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Cartoon characters Barney Google and Snuffy Smith are brought to life and dispatched to aid the war effort in this film adaptation of the classic comic strip. The presence of an experimental rocket brings Sergeant Homer Gatling and a crew of enlisted men to a remote town in the Big Smokies. Unfortunately, Army brass has ordered Gatling to include bumbling Private Snuffy Smith in this important assignment, which consists of keeping the weapon from falling into the wrong hands. The enemy is immediately tipped off about the secret test site because Snuffy's pen-pal, Eliza, is employed as an Axis spy. The coincidences don't stop - the main backer of the project is none other than gambling enthusiast Barney Google, Snuffy's cousin. Barney desperately needs five hundred dollars for a vital component that will complete the rocket, and finds a possible solution in staging a lucrative race between his prized but pitiful race horse Sparkplug and the Army's speedy mule. With all bets in, the race is on to see if Barney can make his payday - and if the woefully inept GI's can keep the rocket out of the clutches of Eliza and her equally incompetent cohorts. Beginning its printed life in 1919 as a King Features sports section comic strip entitled "Take Barney Google, F'rinstance," the popularity of Billy DeBeck's diminutive sports enthusiast got a much needed boost in 1922 with the addition of his beloved racehorse Sparkplug. The strip underwent a further change in 1934, when Barney was introduced to Appalachian moonshiner Snuffy Smith. Hillbilly humor had grown popular and within a few years, Snuffy would have his moniker added to the strip's title. By the 1950s, Barney Google himself would be removed from the strip (though not the title) leaving Snuffy and his mountain dwelling compatriots as the sole focal point.

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