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Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: July 12, 1947
Stars: Foghorn Leghorn, Henery Hawk, Sylvester
Rating:  ★★★½
Review:

Crowing Pains © Warner Brothers‘Crowing Pains’ is Foghorn Leghorn’s second cartoon, and it immediately starts where the first (‘Walky Talky Hawky‘, from the previous year) left off: Henery Hawk wants to catch a chicken, and Foghorn Leghorn tricks him by pointing out somebody else as a chicken. This time it’s Sylvester, in an early appearance.

The cartoon is full of Warren Foster-penned nonsense, but the interplay between the four characters (the barnyard dog is also involved) doesn’t develop very well, and seems an early forerunner of the odd pairings of characters of some Warner Brothers cartoons from the 1960s. Unlike those, however, ‘Crowing Pains’ remains an enjoyable cartoon, albeit not among McKimson’s most inspired shorts.

Watch ‘Crowing Pains’ yourself and tell me what you think:

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Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date: August 31, 1946
Stars: Henery Hawk, Foghorn Leghorn
Rating:  ★★★★★
Review:

Walky Talky Hawky © Warner BrothersAlready in his fourth film as a director McKimson introduces his most durable star, Foghorn Leghorn.

The loud-mouthed rooster is coupled with Henery Hawk, in his second appearance since the Chuck Jones cartoon ‘The Squawkin’ Hawk’ (1942). Also featured is the Foghorn Leghorn’s regular opponent, the barnyard dog, and their recurring feud is already laid out in this short. Foghorn Leghorn uses Henery in this feud, making him believe the dog, not he, is a chicken. In the end Henery catches both, and even a horse, exclaiming; “one of them got to be a chicken”.

‘Walky Talky Hawky’ is one of McKimson’s most inspired cartoons. Both Foghorn Leghorn and the barnyard dog are great characters, and the short is full of great, rather Clampettian animation.

Foghorn Leghorn’s vocal mannerisms were inspired by a 1930s radio character called ‘The Sheriff’. Later, mannerisms from another radio character, Senator Claghorn, crept into the rooster’s vocabulary. For a detailed account on the origins of Foghorn Leghorn, see Keith Scott’s excellent post on Cartoon Brew.

Watch ‘Walky Talky Hawky’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Robert McKimson
Release Date:
 October 9, 1948
Stars:
 Foghorn Leghorn, Henery Hawk
Rating:
 ★★★★
Review:

The Foghorn Leghorn © Warner BrothersHenery Hawk’s cowardly dad forbids his little son to chase chickens, but Henery does it anyway.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t know what a chicken looks like, and he repeatedly ends up catching the barnyard dog, while the Foghorn Leghorn makes feeble attempts in convincing the little chicken hawk, that he‘s a chicken.

This premise is a great twist on the stories of the first two Henery Hawk/Foghorn Leghorn cartoons (‘Walky Talky Hawky‘ from 1946 and ‘Crowing Pains‘ from 1947). It’s clear from the title that by now Foghorn Leghorn had become the real star of the Henery Hawk cartoons, and deservedly so, because in his third appearance, this broad gesturing and talkative rooster is stealing the show.

At the same time, this is a transitional cartoon, in which the original looniness of McKimson’s first cartoons gradually makes way for a more dialogue-driven approach, as is perfectly illustrated by Foghorn Leghorn’s endless jabbering.

Watch ‘The Foghorn Leghorn’ yourself and tell me what you think:

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