Thursday 26 January 2017

One of Them Corny 'B' Pictures

Tex Avery always found a way to make fun of that staple of animated cartoons in the 1930s, fairy tales. He unexpectedly does it in The Screwy Truant (1944).

The cartoon motors along for about three minutes when there’s a scream and, without warning, Red Riding Hood runs into the scene being chased back and forth by the wolf.

Screwy shows the audience he’s annoyed.

Screwy stops the wolf and informs him he’s in the wrong picture, pulling down the opening title cards as proof.

“Hmmpf. One of them corny ‘B’ pictures, eh?” sneers the wolf. Screwy is shocked by the accusation.

The scene turns odd, with Screwy challenging the wolf to a fight (note how Screwy rubs his nose like a prize fighter) if only he were the same size. The wolf accommodates him.

The punch line is Screwy shrinks some more and runs away while the wolf’s mouth is agape. It’s, well, a peculiar way to end a gag.

The wolf leaves the cartoon for good, but the next couple of sequences happen inside grandma’s house to keep the Red Riding Hood tie-in alive.

Heck Allen gagged the cartoon with Avery.

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