Katnip Kollege (cartoon)
ikeKatnip Kollege is a 1938 Merrie Melodies animated cartoon short produced by Leon Schlesinger Studios for Warner Brothers. It features the characters of Johnny Cat and Kitty Bright playing college students.
In the "Swingology" classroom at Katnip Kollege, the cats are learning about jazz and how to swing. The cats sing a good morning to the professor cat who rises up out of the floor with his desk. The professor first calls on Mr Jones to recite his history lesson. Mr Jones sings about Columbus discovering America. Next, the professor calls on Downtown Miss Kitty Bright who sings her homework about Napoleon. Next to be called on is Johnny, who doesn't know how to swing. The professor calls his attempt "corny" and, to make matters worse, gives him a ten-hour sentence to the corner to sit on a stool and wear a dunce cap. All the cats are dismissed, with the exception of Johnny (because he won't go anywhere because he is naughty; he misses Kitty Bright very much), and Kitty returns his fraternity pin to him as she leaves the room, telling him to call her when he learns how to swing.
Later that night, as all the other cats jam at an outdoor caterwaul, Johnny is suddenly inspired by the rhythm of a cuckoo clock. He runs to join the group and shocks everyone with a flawlessly jazzy rendition of "Easy as Rollin' Off a Log" sung (and trumpeted) to Kitty. At the end of the song they fall into each other's arms, "rolling" off the log they were using as their stage. Kitty covers his face in kisses as the action ends. (This cartoon has 1944 blue rings/red background, complete with 1944 Blue Ribbon reissue.) (The Blue Ribbon reissue is made on June 21, 1944.)
The music in the short is pieced together from a number of contemporary Warner Brothers features. The featured song, "Easy as Rollin' Off a Log" by M. K. Jerome and Jack Scholl, is sung by Johnnie "Scat" Davis and Mabel Todd in the film Over the Goal. Other songs used include "You're an Education" by Al Dubin and Harry Warren which was written for, but never used in Warner Brothers' 1938 feature film Gold Diggers in Paris and the Richard A. Whiting/Johnny Mercer song "We're Working our Way through College" from Warner Brothers' 1937 feature Varsity Show. Carl Stalling supervised the music soundtrack.
"Katnip Kollege" can be found in Volume One of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes laserdisc box set (1991), and on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection, Volume One (2011).
- Beck, Jerry (August 31, 2006) "Old Movies and Cartoons". Cartoon Brew weblog.