Friday, 14 June 2013

Not Quite A Pussywillow

Some people write off Tex Avery’s “The Cat That Hated People” (1948) as a “Porky in Wackyland” (1938) wanna-be because it has strange creatures that are, somehow, logically together but take it to an illogical extreme. All I know is I like both cartoons. And Tex tosses in a grass-is-always-greener message at the end where Bob Clampett’s Wackyland goes for a, well, wacky ending (similar in humour to what Avery later used in 1948’s “Half Pint Pygmy”).

One scene has a shovel chasing a plant to put it in the ground. The shovel plants the titular cat instead. And the gag reaches its logical conclusion. The cat is watered, spouts from the ground, grows carnations, and is finally plucked from the ground and put in a vase.

Avery’s unit was in transition. Walt Clinton, Louie Schmitt, Bill Shull and Grant Simmons received animation credits. Schmitt made the model sheets.

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