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A freezing dog is desperately looking for shelter during winter. He finally finds a cozy cabin with a warm fire going. Unfortunately for the pooch, the cabin already has an inhabitant -- a skunk that is debatably Pepé Le Pew. The two spend the entire cartoon fighting for sole occupation of the cabin. There's some disagreement among fans as to whether this is supposed to be Pepé or not. He only speaks one word and it's not with a French accent. The plot has nothing to do with romance, as Pepé's other shorts almost always did. It's included by Warner Bros. in a Pepé collection so I think WB must consider it one of his shorts. The simplest answer, to me, seems to be that this is an early Pepé short before his character had been fully fleshed-out and they had decided on what angle worked best with him. We see this with other characters as well whose earliest appearances differ greatly from their later characterizations. Anyway, it's a fun short with some decent gags. The music is energetic and the animation is colorful and attractive. Pepé Le Pew or not, I think most fans of classic shorts will enjoy it.
I love Looney Tunes, and I like Pepe LePew(though he's not one of my favourites), although his character I think is one that appeals more to an adult than to a child. Odor of the Day is fun enough, but it is an early Pepe cartoon where there is the sense that the series of cartoons with him was still trying to find its feet. I mainly got that sense from how Pepe is written here, if it is Pepe what he does is atypical, it's like it looks like Pepe but doesn't act like him. Pepe is more comedic than in his later cartoons and he does well with it actually, but I think the admittedly one-joke concept of him trying to pursue his love suits his character more and it's certainly what a lot of people are used to. This said, the animation is very good here, both Pepe(assuming that it is him) and the dog are well drawn and the backgrounds from the inside of the house/cabin to the wintry landscapes are beautifully realised. Carl Stalling's music is exactly as you'd expect it to be, lushly orchestrated and very characterful. The gags are funny if not hilarious, and there is some fine support between Pepe and the dog, who is a good foil for Pepe. Mel Blanc is not as active as he usually is, but he does fine with what he has. All in all, Odor of the Day is fun but I couldn't shake off the feeling that Pepe has done better than this. 8/10 Bethany Cox
One of only three Pepe Le Pew cartoons not directed by Chuck Jones,
Arthur Davis's "Odor of the Day" is one of the cartoons leaving
ambiguity about the main character's identity (another was "A Corny
Concerto", starring a duck who may or may not have been Daffy). When a
dog goes to a house to spend the night...only to have a skunk enter,
and the two begin fighting over the house.
Aside from the fact that the skunk's identity is never specifically identified - though he looks like Pepe - whereas Pepe always remains oblivious to his offensive body odor, this skunk clearly knows about his body odor, using it as a weapon against the dog. Could this be Pepe's evil twin?! Whoever this Mephitis mephitis* is, we have here an OK if not great cartoon. But I think that we can agree that skunk cartoons are best when Pepe Le Pew tries too hard to get slinky (and presumably have sex) with a cat whom he mistakes for a belle femme skunk.
*That's the scientific name for skunks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . primarily because the only thing that Pepe says is, "Ah-Choo!" That's right, there's none of his phony baloney "French" Jibber Jabbering here. And though he winds up in bed hugging a male bulldog, it's more the result of a grudging Bromance truce than the creepy outcome of Pepe's crass importuning of an unwilling victim, as was the case in such earlier Looney Tunes\Merrie Melodies as ODOR-ABLE KITTY and SCENT-IMENTAL OVER YOU. In fact, the bulldog is actually a home-invading squatter, who's been previously evicted from another dog's house, an eagle's nest, and even a turtle's shell (!) in the middle of the winter cold. Is this tussle with a serial home snatcher enough to create a modicum of sympathy for Henry the Skunk (a.k.a., Pepe)? Not really. Once Pepe has chased the dog from his premises through a seemingly sexual use of his odoriferous defense mechanism, he sadistically retrieves said dog twice from a pond to torment him further. Still, perhaps this mutt makes a more fitting partner for Pepe than anyone or anything else. Fido's at least shut up the normally loquacious self-styled "Pepe," and that's much more than winning half the battle!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's some trivia: Of the 17 Pepe Le Pew cartoons done by Warner Brothers, only 14 were directed by Chuck Jones. One Pepe appearance was a cameo in a Freleng cartoon, another Pepe cartoon was directed by one of Jones's animators, Abe Levitow, and Arthur Davis directed this one that seemed to have stripped Pepe of his legendary libido and make him more of a comedy actor, which is very much out of character for him. I really don't know what to make of this. I only recommend this if you don't like the monotony of Jones' Pepe Le Pew cartoons.
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