The Village Smithy

“Get out of the scene now!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Cecil Surry and Sid Sutherland; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 5, 1936.

Still relatively early in Avery’s career, and yet this short is comic gold! This guy really knew what he was doing! (If only all directors did the same.)

What can be said about a village smithy? Well, as the poem dictates, he is a mighty man. A strong man. And kind of a dope. I like him. He is kinda like that doofy uncle we all have. The short wastes no time in getting the jokes started. From everything falling into the scene, to awesome fourth wall jokes that don’t let up through the picture.

The smith has an apprentice/assistant, my all around favorite guy, Porky. He’s a bit clumsy, but eager to be of assistance. All we need to get the story underway is a horse. (A camel from one of their foreign legion pictures shows up. Is that a reference to “Little Beau Porky”? Very Clever, Tex!) Time to get to work! Smith measures the horse’s hooves and instructs Porky of the size. Porky gets the right size, but wrong material and begins hammering a rubber horseshoe. (It’s always good to have some around a blacksmith.) He ends up hitting his head when the hammer bounces off the shoe. (In accordance with the law of the Tooniverse, he stops once he has a helmet on.)

Let’s get this thing on the horse. Or the smith, that works too. It certainly puts a spring in his step! (I’m not sorry. The short didn’t make that joke, so it was up to me.) He rips it off, but has a hard time getting rid of it. Every throw just brings it back to his head. His solution is simple: shoot the freaking thing. It works, but Porky is banned from getting more. Instead, he is told to heat a new one up at the forge. Prepare yourself, the last bit of the cartoon is one wild and funny gag!

Porky trips with the searing horseshoe, and drops it on the poor creature. As it runs in pain, it hits the smith and drags him along. Their destination: all over the countryside! They destroy a great many of the surrounding landmarks. Demolishing a general store, a bank, and nearly running over a digger in the road. Horses have a goodly amount of stamina, so unless something can stop it, it’s probably going to keep on going. Luckily for the smith, a fence acts like a rubber band and sends them back, all the way home. (Reversing the footage they already had. Brilliant, Avery! One can only imagine what your future projects will contain!) Back at the beginning, the smith is shaken, but apart from some color changing eyebrows, he’s fine. He would like to know how this all happened, though. As Porky explains, he accidentally repeats his screw-up, and the whole thing starts over again!

Favorite part: Well, obviously, the ending gag is the best part, but it is the little touches that really brings it together. As they run, the smith pauses the action to comment on the situation. (A common Avery gag.) Even better, when they reverse everything, he speaks backwards. That clever Avery! Death should have given him a pass.

Hare-Breadth Hurry

“Actually, I can’t run this fast.”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by William Butler; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg. Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on June 8, 1963.

Wile E. is going through one of his many chases. The “beep-beep” indicates he’s chasing his usual prey, the Roadrunner. Odd. I figured that with Bugs appearing in the opening credits, and that pun-ish name, this short would contain, you know, a rabbit. Actually, it does! Wile E. IS chasing Bugs. You see, our usual roadrunner sprained a giblet. (I don’t want to know how that happened, but I’m sure the end result contains pain we mortals can’t begin to imagine.) So, Bugs is filling in for the bird.  I really love this premise. It’s technically a crossover! Wouldn’t be cool if more were made in this style? Like Sylvester hunting Tweety and Speedy? Or Taz trying to catch Hippety Hopper? Or Beaky trying to eat Foghorn? (So, all my ideas are chase related.) Also of note, this was the last time Bugs and Wile E. starred together. Also, since this is “technically” a Roadrunner picture, Wile E. does not talk like he normally does as Bugs’ co-star.

That roadrunner is a little too fast for Bugs to match speed with naturally, so he takes vitamins to meet the requirements. They work great! As Bugs runs, the road can’t handle his speed and morphs accordingly. The good times can’t last forever, and Bugs soon runs out of speed. He solves this dilemma by drawing out a square in the road. When his pursuer steps on it, it becomes a pitfall. (And since they weren’t on a cliff, it can only lead to hell)

The advantage of chasing a rabbit over a bird, is you can bait a fish hook with a carrot. (Ever tried putting seed on a hook? It’s not worth the effort) The disadvantage to trying to catch a rabbit with a baited hook, is that you run the risk of attracting a large fish. (Environments don’t matter.) Also, since Bugs talks, he can explain when he is giving the predator more of fair shot. Or so he claims. Those pills certainly work wonders, as Bugs adds a bunch of pipe to Wile E’s gun in to time at all. (Don’t let your curiosity follow said pipe. It will only lead to a bullet in the face.)

All too soon, our final gag is upon us. Bugs has spread glue on the road, but Wile E. is going too fast to stop. His momentum carries the upper half of his body forward, and it’s a good thing too, as there’s a phone ringing up ahead. And it’s for him. Bugs hands him the device, just in time, as now the momentum has launched the coyote backwards. (Ripping the chunk of ground he is glued to up as well) He is flung off a cliff and hits the opposing side. He’d fall if he didn’t have a phone to hold on to. If only he’d paid his bills! Then Bugs wouldn’t have had to cut the service. Society is so cruel.

Favorite part: Wile E. drops an anvil towards a target that Bugs is standing on. Thanks to his speed pills, Bugs runs up behind him and holds the target over his head. The magic anvil heads to its destined mate, and the conk sends Wile E. over the edge. Bugs drops the anvil after him, but believe it or not, the anvil misses! (Wile E. is then run over by a van.)

Bosko at the Beach

“Is there a lifeguard in the audience?”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Rollin Hamilton; Music by Frank Marsales. A Looney Tune released on July 23, 1932.

What does a character like Bosko do at the seaside? The occupation many black and white toons tried their hands at: hot dog vendor. (Like all toon food, the wieners are still alive. I’m sorry, but I don’t fancy the idea of chewing on something that wiggles. Jiggling is fine) These must be some dang, fine sausages as the local wildlife beach themselves just to get a taste. No, wait. The octopus and seahorses were only coming ashore to pretend to be a carousel. They are then ridden by some clams. (I wish I could say the self sacrifice was worth it to make those mollusks smile, but they ditch their shells to ride! They will all die! At least the gulls will have a good time.)

And where would a hot dog purveyor be without an actual dog? Much like Mickey had Pluto, Bosko has Bruno. And wouldn’t you know it? He makes the five appearance rule! Let’s do a quick learn about him, shall we?

Bruno

If possible, Bruno had less personality than Honey, because he was only a dog. He didn’t even speak.

That was fun.

This beach doesn’t seem like MY ideal lounge spot. Bruno steps on a nail! It’s hard to enjoy ones self with lockjaw, but I suppose with the right attitude, anything is possible. Bosko is kind enough to remove it from his dog, but doesn’t bother disposing it correctly. He just tosses it on the ground. (I’m sure it will find a nice home. Little children love to run around without shoes!)

Honey is also at the beach. She’s accompanied by some cat-like creature named Wilber. He appeared in a few cartoons, but I don’t think five. Either way, I can’t find a picture of him. Nobody cares about Wilber. Perhaps that is why Honey is happy to let him play in the ocean, unsupervised. Honey has better things to do, once she sees that her boyfriend is there, she changes out of her swimwear and gets on her usual attire. (I don’t she she is wearing the bra she took in the changing booth. I guess she just enjoys stealing other women’s lingerie. The little minx!)

Bosko enjoys the idea of sharing a picnic with her, but Bruno is not one to be ignored. He wants to play, and darn it! Bosko is a great person to play fetch with. He throws the stick to try and be rid of the friendly dog, but said dog brings back increasingly large pieces of wood. The last one upends their picnic once dropped on it.

Wilber, meanwhile, has been having fun in the sea, but the waves finally get a hold of him, and begin dragging him away. (If you are caught in the current, you belong to the sea now. That is my rule. That is also why you don’t hear from my son anymore.) Since Bosko is the only guy in this short, it is up to him to be the hero. (Once he jumps in the water, a bathing suit magically appears. Or the anchovies undressed him. I like my first answer) The waves are fierce, and Bosko struggles to rescue the child. This is why you never send a Bosko to do a dog’s work. Using a log and a fan, (which is clearly not plugged in. And that means Bruno must turn it manually.) He makes a boat and saves the two castaways.

Favorite part: Bosko announces his wares with a cry of “Hot dogs!” It’s also the same thing when he sees his girlfriends silhouette.

Beau Bosko

“Snap out of it!”

Animation by Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn. A Looney Tune released on July 1, 1933.

Today, we find Bosko in a Foreign Legion outpost. The troops are pretty close as at least two of them share the same bed. However, it is time to wake up and get to doing whatever it is these guys do. That includes Bosko, who is heavily sleeping. In fact, his uniform wakes up before him. It’s up to his clothes to wake the sleep-ink kid, who once he does awaken takes his place amongst the troops. (Considering the guy in front of him has a sink in his backpack, it seems that Bosko can afford to sleep late every day.)

The general approaches. I don’t know why he singles Bosko out, but it appears that he is the best person to apprehend the picture’s villain, Ali Oop. So, he gets his camel and heads out. His search leads him to a town. To his delight, his girlfriend is also there. (I can’t quite make out what he’s saying. My best guess is it’s “Oh, boy!”, or “Oh, baby!” but it sounds like “Oh, boobies!” But that can’t be. Honey is flatter than a sheet of paper at the bottom of an ocean on a planet bigger than Jupiter!)

Before Bosko can do more than kiss her, Ali and his troops show up. Bosko and Honey take refuge in a building, and luckily for them, someone just left a gun hanging around. Just begging to unleash its majestic killing power on those down below. Good thing Bosko is trained to use such a device. Firing at the men below, he manages to take care of most of them. Not by actually going through with any bloodshed, but more knocking coconuts and pots into the thugs. Even Ali ends up dazed on a cart. Seizing his chance, Bosko seizes some spears and throws them towards Oop. He’s still not aiming to kill, though. The projectiles make a cage around the criminal. Having trapped the scoundrel, the two lovers cart him away.

Favorite part: When the troops are told to wake up, they respond by singing “Good morning to you.” The little smart alecs.

Punch Trunk

“I did see an elephant in my birdbath.”

 

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 19, 1953.

Welcome. New year. Yadda-yadda. From this time on, I’ll be listing my favorite part of each short. We’re getting into the territory of cartoons I’ve seen few times or not at all.

At the harbor, a ship has just come in. (I like that it’s called the “S. S. Michael Maltese.” You have no choice but to remember the name now.) But there is something stirring in the bananas. Normally, it’s a rat or a wandering spider, but for once, it’s an elephant. He’s a full grown bull, but he’s only five inches tall! He’s adorable! Evidently though, people don’t seem to agree as the bulk of this short’s jokes are seeing how everyone freaks out at the sight. Doing what introduced species do, he heads off to explore his new home. (Seeing as how there is only one of him, he probably won’t do TOO much damage.)

A man spots the petite pachyderm in his birdbath and calls the police. The elephant meanwhile is acting like an elephant at a crowded watering hole, and hogs it all. (How’d he even get up there?) The police in turn sent some people from the psych ward to take the man away. A different man walks out of the optometrist with a new pair of glasses. Seeing the little guy, he heads back in to give a punch. (No trunk)

Nights are sure to be unpleasant, so it’s not surprising to hear the elephant makes his way into a penthouse. (Okay, how did he get up there? Did a falcon pick him up and drop him?) A little girl discovers him and christens him Teeny. (Which is a cute name. I’m declaring it canon.) Due to her childhood innocence, she is not afraid of him and even tries to fill his tummy. (Elephants eat cake, right? It’s like 45% of their diet.) Because of the fainting mother though, Teeny continues being a drifter.

A really good joke is next. A drunk stumbles out of a bar and sees the animal. (And a great detail is how the background is drawn warped and surreal. Like we are seeing the way he is.) Seeing the animal doesn’t make him scream, faint, or lose his sh*t in any way. Instead, he just scolds the beast for being late. (Also musing about how he isn’t pink this time. Genius.)

Even his own kind freaks out at the sight of him. Finding a circus, he joins a parade of elephants. (Okay, maybe not his own kind as that would make these Asian elephants, but they look just like him, only bigger. Seems ole Chuck doesn’t know as much about elephants as moi. On another note, Teeny is just as cute dangling off the ground.) Even those who are trained to handle fears aren’t immune, as a psychiatrist (or psychologist. I’m pretty sure they’re interchangeable) switches places with his patient upon seeing the cutie.

People all over the city now have claimed to see the beast. So, is it really there? Scientists say no. In fact, one goes on TV to explain why it isn’t real. He doesn’t go into the fact that an elephant could not survive being so small. (Freezing to death I mean. Not being eaten by a cat) Instead, he just blames our troubled times. (Considering my parents weren’t even born as of his saying this, I’ll have to ask Grandpa if the times were really that bad.) Not very happy to be told he doesn’t exist, Teeny takes the microphone away. (If this short has taught me anything, it’s that if science could make a teacup elephant that could survive at such a size, I would get one.)

Favorite part: It’s not especially funny, but it IS sweet. A woman is doing her laundry and Teeny comes over and HELPS! He hands her the clothespins! So precious! Keep up the good work, sweetie!

Martian through Georgia

“MONSTER!”

Directed by Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by Carl Kohler and Chuck Jones; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Dilm Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ed Prentise; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on December 29, 1962.

Way, way out in space there is a planet. Even though it is yellow, I think we call it Mars. I mean, the indigenous lifeforms are called “Martians.” (I guess the universe is big enough for two Mars’s) They are really interesting. Like humans, they come in two genders: male and female. The males seem to be quite comfortable in their birthday suits, while the females are clad in purple jumpsuits. (Or they just have a purple coloration that covers their entire bodies, save for their faces.) They are a happy race. Well, except for one. And we’ll call that one: Al.

Poor Al. He is depressed. And he is depressed because he is bored. Both activities that martians typically partake in (levitating and though projection) bore him. (How can you be bored when you have constant access to pig pictures? And do martian pigs really resemble our Earth ones?) His depression must be really bad, because a woman tries flirting with him and he doesn’t give a crap. (And given by her heartbroken reaction, I think she was really into him.)

Al goes to a doctor. No martian speaks in this short, (which makes sense if you think about it. If you had thought projection abilities, what use would talking be?) so they communicate via their antenna. The doc thinks that traveling would be a good way to relieve his boredom and though Al doesn’t really think it will help, (I mean, he is still sulking as he leaves) he leaves. As he travels, he comes across a new planet. One full of simple, ignorant, life forms. (I’m stumped. What planet could that be?) Looking at this sad excuse of civilization, he finds a new purpose within him. He will shares his gifts with them! Finally feeling something close to joy, he heads down.

Things don’t seem to be off to a great start. Many people run away in fear, and those that don’t take him away for parking in a “no parking zone.” They send him to his new house, (a prison cell) but he has no time to stay. He must continue his mission! So he easily leaves. This gets everyone in a panic, and soon everyone knows of a monster that is on the loose. (The letters seem to be coming off that newspaper) Everyone except Al. When he does hear about it, he decides this is a good place to start helping these folks, and he soon finds the creature that everyone must be afraid of. I mean, it’s eaten a guy! (I think they are called “eggskahvayters”) He uses his atom re-arranger that he always had on him, and turns the beast into a cow/dragon/ cat. (Don’t worry, it’s friendly)

Satisfied, he begins to look for more wrongs to right, when a youth speaks to him. The child seems friendly enough, but he drops a bombshell: Al is the monster that everyone has been afraid of. According to the kid’s comic book, monsters are easily identified by their lack of noses. (That’s it, huh? So… birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, mand\y mammals and every invertebrate are a kind of monster? The people of this planet are self-entitled pricks!) Al can make his antenna look like a nose, but it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. (I think that kid is also a monster. His hands temporarily turn green) Even more miserable than before, he finds no other option. Suicide is the only answer. I mean, what else can one do when no one loves you?

Wait! Someone clearly did love him! (Although, after that cruel rejection of his, would she really still want him? Actually, the martians seem like quite the nice species. But I bet if they were both like the people on this planet, she wouldn’t give him another chance.) Realizing that as long as someone loves you, life is indeed worth living, he heads home. Seems the trip really did help him. (And that goes for non-romantic love too. No more suicide! You’re just hurting others.)

Now Hear This

“QUIET!”

Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Direction: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn, and Chuck Jones; Animation by Ben Washam, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Sound Effects Created by Treg Brown; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 27, 1963.

Oh boy. This is a hard cartoon to describe. It’s kind of like if UPA directed “The Beatles Yellow Submarine.” And that just describes the style. Strange as it may be, it is an artistic masterpiece! And it was rightfully nominated for an academy award. (The last Looney Tune to get such an honor!) What could have beaten it? Another abstract short made by Mel Brooks? I suppose that makes sense, much as I hate to admit it. It’s also where we get the first use of the abstract opening that was used during the sixties. (A shame it is now remembered as part of the weaker shorts.)

So the plot. Unfortunately, the twist is spoiled as soon as it starts. (That’s pretty much my only gripe.) So we’ll just pretend like we never saw anything. An old British gentleman strolls along. Ironically, he is hard of hearing and carries around an ear trumpet. Clearly, it has gotten much use. The poor thing is battered and beaten. So we aren’t surprised to see him trade it for the red, shiny, pristine and perfect one he finds on the ground.

He gives it a test run. And not a moment too soon! Sounds like there is an automobile approaching! Or rather, it was some sort of animal. (As an animal expert, I’m saddened to find I can’t identify it. It resembles an insect, but has a telescoping neck and shoes for feet. It defies all nature.) Well, that was odd. But it seems to be working now, as the man delights in listening to a songbird. But the insanity is just getting started. Part of which is caused by some little man dressed all in pink, and lacks facial features. (Save for a nose)

I’m not sure if he is real or not, but in this short, I’m not sure if anything is real. Even our main character is started to get nervous, judging by the sounds his heart is making. And then? The scariest thing I’ve ever seen in animation. That is no exaggeration. In total darkness, the man is watched by several sets of angry eyes. That’s it. And that horrifying image is awesome. (Part of why it’s scary is that it’s a perfect metaphor for how I view the world. All alone. The only ones who look at us, silently judge.)

Why doesn’t the man just get rid of the thing causing all this trouble? He can’t! The little pink man won’t allow it! And the trumpet begins entangling the old man in music. Eventually leading up to a “Gigantic Explosion!” Happily, the old man is still alive. (If a bit bandaged.) Better yet, his old horn is still in the trash can. Tattered it may be, it still works fine, and the gentleman once more can hear the the lovely sounds the world has to produce. And the owner of the red horn? Satan. (Wish they hadn’t showed him at the beginning) At least that explains the creepy as hell imagery. He happily puts his horn back on his head, and leaves.

This short is something else. A treat for the ears as much as the eyes. (Just like the best cartoons) I think it’s one of the studio’s best, and think it belongs right up there with “Porky’s Preview” as one of the “100 best.”

The Hole Idea

“Inventive genius makes great discovery!”

Directed by Robert McKimson (One of his favorites, in fact); Story by Sid Marcus; Animation by Robert McKimson; Layouts and Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (June Foray); Music by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released on April 16, 1955.

Of the many great scientists that have existed throughout time, (and for that matter, the ones who have yet to exist throughout time) I think the greatest is: Calvin Q. Calculus. Because he specializes in making paradoxes a reality. In the past, he’s made everything from dry water to round squares. (There wasn’t much of a market for them, so they can no longer be found today, but it’s fascinating to imagine) And he did all of that without the support of a loving wife. (Gertrude is not the patient type. But she has good qualities. I mean, there must be SOME reason he married her)

His latest breakthrough is really a wonder: portable holes! (And it’s hard to be impressed in the crazy city he lives in. I think one of the bridges has a row of buildings on top of it) Nevertheless, he is granted instant acclaim! This hole thing is really a marvel! You can duck out of responsibilities, cheat at golf, and get the children you locked in a safe, out before the authorities arrive! (That’s an interesting picture on the wall. Not really a picture, but random farm related words and even a math equation. 4×4=4, huh? Math never was my best subject.)

Calvin has only one hope for his invention: that no one shall use it for nefarious purposes. (Minor mistake, but his award pokes out of the screen he is projected on. Minus one point) Ah, but you see, temptation is a powerful thing. And if there is an easier way to get what one wants, you can bet at least one person will try and ruin things for everyone. In this case, a (Man? They could be a very ugly lady.) person takes the professor’s case of holes while he sleeps and begins committing crimes. Using the holes for easy access into banks, jewelry stores, and Fort Knox. They begin calling this mystery person “The Holey Terror.”

They eventually move on to living targets, and break into a burlesque house. (Based on how sexuality is, that still gives no concrete evidence to the gender) But the cops are on their tail, and the thief is running out of holes to use. Down to one left, they use it to escape through a wall, just as the cops grab it. Said wall lead into a prison. (Never panic in these situations, it’ll always spell your undoing) Calvin is pleased to see things right in the world. (His sleeves are red in one scene then white in the next. Minus two points) Gertrude is still being a b*tch, and her husband finally decides to be rid of her. (Love his smile.) He tosses a hole in her path, and it must have been pretty deep. She ends up in hell. Satan sends her right back. (Even he doesn’t want to put up with her crap.)

 

It’s Hummer Time

“I tawt I taw a putty-tat.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Rod Scribner, J.C. Melendez, Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara, and John Carey; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on July 22, 1950.

The plot for this picture: a cat trying to catch a hummingbird of all creatures. (It’s like chasing a chicken nugget. I want a short where a spider tries to catch one of these birds, as flies won’t cut it anymore.) The bird isn’t dumb enough to swim in the birdbath the cat is holding, and flies off after squirting him in the face. The cat (who can also be found in “A Fractured Leghorn” and “Early to Bet.”) gives chase, but ends up sinking his claws into a dog. Much like in the latter of the two shorts up there, the dog subjects the cat to various punishments. Only here, the cat doesn’t get any say in things. First up: being pulled through a hole in a fence.

As the cat hunts with net in hand, the bird flies close to the dogs head. With them both being on one side of a wall, the cat swings but gets the dog. Now he must attend a birthday party for himself. He doesn’t even have to share the cake! (The candles are explosives though) Next, he ties a flower onto a balloon and tries to fish for the bird. Said bird paints the cats face on it and brings it to the dog’s attention. When he pulls the string, the cat reels him in. This earns him a trip down a drain pipe.

Is this really worth all the trouble? Well, given a hummingbird’s diet, I suppose they are the cat equivalent of candy. (Like a flying Bit-O-Honey) So the cat chases the bird over near the dog’s house. There, he makes the mistake of laying a paw on the dog’s bones. That’s earned him a trip into a cement mixer. (Normally, that would be horrific way to go, but here it just freezes him in cement.)

Now really, in a universe where a dog can collect monetary rewards, why can’t the cat just go BUY something to eat? You know, that is an excellent question. So, the bird sticks one of his feathers into the dog’s mouth and so the cat has no other option but to take a peek inside and see if there is anything left. (He’s not dumb enough to open the mouth on his own. He uses sneeze powder. But really, why is he afraid of the dog? Notice how he phases out of existence when doing this.) The dog has had enough, and prepares to subject the cat to “the works.” Here, the cat has a rope tied around his tail, that will take him through the fence, through several other obstacles (including a drainpipe) and landing him in the cement mixer once more. Neither of them notice the bird who ties some extra rope to the dog’s leg and the cat’s body. Unaware, the dog ends up dragged into the machine with his victim. The bird then sets it to birdbath, and gets a nice new place to bathe.

 

Chow Hound

“I’ve gotta get more food!”

Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Phil Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ken Harris; Layouts by Peter Alvarado; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc (Bea Benaderet); Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on June 16, 1951.

One of the hundred greatest, and possibly Jones’ darkest picture ever!

Butch the cat is put out for the night after a nice steak dinner. But as soon as he is outside, he appears terrified. And he has good reason to be. A dog demands the steak that it turns out, he didn’t eat. You’d think that’d be it, but the dog (who I will name after his voice actor, John T. Smith, who we’ve seen in “Water, water, Every Hare”, “Homeless Hare”, and “Bunny Hugged”.) is not through with him.

They stop at a different house. John pretties up Butch and sends him to the door. The woman living there identifies the cat as Harold. (Which leads me to wonder what his name REALLY is. And while I’m on this tangent, if animals could talk, would they name themselves?) Despite how loving the lady sounds, she must secretly want the cat dead as she gives him some chicken bones with his dinner. He doesn’t get a bite, John takes it again.

What’s the next stop? Some crummy place where John has another animal held hostage: a mouse. Now the cat (now going by Timothy) will get another meal for his master, by pretending to be a mouser. The mouse doesn’t like this arrangement anymore than the feline, (although he actually begs to be free. Unlike the cat who just takes it) The old man living in the building gives the cat more food, the dog takes it, and the mouse is put back in the can.

The next part of the plan requires it to be daytime, as the local zoo isn’t open at night. (A very pretentious establishment, as they use the term: “Zoological Park” Nice touch guys, wanna give the animals actual environments next?) Feeding time is going on and a keeper tosses various meats to various cats. There appears to be a newly discovered species today: The Saber Toothed Alley Cattus. (Felidae chuckmeat) The keeper isn’t entirely sure about this, but he is paid to feed, not think, so the cat is given another steak. (He tries to hide a firecracker in this one, but it only registers a burp with John)

Seems this has been going on for weeks, and it’s finally getting to John. He’s not getting a conscience or anything stupid like that. He’s just annoyed with how little meat each place actually gives. (In the case of the zoo, I agree. A 10 oz. steak won’t do much for a full grown tiger) I guess this “zoological park” has a history of animals trying to find greener pastures, because they actually have a sign offering rewards for missing animals. This gets John thinking…

The four places mentioned notice their lack of cat and soon they are offering money for its safe return. Read the paper carefully. Not only does the park offer a “liberal” reward, but the first guy is apparently animator Lloyd Vaughn (living at Termite Terrace of course) and the old guy is animator Ken Harris. (Which just strikes me as hilarious for some reason) John puts his master plan into action and returns the cat to each place, and taking away when he leaves. (And these people don’t bat an eye at giving a dog money. I love cartoons) John is clearly enjoying this too, as he returns the zoo animal in the guise of a hunter. (The mouse is humiliated to be roped in again. This time as a racially insensitive pygmy. On another note, John looks awesome with that mustache.)

Success! That liberal reward really must have helped, as the dog now has enough money to ensure he never need worry about food again. His purchase? A meat market of course. Self control? Never heard of that. A cut to an animal hospital reveals that John couldn’t control himself, and ate as much as he could fit in his belly and then some. He is now nearly obese as Piggy Hamhock. The doctors leave, and the dog receives two visitors he really doesn’t need: his slaves.

See, if forcing them to collect food wasn’t enough, he was also constantly berating them for not bringing him any gravy. Well, they got plenty of it now. And John can only stare in horror as they stick a funnel in his mouth, and force feed him the stuff. Ooh! Deliciously dark! No better way to end things. (Not surprisingly, that dog never made another appearance. Dead hounds don’t appeal to many audiences.)