Title - One Froggy Evening
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1955
Interesting Fact -- Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress
Reason for Placement --
I know I've mentioned one-shot cartoon characters before on the countdown, but in the realm of Looney Tunes, there is no bigger one-hit-wonder than Michigan J. Frog and his debut toon, One Froggy Evening.
A construction worker comes across a black box containing a single frog, who dons a top hat and starts to sing! Thinking he has a chance at turning the frog into a quick profit, the worker takes the frog to a talent agent, and later rents out a theater for his performance, but runs into a small problem: the frog refuses to perform for anyone but the worker.
Critics and animators all over the world consider this short to be one of the greatest ever created; Steven Spielburg, at one point, called this short the "Citizen Kane of animated film." And despite only appearing in one short during the Golden Age of animation, Michigan J. Frog has gone on to become one of the most recognized characters in the business, and was featured as the mascot for the WB Network for 10 years.
Though some may not know it, Michigan did in fact make one more cartoon: 40 years after his debut, Jones released Another Froggy Evening into theaters, which shows various men through history (whom all bear a striking similar appearance to the worker in the original film) as they encounter our favorite singing amphibian... and all find out the same way just what happens when they try to get him to sing.
Either way, the shorts do teach us a valuable lesson: when you are blessed with a gift, treasure it for what it is, not what it could become.