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February 08, 2010


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James Keepnews

On the subject of chewing on gravy, the Eisenhower-era was also the period the WB zanies appeased Red-baiting Empire, or rather The Market (splitting hairs?), with their "this is how market capitalism works" series of programmers. Whenever they'd turn up on NY's Channel 5, my grade-school self immediately recognized their inauthenticity and would turn the channel. It's also the period of shorts mostly directed by Bob McKimson who -- Pete Puma and a handful of others notwithstanding -- was the least distinguished of WB animators, as was his oeuvre.

James is just sayin'.

Chuck Stephens

Tex Avery's MGM work in the 40s (Screwball Squirrel, Red Hot Riding Hood, his contributions to the Private SNAFU series) really gets the ball rolling on the cynical and the sardonic. I usually show Screwball Squirrel as an opener for DOUBLE INDEMNITY, for their similarly soured worldviews.

Glenn Kenny

Of course you are correct, Chuck, but I see some differences. As "Screwball Squirrel"'s satirical target is ostensibly other cartoons, it's easy for some to ignore its larger context. Whereas fare such as "Chow Hound," "Moauseaholics Anonymous," and others fairly insist on being taken as parables on human behavior and commentary on what David Poland would call the "social morays" of their time.

Chuck Stephens

DP does have a taste for those Eeling Studios comedies.

True, SSquirrel's main foil is other cartoons.

Red Hot Riding Hood is much closer to a lampoon of its social moment: nightclub life in the 30s/40s, male behavior (particularly upon their return from WW2, cf. NEW YORK, NEW YORK), and sexual aggression.

Diane Rainey

So this is where chow hound came from. Who knew?

The Filmist

I always thought it was interesting how Chick Jones' animated shorts seemed to anticipate the kind of quick, moving - visceral? Hmm - cinematography that would become more and more widespread during the late sixties and afterward. I have to wonder if the one was a conscious influence on the other, or if it was just a case of cultural precognition.


CHOW HOUND is my favorite Warner cartoon that most people haven't seen. The ending is right out of "Tales From The Crypt." so glad it was included in the last Looney Tunes batch.

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