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Harem Scarem is an animated short starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit released on January 9, 1928. This is one of several Oswald shorts that are "lost", though drawings from a small part of the film survive. The drawings were compiled by Disney into a video clip in 2012 as a D23 promotional featurette to help celebrate Oswald's eighty-fifth anniversary. The short was directed by Walt Disney and animated by the unit of Hugh Harman and Rollin Hamilton. 

Synopsis[]

While crossing the desert on a stunt camel, Oswald is attacked by a large bird. After vanquishing it with the help of the camel, Oswald attaches the bird's detached wings to the camel's sides, resulting in a speedy arrival at Oasis Bar, a Moroccan cafe. While there, a hula-hula charmer fascinates Oswald. Their time together is interrupted, however, by a sheik who arrives to kidnap the girl. Oswald, on his camel, pursues the sheik, and after a wild ride, saves the girl from the sheik's clutches.[1]

Plot[]

The film begins with a desert landscape, a camel carries Oswald, who is wearing a hunting helmet, on his front hump, walking all goofy like. As the camel walks, its humps move up and down, with Oswald's head and shoulders staying stationary as his body moves up and down. Oswald looks around for something to hunt. He pulls out a telescope and looks around. The camel stops and spits.

A goofy looking bird flies and peers into the telescope. Oswald shows an exclamation mark over his head and fades out. He takes the telescope down and takes a look at the bird. The bird grabs Oswald's nose and pulls on it. Oswald pulls in the other direction, which stretches his nose out long. The bird lets go and the nose snaps back, and smacks Oswald in the face. Oswald pulls his tail and pulls his nose back into place. The bird laughs on the front hump. Oswald swings his telescope at the bird but misses and lands on his nose on the front hump. The bird flies over to the rear hump and starts laughing. Oswald gets up and starts to swing the telescope again. The bird jumps on the large hump forcing the hump under Oswald up so that it throws him into the air. Oswald slides down, grabs the camels neck, spirals around it, and lands on the camels head. Oswald jumps on the front hump, which forces the rear end up, hitting the bird in the jaw. Oswald grabs him and beats him up in a storm. When the fight is over, Oswald is covered in the birds wings and feathers, and the bird is naked. Oswald kicks the bird off the camel and it runs over the hill. Oswald puts the wings on the camel and it starts to fly, and turns around and lands.

There is a close up of the Oasis Saloon/Café. Oswald and the camel come flying and running in scene. Oswald and the camel show delight at the beer signs. The camel puts its neck to the ground and Oswald slides off. Oswald tells the camel to wait. As soon as he gets inside, the camel jumps up and runs over and into the family entrance.

In the saloon, drunken Arabians are around tables, Arabian jazz orchestra playing peppy music, and a little cat Arabian dancing girl (Ortensia, known here as Sadie) doing a combination of an Egyptian dance and a hootchy dance. She wiggles her belly button around in circles and dances away from it. She sees it, grabs it, puts it back on, and continues dancing. Oswald is at a table, with a big mug of foamy beer. He applauds, then takes a big swig of his beer, which leaves his face covered with foam. His tongue comes out, circles around his face, and wipes the foam off and his tongue goes back in with foam. He applauds again.

The dancing girl does a shimmy. She starts doing a hootchy, her stomach stretches clear down to her feet, rolls around, and stretches up to her chin. She repeats very extreme action on hootchy.

Oswald at the table applauds. She dances on and around him in a vampish manner. Oswald flirts, wiggles his ears, and raises his eyebrows. She dances over and teases him by putting her face close to him. Oswald gets goofy. She tickles him under his chin with her tail. Oswald shows surprise. His ears twist up and untwist. She tickles him again. He playfully slaps her tail away, and acts goofy-like.

Pete, the sheik, is riding standing up on the back of a wooden Arabian horse. Pete starts shooting. The horse leans as he runs very fast and kicks up dust. Pete's horse carries him on while he is shooting. He slides off the horse, shoots several times, grabs swinging doors, pulls them off, and goes in Café in a very tough manner. Oswald is at the table. The girl continues vamping him. Pete comes on scene, he eyes the girl in a fiendish manner, as his mouth waters. He grabs her arm and pulls her over to him. She appears surprised, and tries to get away. Oswald is surprised. Pete starts to stroke her hard, he pulls her eyes as he strokes. She is scared and tries get away as he tries to kiss her.

Pete tries to kiss her. Oswald protests to Pete. He looks at Oswald in a mean manner, the girl behind him, gives mean leers and then growls. His teeth come out and snap at Oswald, which scares him; and he shrinks and runs under a table. Pete fits his teeth back into his mouth, laughs, and runs off with the girl.

Pete runs with the girl under his arm, does a "Tom Mix" (a famous Western movie star from the early 1900's) onto his horse's back. The horse runs off the scene. Oswald follows out just as Pete leaves. Oswald looks around for his camel and whistles for him. The camel comes out of the saloon, all drunk, and runs over to Oswald with a mug of beer in his hand. The camel salutes to Oswald and then hiccups. Oswald is disgusted, He knocks the mug out of the camels hand. He grabs the camel by the head and pulls him down onto all four feet, kicks the camel and starts to run, Oswald grabbing on to his tail and hopping on to the camel. Oswald tries to make the drunken camel catch up to Pete. The camel staggers and wobbles up and off in distance. He turns around as he runs, faces directly at the camera as his legs still run forward.

Pete is still riding on his wooden horse. The horse leans over and takes a curve on two legs as he holds the other leg straight out. Camel stumbles and rolls over and over in the dust, lands on back and humps run like legs. Oswald crawls up on his belly, sees a predicament, hops off, and pushes the camel over on his feet. The camel's head is facing backwards. Oswald hops on him by pushing his head in and pulling it out on the other side, he changes the camel to the right position. He hops up and down on the back of the camel, gradually bending his back clear down so it drags on the ground. Oswald is puzzled, and stops. Using the camel's tail as a crank, he turns it over. He bends his legs down to the ground, hops on, and rides on the inverted camel. He discovers that the neck of the camel is twisted and remains stationary as he . Oswald straightens neck out.

Pete gets off of his horse, and goes into a tent with the girl. A cloud of dust appears, fading into Oswald on the camel looking around.

Oswald, on his camel, look around. The girl sticks her head out of the flap of the tent, and screams for help. Oswald and the camel see her and both get ready to fight. They walk over cautiously; just as they are about to enter, the girl sticks her head out of the tent and screams again. The screaming frightens both of them, the camel starts to run away. Oswald grabs him by the tail and makes him go into the tent. Both dash in. As they fight, the camel flies out on ear, gets up brave, throws out his chest, dashes over with brave manner, stops, spits on hands, grits his teeth, and gets ready to go in. A fist comes out of the tent and socks him . The Camel wilts, grabs jaw, walks over side of scene, ans fight with frightened manner. Pete flies out, all banged up. He lands on head, gets up, and runs over the hills. The camel appears as surprised. In the tent, Oswald and the girl kiss. The camel opens the flap of the tent and looks in, cross legged, and tail wiggles.

Characters[]

Trivia[]

  • This cartoon is the only known Oswald short by Disney to have contained racial stereotypes.
  • A similarly titled Merries Melodies cartoon, "Hare-um Scare-um", featuring a prototype Bugs Bunny character called Happy Rabbit, was released by Warner Bros. on August 12, 1939.

References[]

  1. David A. Bossert (August 2017). Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons. ISBN 978-1484780374. 
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