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One Froggy Evening (1955)

A man futilely struggles to make his fortune with a frog that sings and dances, but only when it is alone with the owner.

Director:

Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)

Writer:

Michael Maltese (story)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
William Roberts ... Michigan J. Frog (singing voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

A workman finds a singing frog in the cornerstone of an old building being demolished. But when he tries to cash in on his discovery, he finds the frog will sing only for him, and just croak for the talent agent and the audience in the theater he's spent his life savings on. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der singende Frosch See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "August: Osage County," Barbara, the eldest daughter, compares a situation to "that cartoon about the guy and the frog that only sang for him." See more »

Goofs

When the construction worker is imitating the frog in the talent agency, he's initially holding his hat, then throws his hands up in the air. When his hands come back down, his hat has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Michigan J. Frog: [singing] Everybody do the Michigan Rag / everybody likes the Michigan Rag / every Mame and Jane and Ruth / from Weehawken to Duluth / slide, ride, glide the Michigan / stomp, romp, pomp the Michigan / jump, clump, pump the Michigan Rag / that lovin' rag.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In some TV airings, the scene in which the workman places the "Free Beer!" sign outside the theater to attract customers is deleted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wonderfalls: Wax Lion (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Largo al factotum
(uncredited)
from "The Barber of Seville"
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Lyrics by Cesare Sterbini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Perfection
1 October 2008 | by phantom_tollboothSee all my reviews

What is there to say about Chuck Jones's 'One Froggy Evening' that hasn't been said already, not just one of the greatest cartoons ever made but one of the best things to ever happen anywhere ever! The story of a demolition worker who discovers a singing frog in the cornerstone of a building and attempts to exploit the creatures talents for profit, 'One Froggy Evening' is often called "the 'Citizen Kane' of animated shorts". That level of artistic worth is not an exaggeration. Everything, absolutely everything, is perfect about 'One Froggy Evening'. For one, the timing is astonishing. Jones tells the story (from a uniquely brilliant script by Michael Maltese, the author of many of the greatest cartoon scripts of all time) completely silent apart from the singing of the frog, who bursts into song at precisely the most hilarious moments possible.

Aside from being side-splittingly funny, 'One Froggy Evening' also works on a deeper level as a profound parable about greed. Presented with this wondrous of a singing frog, the demolition worker's immediate and only impulse is to use it to make money. To his ever-growing frustration, the frog will only sing in his presence. Despite his obsession with money, the demolition worker is extremely sympathetic and the audience shares in his pain even as they howl with laughter at his misfortune. The cartoon ends with another poor sap about to make the same mistakes, showing that no matter how much we progress as a society, greed is a constant in human beings. One element that is not often mentioned is the haunting quality of 'One Froggy Evening'. There's a sense of the supernatural in both a singing frog and a frog that can last for years sealed inside the cornerstone of a building, which always leads me to think of the frog in slightly more sinister terms, as a karmic lesson enforcer! The final image of 'One Froggy Evening' coupled with the distant echo of the frog's song always sends a shiver down my spine.

Aside from all this, there's the wonderful animation and the glorious soundtrack. From the moment the frog leaps out of the box, his back foot slipping a couple of times, he is one of the great animated creations. His ability to snap from spellbindingly charismatic showman to the most uninspiring and ordinary croaker you've ever seen is both hilarious and impeccably achieved. The demolition worker, meanwhile, goes through a wonderful range of Chuck Jones's trademark expressions. The music is great throughout, with a virtuoso performance from singer Bill Roberts who sings a range of classic Tin Pan Alley songs, a snatch of opera and, best of all, a cracking original composition by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese themselves. Called 'The Michigan Rag', the song is not only the best and catchiest in the whole cartoon, it also provided a name for the frog character when, overwhelmed by the popularity of the film and inundated with requests for the character's name, Jones dubbed him Michigan J. Frog. Despite this popularity, Jones wisely refused to use Michigan in any other cartoons, ensuring 'One Froggy Evening' remains a true one-off and one of the greatest strokes of genius animation has ever seen.

In the interests of keeping it brief, I'll leave it there but I could gush about 'One Froggy Evening' for pages and pages. It really is a landmark piece of film history and more than justifies its appearance on every single list of greatest animated cartoons that's worth a damn.


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