Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Pun of the Puny Express

Heck Allen wrote for Tex Avery, so it’s not a surprise an Avery-like joke or two would seep into his work for Walter Lantz.

Much like Avery’s “Lucky Ducky,” Lantz’s “Puny Express” (1950) has a chase interrupted at the side of a road for a sign pun. Woody and his horse skid to sudden stop when they hear a blare of car horns.

Cut to a toad with horns slowly hopping along. He stops, reveals his gag, then resumes hopping.

Pun king Bugs Hardaway co-wrote the cartoon with Allen. They were gone from Lantz by the time the cartoon appeared in theatres. The storyboards were made before a shutdown of the studio in 1948 and this was the first cartoon released after it re-opened. Dick Lundy claimed in a letter to Mark Mayerson he directed it before being let go in the shutdown but there’s no director credit.

1 comment:

  1. Woody's muteness in the cartoon, compared to his Hardaway-toned verboseness in the pre-shutdown efforts, indicates while Lundy may have had a major part in getting it ready for camera, Lantz did some major reworking of the short to basically turn it into an effort that would have worked just as well 15 years later as a Pink Panther cartoon ("Postal Pink"?)

    Woody doesn't get his voice back until "Stage Hoax", though by the end of the decade most viewers would be pining for some more visual gag-focused pantomime efforts.