Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Dumb-Hounded

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

During his time at MGM, Tex Avery's most famous creation was a miserable looking little hound dog named Droopy. "Dumb-Hounded" marks his first appearance. The character became a bit more upbeat over the course of his 24 film career, but in this short he lives up to his name.

In this short a killer (the Wolf) has escaped from prison so the authorities send out the hounds, with Droopy bringing up the rear. The Wolf runs from Droopy but every time he turns around the little hound is right there waiting for him. Pretty much the same premise was used in another Droopy short, "Northwest Hounded Police," a little bit later.

This, like many Avery shorts, can best be described as innovative. The gags were original, though many of them have since been used by many other cartoon makers. The reactions of the Wolf each time he spots Droopy are completely unique each time, though they aren't quite as extreme as Avery would make them in some later shorts.

The characters realizing that they are in a movie was also an different twist. Droopy addresses the audience at the beginning of the film and tells them he's the hero and the Wolf runs completely off of the film in one of the film's best gags.

I don't think there's a Droopy cartoon that I don't like, with a wild short like this one the series got off to great start.

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