#71 -- Odor of the Day

Title - Odor of the Day
Director - Arthur Davis
Released - 1948

Reason for Placement -- 

This cartoon has always been the subject of debate amongst Looney Tunes fans.  The reason?  Simply put, there's no clear definition on the main character of this short.  You're probably looking at the picture above and thinking, "What are you talking about?  That's Pepe Le Pew!"  Well, here's the thing: while the skunk looked exactly like Pepe, the similarities stop there.  This skunk doesn't act like Pepe, doesn't talk like him (in fact, besides one sneeze and sentence, we never hear him speak), and rather than chasing the female skunk of his dreams around, all this one wants to do is stay warm and get some sleep.  Plus, while Pepe was never fully aware of his stench (often acting shocked whenever a character told him he smelled terrible), this skunk is well aware of it and uses it to its fullest.  

Whether or not it really is Pepe in this toon (it is techincally considered a Pepe short, making it only one of two not directed by Chuck Jones), Odor of the Day was still one of my favorite cartoons growing up.  The style is great and the visual humor works well against the limited dialogue.  And, quite frankly, we can debate forever if that is Pepe Le Pew or not, but remember, a skunk by any other name would smell just as bad.  


  1. There was a documentary on lesser-known WB animation directors on one of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets (with Arthur Davis as one of them), and, according to Jerry Beck, the skunk *is* Pepe Le Pew, but Davis gave Pepe a personality that was different than what Chuck Jones' gave him. It's just like what happened with Sylvester the Cat in Arthur Davis's "Catch as Cats Can".

  2. This is certainly my favorite Art Davis cartoon and perhaps an indicator of what he could have given us if he, rather than McKimson, had been the third primary director in the 1950s. The animation is superbly funny, the timing is sublime, the expressions are priceless and the gags land beautifully. And as smug as Pepé always was in Jones' shorts, you can't beat the supremely knowing, self-satisfied expression on this skunk's face, especially when he's skating across the ice to fetch his frozen adversary from the pond. (Plus, I love that he slouched almost horizontally as he skated.)