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August 26

August 26, 1949 – The Goofy Short Film Tennis Racquet is Released to Theaters

“Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is your sportscaster bringing today’s match to you [through] the courtesy of the BBB and BB Ball Company, which we will see in use today on this magnificently kept court, whose grassy lawn lies outspread before my very eyes.”

On August 26, 1949, the Goofy short film Tennis Racquet was released to theaters. It was directed by Jack Kinney, with the story by Dick Kinney.

The sportscaster begins his broadcast before the tennis match starts, as the court is being prepared for the match. As he comments on how many people are waiting to watch the match, the camera pans to the road leading to the tennis club, which is completely packed with cars. Unfortunately for the tennis club, however, everyone seems to want to go to the nearby flower show instead. We see audience members crowding into their seats, but only in one small section of the bleachers in front of the sportscaster’s booth.

One of the competitors, Little Joe, uses his tactic of protecting himself to play the game

The contestants Little Joe and Big Ben come out to the field, and when the match starts, the sportscaster goes crazy with the descriptions, while the crowd’s heads follow the ball. The two have different styles of playing the game, the sportscaster notes, with Big Ben delivering hard and fast serves, while Little Joe tries to avoid getting hit by the ball. Little Joe wins the first game, and Big Ben wins the second. After a bit, the crowd cheers, blocking the sportscaster’s view of the game, and he has to ask a spectator for the score. While the two competitors play, a gardener continues to take care of the court, planting trees and spreading out grass seed.

The game’s pace quickens, so the sportscaster decides it’s time to view it in slow motion, with many comical side effects. Moving it back to real time, the game really heats up between the two, until the crowd cheers. The sportscaster is all ready to crown the champ, when he realizes he doesn’t know who the champ is, and has to ask the spectator again. Big Ben is the winner of the match, and Little Joe does not take this news well; however, the short ends with the two shaking hands, while the gardener hauls off the trophy and the contestants in his wheelbarrow.

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