Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Sheep Wrecked

Sheep Wrecked
Directed by Michael Lah
Available on: Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection

During Tex Avery's time at MGM he came up with several great characters. Among them a slow moving hound dog, a high-kicking dancing girl, and two very different versions of the Big Bad Wolf. Probably more famous is the bulging eyed, waggling tongue version of the wolf that ogles the girl in many of Avery's shorts. But just as funny, in a different way, is the laid back version of the wolf that appeared in the 1950's. "Sheep Wrecked" is a great short featuring this character going against Droopy presented in beautiful CinemaScope (woo-hoo).

The design of this laid back wolf is just perfect. The body curves into an odd pear shape with the feet leading as he walks while the rest of his body seems to lag a few inches behind. The constant whistling and Daws Butler's wonderful voice work make for a character that makes you laugh before he even does anything.

One of the things that is so interesting about this short is the fact that it is presented in wide screen. The backgrounds, however, are very minimal. Not exactly sprawling landscapes, but it seems to work perfectly with the wide screen format. It almost creates the illusion that you are looking at something grander than you really are.

This is probably one of my favorite of the later Droopy cartoons, and certainly one of my favorite featuring the laid back wolf. But my favorite of his appearances, "Billy Boy," remains unreleased on DVD...memo to Warner Brothers.

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