Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

An Itch In Time

"An Itch In Time" (12/4/1943) is a cartoon with very simple premise, and just three characters: a dog, his owner (Elmer Fudd), and a hillbilly flea, all of them introduced within the first 20 seconds. That was enough for Bob Clampett and his amazing crew (Warren Foster, Rod Scribner, Bob McKimson, etc.) to make another miraculously funny, rich and rewarding cartoon. It is one of those cartoons that you can watch dozens of times, and always notice something new.
Take a look at these screenshots...

Between these two screenshots there's a large quantity of funny drawings, enough to fill another post like this.

"Scwatching, scwatching, scwatching! One more scwatch, and I'll give you a bath!"
Elmer has his most cartoony and appealing design in this cartoon - he has never looked better, before or since "An Itch In Time".

I always found this moment very odd and curious. It's a sudden cut from the long shot to the close-up, without any change of the background. Dog simply materialized himself in another position. Was Clampett experimenting with a radical jump-cut, 15 years before Jean-Luc Godard? Or maybe it's simply a mistake? Whatever's the case, it fits well in this cartoon, and emphasize the poor dog's anguished state of mind.

"Hey, I'd better cut this out. I might get to like it!"
This is probably the most famous dirty joke in the classic cartoons, a scene that somehow escaped the censor's scissors. There are few other, more subtle and hidden dirty jokes in this cartoon, for those who like to search for them.

"Now I've seen everything!"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best cartoons ever.

12:18 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, this is my second favorite cartoon of all time.(Next to Arthur Davis' Goofy Gophers)

2:47 pm

Blogger Kasey said...

What are the other dirty jokes you're talking about?

3:17 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the flea in this cartoon sing a song with the lyrics "... food around the corner ...". I think I had a VHS tape containing this cartoon when I was a kid (1980s). It was one of my favourites.

3:30 pm

Blogger J. J. Hunsecker said...

>>Does the flea in this cartoon sing a song with the lyrics "... food around the corner ...".

Indeed he does.

7:06 am

Blogger Martin Juneau said...

Thanks for posting and sharing this with us. I think lots of reasons was good for make "An Itch in Time" a classic. But who is Jean-Luc Godard?

4:04 pm

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Shame on you, Martin...aren't you french-canadian?
I remember you wrote this on GAC.......

Oh well, don't worry.
However everyone that got a drop of French blood in his body should have to know about Godard, one of the greatest directors ever!
I higly suggest you to watch some of his movies.....

4:03 pm

Blogger Martin Juneau said...

Well. I know i'm french-canadian, but i don't know so much about this people. (It's hard to know everything tough with modern stuffs) But thanks for this suggestion!

5:30 pm

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

You are welcome!
Considering you like cartoons, I also suggest you to watch Marx Brothers movies. Their movies are among the nearest things to cartoons that could be done in live action.

7:33 am

Blogger Hammerson said...

>> who is Jean-Luc Godard?

Here's some basic info, and I'll try to be as brief as possible...
Godard is a great French movie director, one of the main exponents of French New Wave cinema (together with Truffaut, Chabrol, Resnais, etc.) He's also noted for his film criticism and theoretic work. One of his main characteristics is an constant experimentation and breaking of all the usual cinema conventions. He often used sudden jump-cuts, 360 degree pans, extremely long tracking shots, etc. mostly as some kind of distancing device between the film and the audience. If you want to see something from Godard, try with any of his films from 1959-67. His later work grew increasingly odd, political and esotheric (though quite interesting).

That moment in "An itch in time" is purely "Godardian", and completely in odds with "professional" film-making, but at the same time, incredibly effective. Only Clampett or Tashlin would dare to make something like that. Of course, it could have been a result of a simple mistake (the camerman perhaps forgot to put the new background painting for the close-up).

10:29 am

Blogger Hammerson said...

>> Considering you like cartoons, I also suggest you to watch Marx Brothers movies. Their movies are among the nearest things to cartoons that could be done in live action. <<

Yes! Also, don't forget the Three Stooges. They are very much the live action equivalents of cartoon characters.

10:35 am


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