An earthworm living in a hole in the ground is a nervous wreck since a nearby bird does believe the old adage "the early bird gets the worm". Every morning, the bird lies in wait to nab the worm, so far without success. To help protect himself, the worm enlists the help of a cat, albeit a somewhat dopey cat. As the bird chases the worm, and as the cat chases the bird, the worm thinks he's got the solution to all his problems, which may sacrifice his new relationship with the cat. But the cat's not quite as dopey as he first appears. Written by
Tex Avery started off at MGM in stride with this one!
Tex Avery made two shorts for MGM in 1942, after leaving Warner Brothers in a dispute with producer Leon Schlesinger. Warner's loss was MGM's gain. The two shorts were The Blitz Wolf and this one. I believe this one was done first. Blitz Wolf was nominated for an Academy Award and is justifiably considered a classic, but this one is a fairly good short too. Lots of sight gags, if slightly more talky than the standard Avery of the early 1940s. The ending is typical Avery, equal parts insanity, humor and pathos. By becoming a strong second unit for MGM and pushing Hanna and Barbera, Avery did MGM and cartoon lovers a great service, because everyone got better, even, ironically, Warner Brothers, which was able to give people like Robert McKimson more latitude as directors. Everyone benefited, especially Avery, who had to be shaken up every so often anyway, so he kept pushing the envelope rather than grow complacent and stagnate. Well worth watching. Recommended.
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