Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cartoon a Day: The Three Little Pups

The Three Little Pups
Directed by Tex Avery
Available on: Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection

It's about time we had some Droopy action on this blog. "The Three Little Pups" is Tex Avery's take on the the three little pigs. We have a house of straw, a house of sticks, and a house of bricks, only this time around they're dog houses. And, of course, there is a wolf who also happens to be the city dog catcher.

Droopy is often up against a wolf in his cartoons, but I think this is my favorite version. This is not the hormones raging wolf we see in other Avery shorts. This one is a laid back, slow moving, whistling Dixie fellow. A large part of what makes this wolf so funny is the brilliant voice work by Daws Butler. Butler was the voice of many classic characters, but this may be one of his finest moments. Perhaps why this wolf works so well is because it is the complete opposite of the wolf from earlier Tex Avery shorts.

Being that this is a Tex Avery film you can expect many crazy moments. Being a puppeteer, I am especially fond of the sequence in which a hand puppet cat drags the wolf around the yard. Another great moment is where the wolf accidentally swallows a TV set. When the set shows up in the next sequence, Droopy stares at the camera and says "Now don't ask us how we got the television set back."

And I can't neglect the sequence in which the wolf has to change his pants several times due to a dog attack and a guided missile. It's a great example of Avery being able to stretch a gag for a few extra laughs.

This cartoon was in the regular rotation on the Tom and Jerry TV program that played every afternoon on channel 32 in Chicago when I was a kid. Whenever this one came on, everyone rushed in to see it.

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