Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Take That, Walt

There isn’t a moment more satisfying in an MGM cartoon than Screwy Squirrel beating up that symbol of Walt Disney cuteness, Sammy Squirrel.

Here are some shots of Sammy being oh-so-coy, grabbing his tail and twirling around on it.

“Oh, brother! Not that. Not that!!” Screwy says, summing up the feeling of Tex Avery fans everywhere.

Screwy takes care of things.

Claude Smith, ex-Disney, designed Sammy. All the animators on this cartoon—Preston Blair, Ed Love and Ray Abrams—spent time at Disney as well.


  1. I assume Blair animated this sequence. That whole grabbing by the tail bit is just too perfect and really hammers home how Avery felt Uncle Walt's stuff was: too cute and coy for their own good. Beating him up was the logical thing to do.

    Alas, we shall never know if his cartoon would have been cuter..

    1. Correct, Jonathan. Blair included the pencil drawings of some of these poses in his art book Animation published by Walter Foster

  2. I think it is a reaction to Disney, but I suspect it's more a reaction to Harman-Ising's Disney-esque MGM cartoons. Tex is saying "This ain't your mother's Metro!"

    1. Agreed completely. Note that Barney Bear is mentioned by name among Sammy's cute little friends.

      (Also—the fact that Sammy Squirrel, rebooted as a sidekick of the mysterious Wuff the Prairie Dog, got his own every-issue feature in the Our Gang/Tom and Jerry comic book while Screwy did not, tells you almost everything you need to know about Western Publishing, doesn't it?)