The short opens with a direct parody of the MGM roaring lion logo. While it comically features a roaring Mother Goose, what it notable is the take-off on MGM's slogan,"Ars Gratia Artis," or translated, "Art for Arts Sake." The Mother Goose logo features the pig latin phrase "ERTZNAY TO OUYAY," roughly translated, "Nertz to You!" or "Nuts to You!" This is quite likely a not-so-subtle dig at the Hays Office, the industry-created watchdog organization headed by Will H. Hays that constantly dogged Hollywood studios to adhere its code of morals and standards when producing their films. The Hays Office considered the phrase "Nuts to You!" to be offensive and frequently demanded (although often unsuccessfully) for it to be removed from scripts and films.
Katherine Hepburn is the first star to been seen in the cartoon. She is cast in the role of Little Bo Peep and spends the entire cartoon in search of her sheep.
The Old King Cole sequence features Hugh Herbert as the king and Ned Sparks as his jester. Comic actor Joe Penner arrives and presents Herbert with a not quite cooked duck--Donald Duck that is. Penner's signature line throughout much of his career was "Wanna buy a duck?"
Charles Laughton, Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew are represented in Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three Men in a Tub. Laughton is seen in his role of Captain Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty while Spencer Tracy portrays his character of Manuel from Captains Courageous. Although Bartholomew appeared with Tracy in Captains Courageous, he is seen here as his character from the movie Little Lord Fauntleroy.
W.C. Fields portrays Humpty Dumpty and is antagonized by famous dummy Charlie McCarthy. Fields and McCarthy shared the screen in the movie You Can't Cheat an Honest Man and their longstanding feud was a popular feature on Edgar Bergan's radio program. Fields had previously played the role of Humpty Dumpty in the 1933 motion picture version of Alice in Wonderland.
See Saw Margery Daw is performed by Edward G. Robinson and Greta Garbo. Garbo utters her famous line, "I want so much to be alone."
From the cartoon's musical finale, Edna May Oliver, Mae West and ZaSu Pitts form a singing trio. Some sources claim that the center character is Joan Blondell, but based on her exaggerated figure, hairstyle and facial features, she appears much closer to Mae West.
But one possible mystery remains. Who is portrayed on the figurehead of the rattle held by Ned Sparks in his jester incarnation? The design seems too distinct to be generic. Would anyone care to hazard a guess?
Explore the 2719 Hyperion Archives:
Stargazing at Mickey's Hollywood Premier
Behind the Walls of Hollywood Studios
Freeze Frame! - Mickey's Polo Team
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