Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I Think I Swallowed Something

Tex Avery’s unnamed cat realises he’s swallowed a bowling ball in “The Counterfeit Cat” (released December 24, 1949). The credited animators are Grant Simmons, Mike Lah and Walt Clinton.

Well, Boxoffice magazine seemed to think the cat had a name. Its summary from February 2, 1950:

Good. Spike, the alley cat, has designs on the pet canary in the house. Only dogs are admitted so he rips some of the fur off a mongrel pup, disguises himself and enters. The dog guarding the house interferes every time Spike gets the canary, though he is given bones to bury. The pup losing the fur teaches both a lesson.

As any Avery fan knows, the watchdog drooling for bones is Spike.

For what it’s worth, Boxoffice gave “good” ratings to eight of the nine Avery cartoons released in 1949, including “Little Rural Riding Hood.” The only one getting “very good” (the highest rating) was “Bad Luck Blackie.”

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that when Michael Lah revived the UPA-ized Spike for his CinemaScope MGM Droopys, his new bosses Hanna-Barbera apparently had him rechristened as Butch, to avoid confusion with their own Spike who they were trying to pump up for his own series during the studio's final year of operation (Bill & Joe also had their own Butch, but at least he was a cat and was only really named in a couple of cartoons).

    (Also, while there are several Tom & Jerry scenes I find more painful than funny, the ripping-off-the-scalp gag in "Counterfeit Cat" is the only one Avery did where I wince more than laugh.)