Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Chuck Jones; Animation by Abe Levitow, Richard Thompson, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Erni Nordli; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released in 1956.
A fisherman comes back from the water one day with a decent sized batch of fish. The scent of the dead animals attracts the nose of one Penelope Pussycat. She tries to help herself to one of the morsels, but finds dogs every way she looks. The constant barking eventually has her hopping onto a flap pole that has been recently painted. Unlike most of her appearances, this time the stripe is no accident. She coats her back in the paint and her skunk disguise is complete. (Isn’t it interesting? If you had no idea what a skunk was, you’d never guess it was the most feared animal on the planet.) The trick works, and the dogs are sent running. The fisherman too. So there is nothing stopping Penelope from helping herself to a nice fat fish and heading off to the park for a picnic of one. But you know, picnics by yourself kinda scream “I’m lonely.” If only she had a special someone to share her life with. Enter Pepe. And he is smitten. And since the only thing required to make a relationship work is the male wanting the female, why does she run from him? He won’t let that stop him though. He finds her in grapes, and a tree. (Pepe: “Marry me.” *she runs* Pepe: “Too subtle?”) So, he decides to try the “playing hard to get card,” himself. Running in front of her and saying that he loves her but isn’t sure about marriage yet. She runs in a different direction. (The wood in the fences and trees in the background is interesting in this short. They aren’t colored in. An artistic choice? Or was Mr. DeGuard feeling lazy on this one?) Pepe knows a shortcut and manages to catch her in his arms. Running out of directions, Penelope begins running up a mountain. Pepe is still right behind her and has a little fun making her an echo love note. But she runs again. Pepe continues following her, as she runs into a tunnel that is blocked. Pepe stops to note that while there is not much difference between the sexes, “Viva La Difference!” and follows after her. And it just ends. Weird. It was pretty entertaining, but I guess they didn’t really have a clue about how to end it. That poor ending probably makes this my least favorite Pepe short. But I’ll have to watch them all again to be sure. (And yes, I’ve seen every Pepe Le Pew cartoon. Hasn’t everybody?)
Personal Rating: 3
(Nah, It was probably an artistic choice by Philip. I never knew the guy, but I don’t think he’d be one to leave wood uncolored.)