From 1929 to 1931, MGM Pictures produced nine “Dogville Comedies.” These movies featured all-dog casts and parodied the major films of the day (one was called “So Quiet on the Canine Front”). Voice overs were provided primarily by the films’ directors, Jules White and Zion Meyers. Supposedly the studios used taffy and fishing line to achieve the dog tricks, which moves these shorts from the category of cute to cruel. But, I have to admit, I think these “barkies” also exhibit a weird, campy charm. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to be dressing up my dog in a zoot suit any time soon. Nor do I condone forcing animals into uncomfortable postures for the sake of a laugh. But, context and historical background information aside, I think there’s a kind of comedic surreality achieved here that’s not entirely a bad thing.
Then again, this insight could very well be the allergy medicine talking.