Here's another entry/review about a slightly obscure/not-well-known Warner Bros. cartoon short. With Disney's new live-action "Cinderella" already out in theaters, I thought I'd post about a fun later Looney Tunes cartoon that did a twist on the classic fairy tale! The cartoon in question? "Senorella and the Glass Huarache!"
This was the last cartoon produced by the original Warner Bros. Animation studio before it closed in 1963. It wasn't released until August 1, 1964. It presents the original Cinderella story with a Mexican flavor, reminiscent of the Speedy Gonzales cartoons of this period, and was the last one-shot Warner Bros. cartoon produced until 1968, when the studio had reopened by then (albeit briefly.) After this one, DePatie-Freleng and Format Films took over production of the Looney Tunes series until 1967.
This is also not your usual Warner Bros. cartoon. Beginning with Chuck Jones's "Now Hear This" (1962), all new one-shot cartoons by the studio were to be radically different from their usual output. Only two other stylized one-shots like this got made after that: "Bartholomew Versus the Wheel" and this one.
You know it'll be different when it starts up, since it has the infamous 1960s "Abstract WB" opening sequence introduced on "Now Hear This," that later also went on to appear on all new Looney Tunes shorts when DePatie-Freleng initially took over production in 1964 (most notably on the crappy Speedy vs. Daffy shorts and Rudy Larriva's Road Runner cartoons), until Warner Bros. merged with Seven Arts in 1967. And of course, this logo is accompanied by a strange "klunky" version of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" arranged by Bill Lava (a name not very fondly known by many Looney Tunes fans.) Though Bill Lava's music score to this cartoon isn't so bad; it's a little more elaborate than his other scores he's done for Warner Bros. in the 1962-1966 period.
There are two Mexican men in a Cantina. One, who serves as the narrator for this short, is voiced by Mel Blanc, naturally. His friend is voiced by Tom Holland, also known as Pancho of the "Tijuana Toads" and the Japanese Beetle of "Blue Racer," both by DePatie-Freleng.
The skinny one asks, "What is this 'Senorella and the Glass Huarache?'" among seeing the Cinderella poster there. So the narrator tells him it's a sad story, and begins it...
Senorella's sneeze here is actually a recycled sound clip of Bugs sneezing!
As with the other later one shots, the animation style is radically different from the usual Warner output at the time. This short looks very much like a DePatie-Freleng cartoon of the 60s or 70s, like the "Pink Panther" and "Inspector" shorts. Of course, seeing that it's directed by Hawley Pratt, Friz Freleng's main layout artist at Warner, it makes sense, as Pratt directed a lot of cartoons at DePatie-Freleng, and some of the same animators worked on this short as well.
A starving Senorella tries to get a bone from an equally-starving chihuahua, but it roars at her menacingly.
And her wicked "strapmother" and "strapsisters" just laugh at that!
She has cockroaches as friends, that serve the same purpose as the mice in "Cinderella." They even help her with her work, ala Disney's original version!
Instead of a prince, we get this handsome bullfighter, Jose Miguel. His father Don wants him to love a woman and marry, so he sets up a fiesta and invites all the women in the land!
An amusing sight gag on the women getting made up for the party.
The strapmother and her daughters leave for the fiesta. I do like the limited animaton walk here.
Of course, Senorella's fairy godmother arrives. She looks a lot like a fairy from a "Fractured Fairy Tales" cartoon. She turns an old wagon into a first-class coach...
...and the roaches into mules! Their designs look very UPA-ish here. I also like how for the coach and mule spells, you hear the sound of Big Ben chiming accompanying each transformation.
Look how pretty Senorella becomes! As Yakko and Wakko Warner would probably say, "Holaaaaaaaaa nurse!"
She is told to return by midnight, as the story usually goes.
Nice designs here, with Jose Miguel showing no interest in the senoritas at the fiesta...
...until he sees Senorella! Then they both tango for what appears to be hours...
Then of course, midnight comes! Here they just have the church bells ring the Westminister quarters, unlike most versions of the story that have the clock simply strike the hour.
Senorella dashes off, and leaves one of her glass sandals behind. Jose and Don set out to find out who that girl was...
Women go to the Miguel's to see if they fit the huarache, but they don't. More neat designs here.
Then Jose and Don go to Senorella's house. The strapsisters' feet won't fit, of course.
The strapmother didn't want Senorella to win, so she dumps her in the mud hole outside. But Jose sees her legs sticking up through the window, and as the narrator says, "it fits the feet!" I like how Senorella appears beautiful again even though she's still wearing her rags. Then the two get "mucho married."
"Was that not a sad story?" the narrator asks. But his friend disagrees, saying it was a happy story. But then he asks, "What happened to the wicked strapmother?"
"Oh, that's the sad part," the narrator explains. "I marry her!"
A great punchline for this final Warner Bros. cartoon.
No "That's all, folks!" The cartoon ends with this unusual closing sequence, with the sound of Big Ben chiming, and a honking bicycle horn as the "OO" in "CARTOON" jumps up and down. After this, all cartoons using this logo replaced that strange audio sequence with an abridged version of the strange "Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" theme.
Here's a similar cartoon by the same writer and director as this short, which is also a take on the Cinderella story, but without the Mexican flavor, and a more contemporary feel... "Pink-a-Rella" from 1969, featuring the Pink Panther!
The ragged Cinderella here looks a lot like Senorella, but completely blue, and Pelvis Parsely (yep, the "prince" in this one is an Elvis parody!) resembling Jose Miguel a bit.