Porky’s Hero Agency (1937)

Article 4290 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-17-2013
Directed by Robert Clampett
Featuring the voices of Mel Blanc, Bernice Hansen, Tedd Pierce
Country: USA
What it is: Porky Pig cartoon

Porky dreams that he is an ancient Greek hero Porkykarkus, who is given a job to steal a potion from the Gorgon that can bring those turned to stone back to life.

This is one of the more amusing early Porky Pig cartoons. Outside of the “talking animals” motif, we have flying shoes and a monster (though the gorgon turns out to be an old woman with a camera stand with no snakes in her hair) with the ability to turn people into stone and back to provide the fantastic content. It has some fun with the concept, and some of the jokes are subtle; check out the hero’s pricing scheme and the identity of his phone holder, for example. It even manages to sneak in a few racy moments that got by the censors, one of which involves the statue of the discus thrower who is, of course, unclothed. There are references to both Popeye and the Three Stooges in the mix as well. I do question the credits on IMDB; though the voice cast is uncredited, IMDB says that Medusa is voiced by Bernice Hansen and the Gorgon by Tedd Pierce, but since Medusa IS the Gorgon, I’m not sure if this was a mistake or two different voices were used. Apparently, the “picket fence” features the faces of several of the animators on the project.

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