Dumb-Hounded (1943)

Dumb-Hounded (1943)
Article 5804 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-5-2020
Directed by Tex Avery
Featuring the voices of Bill Thompson and Frank Graham
Country: USA
What it is: Droopy cartoon debut

An escaped convict finds himself at the mercy of bloodhound who is able to track him to wherever he runs.

Currently, my rules for reviewing a cartoon are that there needs to be fantastic content beyond a) anthropomorphic animals used as a cartoon convention and b) comic exaggeration. I will make exceptions if the cartoon is listed in one of my fantastic movie guides (in particular the Walt Lee guide) as this one is. Occasionally I do find myself wondering if I should make exceptions, such as anytime I see one of Tex Avery’s MGM cartoons He took comic exaggeration to such unheard-of levels that they seem fantastic even by cartoon standards; take the scene here where the wolf tries to make a sudden change of direction and ends up sliding right off the edge of the film for a second. However, I do feel the need to pick and choose, as my review series could easily be overwhelmed if I tried to review every cartoon I saw.

As mentioned above, this cartoon marks the debut of Droopy, the slow-moving dog of the laconic and depressed demeanor who constantly breaks the fourth wall to address the audience. He also appears to be omnipresent, as no matter where the convict goes, Droopy is there ahead of him. Droopy is more overtly dog-like in this one; he walks on all fours and even has an encounter with a fireplug. Still, the character is intact, save for a possible breach of etiquette in the final moments of the cartoon when he gets a reward. Most of the humor involves the juxtaposition of Droopy’s terse one-liners with the wolf’s extreme reactions and reality-bending attempts to get away. Granted, you have to be a cartoon lover to appreciate Tex Avery, but I am one, so I do. And I’m a big Droopy fan.

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