Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Puns of the Old South

Tex Avery made a whole cartoon of visual puns (1951’s Symphony in Slang) and did the same thing for a couple of scenes in an earlier cartoon (1950’s The Cuckoo Clock). But he gave it a go in the 1947 MGM short Uncle Tom’s Cabaña.

Uncle Tom relates to a group of surrounding him about Simon Legree. “That no-account crook was just rollin’ in dough.” Scott Bradley’s music cue: “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Uncle Tom: “And on top of that, he was two-faced.”

Avery pulls off a pun that probably went back to silent animation. Uncle Tom: “He was shore a low-down snake.”

Uncle Tom sounds like Will Wright doing Charles Correll doing Andrew H. Brown (of Amos ‘n’ Andy), but I don’t know who it is; that’s just a combination it sounds like to me. The sceptical little boy at the end, I imagine, is Sara Berner.

The credited animators are Walt Clinton, Ray Abrams, Preston Blair and Bob Bentley, who had replaced Ed Love in the unit (Santa Quimby fired Love over Christmas). Johnny Johnsen is the background artist, with Heck Allen working on the story.

MGM was already taking out full-page trade ads on March 2, 1945. Clinton’s model sheets are dated November 13, 1945 and the cartoon was released on July 19, 1947.


  1. Hopefully, "Uncle Tom's Cabana" will see a Blu-ray release on Volume 4 in the future.

  2. So, Fred Quimby FIRED Ed Love? Was that in 1945 or 1946? Do you know any more details on that story, Yowp? I guess Ed went to Walter Lantz not long after that?

    1. Tim Walker told me Ed Love told him Quimby accused him of handing out Christmas cheer around the ink and paint dept.
      Then Quimby found out it wasn't Ed at all; it was Cal Howard.
      If I recall, Quimby tried to hire him back but he had accepted a job with Hugh Harman. I imagine he ended up at Lantz very soon after that.