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Cartoon Hell #16 – “Cad and Caddy”

March 1, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

You must decide which is which!

You must decide which is which!

Once again we’re dealing with a little rapscallion of a girl who is not only voiced by the same actress as Little Audrey but also has a theme song describing her devious ways. I feel no need to quote it, there’s nothing remarkable about the antics sung while the credits roll, it’s all innocuous behavior like using lipstick to write a letter.

The advantages Lulu has over Audrey are manifold:

1.No overtly racist supporting cast. (Her only companion is a frog, and not even a black-faced minstrel frog, just the regular kind.)
2.She’s faintly familiar as a comic icon from a bygone age.
3.Her voice is a slightly less grating variant of the Olive Oil voice.

Before the title even appears, we get a big message stating, “Little Lulu by Marge from The Saturday Evening Post”. I didn’t realize America was on a first name basis with Marge, they must be great friends.

The title concerned me, as it implies golf jokes. The magic of golf humor is its utter dullness to people who do not play the sport. Like most forms of hobby comedy, it is toxic to those not already indoctrinated. Golf’s power is that it renders humor even intended to lampoon it boring and bland.

Perhaps he's just murdering a prairie dog down there.

Perhaps he's just murdering a prairie dog.

Lulu leapfrogs with an actual frog when she’s attacked by dirt. A frustrated golfer is attacking a ball at the bottom of a hole he’s clearly dug himself. When Lulu asks him what he’s doing, the man yells at her, establishing himself as the villain of the piece. I love how often that’s used as standard issue bad guy behavior, since most children expect to get yelled at if they’re within their parents’ cone of visibility. Put in his situation, my main question would have been, “Seriously kid, why would you even be here? The only thing more boring to a kid than a golf course would be a crafts store or a museum of antique farm implements.”

Admit it, you came up with your own caption before you even read this one.

Admit it, you came up with your own caption before you even read this one.

As he tells her to beat it, his swing sends the ball straight into the hole, and a devious grin spreads over his face. He asks her, “How would you like to be my caddy. I’ll give you a big, fat, juicy lollypop.” I have to remember that this was the era before Stranger Danger, a time before Chris Hansen hunted creepy men to near extinction for sport and the amusement of TV audiences. How could she have known better?

In a show of his abusiveness, the Cad, which is what I shall call him since no name is provided, drives his moped while forcing Lulu to carry his clubs on foot. I fail to see the practicality in this, since he’ll reach his destination and be forced to wait for five minutes while his clubs awkwardly wobble towards him.

I'm not certain if this is culturally offensive, or just unfunny.

I'm not certain if this is culturally offensive, or just unfunny.

Lulu’s first act of mischief involves loudly chewing gum while the Cad attempts to make his shot. As the song warned, she does indeed participate in mild acts of deviant behavior. He yells at her to be quiet, and we, the audience, rub our hands with anticipation, the gag primed and ready to explode! When Lulu’s frog spooks the cad with a croak baring more than a passing resemblance to a belch, he wraps his golf club around his own neck. A flawless execution of comedic timing.

I shall call him Hieronymus T. Pettibone

I shall call him Hieronymus T. Pettibone

On the next hole, the ball won’t stay on the tee despite Lulu’s best efforts, so she sticks the ball on with chewing gum. When hit, the ball flies back and gives the Cad the appearance of wearing a monocle. I think, “The Golfer’s Monocle,” could become a great term for an exotic sex act. The gauntlet has been thrown down, internet community!

After that screw up, the Cad declares that he hates children, and warns that he’ll fire Lulu if there’s one more incident. Why a guy who apparently despises children would hire Lulu I don’t know. Maybe it’s similar to America’s love/hate relationship with cheap immigrant labor. Is Lulu outsourcing a teenage caddy out of a job?

I think he just stole two of those Kermit the Frog ping pong balls.

I think he just stole two of those Kermit the Frog ping pong balls.

The Cad declares that this is his last ball, and demands Lulu keep her eyes on it. In a freaky gesture of support, her frog assists by distending his eyeballs to watch the object in flight.

This is how a million wince inducing Youtube videos start.

This is how a million wince-inducing Youtube videos start.

The ball lands on the top of a fountain, and though he’s otherwise a bastard, the Cad apparently doesn’t have the practical sense to just get the ball out of the damn fountain and cheat like every other golfing asshole does.

So the water rises to just the right level, the Cad knocks it straight into the hole, and they have a fine day of golfing from that point out. At the end, the Cad gives her an entire assortment of lollipops and several dollars in compensation, having learned the error of his ways. He becomes a guardian of sorts, guiding her through the troublesome years to come, imparting his wisdom, and on his deathbed Lulu is the first person beside him. Her eulogy touches the hearts of all who attended his funeral.

No, wait, I’m not remembering this correctly. Now that I think about it, something much more predictable happens involving hijinks. Just once I’d like one of these cartoons to throw a real curveball at me. To surprise. To get some deep down ironic content going. Alas, I’m barking up the wrong tree here.

The water pressure on that fountain would have to be intense.

The water pressure on that fountain would have to be intense.

 What actually happens involves Lulu yielding to his demands and turning it all the way up, launching the Cad into the air. When he crashed back to the ground, he fires Lulu, which is the first sensible thing he’s done in the entire film.

Lulu begins conspiring with her frog, who we discover is named Quincy, and she does that strange cartoon whispering thing that sounds like, “hawasawashwasawash”. Most people who routinely whisper are too dumb to realize everyone nearby can almost always hear them.

His intensity for the dance is unbeatable.

His intensity for the dance is unbeatable.

Their pranks involve Quincy stealing the ball out of a hole after a successful shot, luring him into a mud puddle, getting him smacked by a tree branch, knocking him over by moving a fake tree, getting him attacked by a woodpecker, shooting flowers at him, and launching him over a hillside in just such a way so that a golf club repeatedly smacks him in the back of the head. I’m summarizing heavily because the entire proceeding is an entertainment void on all levels.

Lulu plays dead, and the Cad freaks out. Not understanding the intricacies of children it does not occur to him that she’s faking. When he begins weeping and offering all his lollipops  Lulu’s frog croaks, and her shushing of her pet spoils the ruse. She grabs the lollipops and runs, and the golfer digs himself a grave by feebly swiping his golf club. The sign on his tombstone says, “The End”, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

UNPC Moment:

Nothing in particular, though I couldn’t help but notice that in older cartoons being rude to kids was treated as an act of buffoonery, not a sign of being baby-eating evil.

Rating: Nearly Unwatchable

This cartoon remained unspeakably tiresome from beginning to end. Some of the licensed cartoons like this felt like they were made off of a script template sitting around the studio.

I’m pretty sure Lulu’s antics were tame and boring even during the era in which they were produced. What’s interesting about this is the idea that children in older entertainment sometimes did bad things or made mischief just because. No protagonist in modern children’s entertainment ever misbehaves simply because they couldn’t control their impulses, it’s always provoked so the main character never comes off as even remotely bad.

I view the older perspective as more accurate, kids are little sociopaths.

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One comment

  1. >>1.No overtly racist supporting cast. (Her only companion is a frog, and not even a black-faced minstrel frog, just the regular kind.)

    She had a black maid in some cartoons though (pretty much the same one Audrey had). Here’s some!

    In some cartoons she often has a dog, and in the case of this cartoon, a grown-up adversary who is always the same guy in many of these (i.e., Bargain Counter Attack, Loose on a Caboose, etc.). Tubby who played a ‘bigger’ role in the comics also showed up in a few of these, but was not as used much over Lulu’s own stories.

    >>2.She’s faintly familiar as a comic icon from a bygone age.

    She was created by Marjorie Henderson Buell (known under the pen name “Marge”, for which she first appeared in the pages of The Saturday Evening Post for a number of years prior to the start of the cartoon series by Famous Studios in the 40’s (of course the opening credits tell you that). A comic book series would eventually follow later on by Dell and later Gold Key and lasted into the early 80’s.

    Little Audrey on the other hand came after the contract to do Little Lulu expired and Famous decided to go ahead with creating an ‘original’ girl who was of a simular tomboyish type as Lulu. Her first outing was in “Santa’s Surprise” (1947), though her own series (under the Noveltoon banner) wouldn’t begin until 1948’s “Butterscotch & Soda”.

    >>3.Her voice is a slightly less grating variant of the Olive Oil voice.

    Both voices were by legendary actress Mae Questel, who played Olive Oyl, Lulu, and other little girls like Audrey.



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