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Cartoon Hell #24 – “Little Brown Jug”

April 24, 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.

The big brown jug killed many.

The big brown jug killed many.

My involuntary response to hearing the phrase, “Little Brown Jug,” is, “Heeheehee, hohoho.” It drives me bat-shit, but it’s the inescapable side effect of being raised around folk music. Since this is another “Sing Song” production I assume it will lull me into believing it’s an ordinary cartoon and end up with a bouncing ball hopping over lyrics. Sneaky devils.

The film starts off near an old saw mill where a procession of beavers bounce what appear to be red balls. I can’t stand to see beavers slacking off when there’s work to be done, it angries me up something fierce. When it’s revealed in a later shot that they’re collecting apples my anger lowers but my confusion increases. Why are beavers collecting fruit? And what does any of this have to do with jugs that are both brown and little?

Truly, unironically unsettling.

Truly, unironically unsettling.

When a small beaver can’t manage to slap an apple out of a tree, he decides to get devious about it and returns with a fan. The blast of air reveals the tree’s hideous, weathered Ent-Face, and he drops apples as he hugs himself for warmth. His craggy face is now burned into the back of my brain. It really was needlessly creepy.

The beaver mill was a mainstay of post-war engineering.

The beaver mill was a mainstay of post-war engineering.

These are no ordinary beavers. They’ve harnessed the means of production and are hording apples for who knows what purpose. Personally, I assume they’re going to build a dam out of them, because beavers are stupid like that. If beavers hunted humans, they’d still just build dams out of us.

Beaver lushes!

Beaver lushes!

The beaver working the smashing machine gets a squirt of apple juice each time the press goes down, and he quickly becomes intoxicated. How the apples turned to sour mash over the course of a quick trip downstream is beyond me. Perhaps he’s faking it for the attention. If other beavers were around, maybe he’d be yelling, “Oh my god, guys, I’m so drunk, you just, you just have no idea how drunk I am right now!”

The entire premise of this thing bugs me. Why are beavers making cider? Famous Studios is putting forth no effort to frame the internal logic of this scenario. Make sense, damn you! And where’s the fucking jug? I know sour mash should go in jugs, but they’re not showing up.

The caper has been foiled!

The caper has been foiled!

Due to the drunken misconduct of the beaver on duty, the apple barrel overflows, sending apple juice gushing out of the mill.

Chicken lushes!

Chicken lushes!

The accident sends liquor down river, where a chicken takes a long draught. This is how you make a drunken chicken. If for no other reason, I’m glad I saw this film because it afforded me the opportunity to say the phrase, “drunken chicken.” I think I shall say it once more:

Drunken… Chicken.

The concoction is so potent it makes the chicken fire out eggs, the babies hatching immediately and visibly intoxicated. Fetal alcohol syndrome was still hilarious in the fifties since giving kids liquor “puts hair on your chest” according to popular wisdom of the time. Rumor has it that in their heyday Louie Armstrong and Shirley Temple held drinking contests so long and epic they often delayed filming for days.

You really should see the film clip at the end, it's amazing.

You really should see the film clip at the end, it's amazing.

Drunken….. Pheasants….

The rest of the animals who end up intoxicated are less exciting than that. A dog ends up with the hiccups, three baby ducks start hiccuping. I get the feeling some hiccuping hobo from an old radio show introduced this notion that intoxication includes the hiccups, because I have no anecdotal evidence to support this ever happening.

Jug grenades, joyous.

Jug grenades, joyous.

A farmer is selling 100% Proof milk created by his cow drinking from the stream. I’m not a big drinker, but according to Wikipedia, “The measure is commonly used in the United States, where it is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume.” That would be 100 proof. 100% proof would imply pure ethyl alcohol, which raises terrifying issues. Holding a lit match too close to that cow could kill them all.

The liquor turtle is a jovial creature, for a few hours.

The liquor turtle is a jovial creature, for a few hours.

Finally, just as I had begun to lose all hope the turtles carrying the liquor break out into a rousing rendition of “Little Brown Jug” complete with a turtle explaining how to follow the bouncing ball. The lyrics are as follows with my comments in bold parenthetical.

You bring ginger I’ll bring spice (Damn, I didn’t realize this was a classy affair.)
You bring tum-blers I’ll bring ice
You bring Su-zy I’ll bring Bess (I will not bring Bess, she’s all hands once the Peppermint Shnapps gets to her.)
Together we’ll bring hap-pi-ness. (Careful with the emphasis there.)

(Sung like the party clown who makes the birthday boy cry:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

There. A jug. But it seems to be looming over me.

There. A jug. But it seems to be looming over me.

Rich men look for add-ed wealth
Sick men look for last-ing health
And a common place they look
Is in a jig-ger or a hook (A jigger: 1.5 Fluid ounces, I finally looked it up. It’s either that, or it’s the outdated racial epithet.)
(Sung with disregard for personally safety:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

Narrator: Listen girls, you think you can take the next one alone? (Careful now, those boys have a dangerous, seedy look in their eyes.) Okay, let’s go!

Girls: Hap-py Her-bert’s nose was red
Der-by fal-ling from his head
Walk-ing zig-zag un-dis-turbed
Can you guess what was wrong with Herb (The chemotherapy actually. It’s quite sad to be honest.)

(Now sing it loud, like your daddy doesn’t love you:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

Narrator: Now let’s give the boys a chance. (Distract them before this becomes one big vomit party.) Come on fellows, sing!

Boys: Here’s the tale of Bes-sie Berch
Who was left wait-ing at the church
All be-cause the hap-py groom
Be-gan to cel-e-brate too soon
(Mezzo-Forte, but judgmentally:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

Yay for hideous walls of mouths!

Yay for hideous walls of mouths!

Narrator: That was pretty good. Well now, how about a contest! (Kickboxing it is!) Okay, ladies first.

Girls: I like per-fumes from Nor-man-dy (Pre-bombing.)
Boys: I like Swiss cheese and Chi-nese tea
Girls: I e-ven like a Persian rug
Boys: If on it stands a lit-tle jug (The single-minded focus is amazing. “You know what would make that furniture better? If there was liquor on it!”)

(Sung with a lurching stomach:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

What's about to happen here?

What's about to happen here?

Fellows caught in swinging doors (At this point an irishman began dancing on the words, to give it an extra touch of sensitivity and class.)
Fa-ces on the bar room floors
Old men full of pep and zing (I want none of their pep or zing.)
It all comes from that one thing (Clean living?)

(Sung through the vomit:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

Once there was a guy named Bill
He was strong but had no will
Friday pay was his big thrill.
Cause Saturday found dear old Bill singing…

I think that jug is experiencing alcohol poisoning.

I think that jug is experiencing alcohol poisoning.

(Screamed with anger and confusion:)
Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee (Said in a drunk lurch, the words forming an elephant.)
Little brown jug how I love thee
Fid-dle dum  and fid-dle dee (Little brown jug destroying me!)
Lit-tle brown jug oh you’re for me

The earliest version of this song I found was essentially about a married couple who liked to get hammered, so this is actually a much more subdued rendition of the tune.

When the song completes, all the farm animals are drinking up, including a nursing sow, who’s babies hiccup delightfully. The last pig attempts a passable WC Fields impression, which is as good a place as any to close this drunken fiasco.

UNPC Moment:

The whole damn theme is pretty inappropriate for a cartoon by today’s standards. They were phasing out animation featuring drunks or depictions of drunkenness when I was a child. Seeing the theme again brought back fond memories. Memories of better cartoons, mind you.

Rating: Humorously Bad

This film is the opposite of every message I was given at the end of 80’s cartoon shows. Still, you have to respect their dedication to the sauce.

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5 comments

  1. Somehow I feel the title jug is giving me the finger

    in the late 60’s it seems they took this cartoons message into live action

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/866546/animals_drunk/


  2. This has inspired me to share a bottle of whiskey with the squirrels that live in the tree in my front yard. Who knew that underneath all that pretense, wildlife just want to get drunk like the rest of us?


  3. This cartoon alone is worth the $5 for the entire set. Hey kids, it’s great to get drunk!


  4. Wow.. serious much? Cartoons don’t always have to make sense, you know, and shows like these are far better than the crappy cartoons they’re showing today.


    • Is it even worth pointing out that giving intense, serious discussion to junk public domain cartoons might, in fact, be the joke? Accusations of being serious are the oddest sort of criticisms. It’s basically the reader putting no faith in the writer. But hey, if I have to explain the joke, I’ve clearly already failed.



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