17 December 2007 | lee_eisenberg
a long, long, long, long time ago, in a place possibly far away, possibly not...
One of the relics from the days when Warner Bros. usually confined Porky Pig and Daffy Duck to the black and white Looney Tunes*, Bob Clampett's "Prehistoric Porky" portrays cinema's most famous swine in the Stone Age - one billion, trillion years BC, apparently - doing the sorts of things that most people in 1940 probably did in their everyday lives (with a caveman twist). It's got a fairly similar feel to Chuck Jones's "Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur" from the previous year, what with the sight gags relating to the popular culture of the cartoon's era. True, some of the stuff we in the 21st century might not understand, but it's funny enough just to see the characters do these things.
So, this is one of the many classic cartoons that I fortunately only saw nowadays, when I'm old enough to understand what it portrays. We could of course be cynical and say that this was one of the many cartoons in which they stuck Porky in a common situation or role; others included fireman, pilgrim and bullfighter. Even so, Clampett keeps the action moving so that nearly every scene is a hoot. I recommend it. Just became available on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 5.
*When Leon Schlesinger Studios began releasing cartoons in 1930, all the cartoons carried the Looney Tunes label (and all were filmed in B&W). Before too long, they created the Merrie Melodies label. In 1934, the studio started filming its Merrie Melodies cartoons in color while still filming its Looney Tunes cartoons in B&W. In the late 1930s, Porky and Daffy - the studio's only major stars - starred mostly in Looney Tunes cartoons, while the Merrie Melodies cartoons mostly featured one-shot character (there were of course a few exceptions). Elmer Fudd's prototype Egghead was the first character to appear regularly in Merrie Melodies cartoons, followed by Sniffles, Inki, and finally Bugs Bunny. The studio released its final B&W cartoon in 1943, and so LT and MM thus became indistinguishable.