Cigarette of Anxiety.
  • Properly Paranoid: Joe was reluctant to take Mot out, worried about how other people would react, but Martha insisted that Mot needed fresh air. Sure enough, Joe's fear was justified as an old lady had a Freak Out upon realizing that Mot was green.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Martian naming conventions seem to work this way. The Martian baby is named Mot, which is Tom backwards, while the Martians named the Earth boy Yob.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: At one point, Mot communicates with a bee.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When the Martians send a letter to the Wilburs, Joe doesn’t seem bothered by a letter arriving at night, delivered by a miniature plane.
  • Word, Schmord!: One scene has a Show Within a Show, titled Captain Schmideo.