Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Blackboard Jumble

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

Droopy is one of my favorite classic animated characters. So it's really strange that I never saw this cartoon until today. It was not a part of the rotation of Droopy shorts that aired on Chicago television as I was growing up. The only reason I can see for it being pulled from TV is one gag involving a confederate flag. But now, thanks to DVD, not only can we see this short but we can also experience it in it's widescreen form.

This Droopy short actually does not feature Droopy. Rather there are three kid versions of Droopy who terrorize a small schoolhouse. The Wolf, voice by the brilliant Daws Butler, is recruited to be their latest teacher.

The voice and animation of the slow-moving, whistling wolf are a perfect combination. I love his strange posture when he walks. The feet lead as the rest of the body seems to move much slower behind. The wolf is the real star of the short. Even though this is not directed by Tex Avery, his influence is still there. Some would say too much so as several gags are lifted straight out of Avery's "The Three Little Pups," which also features Butler's Wolf character. But even with recycled gags, it's still laugh-out-loud funny

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