Monday, January 4, 2010

001 The Lone Stranger and Porky

Title: The Lone Stranger and Porky
Studio: Warner Brothers (that's right, I'm taking the oversimplified way out)
Date: 01/07/39
Robert Clampett
I. Ellis Robert Cannon
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Looney Tunes
Running time (of viewed version): 7:24

Synopsis: Mustachioed man robs stage coach driving pig in the old west. Man in veil finds this to be wrong. Their horses get engaged and have kids. Veil imprisons mustache and uses knife to free pig instead of turning him into bacon. Evil remains free in the person of a mustachioed foal.

Comments: After the Lone Stranger (who looks like crap with a black washcloth over his face) gallops under the title, the cartoon opens with a long pan (about 36 seconds long). This includes wanted posters of Cob Blampett and Ray Katz (who I think is the villain in the cartoon, but I'm not really sure). There's a hole in the jail wall which looks like it is supposed to be shaped like something, but I'm blanking on what it might be at the moment. The narrator's voice is strangely pitched for my concept of how voices should sound in a Looney Tunes. I wonder if it imitates someone specific. I also wonder if the silhouette of porky was designed to save work, or if it was meant to be atmospheric. It doesn't read terribly well, at least not on a tv screen. Pronto uses a television broadcaster; it often surprises me the extent tv was referenced leading up to WWII. The Snow White magic mirror reference is less surprising. The old chestnut of leaving the house so fast it turns inside out is also not surprising. I dislike how the outlaw's hat quickly jumps back onto his head.

The cartoon isn't bad, but it feels a bit empty. There is no lead character in it. Porky's role could be played by any character. The Lone Stranger is completely hollow. Even the villain is mostly empty. The villain's horse is as close to a character as there is in the short. It is full of action and has some nice visuals, but it's a shame they don't have anything to back them up. Maybe people were just excited to see character parodies...

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