Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Porky Pig Gets Very Surreal
The surrealist 1938 Porky in Wackyland, with its Dali-esque landscapes and opium dream inspired humor and storyline, has become my new favorite cartoon of all time. Porky Pig flies to darkest Africa in pursuit of a four sextillion dollar bounty on the last dodo bird and encounters along the way a black duck doing an Al Jolson impersonation, a freakish Three Stooges monster, and a dodo — who sounds remarkably like Daffy Duck — that bounces in from the vanishing point from behind a Warner Brothers shield to bop Porky on the head. All of these scenes were removed in the Cartoon Network version of the 1949 Merrie Melodies re-release, a cinecolor version entitled Dough for the Do-Do. In 1994, animators voted Porky in Wackyland #8 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of All-time. The film is richly representative of that early period of animation when the rules of the medium were still up for grabs, and cartoonists were drunk with possibility.