8 July 2007 | ccthemovieman-1
This Guy Was One 'Heck' Of A Writer!
I can't recall too many cartoons in which I laughed out loud a half-dozen times in a seven-minute cartoon. I was sorry to find out this was the last of this short-lived Screwy Squirrel series, five cartoons in all. All three of the ones I saw were fantastic. I didn't think director Tex Avery could top "Droopy" for cleverness but this is close. Speaking of Tex, how about a plug for the writer of these cartoons: Heck Allen? Here's a guy who was the "gag man" for Tex for most of his cartoons, and never hear of his name. He must have had an awesome sense of humor and it's a shame he doesn't get any recognition he deserves for his written material on these cartoons.
After the opening credits, we see a store that has has spelled out on its awning: "P.U. Pet Shop - "If You Smell It , We Sell It." Then we see a friendly dog in an enclosure, wagging his tale while reading "A Tree Grows In Podunk." Since "A Tree Grow In Brooklyn" is my favorite classic film, this cartoon got big points with me in the opening 10 seconds.
Then we see a sampling of some of the other pets for sale in the store. There are so many sight gags in this cartoon in the first 30 seconds alone, it would make your head swim. The last one, of course, shows the lead character, the Screwy Squirrel, although his cage labels him here as "Crazy Squirrel." If you've seen other Screwy Squirrel cartoons you know he is crazy, violent, a bit sadistic but also hilarious.
This cartoon also features a big, dumb dog who is based on the character "Lenny" from John Steinbeck's famous novel, "Of Mice and Men." Any doubts of that reference are erased when Lenny calls Screwy "George" when he first sees him. George is Lenny's buddy in that novel.
Here, Lenny's owner wants a playmate for him and, naturally, the squirrel is picked. Well, Lenny has been pining away for someone to play with, and certainly got his wish - and a lot more - when "Crazy" arrives at the dog's mansion.
If you ever seen "Screwy Squirrel" advertised to be shown on TCM or somewhere else, don't pass it up. If you like outrageously humorous cartoons, you'll love this.