Thursday, December 3, 2020

End Of The Line, Folks: Crazy Cruise


Original release date: 3/14/1942

DVD AVAILABILITY: Wrongly included in a disc of Bob Clampett cartoons on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 5.

You can see a decent version of this cartoon HERE


This is it. Production #455 was the last of Fred Avery's supervisions to go through the animation process at Leon Schlesinger's studio. By this time, Avery, now allowed to use his nickname Tex, was probably at work on Red Hot Riding Hood or another of his earliest Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer efforts.

I don't think anyone ever asked him about these after-the-fact last Schlesinger films. It would be revealing to know what he thought of them--if indeed he gave them the time of day. Avery didn't seem the type to reflect on what he'd done in the past. It's not the worst final cartoon (and compromised "film maudit" to boot) anyone ever made, and it might be too much to expect a last blaze of inspiration and fervor in a film finished by other hands.

Sans director credit, this final spot-gag travelog provided groans and chuckles before going to the ether of cartoons that didn't get reissued. Revived for TV fodder, the cartoon aired uncut for years before someone bothered to watch it and caught the morbid/racist gag deep within it. That bit was then snipped out, making a compromised film less itself.