Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Northwest Hounded Police" with Droopy Dog (1956)

Droopy Dog is one of those cartoon characters who never got the acclaim he deserved. His calm demeanor always reminded me of the later Bob Newhart Show, in which he always remained unflappable, even under the most strangest of circumstances. He may have been baffled by those around him, but he remained, somehow, true to himself. So it goes with Droopy.

In this cartoon from 1956, Droopy is cast as the indefatigable Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer who must chase down and incarcerate an escaped convict. The action begins when the prisoner in Cell 13, right next to Old Sparky on Death Row, cuts his way to freedom, resulting in a chase that lands him in Mounty County, in what is presumed to be Canada. The Mounted Police are ready to hunt him down, and to prove it, they all step backwards when a volunteer is called for to lead the search. 

This leaves our friend Droopy standing alone, and though he is short, he’s more than up for the chase. The escaped convict tries everything he can to avoid the long arm, or the short reach, of Droopy and Justice. When he finally finds himself in the belly of a lion in order to evade the law, he decides to turn himself in.

The  cartoon was directed by Tex Avery, a multi-talented man indeed. Reminiscent in parts of Humphrey Bogart’s desperate attempts to have his face changed by a plastic surgeon in “High Sierra”, this cartoon will have you laughing at the lengths we all go to avoid the things we dread the most. 

But, when all is said and done, there is always a doubt about the things we do to others, and what others do to us in return.  Spoiler alert; this one ends like “Where’s Waldo?”

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