#18 -- Chow Hound


Title - Chow Hound
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1951

Reason for Placement --

If any of the Looney Tunes shorts developed a "cult following", it would have to be Chow Hound. This is one of those unique cartoons that doesn't have any recurring Looney Tunes stars and never really got any kind of recognition when it was released, but virtually everyone knows it.

Part of what makes it stand out is that it goes against the normal cat vs. dog formula that multiple cartoons had done in the past: instead of the cat being the villain against the noble dog, the dog in Chow Hound is a merciless bully, who puts the cat through various scams to earn him more food.

The other part that helps this toon to stay so popular is the ending, which shows the cat (and a mouse also used for a few of the scams) finally getting their revenge on the dog. I'll go ahead and admit that for a cartoon, this was a pretty dark ending, with the cat and mouse torturing the dog as he lies helpless on a vet's table after eating too much food. Ever heard of water-boarding? Well, this cartoon introduces us to "gravy-boarding"!

4 comments:

  1. Well...dogs ARE merciless bullies to cats in csrtoons.

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  2. I like the classic pay-off line that the cat utters just as this scene starts to take place...after having been bullied all through the cartoon.

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  3. I've seen a little dachshund EAT a kitten! So...

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  4. This cartoon is just plain twisted. Looney Tunes have no shortage of insanity and general cruelty, but it always seems that Chuck Jones is the one who went one step beyond. His "Three Bears" cartoons were a satirical look at the breakdown of the American family unit (addressing politically incorrect subjects like domestic abuse and suicide).

    But in spite it all, the humor was always there. This cartoon doesn't really have anything outwardly funny about it. Don't get me wrong, I think it's funny, but only because I'm twisted myself. But aside from the mouse's funny dialogue after he's konked with the tiny mallet, everything else about this cartoon is mean and abusive.

    The ending always gets a laugh out of me, but it's a guilty pleasure. It's incredibly morbid, on the level of torture porn even. I think I've seen similar scenarios in either the Saw movies or the 1995 David Fincher thriller, Se7en. It's hard to imagine this cartoon exisiting in the Looney Tunes catalog. But I guess that's what makes Looney Tunes so great. They're all about art and experimentation. It's not all rabbit hunting and dynamite. They are a window into the insane genius of the artists who created them.

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