Thursday, 14 June 2018

Early Bird Gets the Cat

Tex Avery liked dopey dogs, the stupider the better. They’re in his Warners cartoons and in the ones he did at MGM (especially in the Screwy Squirrel series). Eventually he discarded the idea, but here it is in The Early Bird Dood It, the first cartoon he put into production at Metro.

The cartoon shows Avery’s love of signs to comment on the action, including one that shows the characters know they’re in a cartoon. And there are two scenes where there’s violence underscored by eliminating the background drawing and substituting a bright coloured card instead.

Here the brain-dead cat chases the early bird around a tree. It’s a gag you’re familiar with. The bird jumps out of the chase and clobbers the cat.

Showmen’s Trade Review rated it “very funny” while one theatre owner described it to the Motion Pictute Herald as a “crazy color cartoon that drew lots of laughs.” Avery would only get better and better.

Irv Spence, Preston Blair, Ed Love and Ray Abrams are the credited animators.

1 comment:

  1. Tex obviously felt a lot more confident with his group of animators at MGM than he did with his unit at Warners, in terms of speeding up the pacing of this short compared to the last handful of more languidly-paced efforts at his old studio (though it would have been interesting to know how much of "Wabbit Twouble" was already on the board when Bob Clampett took over from Avery -- we know fattening up Elmer was initiated while Tex was there, but not so much on the battle between Elmer and the bear towards the end of the cartoon. To that point, it was the fastest and best-timed comedy chase the Schelsinger studio had ever done, and showed that Avery's old group of animators could handle the faster drawings and make them look loose and funny just as well as Tex's new group of Disney-trained people, plus Irv Spence, could).