The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock and found a colony. A very large number of Pilgrims can be seen standing in line... for their cigarette rations. A Pilgrim goes hunting for Thanksgiving ...
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The last of Tex Avery's variations on 'Red Hot Riding Hood' (1943), in which the country wolf visits his city cousin, who tries to teach him the rudiments of civilised behaviour when ... See full summary »
The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock and found a colony. A very large number of Pilgrims can be seen standing in line... for their cigarette rations. A Pilgrim goes hunting for Thanksgiving dinner. He meets a black market turkey, one who sounds like Jimmy Durante. The turkey sells himself to the Pilgrim, but a chase ensues... The turkey can deflect machine gun bullets... when dressed as Superman. The two declare a truce and decide to eat together at Joe's Diner... Written by
I find Tex Avery's cartoons hugely variable. His Screwy Squirrel toons are hilarious, and I regret that he made only three of them. His best Warners toons ('Thugs with Dirty Mugs') are both innovative and uproariously funny. But his Droopy cartoons just stink, and far too much of his other work is quite dire.
'Jerky Turkey' just isn't funny at all. Allegedly depicting the voyage of the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock in the year 1620-7/8 (ha bloody ha), this 1945 toon is firmly stuck in World War Two, with topical references (such as 'C cards') that will be utterly incomprehensible to modern audiences. The animation is poor to the point of neglect: one long sequence features a protracted pan across a single drawing, with no movement at all ... which would be acceptable, if something funny was happening.
The main character is voiced by Bill Thompson, using the same adenoidal whimper that he had previously used for portraying Wally Wimple in the radio programme 'Fibber McGee and Molly' and would later use for the unfunny Droopy. I wonder if Avery designed this Pilgrim, who doesn't resemble a typical Avery character. The Pilgrim has an absolutely enormous nose that looks distressing rather than funny. He stalks a turkey (definitely designed by Preston Blair) who sounds and acts like Jimmy Durante ... but who, alas, isn't remotely as funny as the genuine Schnozzola. It doesn't help that the Durante character has a SMALLER nose than the Pilgrim. There's a very weak running gag which has a very weak and obvious pay-off. (First rule of survival in the cartooniverse: Never trust a bear.)
Tex Avery, I forgive you for this 'Turkey' because you gave us so many laughs elsewhere. 'Jerky Turkey' barely merits a rating of 1 out of 10.
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