"Cross-Country Detours" (1940) Breakdown Thread

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Jon Cooke
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"Cross-Country Detours" (1940) Breakdown Thread

Postby Jon Cooke » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:47 pm

Image

Supervision: Fred Avery
Story by: Rich Hogan
Animation: Paul Smith
Music: Carl W. Stalling

Release Date: March 16, 1940

Series: Merrie Melodies (reissued as a Blue Ribbon MM in 1944, reissue title card seen above)

Synopsis: A parody of theatrical travelogues begins with a narrator presenting "animal life and scenic wonders of our country." The first stop is Yosemite National Park in California where a tourist is reminded “Do Not Feed the Bears” (by the bear, itself); a “shy” little deer flirts with the audience a la Mae West; an entire Boy Scout troop rushes into a washroom; and an ever-alert fire-fighting ranger rushes from his post to recover a discarded cigar. Next, we visit the Bryce Canyon in Utah to admire the unique rock formations... including a very unusual natural “bridge.” The “frozen wastes of Alaska” are shown next, here we meet a sled dog who begins a trek to California for reasons unknown (the short’s running gag). Here we also see a polar bear who doesn’t agree with the narrator’s description of him (“I don’t care what you say. I’m cold.”). Next, we see a scene where a bobcat is about to attack a baby quail, but can’t bring himself to go through with it. This is followed by a close-up of a frog “croaking” (literally!). In New Mexico, a lizard sheds her skin in a striptease. Then the screen is split in two so grown-ups can see a gila monster, while the kiddies enjoy a little girl reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. At the Arizona’s Grand Canyon, a tourist has trouble with his echo and beavers build a huge dam. Finally, we see our sled dog friend making it to California. He runs straight to his destination - the forest of giant redwood trees! “TREES! THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF TREES! AND THEY’RE ALL MINE!”

Video Availability:
Virginia City DVD (Errol Flynn: The Warner Bros. Western Collection) (WHV, DVD, 2008)
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Vol. 1 - Side 3: Tex Avery (MGM/UA, Laserdisc, 1992)
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Vol. 3 - Tex Avery (MGM/UA, VHS, 1992)
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Jon Cooke
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Postby Jon Cooke » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:48 pm

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Cartoonfanatic201
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Postby Cartoonfanatic201 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:17 pm

Here's the Original Title:

Image

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Sean Gaffney
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Postby Sean Gaffney » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:56 am

(deep breath)

Music Used:
Oh You Beautiful Doll (Seymour Brown/Nat D. Ayer). 1911.
It Had To Be You (Gus Kahn/Isham Jones). 1924.
California, Here I Come (Buddy DeSylva/Joseph Meyer), from the 1921 musical Bombo.
William Tell Overture (Gioachino Rossini). 1829.
Yankee Doodle (Traditional). Circa 1770.
The Fountain in the Park (Ed Haley). 1884.
Der Deitcher's Dog (Traditional, lyrics by Septimus Winner). Circa 1864.
Old Black Joe (Stephen Foster). Circa 1860.
Prelude, Op. 28, No. 20 (aka Funeral March) (Frédéric Chopin). Circa. 1838.
"Beglückt darf nun dich, o Heimat, ich schauen" (Pilgrim's Chorus) (Richard Wagner), from the 1845 opera Tannhäuser.
Der Erlkönig (Franz Schubert, lyrics by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). Circa 1821.
I've Been Working on the Railroad. Traditional.
Indian Dawn (J.S. Zamecnik). 1924.
Nocturne in E flat, Op. 9, No. 2 (Frédéric Chopin). Circa 1830.
Love Me and the World Is Mine (Dave Reed, Jr./Ernest Ball). 1906.

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The "Chase"
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Postby The "Chase" » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:05 am

Isn't there some cut off dialogue at the beginning of the reissue?

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Postby zavkram » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:34 am

The "Chase" wrote:Isn't there some cut off dialogue at the beginning of the reissue?


You mean where the narrator says, "...animal life and scenic wonders of our country"?
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Postby zavkram » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:40 am

The source footage from which the "shedding lizard" was rotoscoped can be found on LTGC6 in the "Christmas Party" reels that were shot at the Schlesinger studio. The woman who took it all off was reportedly a stripper hired by Avery.

It's too bad we couldn't get the original titles restored for this one. Oh, well... maybe we'll get one later on "Blu-Ray" (you gotta sing it the way Stu Shostak always does on his show.)

Where does this fall in the chronological list of Avery's travelogues? IIRC, the earliest one was "The Island of Pingo-Pongo".
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Postby Scarlet Pumpernickel » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:08 pm

zavkram wrote:The source footage from which the "shedding lizard" was rotoscoped can be found on LTGC6 in the "Christmas Party" reels that were shot at the Schlesinger studio. The woman who took it all off was reportedly a stripper hired by Avery.

Not only the shedding lizard, but also the female deer as well as the bobcat cracking up used reference footage seen in the 1939 "Christmas Party" reel, with Tex Avery acting out the scene with the bobcat himself.

More info about the real-life "shedding lizard" stripper here:
http://forums.goldenagecartoons.com/showpost.php?p=184312&postcount=1
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Postby Scarlet Pumpernickel » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:16 pm

A bit on the technical side, but the distances between Alaska and the several towns of California as seen on the sign are inaccurate: Anchorage is a little over 3000 miles away from San Francisco whereas the westmost end of the Alaska is no more than 4000 miles away from California.
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The Crazy HR
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Postby The Crazy HR » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:26 pm

zavkram wrote:It's too bad we couldn't get the original titles restored for this one. Oh, well... maybe we'll get one later on "Blu-Ray" (you gotta sing it the way Stu Shostak always does on his show.)

The original titles probably don't exist; just artwork has survived.


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