Really Scent

“Spring means nothing to you.”

Directed by Abe Levitow; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Samuel Armstrong; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Orchestrations by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on June 27, 1959.

Isn’t romance great? I’m really asking seeing as how I’ve never experienced it. But I’m not worried. After all, I’m only 27, so accounting for age and my poor diet, I’ve got about a year and a half left. I mean, Pepe wasn’t one to give up. After 14 years, could his luck finally be on the up and up?

Apart from his Oscar winner, I’d say this is my favorite Pepe short. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Taking place in New Orleans with June Foray as our narrator, we see one Pierre Cat. He and his wife, Fifi, have just welcomed their two daughters to the world. We have Jeanette and Fabrette. (Though nowadays we know her as Penelope.) They’re both perfect in their parents’ eyes; save for one feature. Through the magic of genetics and Murphy’s law, Fabrette is born with a stripe of white fur down her back. Making her look an awful lot like a skunk.

Oh, her parents still love her. The problems arrive once the girls are old enough to start attracting mates. Jeanette has no problem. Fabrette on the other hand sends the males packing once they see what she’s packing. (At least they look at her. She’s doing better than me.) The poor cat mopes, but maybe luck is going to cut her a solid today. For a boat has just docked, and it was carrying none other than Pepe Le Pew. (He’d be every mammal’s dream man if only…)

The two are instantly smitten. (Which probably means Fabrette thinks Pepe is a striped cat.) They embrace, but it’s not long before Fabrette learns exactly why Pepe doesn’t already have scads of women fawning over him. She flees with the skunk following. It takes the envy of her sister’s romance, and the frightening prospect of what others would think of her should she die single, that gets her to try once more. They have a saying in Louisiana: “A true lady does not need to breathe.” Inhaling as much as she can, Fabrette returns to her man.

Pepe is glad to see her again and the two stroll. She lasts about forty full seconds before her lungs can’t take it any more, and she exhales all over the place. (It only sounds gross. I bet you just did it too. Hypocrite.) Even perfume can’t combat Pepe’s aroma, so the cat calls it quits. Pepe, meanwhile, finally decides to learn exactly what ‘pew’ means and why everyone says it when he is nearby. What he learns shocks, saddens, and embarrasses him. But I know Pepe. He’s a swell guy. (Despite what some idiots say.) He’s willing to make an effort  to make a happy relationship. He knows just how to do it too.

He heads for some deodorizing. That’s got to be an embarrassing surgery to reques- oh. He’s just going to expose himself to chloroform. So actually, maybe he isn’t willing to win back his lady? If that’s true, then things will be very awkward in the afterlife soon, as Fabrette is planning on drowning herself. The narrator talks her out of it, telling her that the much smarter solution is to make herself more like her partner. So, she exposes herself to Limburger cheese. (Because… if she stinks herself, she’ll be immune to all odors?)

When all is said and done, it is now the skunk that flees from the cat. I’m sure they’ll work things out.

Favorite Part: Their first hug. It was cute! And if you’re like me, (a hopeless romantic) you’ve been waiting for these two crazy kids to realize they are meant for each other.

Personal Rating: 4. A wonderful change-up to a very formulaic series. Before you tell me how bad it is with how fast the two are progressing. One: they’re animals. Two: they’re toons. Three: the story only had six minutes.

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