From A to Z-Z-Z-Z


From A to Z-Z-Z-Z

From A to Z-Z-Z-Z is a 1953 animated cartoon short by Chuck Jones in the Looney Tunes series. It was released by Warner Bros. in 1954.

Plot

The cartoon begins with an exterior shot of a school classroom. Through the windows, children are visible at their desks. They are learning arithmetic by rote. The main character -- Ralph Phillips -- is bored with this lesson; on seeing a bird outside, he imagines that he is free to use his arms and legs to propel himself through the air.

Miss Wallace interrupts this daydream and assigns Ralph to solve a column of numbers on the blackboard. He is intimidated so much that the numbers come to life. He fights back by using letters as weapons.

Wallace brings Ralph back to reality and sends him out to mail a letter. He responds by becoming a Pony Express courier who braves a horde of Indians across his desert journey.

Back in the classroom, he finds the geography lesson tedious until the sight of a fish in an aquarium triggers his next daydream -- as a deep-sea diver who kills a shark and rescues an immobilized submarine.

Wallace loses her patience and sends Ralph to the corner, but this doesn't stop him from turning the classroom into a boxing ring. On being sent home, Ralph imagines himself as Douglas MacArthur and repeats the general's most famous line, "I shall return."

Notes

*This cartoon received an Academy Award for Animated Short Film nomination in 1953 even though it did not go into general release until October 16, 1954. [ [http://www.davemackey.com/animation/wb/1954.html Warner Bros. Cartoon Filmography 1954] ]

*The top-heavy rock pillars in Ralph's desert would provide the basis for Road Runner background designs, especially from 1957 until the final theatrical Road Runner short in 1964.

Censorship

*Some Cartoon Network airings cut parts of the daydream sequence where Ralph imagines himself fighting Indians while mailing a letter although "The Chuck Jones Show" had it uncut.

Credits

*Director: Chuck Jones
*Story: Michael Maltese
*Animation: Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan
*Layout: Maurice Noble
*Background: Phil DeGuard
*Music: Carl Stalling
*Voice Characterizations: Dick Beals, Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc

References


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