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 !

Monday, July 13, 2009

Half-Pint Pygmy (1948)

Now here's a truly weird cartoon even by Tex Avery's standards. "Half-Pint Pygmy" (release date: 8/17/1948) is one of Avery's less known and rarely seen works, and it marks the fourth and final appearance of George and Junior.
These characters inspired by George and Lennie from John Steinbeck's depression-era novel "Of Mice and Men" have previously appeared in three very good and entertaining cartoons:

• Henpecked Hoboes (1946)

• Hound Hunters (1947)

• Red Hot Rangers (1947)

Then for some unknown reason, Avery decided to take away nearly all of George and Junior's specific traits. The relationship between characters in "Mice and Men" style has almost completely vanished. The voices were changed too. Most significantly, Irv Spence's excellent and very funny character design was scraped in favor of a new design by Louie Schmitt that depicts George and Junior as relatively bland and generic cartoon bears.

Tex Avery's best cartoons are brilliantly structured and constructed, but "Half-Pint Pygmy" plays almost as an abstract collection of random crazy gags that barely have a connection with each other. There's an odd and somewhat detached feeling about it that I don't have when watching any other Avery's MGM cartoon. However, there are many positive things to recommend about "Half-Pint Pygmy". The animation is top notch, with some especially nice and clear examples of anticipation (if there's interest, I'll post a more complete series of screenshots for some of these scenes). Also, many of the gags are very inventive, unusual and bizarre. In a way, this might be one of the ultimate chase cartoons.

Due to heavy racial stereotypes, this cartoon has been banned from TV for the last few decades, and it was also omitted from French Tex Avery DVD box set (together with "Uncle Tom's Cabana").

Here's a selection of screenshots, taken from "The Compleat Tex Avery" laserdisc box set:

Does this fugitive from Wackyland look familiar to you? Yup, that's the bartender from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

And that's the end of George & Junior. They joined Screwy Squirrell in cartoon Heaven (or Hell). A moment of silence, please... :)

Finally, here's a whole cartoon in the best quality version that can be currently seen on the net (at website):

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Blogger 72lbs said...

Very nice post. i have seen the first 3 george and lenny cartoons but have not seen this since there is no version available on tv (thanks for the link).

I never post any comments on most blogs, but since you have not posted much lately (as a blog) i just wanted to say thanks for these posts. I really enjoy them, especially the ones with added info . Keep up the great job.

PS...that's a yes on the anticipation, btw.

5:38 pm

Anonymous Nic Kramer said...

I have to admit that I like that cartoon. I should mention it was televion a couple years ago. It was on TCM's short lived series, "Cartoon Alley". Unfortuantly the print used on the show was heavily DVNRed.

5:42 pm

Blogger Unknown said...

I distinctly remember this as a child... I laughed?

1:07 am

Blogger Yowp said...

Avery filled this thing with strange, disconcerting characters but the weirdest one for me is the two-necked, no-headed giraffe.

I really like Schmitt's design of the first elephant in this.

The best part about the last string of gags with the cocoanut is there's no music. The drum roll and sound effects carry it. I don't know if that was Avery's idea or Scott Bradley's but it's a great idea. And the goal post/cheering gag is a funny unexpected twist.

About the only time I really cringe is when the watermelon gets pulled out.


6:24 am

Blogger Kasey said...

That screenshot of the kangaroo in the coconut scene is just...Wrong. Great timing! xD

6:35 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:41 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:06 pm

Blogger Martin Juneau said...

I have a copy of this cartoon and yeah, it's really random like cartoon. I think it's made at the times where Tex being less funny in his works. And yeah, the bears designs is full of horribleness.

10:30 pm

Anonymous Daffywoohoo said...

This is probably the best of the George and Junior cartoons.

1:04 am

Anonymous quack-up said...

daffywoohoo- I like "Henpecked Hoboes" a bit more.

11:21 pm

Anonymous andrew405 said...

Cool post! I love George and Junior cartoons very much. This is the best. Thank you for the great review.

8:30 pm

Blogger meyjh said...

Elephants in Africa.

7:29 am

Blogger Zoran Taylor said...

This is easily one of Avery's funniest cartoons. That detatchement you describe IMO is characteristic of everything he did, not just this. Deep emotion, even characters weren't really his forte. He was a pure director. His timing was always the star character.

6:03 am

Anonymous John TEd said...

The great cartoons is cartoon that be able to make people smile when see it. I love your cartoon. Thanks!

2:13 am

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10:28 pm

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Trying to get a new animated series off the ground and looking for as much support as possible. Think Family Guy+Sopranos=TheCannolis

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5:07 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Rémy M.Larochelle, I love your blog, really inspiring. It helps me a lot!
I want to submit a small wacko cartoon I have created. The character animation is good. It's lowbrow style!
Here's the link:
Hope you like it!

8:58 pm

Blogger solaiman said...

Thats great. I really enjoyed to see this. You can see more from here.

3:21 pm

Blogger Cartoonist said...

really great show

5:16 pm

Blogger STUDIODYNAMO said...

Amazing to see the things that people once thought was ok... yikes

3:12 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is so awesome. Its so nostalgic and the posts always make me smile! I wrote an article..I know I left A LOT out, but the article contains some of my favorite cartoons of all time

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8:04 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... I'd never heard of this cartoon before, but it was great. Although, I'm only 20 and was born in 1989, so it was a little before my time. lol... I'll have to see if I can post a Bible study using this on my blog. Great post!

8:06 pm

Anonymous Stephen said...

I love this cartoon! This is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, and every time I watched this, I laugh at loud. I cant stop laughing.

7:17 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ending, I really don't get.

12:12 am

Blogger Scott said...

Wow. That is a very shocking cartoon from the Golden Age. And I thought that Lil Eight Ball from Walter Lantz caused controversy. This cartoon takes the cake. It has the stereotypical cartoon native, lots of violence and suicide. Yikes!

3:52 pm

Blogger Brian Rogers said...

I'm trying to find someone to answer this question about an old cartoon. Maybe you can help me? It's one where one of the characters says 'oh no, not the wheelbarrow!'. Anyway if you can help me I'd be grateful! ~Brian

3:27 pm

Anonymous Buy Wow Paladin said...

really enjoyed your post. =)

8:50 am

Blogger uncutcartoonsftw said...

I've always hated the new designs on George and Junior in this cartoon. The other ones had such an original,Avery-esque feel.

6:19 am

Anonymous Aion Accounts said...

i just remember this cartoon was my favorite back when i was still a kind.LOL.. ^,^

2:48 am

Blogger Raymund Hensley said...

I haven't seen this one in such a long time. Yeah, they do look different. I prefer the older models. Still funny as heck, though. GREAT Tex post! Would love to read more.

11:40 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really interesting article. Hope to see same more!

12:45 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goddamn, man
I've found this blog today and I think it's the best blog about the classic cartoons!

keep this way!

11:47 pm

Blogger EP said...

Nice post! Great to be reminded of how well done the animations were back in those old days! Still very impressive to see if you're a cartoonist :)

Nice blog as well! Keep it up!

Visit me at

3:13 pm

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4:06 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been trying to do some research on a character that my grandfather was named after. All I was told is the animated character's name was Sy (pronounced ligh sigh). Any help on this??

8:43 pm

Anonymous Ponty said...

This was a great post. Such a cute animation. Feel free to check out my new cartoons "The Pondering Love Bugs"!/pages/Ponty-and-Poot/163644253692314?sk=wall

2:12 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More TEX AVERY cartoons:

12:00 pm

Blogger Kevin said...

not bad man these take me back to when i was a kid in the 80's and my grandparents would get me these ol vhs tapes of diferent vintage cartoons.

8:13 pm

Anonymous captain said...

hey great cartoons i loved this when i was small :P

7:13 pm

Blogger Steven LaRose said...

This is totally out of context but I am trying to reach "Duck Dodgers" as I own a Wolfie Lamp like the one seen in "Mask". It needs a new home. I see this blog has been inactive since 2009 so maybe this is a dead end.

6:22 pm

Blogger Hammerson said...

>> This is totally out of context but I am trying to reach "Duck Dodgers" as I own a Wolfie Lamp like the one seen in "Mask". It needs a new home. I see this blog has been inactive since 2009 so maybe this is a dead end. <<

I'll forward your message to Andrea (Duck Dodgers), since I'm not sure whether he's reading comments here. I think he's still searching for Wolfie Lamp.

7:49 pm

Blogger Steven LaRose said...

Sorry for the self interested plug. You can delete this and I would certainly understand. I've just posted Tex Avery's Wolfie lamp on ebay. Here is the link

2:15 pm

Anonymous BurrelloSubmarine said...

nice stuff. great cartoon. they just don't make 'em like this anymore.

6:30 pm

Anonymous Edmund said...

I like all cartoon pictures above. They are very funny. I also like the character themselves. I have had some the pictures.

7:32 am

Blogger DG Speaks said...

Rant: It seems to me that cartoons these days are nothing but long commercials, geared at making our kids super consumers.

4:33 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...[A_E]Tex Avery - 1948-08-07 - Half Pint Pygmy[M_C].avi

12:49 pm

Anonymous telco market share said...

very nice post.... i very much like this cartoon

10:18 am

Anonymous printing workflow said...

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11:46 pm

Anonymous stop smoking weed said...

You remind me my childhood :) I was really like these cartoons at that time. keep it up!
stop smoking weed

8:20 pm

Anonymous FUNNY FIRM said...

Yes. Cartoons were better back in the day. Everything seems to be progressing except cartoons and I am not even that old. I miss tale spine, darkwing duck, etc. Great site.

3:52 am


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