Beetle Bailey: A Christmas Tale

Title

Debuted in 1963

6 minutes

Plot in 3 Sentences: After the Camp Swampy Christmas party, Sergeant Snorkle thinks he’ll be spending the holiday alone with his dog, Otto. General Halftrack shows up to invite him to spend Christmas at his house. After dinner, Sergeant Snorkle reads ‘The Night Before Christmas’ before he falls asleep, causing him to dream about Santa and an elf, portrayed in the dream by the General and Beetle Bailey.

Fun Fact: The Beetle Bailey comic strip has been running continuously for 65 years, making it one of the oldest comics still being produced.

My thoughts: When the Beetle Bailey comic strip started, Beetle was a college student. In 1951, he enrolled in the Army and the story became centered around his activities at Camp Swampy (based on cartoonist Mort Walker’s experiences at boot camp). This Christmas episode is one of only 50 animated shorts produced about these characters and it’s pretty run-of-the-mill. Beetle is portrayed (as usual) as bumbling and clumsy and Sergeant Snorkle is a little meat-headed. There’s a moment when General Halftrack shows Snorkle the gold whistle he received during his former days as a soldier in the battle of San Juan Hill. When they wake up on Christmas morning, he gives Snorkel the whistle as a gift. Then the short ends with a march into the kitchen for breakfast (led by Ms. Halftrack) where they all give a literal shout out for Christmas.

Snaggletooth

Sgt. Snorkle seems a little gooey-eyed here. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Midair salute

Wait, Army dogs can hover in midair?

Tangled in lights

Oh, Beetle, you bumbling nincompoop.  Leave the lights for someone competent.

Bugler

Mrs. Halftrack is not afraid to cut you if you don’t come to dinner on time.

Individual Superlative: Most Intimidating Military Wife – General Halftrack’s wife could beat the crap out of pretty much anyone on the military base. I have to think she was the Army’s secret weapon.

Want to Watch it? A Christmas Tale is available on DVD and YouTube.

Krazy’s Krismas

TitleDebuted in 1963                                                                      

5 minutes

Plot in 3 Sentences: Ignatz makes fun of Krazy for believing in Santa, but Offisa Pupp wants her to keep believing so he dresses up as Santa. When his costume falls apart, Krazy tells them she’s been invited to the North Pole to visit her cousin Pole Cat and she invites Ignatz and Offisa Pupp to join her. Ignatz tries to steal a bag of toys, but his plan fails and they all have a happy Christmas.

Fun Fact: I’m using the pronoun ‘she’ for Krazy Kat (because the character is voiced by a woman) but Krazy’s actual gender was always said to be fluid and non-specific.

My thoughts: This cartoon is aptly named, because it really is crazy. It’s based on George Herriman’s Krazy Kat comic strip, which ran from 1913 to 1944. The basic idea of the overall plot is that Krazy is in love with Ignatz, but all he wants to do is throw bricks at her head. How do you make that basic plot run for thirty years? The cartoon series only ran for one season, which is not surprising, because it really is bizarre. In the original comic, Offisa Pupp was always trying to protect Krazy and he does that here in a couple of cute ways, including physically preventing Krazy from seeing Ignatz’s ‘There is no Santa’ sign and even pretending to be Santa for her. I found Krazy’s voice, as performed by Penny Phillips, to be super annoying, which is the main reason I give this one a thumbs down.

No Santa

The ‘No’ sign around his neck is for added emphasis.

Bare ass Santa

Hey Fake Santa, put some damn pants on!

The North Pole

It’s a ‘pole,’ see?  Because it’s the North Pole.  Good one.

Ignatz as Santa

Ignatz is supposed to be showing us his Christmas spirit here, but those eyebrows are sending a whole other message.

Individual Superlative: Monochrome Madness – Offisa Pupp is one solid peach color – skin, clothes, shoes and all. At least Krazy gets a different color around her mouth.

Want to Watch it? Krazy’s Krismas is available as part of the Krazy Kat Kartoon Kollection DVD and you can watch it on YouTube.