#8 -- Now Hear This

Title - Now Hear This
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1963

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award in Best Short Subject, Cartoons

Reason for Placement --

This was the first Warner Bros. cartoon to use a brand new opening animation with a new abstract logo and modern rendition of "Merry Go-Round Broken Down". This alone should make it abundantly clear that what we're about to see is very VERY different.

An elderly gentlemen comes across a brand new hearing horn, only to discover that by using it normal everyday sounds are magnetized and the man starts experiencing increasingly strange aural and visual hallucinations. It isn't until the end we see the cause of all his grief: the horn he found isn't a hearing horn, but is quite literally the devil's left horn!

Now Hear This is an amazing cartoon, not only because of its incredible animation, but also because of sound effects created by film editor Tregoweth "Treg" Brown. Unlike other non-dialogue cartoons, this short doesn't rely on music, but rather on Brown's outstanding sound effects. There are two parts of this short that use music created by Bill Lava, but the rest of the sound all belongs to Brown (any other music not supplied by Lava is stock music that Brown edited in). The randomness of the sound showcases real creativity and spontaneity: a single bug sounds like a train, an inquisitive look brings out the sound of morse code being tapped over a wire, a man's heartbeat sounds like a traffic jam, and in the climax, the animators give Brown a little help by putting the words "GIGANTIC EXPLOSION" on the screen, just to make sure we get the full emphasis of what's going on.

So while Jones and co-director Maurice Noble get the credit for this incredible creation, I've got to give credit where credit is due, and it's Brown's work with the sound effects that allows this cartoon to leave such an impact. Now Hear This is a great short that really grabs our attention, and we hear every little bit of it.

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