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Western Animation / The Cookie Carnival

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Just wait and see, you're going to be the sweetest one of all!

"The Cookie Carnival" is a 1935 Silly Symphonies short directed by Ben Sharpsteen.

The plot of this short is driven when the people from Cookietown celebrates a carnival in which numerous girls based on cakes, sweets, and candies parades on the town so they can become the Cookie Queen. Far from there, on the railroad tracks, a gingerbread hobo man going to see parade hears the cries of a poor sugar cookie girl. Willing to help, he asks how he can help her, which she responds that despite wanting to participate in the parade she can't enter the parade because she doesn't have any pretty clothes to wear. Quickly, he comforts the girl and remedies her problem by giving her a makeover, consisting of making a beautiful dress out of frosting and candy hearts decorated with a large violet bow and changing her brown hair with golden taffy ringlets. After liking the makeover, she sneaks at the ending of the parade as the final contestant in the parade: Miss Bonbon.

The judges, who have thus far been disappointed in the candidates, all promptly declare Miss Bonbon the Cookie Queen on sight. The gingerbread man is practically trampled in the sudden surge of the crowd as they carry Miss Bonbon to her throne, where they place a golden crown on her head. On the throne, the judges tell her that she needs a king and present a large layer cake which appears to be a carousel of different vaudeville acts full of candidates from those featured.

Meanwhile, the hobo cookie tries to get a better view of the show by sneaking up between the legs of a distracted guard but is quickly noticed by another one and is chased, forcing the hobo cookie to hide behind the carousel but not for too long as he's discovered again.

Upon observing that the queen has rejected every candidate, the judges, with no other suitors to present to her, offer to have her marry one of them (or all three of them), only to be interrupted by the guards chasing and attacking the gingerbread man, destroying his hat and the end of a red carpet. The Cookie Queen calls the guards to stop the attack, and chooses the gingerbread man as the king, releasing him immediately and taking his place beside his beloved sugar cookie. Their closing kiss melts the lollipop intended to screen them from view.

"The Cookie Carnival" provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Job Change: The cookie girl in the original cartoon is implied that she is unemployed, while in the 1935 comic adaptation she is the princess of the Cookieland since the beginning, and the 1949 comic adaptation she is still suffering from poverty, but is seen working as a muffin vendor.
  • Adaptational Wealth: It only happens in the 1935 comic version of the short, where the cookie girl is really the princess of Cookietown, who decides to dress as a maid in order to know better the suitors.
  • Alcohol Hic: The three jolly rum cookies do this a lot in their song.
    We're the jolly rum cookies... (hic)
    Please pardon us if we intrude... (hic)
    Though all other cookies are baked in a pan,
    A rum cookie always is stewed!
  • The Alcoholic: The three rum cookies are carrying beer bottles and are drunkenly stumbling around during their song.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted, as the cookie queen chooses the kind gingerbread man over the devil's food cakes.
  • All There in the Manual: Miss Bonbon's name is never spoken or seen in the short itself.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Everyone in this short is some sort of living candy or pastry.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: A non-villainous example. The judges declare the Cookie Queen must have a King, calling forth all the Candy Dates from across the land. But Miss Bonbon laughs at her suitors' performances and rejects them all, forcing the judges to propose to her instead.
  • Art Shift: As a part of her makeover, the girl of this short is given a Fleischer-esque look, due to her being drawn by former Fleischer animator Grim Natwick. She starts off a flat cookie-person like the other characters, though following her makeover is practically a human with 3D proportions.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Both the cookie girl and the gingerbread man are seen without any footwear at the beginning of the story.
  • Beauty Contest: The first part of the festivities is a parade where three judges decide which girl will become the queen based on their beauty.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: This is the main reason why the Cookie Queen chooses the gingerbread man as her King at the end of the short. He saw beauty in her and helped her enter and win the beauty parade, while everyone else ignored her and only became interested in her due to becoming beautiful.
  • The Bully: The Devil Food cakes, who are briefly seen pinching the angel food cakes and taking their spotlight at the end of the short. This is expanded on the two comic adaptations, where a sole one antagonizes both the cookie girl and the gingerbreand man.
  • Camp Straight: The Angel Food cakes. Though their mannerisms are quite campy, they are competing for the affections of the Cookie Queen.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The red carpet leading to the carnival's thrones is later used by the Hobo Cookie to sneak into the main throne, with its end being damaged by the guards attacking him and giving the Hobo Cookie the look of a king alongside his hat.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: This short has two comic adaptations where the Hobo Cookie competes against a malicious devil foodcake to win the cookie girl's heart. The main difference between the two comic adaptations revolve about the cookie girl position, where one is a struggling muffin seller while the other is a genuine princess who passes as a peasant in order to secretly test her suitors in order to find a good husband.
  • Dance Party Ending: One of the earliest animated examples. The entire town with the exception of the queen and king dances at the end of the short.
  • The Dandy: The Dandy Candy Kids are dressed so fancily they shine. Bonus points for having an old-time dandy kissing a lady's hand in their backdrop.
  • Dark Horse Victory:
    • The Cookie girl unespectedly arrives at the last minute of the parade and wins the beauty contest over the other female contestants who dissapointed the judges of the parade.
    • In the end, the new Cookie Queen picks, not one of the many suitors offered to her by the judges, but the hobo who gave her the makeover that landed her the position.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After selflessly helping the poor cookie girl win, Miss Bonbon declares that he is her king when he shows up in front of her. The judges stand back and allow them to kiss.
  • Edible Theme Clothing: Justified, since Cookieland is a Level Ate.
    • The gingerbread cookie concocts a wonderful dress for the poor cookie girl out of colored frosting, candy hearts, and cupcake wrappers, using a powdered marshmallow as a makeup applicator, some golden taffy as a wig, a candy heart as lipstick and blush, and a shiny flat lollipop as a mirror.
    • Near the end, the gingerbread man gets some of his own when the guards chasing him broke his hat, making it look like a crown and accidentally broke the end of the jelly-roll carpet while reacting from the hit, making it look like a kingly robe, with the edges even resembling fur trim. Previously, just as he's going to help the cookie girl, he notices a green candy drop on a nearby cake and puts it on his Dickey like it's a button.
  • Exact Words: The judges told the new Cookie Queen that she would be able to choose her king. She ends up choosing the hobo cookie that helped her, declaring him king before the guards can detain him.
  • Face of a Thug: The Devil's Food cakes look like actual demons, but describe themselves as "naughty but nice", and are considered viable candy-dates for the Cookie King, implying that they're not actually evil.
  • Functional Addict: Implied? Peculiarly, the judges regard the Rum Cakes as viable kingly candidates in spite of their alcoholism.
  • Furry Reminder: A very minor one, but when Miss Bon Bon (who at this point looks like a human) is being crowned, her hair is shown to be gooey like the taffy that it is.
  • Graceful Loser: Most of the candy dates that were rejected by the queen are seen celebrating among the other citizens when Miss Bonbon chooses her king.
    • Averted in the comic with the Devil food cake, as he laments losing his chance to be with the queen over the Hobo Cookie, especially when the queen reveals that she was actually the maiden that the devil bullied earlier on.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Miss Bonbon is this. Before the makeover, she is a brunette with a heart of gold.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: The judges, bored and miserable after a long line of unsuitable would-be queens, have a triple Jaw Drop upon seeing Miss Bonbon and immediately jump up in glee.
  • Humanoid Female Food Person: Miss Bob Bon and some other female characters, like Miss Peppermint, are a lot more human-like in appearance then the male characters.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Help out a poor girl out of the goodness of your heart, and treat her like a queen? She'll return the favor and declare you king of the proceedings!
  • Level Ate: Everyone and everything in Cookieland is made out of confectionery materials.
  • Luminescent Blush: The gingerbread man gets one after he notices he's watched while kissing his girlfriend.
  • The Makeover: The hobo cookie gives one to Miss Bonbon alongside a cute ballgown dress so she can enter the parade.
  • The Matchmaker: The cookie carnival judges attempt to match the candy dates with the sugar cookie girl. Once this fails, they try to suggest to her to marry the judges themselves, only to be interrupted by the hobo cookie being chased by the guards.
  • Marry Them All: The judges suggest marrying all three to the Queen after she rejects every candidate.
    Judge 1: We've tried our very best to find a king for you.
    Judge 2: But you've said no to everyone, what can we do?
    The three Judges: What can we do? what can we do? what can we dooo?
    Judge 1: My advice would be, marry me!
    Judge 2: No, me!
    Judge 3: No, me-e-e-e-e!
    Judge 1: Perhaps you'd better marry all three!
  • No OSHA Compliance: The judges' balcony is so fragile that it breaks and sends them spilling to the ground when they lean over the railing and declare Miss Bonbon the winner.
  • Old-School Chivalry: The Old-Fashioned Cookies.
    We're the Old-Fashioned Cookies, like Mother used to bake!
    You're the only girl we love; give one of us a break!
  • Official Couple: The Cookie girl/Miss Bonbon and the hobo gingerbread man.
  • Pauper Patches: The sugar cookie girl starts the short with a simple one-piece worn-out brown cookie dress with a few patches made of white cream. As she points out to the hobo cookie, she can't participate in the parade with such unpresentable clothes.
  • Police Brutality: The cookie guards angrily chase the hobo cookie after the latter tries to get a better view on the show and beat him with their candy bayonets when he arrives at the top of the cake where the throne is situated. Luckily the cookie queen forces them to stop by declaring the hobo cookie king before they can do any more harm.
  • Rags to Royalty: Both the protagonists are introduced as being poor outcasts, the hobo cookie being homeless and the cookie girl living in a small house on the wrong side of the tracks. At the end of the short, the two of them become royalty, the girl due to winning over the rest of the candidates and the hobo cookie being chosen out of gratitude for helping her earlier on.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: The Devil's Food Cakes have a peppy jazz duet, in contrast to the Angel Food Cakes' twee little tune.
  • Secret Test of Character: In one of the comic adaptions, Miss Bonbon decides to switch places with one of her servants to prove the worth of the participants at her tournament.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Miss Bonbon goes from a little scraggly girl to a proper beauty candidate in her own right. The gingerbread seals the deal by having her kiss a candy heart.
  • Shout-Out: The first girl seen in the parade, Miss Peppermint, resembles Betty Boop.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The queen is interested more in the hobo cookie who helped her than the other candidates.
  • Tag Team: With the exception of the three Jolly rum cookies, all the candidates are in pair of two.
  • The Worst Seat in the House: The hobo cookie and some of the Cookietown residents have trouble watching the show due to the guards enormous hats. The hobo attempts to sneak behind the legs of one distracted guard, but ends up angering them whey they notice him and accidentally flips them.
  • Visual Pun: We get a glimpse of two figures representing the Devil's Food cake, who have devil-like figures.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The gingerbread man could easily have ignored the poor crying cookie girl and continued his journey to Cookietown without anyone knowing, yet he decides to boost her confidence and give her a makeover so she can participate.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Both the gingerbread man and the cookie girl are on the outskirts of the town at the beginning of the short.


Video Example(s):


A Sweet Makeover (The Cookie Carnival)

The hobo cookie giving one of these to the cookie girl (who was already kind of cute) so she can enter in the parade with a presentable look.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheMakeover

Media sources: