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File:Porkysam5xb 4139.jpg

Old Glory is a 1939 Merrie Melodies short directed by Charles M. Jones, starring Porky Pig. This short is notable, if just for being the most un-Warner Bros.-like cartoon ever made. It's not loaded to the brim with gags or funny characters, and the subject matter is actually portrayed seriously.

Anyway, the short is centered on a childlike Porky Pig, who, uninterested in learning about the Pledge of Allegiance, lies down for a nap. He is then confronted by a vision of Uncle Sam, who proceeds to explain to Porky a history of Colonial America, the American Revolutionary War, and the expansion to the Old West, with an allusion to Abraham Lincoln at the end.

Essentially, this short is to Merrie Melodies as Education for Death was to Classic Disney Shorts (though not nearly as dark). Or maybe a less musical precursor to Schoolhouse Rock.

This short can be found, restored, on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 2. It has also made it onto The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes list.


Tropes:

  • Animation Bump: As with Chuck Jones early work, this is one of the most lavishly animated Warner Bros. cartoons. The most notable example is Uncle Sam, who was not rotoscoped, but animated singlehandedly by none other than Robert McKimson.
  • Follow the Leader: A blatant example of Jones' early attempts at imitating Disney.
  • Large Ham: Some of the expressions and acting are a little overacted.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: Porky doesn't know why he should learn the Pledge of Allegiance, but after an informative dream he becomes a patriot.
  • Patriotic Fervor
  • Rotoscoping: Used to animate all of the humans save Uncle Sam. The scene where Patrick Henry gives his famous "Give me liberty" line is traced directly from footage of the 1936 live action short subject "Give Me Liberty".
  • Something Completely Different
  • Very Special Episode: An early, non-series example.
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