Friday, November 21, 2014

"Jerky Turkey" - A Tex Avery Cartoon (1945)

In this cartoon from 1945 the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock to found a colony. There are many sight gags to enjoy taken in the context of the times. For instance, some of the Pilgrims are standing in line waiting for their cigarette rations. The war was not over yet and tobacco was still one of the rationed items.

When one of the Pilgrims does decide to go hunting for a turkey, he gets outwitted by the bird and ends up eating at Joes Diner. The turkey comes along as the two have mended their feud. The proprietor is a bear who ends up eating both of them for his holiday. The bird and the Pilgrim wind up inside his stomach, complaining about their fate, and wondering what they have to be thankful for.

A lot of the jokes in this cartoon are reflective of the home front in America during the war. Rationing and the black market are two of the main topics in this cartoon. The bird is a caricature of comedian Jimmy Durante.

Directed by Tex Avery, this cartoon was written by Heck Allen, and scored by Scott Bradley. The animation was done by the team of Preston Blair, Ed Love and Ray Abrams, while the voices were done by using radio actors such as Harry Lang, who was known for his work on the “Cisco Kid”, and Leone LeDoux, who actually made his mark in cartoons doing baby cries. This is a fun cartoon for children of all ages. 

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