Monday, November 17, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Conrad the Sailor

Conrad the Sailor
Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 4

"Conrad the Sailor" is an interesting little short. It seems pretty simple on first viewing but it's actually pretty experimental in many ways.

The short features the character Conrad the Cat, who only appeared in a handful of shorts. Here he is a sailor cleaning the deck of a ship, which is realized beautifully by an uncredited background artist named John McGrew, who, according to the DVD commentary track, left Warner Brothers and joined the Navy shortly after this short was made.

For some unknown reason, Daffy Duck is hanging out on the deck of the ship and proceeds to cause all kinds of trouble for Conrad, who by the way is voiced by the voice of Goofy, Pinto Colvig. The gags are pretty simple, but there are many little things that show the experimental nature of this film. The sequence toward the end with Daffy riding a missile is a great example as there are many unique angles and changes in point of view used to great comic effect.

The best gag of the film is a recurring one where Conrad and Daffy always stop and salute as the admiral passes by. This happens several times in the film, but the best is the last time where the two characters not only stop and salute, but so does the missile which is chasing them.

This isn't a bust-your-gut hilarious short, but it is highly original and shows the innovation that was continuously going on at Warner Brothers.

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