Tuesday, April 20, 2010

052 Chicken Jitters

Title: Chicken Jitters
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 4/22/39
Robert Clampett
Robert Cannon - Vive Risto (according to BCDB; it fits, but I can't read the screen)
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Looney Tunes
Running time (of viewed version): 6:43

Synopsis: In spite of the name, the cartoon is arguably about a lost duckling, and the fox trying to eat him.

Comments: Second fox cartoon in two days. There's nothing like a Terrytoon to make you appreciate a Looney Tune. 40¢ per dozen eggs; I don't know if that was jokingly expensive, but in adjusted dollars that is several times what eggs are now. There are a series of name jokes that I'm not sure of all the references (Blondie and Dabwood (it could actually be Dagwood, but it looks more like Dabwood), I think the first one reads Blondie and whatever it is (comic strip), then the Jones Family, then the Hardy Family (movie series), and finally Mother Carey's Chicks (a reference to snowflakes or a bird called the storm petrel, darkly said to each contain the soul of a dead sailor). The cartoon is self aware of being a movie, with the duckling photographing the audience. I think the fox is a recurrence from an earlier cartoon in the year (in black and white, I could have sworn he was a wolf); the voice doesn't quite match Robin Hood Makes Good, but it sounds more familiar than he looks. Porky is barely in the cartoon. The cartoon really doesn't have much of a plot. Things happen, and there's a vague story, but this is a cartoon that has a cohesive setting without a cohesive narrative. This kind of thing works better in Tex Avery blackout fashion; in some ways, the vague narrative here may limit the cartoon, tho it allows it to have a natural ending. There's an interesting and well done shot where Porky starts out being seen only in his shadow, and then he runs into frame, syncing with his shadow.


  1. "Mother Carey's Chicks" is more likely a reference to the 1938 RKO movie "Mother Carey's Chickens" starring Ruby Keeler, Anne Shirley and Faye Bainter.

  2. The "Porky with an axe" is reused in Clampett's "Goofy Groceries".