Film: 2625

Animation | 1920 | Silent | B/W


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Bonzo the Dog cartoon, in which Bonzo takes the place of Toby the trick dog in the Punch and Judy show. This involves duping his rival to get drunk. Includes some surreal animation of drunken antics and warped visions.

Bonzo sits on the floor with another dog, watching the Punch and Judy show in a booth. Toby the trick dog - wearing a fancy elizabethan 'ruff' collar - is doing roly-polys and somersaults. They clap and the other dog says to Bonzo, "You couldn't do it as well yourself anyway!" Back at his kennel Bonzo sets to thinking - he comes out with a book called 'How to Become an Actor'. The book advises him he should "dance and fence regularly" to become graceful, and change his expressions regularly. He spins round and practises various acting poses and facial expressions - sadness, happiness, melodrama etc. With these skills mastered, he scampers off happily.

He comes across a man sitting on a crate of whisky reading a comic strip book. As he reads it his hair stands up on end, and we see written words from the comic appear above his head ("!!! -- HANDS UP! -- BANG!"). Bonzo sneaks up behind him and steals a bottle of whisky, licking his lips and dashing off. Round the corner he finds a dog-bowl and pours in the whisky giving a thumbs up. He then whistles for another dog (the whistle appears physically out of his mouth) and beckons to Toby the trick dog, who approaches, still wearing his ruff collar. He sits up and Bonzo says "I thought you would be thirsty after your clever performance, so I got you a drink". Toby laps it up, tail wagging, and replies "I feel a new dog already - come have one with me".

In a nearby bar (or public house), the two dogs sit round a small table drinking as the barmaid looks on from the bar behind. They down pints of beer. Title: "An hour later and time for Toby's evening performance". They are still at the table, but Toby is drunk, farting, and making strange faces. He has warped vision (double-vision), and as he turns to look at the barmaid, her neck stretches and her head looms across the room above, looking down at him. His head stretches back. "What-sh the time?" he asks. The clock slides down the wall to show him, and the hands move around crookedly. "Look - it's 24 - it musht be Monday - and I musht be off!"

Bonzo carries Toby on his back, passing the dog bowl from before. Toby is swaying and drunk, and as he dismounts the two dogs appear to kiss! They walk along hand in hand, Bonzo smiling and Toby continually slipping up. As they walk Bonzo talks and sticks his tongue out blowing raspberry's at Toby and kisses his cheek. Then he picks him up again and carries him to the show. The showmaster/puppeteer is waiting by the gate furiously walking up and down (in a bowler hat). The dogs arrive and he points shouting "Look at him - he's boozed" as Toby lays on the floor. He pulls off the ruff collar and boots Toby off sideways. Toby flies through the air and lands on the back of a cart. Unfortunately a chimneysweep is sitting on the cart with his brush and a bag of soot, so Toby gets covered head-to-toe in soot and is turned black. The chimneysweep is bounced off the cart as he lands.

The showman tells Bonzo "You've got to take his place and play Toby". Bonzo goes into the puppet show booth (theatre box), and we see Punch with baton calling "Toby! Toby!" Bonzo emerges and as other dogs watch, he is hit on the head by Punch's stick. The two other dogs laugh. Bonzo bites Punches nose and he retreats down. The black dog watching - sooty Toby - is flirting with the other dog, Bonzo's Pekinese sweetheart, Cheekee. Bonzo shouts down "Hi! You leave my best girl alone you lyke!" [this may say 'tyke' as in mongrel, unclear] Toby blows a raspberry at Bonzo and kisses her. Bonzo jumps down and punches Toby on the nose. The puppeteer comes out of the booth, angry, and the pair run off.

Cheekee goes up to him and says "Boys will be boys - what you want is a real lady star like me". She goes into the booth and Toby and Bonzo watch from afar, big Question Marks above their heads. A crowd gathers round the booth to watch Cheekee, who is a hit. The two dogs plot "Revenge". Bonzo commandeers a nearby crane, and steers it to lift the booth into the air, leaving the puppeteer sitting alone with Punch. The old man makes strange faces, twisting his lips/moustache. We see the booth going up into air with Bonzo steering. THE END

[NFA cat summary] Bonzo's Pekinese sweetheart, Cheekee, is captivated by the acrobatics of Toby in a Punch and Judy show. Bonzo, jealous, reads a book on acting, then lures Toby into a public house. Toby is angrily dismissed by the booth owner when he turns up drunk, and Bonzo replaces him. While fighting with Punch, Bonzo notices Cheekee in the company of a rival dog, whom he chases away. Cheekee has meanwhile taken Bonzo's place in the show,watched by a large crowd. Bonzo commandeers a crane to hoist the booth into the air. The End.

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