Saturday, July 28, 2012

"The Talking Magpies" - Terry Toons (1946)

The Heckle and Jeckle series of cartoons were so popular in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, that they quickly spawned imitators. Paul Terry, with his Terry Toons productions, was one of the better ones. He chose to call his birds “The Talking Magpies”, as that is how many younger kids referred to the Heckle and Jeckle cartoons.

In this release from 1946, the Mr. and Mrs. Magpie find a new home. But, due to their constant bickering they are hounded by the old man, who looks like a cross between Popeye and Farmer Grey. In the ensuing battle of wits listen for the Cary Grant imitation, as well as the famous phrase from Walter Winchell, “Good evening Mr. and Mrs. America”, delivered by one of the magpies from inside the old man’s radio.
After trying everything he knows to rid himself of his pesky new neighbors, he is finally driven from his own home. The moral of this cartoon is, I suppose, that the hell you know always trumps the one you haven’t yet experienced. An interesting note on the subject of the housing shortage being at the heart of this cartoon; it was  a mirror of what was actually going on in society at the time; as tens of thousands of GI's returned home, some with new brides, and all seeking a place to live.

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