“I’m an ath-a-lete all right.”
Supervision by Norman McCabe; Animation by Cal Dalton; Story by Melvin Millar; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on March 27, 1943.
Our short of the week stars a kangaroo voiced by Pinto Colvig of Goofy fame. His name is Claude Hopper. (Which is probably the greatest name ever.) He may sound a little slow, but he’s a good guy and he has reason to brag: he IS the world’s greatest jumper. (And even though he is a male, they felt the need to give him a pouch.) But his boasting is overheard by a couple of rabbits named Andy and Sandy. (They’re easy enough to tell apart. Andy wears a tam o’ shanter and Sandy wears a hat that looks just like it but a different color. Simple.) Don’t know if their pride is hurt, or if they’re just dicks, but they decide to bring the marsupial down a bit. And they plan to do so by challenging him to a long distance hop.
Now, as any zoologist can tell you (and yes, I am “any zoologist”) kangaroo’s outclass rabbits by leaps and bound in leaps and bounds. The two are aware of this, and jump on Claude’s tail. Before he lands, they leap off in front of him, besting his distance by a couple of inches. He empties his non-existent pouch of all extra weight. (Material objects that is. I would have been angered if he had a joey in there) As he prepares to jump, one of the lagomorphs sticks some gum on his tail and cause him to land back on the scrapyard. What’s more, they have the nerve to laugh at his misfortune. Overcome with stress, Claude tries to show his strength by hopping all over the landscape. He ends up in a lake.
The rabbits are kind enough to rescue him and nicer still, offer to help him train to become as skilled as they are. Their method involves launching him from a giant lever with a crate in his…grr… pouch as ballast. Upon dropping a boulder on the other end, Claude is airborne! And boy does he fly! He reaches the kind of altitudes that airplanes fly at. Hours later, he’s still going. He decides to light a match to see where he is, as it is now night. This in turn gets him fired at. Only now does he realize that the crate he has, has dynamite in it. He drops it below just as he lands. Surround by rubble, he feels assured that he is the “champeen” now. His reasoning? He just bombed Tokyo. (Ah, World War II. If you had never happened, this might be considered the most evil punchline of all time.)
Personal Rating: 3