#12 -- Porky in Wackyland

Title - Porky in Wackyland
Director - Bob Clampett
Released - 1938

Interesting Fact -- Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress

Reason for Placement --

If you took the images of movies made by David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, and add Salvador Dali to taste... you'd have a tenth of the surrealism featured in Clampett's early opus, Porky in Wackyland.

This cartoon is like an acid trip, it is so bizarre. Porky goes on an expedition to find the long-thought extinct Dodo Bird, finding him in Wackyland (which is apparently located in the darkest regions of Africa). As the sign on the entrance explains, "IT CAN HAPPEN HERE"... and it pretty much does. I really wish I could explain half of the stuff Porky runs into, but frankly, it's all so abstract and strange that I honestly don't think I could do it justice. That's how crazy it all is. The design of this cartoon brings to mind one of those nightmares you had but refused to tell anyone about it because you were scared they'd think you'd lost your mind.

Also, this is one of the few cartoons that was pretty much remade in later years. In 1949, Friz Freleng oversaw a new version of the cartoon in full color, re-titled Dough for the Do-Do. The two films are nearly identical, though there are a few changes: a couple of gags are cut and a few new ones are put in, the voices are slightly different, and most of the backgrounds are altered just a bit.

Still, despite being so unbelievably bizarre, this cartoon really helped pave the way for Clampett's career with Warner Bros., and was a major jumping point for Termite Terrace to distance themselves from their Disney rivals. The plain & simple truth is that despite its updated remake from Freleng, there really was no other cartoon like Porky in Wackyland, and honestly, I don't think there will ever be another one like it.

Porky in Wackyland, a heavy-dose of eye-popping surrealism that serves as a reminder that no matter where we end up in life... at least it's not there.

#13 -- Birds Anonymous

Title - Birds Anonymous
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1957

Interesting Fact -- Won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject

Reason for Placement --

Ask any die-hard Looney Tunes fan, and they'll tell you in a heartbeat that Birds Anonymous is an essential part of their collection. And it's not just the fact that it's one of the five Termite Terrace creations to win an Oscar.

First of all, this short parodies what is actually a rather adult topic: addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous wasn't a new program, but it wasn't until around this time that the general public really knew about it. In Birds Anonymous, Sylvester is invited to join the group of said name, in hopes that he will stop chasing Tweety (one cat at the meeting mentions that he joined B.A. after his addiction cost him five homes, but as Granny doesn't make an appearance in this short, it's hard to think about whether or not Sylvester would lose his happy home). So yeah, it's pretty obvious that for Sylvester, his obsession with Tweety is not one that can be so easily kicked.

There's also the fact that Mel Blanc himself said that this was his favorite toon to do voices for. Not all that surprising, the short features what could easily be considered a powerhouse performance by Sylvester, especially as he tries to fight off his addiction. Near the end, Sylvester finally breaks down and starts throwing a tantrum on the floor. Even though it's animated, we can actually feel the cat's frustration and depression as he falls victim to his desire for birds, sobbing and pounding the floor with his fists.

It's also worth mentioning that this was the only short that Blanc actually got an Oscar for: when Eddie Selzer (producer for Termite Terrace) passed away, he bequeathed the statuette to Blanc (in the "Behind the Tunes" on the Golden Collection Vol. 3, it's mentioned that Selzer promised Blanc he would get him an Oscar for his performance).

And, of course, there's the moral that Tweety gives at the end:

"Once a bad ol' puddy tat, ALWAYS a bad ol' puddy tat!"

**I'd like to apologize to my readers for taking so long to get back to the list, I am currently trying to start my own business, and had my hands full this month. Again, I'm sorry.