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Catnip Goes To Army is a Aldo Boomer animated short film that was released in 1942.

Synopsis

Catnip does his patriotic duty when he receives his draft notice and enlists in the army. The first of Catnip's Army pictures follows him though his induction medical exam and boot camp.

Plot

Filled with enthusiasm, Catnip reports to his local draft board after receiving a draft notice. Along the way, he passes several recruiting posters that romanticize military life. Especially intrigued by one for the Air Force, featuring attractive women and the promise of escorting them around, Catnip decides that he "wants to fly". After arriving at the draft board, Catnip expresses his desire to join the Army Air Forces, adding excitedly, "I came from a family of aviators!" The desk officer directs Catnip to a room where he is to undergo a physical examination.

Inside the exam room, a team of white-coated doctors hurriedly pass Catnip around, measuring him and testing his vital signs, vision, and hearing. Several gags during the scene emphasize the army's willingness to accept as many recruits as possible, such as a color vision test that Catnip passes even after mistakenly identifying a green card as being blue. At the end of the exam Catnip is issued a uniform - vastly oversized, but shrunk to fit thanks to a bucket of water dumped over his head - and has his rear end stamped with a large "OK."

During basic training, Catnip's unit is marched around the field by the drill sergeant (Tommy Bulldog). Catnip is distracted by some planes flying overhead, reminding him that he would rather be flying. His lack of concentration causes him to march out of step with the other soldiers and accidentally chop Tommy's necktie in half with his rifle bayonet when he is ordered to turn "about face". Tommy dismisses the other soldiers to drill Catnip personally, but Catnip's inability to understand Army jargon causes him to make a series of comical mistakes. Tommy finally orders Catnip to stand at attention, but Catnip mistakenly stands over an anthill, and struggles to maintain his composure as the ants crawl all over him. Finally he snaps and scrabbles madly to get the ants off, accidentally firing his rifle several times and striking Tommy as he climbs a tree to get away. Catnip is later punished by being assigned to peel a roomful of potatoes, shaving off one peel to form his catchphrase "phooey" in response to the chorus' lyrics that describe the good conditions in the Army.

Availability

  • DVD - 70 Years of the Wartime (Restored with Cue Mark).
  • DVD - Boomertoons Cartoon Show - Volume 2 (Restored without Cue Mark).

Notes

  • The date on Catnip's draft card, March 24, 1941, was long before the U.S. had entered WWII, as the US did not enter the war until December 7 of that year, when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
  • The draft card reveals Catnip's middle name to be Elliott.
  • When taking a vision test, Catnip sees a green card as blue, implying that he may be colorblind.

Sound Effects Used

  • Sound Ideas, AUTO, SKID - LONG SKID AND CRASH (skid only)
  • Sound Ideas, RICOCHET - CARTOON RICCO, 06
  • Sound Ideas, RICOCHET - CARTOON RICCO, 07
  • Sound Ideas, RICOCHET - LONG SHELL SCREAM RICCO,
  • RICOCHET - CARTOON RICCO 15
  • RICOCHET - CARTOON RICCO 26
  • RICOCHET - RICCO AND WHINE 05
  • RICOCHET - LONG DESCENDING SHELL SCREAM RICCO,
  • Sound Ideas, Explosions - Light ricochets . . . interior . . . 3 shots (2nd ricochet)
  • Hollywoodedge, Ricochet CRT2014403
  • ALDO BOOMER - QUICK SIREN WHISTLE ZIP 03
  • ALDO BOOMER - BONK WITH SPRING
  • ALDO BOOMER - WEIRD FLUTTER WHISTLE
  • ALDO BOOMER - RUBBER SQUEAK
  • ALDO BOOMER - LOUD POP GUN POP
  • ALDO BOOMER - WHEEZY HONK CYMBAL
  • ALDO BOOMER - WEIRD SQUEAKY SQUEEZE
  • ALDO BOOMER - LIGHT FLUTTERY FLAPPING

Characters

  • Catnip Cat
  • Tommy Bulldog (as sergeant)
  • Unseen militaries

Voice Characterizations

  • Mel Blanc - Catnip Cat
  • Billy Bletcher - Tommy Bulldog
  • Harry E. Lang - Officer Behind Desk, Various Examiners
  • The King's Men - Chorus

Credits

  • Director: James Culhane
  • Story: Irving Leaf
  • Animation: Van Kaufman, Shamus Shaar, Leighton Black, Alfred Eugster, Paul Sommer, Robert Cannon
  • Music: Eric Maddox

Gallery