Porky’s Cafe (1942)
Article 5494 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuck Jones
Featuring the voice of Mel Blanc
What it is: Porky Pig cartoon
At Porky’s cafe, Porky has to cater to the dining needs of a hungry little man, and his cook has to deal with an ant that has gotten loose in the pancake batter.
For the record, the sequence which qualified this one for review is a scene where Porky prepares eggs and toast for his customer by using an elaborate machine that performs all the necessary functions, which throws the cartoon at least partially into the realm of science fiction. That being said, I’m glad to be dealing with a Chuck Jones cartoon here; I’ve seen several early ones recently, and I’ve noticed a certain pattern that sets him apart from some of the other animators, and that is that he seems to feel very comfortable with scenes with little or no dialogue. Most of the ones I’ve seen recently have featured long scenes in which characters interact without saying a word; most of the scenes with the cook and the ant in this one have no dialogue. Which is not to say that he’s not comfortable with dialogue; there’s plenty of talk in the scenes with Porky and the customer. At any rate, this trend would continue with Jones throughout the years; after all, the Coyote and Road Runner cartoons were almost wordless. It took years for Jones to really master his craft, and some of the gags in this cartoon fall flat. There are a few good moments, though; my favorite is the scene with the aforementioned toast and egg machine.