Sometimes, there’s no justice in this world. It crashes down around you. That’s the message in Chuck Jones’ “Fresh Airedale” (1945).
The sociopathic Shep wins all throughout the cartoon except during one scene when he has a nightmare sparked by jealousy. Before going to bed, he reads that a black Scottish terrier is the Number One Dog, not him. Jones gets to use his sense of stylisation to advance the plot instead of just showing off.
The pictures of the Scotty and Shep on posters turn into a 1 and a 2, with the one chasing the 2.
Ones turn into Scottish terriers. The transformation of numbers into living characters is reminiscent of the Ralph Phillips cartoon “From A to Z-Z-Z-Z” (1953), also directed by Jones.
And the abbreviation for “number” fills the screen in little jagged trails, as Mel Blanc’s echoing voice repeats the words “Number One Dog.”
Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald’s “Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies” lists the animators as Ben Washam, Ken Harris and Lloyd Vaughan. It doesn’t mention who laid out the nightmare sequence, but Mike Barrier’s “Hollywood Cartoons” states that Earl Klein took over layout in the Jones unit in early 1944 so I suspect he’s responsible for this cartoon, with Bob Gribbroek painting the backgrounds. A great little sequence in a great little cartoon.