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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Poe's Saturday Cartoon: CHOW HOUND (1951)

I realized the other day that there has been a recurring theme on Poe's Saturday Cartoon recently. For the last couple of weeks I seem to have been showing cartoons that feature one of the seven deadly sins. Wrath and lust have been themes in the past two shorts and today's cartoon, CHOW HOUND, continues the trend by featuring one of the sins that I personally struggle with: gluttony (put a stack of cheeseburgers in front of me and see what happens).

A brilliant gem from Chuck Jones, CHOW HOUND is one of the director's darkest cartoons, with an ending that is as sadistic as anything Quentin Tarantino could ever come up with. So gruesome in fact that some networks have cut it out during televised airplay. Featuring none of the regular Looney Tunes players, the cartoon follows the exploits of a gluttonous, bullying bulldog as he tortures a cat and mouse into providing him with an endless supply of meat. Jones and writer Michael Maltese somehow manage to downplay the ugliness of the story with witty dialogue and the brilliant character animation that is so regularly featured in these wonderful shorts. Mel Blanc, Bea Benarderet and John T. Smith provide funny vocal performances.

So sit back and laugh and be ready to be horrified as you realize what it means to finally "get the gravy". And stay tuned next week as we will be tackling yet another deadly sin on Poe's Saturday Cartoon.