Monday, December 29, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Pecos Pest

Pecos Pest
Directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera
Available on: Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection

Last night I watched the cartoon that I was most thrilled to find was a part of the collection of Tom and Jerry shorts that I got for Christmas, "Pecos Pest." This is one of those cartoons that we would hope would be shown each day when Tom and Jerry aired on good old Channel 32 in Chicago. It's probably my favorite Tom and Jerry film, and, I think, one of the funniest.

In this film, Jerry is paid a visit by his Uncle Pecos, a singing cowboy on the way to make his big TV debut. While practicing the song he'll be doing on the show, Pecos breaks a guitar string and finds a replacement by plucking one of Tom's whiskers. The rest of the short consists on more guitar strings breaking and Pecos trying to chase down Tom for more replacements. So, for once, Tom is the one on the run.

You could say this is a one joke cartoon, but it's just so funny every time that guitar string breaks. And the final gag is an absolute classic. I love the sound effects of the guitar strings breaking and the plucking of the whiskers, they crack me up every time. The voice of Uncle Pecos (performed by Shug Fisher) is certainly worth noting as well. Most of the Tom and Jerry shorts have little, if any, dialogue. But in this one, the lone voice of Pecos is just so funny as he stutters his way through a version of "Frog Went A-Courtin."

If you ask me, MGM missed out on a new animation star by not giving Uncle Pecos his own series. Sadly this is his only appearance.

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