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Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: January 5, 1945
Stars: Pepe le Pew
Rating: ★★★★

Odor-able Kitty © Warner Brothers ‘Odor-able Kitty’, marks the debut of that French-speaking, amorous skunk Pepe le Pew.

In his book ‘Chuck Amuck’ Jones reveals that this character was based on story man Tedd Pierce. In any case, Pierce wrote the story, but how much of himself he had put self-knowingly into this smelly Don Juan remains a mystery.

Oddly enough, in his first cartoon Pepe turns out to be a fraud, being married and having two children. Even his voice changes in the end of the cartoon. But before this surprising finale he’s genuinely Pepe, complete with quasi-French accent, strange hop (including Stalling’s typical theme music), and a love for cats that look like skunks.

Only, in ‘Odor-able Kitty’ this is a male cat, who deliberately disguises himself as a skunk to get a happier life. He has one, until Pepe hops along. In the end, the cat washes himself and returns to his former life as victim of maltreatment, exclaiming “this is the life!”.

Pepe le Pew’s character didn’t really develop after this film, and all his films have more or less the same story as his debut film. Nevertheless Pepe would be one of the most successful of the characters conceived by Chuck Jones, second to the Road Runner and the Coyote, only. He lasted until 1962, starring fourteen more cartoons.

Watch ‘Odor-able Kitty’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: November 12, 1949
Stars: Pepe le Pew
Rating: ★★★★

For Scent-imental Reasons © Warner Brothers‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ is the fourth Pepe Le Pew cartoon, and one of his best.

In this short a French perfume shop owner discovers Pepe le Pew in his shop and throws in his female cat to chase away our romantic skunk. Of course, she accidentally gets a white stripe on her back and she’s chased by the smelly Latin lover. But when Pepe accidentally falls into a barrel of blue paint, the tables are turned and he’s chased by the cat.

This short features an excellent scene of Pepe arguing with the cat through a glass window in silent pantomime.

Watch ‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ is available on the DVD set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 1’ and ‘Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 winners’

Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: January 27, 1965
Stars: Tom & Jerry
Rating: ★★★

Tom-ic Energy © MGM‘Tom-ic Energy’ is Chuck Jones’s second Tom & Jerry chase cartoon with blackout gags, this time situated in the city streets.

The short contains elements from two of Chuck Jones’ earlier series: Road Runner and Pepe Le Pew. It’s fast, it’s well-animated, its music (by Eugene Poddany) is not bad, and yet, it never becomes really funny. It’s difficult to tell why not.

Watch ‘Tom-ic Energy’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Tom & Jerry cartoon No. 135
To the previous Tom & Jerry cartoon: Ah, Sweet Mouse Story of Life
To the next Tom & Jerry cartoon: Bad Day at Cat Rock

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