They're called crackers, but they're actually cookies, shaped like various animals. They taste kinda good, but that's not the point. The point is that when you eat them, you get to dismember them. Me, I usually go for the head first. Then, when there's nothing else left, you eat the torso.

Aside from the obvious 'animal-shaped cracker', it is a genius musical comedy with the Marx Brothers.

Features Groucho as Captain Jeffery T. Spaulding, Chico as Signor Ravelli, Harpo as The Professor and Zeppo as Horatio Jamison. The plot revolves around a priceless Beaugard painting that is stolen and replaced with a forgery, then the forgery is stolen and replaced with a different forgery. Needless to say, wacky hijinks ensue. Like most Marx Brothers films, the plot is just something that happens between jokes, physical comedy, and piano playing.(a note for the uninitiated: the Marx Brothers were all extremely talented musicians)

Here are a few of the classic jokes:

While recounting his trip to Africa:
Groucho: "One morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I don't know."

Groucho: In a case like this, the first thing to do is find the motive. Now what could have been the motive of the guys who swiped the Beaugard?
Chico: I got it! Robbery.
Groucho: Would you mind going out and crossing the boulevard while the lights are against you?

Quotes and character names from

"One morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know."
Captain Jefferey T. Spalding

Animal Crackers is the second Marx Brothers comedy film and directed by Victor Heerman in 1930. The play that the movie is based upon, in which the Marx Brothers played on Broadway, was written by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Bert Kalmar, and Harry Ruby. The adaption to the movie screen was done by Morrie Ryskind. The film is in black and white and runs for 97 minutes.

This is one of my favorite Marx Brothers films. Animal Crackers starts with the famous African explorer, Captain Jefferey T. Spalding, returning to America. A rather wealthy woman, Mrs. Rittenhouse, is commerating a party to Spalding with a public viewing of a rather rare painting. However, a couple of thefts are planned by different groups and madcap comedy follows in the attempts to find the thieves.

The movie was actually unseen from 1930 to 1974 due to copyright problems with MCA/Univeral, the owner of the film, and Paramount Pictures, who produced it. Groucho Marx, with groups of film students, campaigned to have it released to the public audience. It finally was released on prime television.

Songs Featured:

Groucho Marx - Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding
Harpo Marx - The Professor
Chico Marx - Signor Emanuel Ravelli
Zeppo Marx - Horatio Jamison
Lillian Roth - Arabella Rittenhouse
Margaret Dumont - Mrs. Rittenhouse
Louis Sorin - Roscoe Chandler
Hal Thompson - John Parker
Margaret Irving - Mrs. Whitehead
Kathryn Reece - Grace Carpenter
Robert Greig - Hives, the Butler
Edward Metcalf - Inspector Hennessy
Robert Allen - Extra (uncredited)
Donald MacBride - Bit Part
Ann Roth - Girl (uncredited)


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