Ralph Wolf tries to forcibly remove Sam Sheepdog in order to gain access to a flock of sheep. Without success, he uses a lasso, cannon, a string of firecrackers, and a giant rubber band.

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Ralph Wolf tries to forcibly remove Sam Sheepdog in order to gain access to a flock of sheep. Without success, he uses a lasso, cannon, a string of firecrackers, and a giant rubber band. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

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8 June 1957 (USA)  »

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Wolf im Schafspelz  »

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Follows Double or Mutton (1955) See more »

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Bah, Bah, Black Sheep
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Traditional
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The Cold War (or even people's daily lives) as a cartoon
5 October 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

OK, so people watching the Ralph Wolf-Sam Sheepdog probably will agree that Ralph looks almost exactly like Wile E. Coyote, except of course for his red nose. And, in both series, the canine character has a goal but always gets maimed in his attempts to catch it.

However, there is another aspect to this series: Ralph and Sam's friendship. They check in for work each day, cordially greeting each other. During working hours, they remain enemies. For lunch, they become buddies once again. After lunch, they resume their antagonistic personalities. At the day's end, the two are pals yet again. One might see this as a possible allusion to Cold War* tensions, or even to people's daily lives. Chuck Jones said that sheepdogs only become sheepdogs when they go to work. Don't we all have to change our personalities just a little when we go to work or school? Another aspect is the flip side of the Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner cartoons. Whereas WEC never traps his prey, Ralph often does (only to have Sam clobber him). While RR spends nearly all day running, Sam chooses a spot from which to watch the sheep and almost never moves from it (except to deal with Ralph). Parallel worlds, but different lifestyles.

Of course, the main point is to have fun watching the cartoon, and you most certainly will. I recommend it.

*Speaking of Cold War tensions, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. The USSR sent a satellite around the earth and sent the first man into space, but the USA landed on the moon, so I guess that it balances out.


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