WARNER BROTHERS
CARTOON COMPANION

by E.O. Costello



Introduction

Glossary

Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



































































Introduction

Glossary

Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z


X

PLANET X

Situs of Illudium Phosdex, the Shaving Cream Atom. Since supplies on Earth are alarmingly low, Secretary of the Stratosphere Dr. I.Q. Hi sends the title character of Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (Jones, 1953) to the planet to claim it in the name of the Earth. Since Mars has also sent an expedition to claim the planet, a war breaks out which destroys the planet and its hauntingly beautiful, X-filled landscape, with X-shaped clouds, yet. Kudos to Phil De Guard and Maurice Noble.


X-2, COMMANDER OF FLYING SAUCER

The only name by which “Marvin” the Martian was ever identified onscreen in the Classic era. It shows up on the instructions he is given in Hasty Hare (Jones, 1952).


 

Y

YAMAMOTO, ISOROKU

One of the key players in the Japanese war effort of World War II. Yamamoto, who studied at Harvard and had been a naval attache in Washington, was Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, and the architect of the raid on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. For all that, Yamamoto had grave misgivings about the war. He stated that “if hostilities break out between Japan and the United States, it would not be enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Franscisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House.”

American propagandists got a hold of this phrase, and twisted it into a boast that Yamamoto would dictate the terms of peace in the White House. This is reflected in Tokio Jokio (McCabe, 1943), in which a character -- not an accurate depiction -- makes the above statement as a boast, followed by a shot of the room reserved for the Admiral, which has an electric chair.

Irnoically, Yamamoto was already dead by the time the cartoon was released on May 15, 1943. One month earlier, on April 18, 1943, American long-range fighters, tipped off by code-breakers, ambushed the plane carrying Yamamoto, killing him. In a major intelligence failure, the Japanese failed to catch on that the Americans were deciphering many of their codes, much to the relief of the American high command. His death was not publicly revealed until Radio Tokyo made the announcement on May 21, 1943, a week after the cartoon was released.


YEHUDI

Catch-phrase of Jerry Colonna. This originated in a gag involving the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and an appearence by him on the Bob Hope radio show, on which Colonna was a supporting player. Wertheim describes the origin of the gag: Colonna, apparently not knowing who Yehudi was, asked the cast of the radio show, who didn’t know either. The search for the mythical Yehudi became a running gag and eventually a popular song. Yehudi references can be seen in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) in which an invisible figure is sitting next to Colonna and is identified by Jerry as Yehudi, and in Farm Frolics (Clampett, 1941) in which an owl says “Who’s Yehudi?”. Another reference comes in Crazy Cruise (Avery/Clampett, 1942), in which an invisible battleship, the S.S. Yehudi, is seen. There is also the Club Yahoodi in Lights Fantastic (Freleng, 1942), which does not have much of anything.

A fairly recent episode of the PBS series Nova, I have been informed, discussed a so-called “Project Yehudi” from the World War II era involving camouflage schemes for ships, which gives the Crazy Cruise gag an interesting twist.


YOSEMITE SAM

Dynamic, short-tempered antagonist, usually of Bugs Bunny, who featured prominently in a number of classic Friz Freleng shorts. There is some speculation that Sam was based on Freleng himself, both being short, red-haired chaps with volatile tempers. Freleng himself seems to have been equivocal as to whether he was the model for the character. Mike Maltese originally considered calling the character Texas Tiny, Wyoming Willie, or Denver Dan, before settling on the final name.

While Sam had a wide variety of roles -- including desert sheik, prison guard, English lord, and shifty small town mayor -- his two best known roles were as Western outlaw, which was his metier in his first few cartoons, and as a pirate in some of the finest entries in the Bugs Bunny series. Interestingly, the Freleng unit maintained his black mask, even in roles that did not require it.

Freleng developed the character as an alternative to Elmer Fudd, who he felt did not provide enough of a challenge to Bugs. The southern sheriff in Stage Door Cartoon (Freleng, 1944) can be considered something of a “dry run” for the character. Mel Blanc has pointed out that while the voice is based on a Texas accent, the name derives from a National Park in California.

The second cartoon to feature the character, Along Came Daffy (Freleng, 1947) introduces a black-haired twin brother to Sam.

Filmography, all Freleng, except where noted:


  • Hare Trigger (1945)
  • Along Came Daffy (1947)
  • Buccanner Bunny (1948)
  • Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948)
  • High Diving Hare (1949)
  • Mutiny on the Bunny (1950)
  • Big House Bunny (1950)
  • Bunker Hill Bunny (1950)
  • Rabbit Every Monday (1951)
  • The Fair Haired Hare (1951)
  • Ballot Box Bunny (1951)
  • Fourteen Carrot Rabbit (1952)
  • Hare Lift (1952)
  • Southern Fried Rabbit (1953)
  • Hare Trimmed (1953)
  • Captain Hareblower (1954)
  • Sahara Hare (1955)
  • This is a Life? (1955)
  • Roman Leigon Hare (1955)
  • Rabbitson Crusoe (1956)
  • A Star is Bored (1956)
  • Pikers Peak (1957)
  • Knighty-Knight Bugs (1958)
  • Hare-Abian Nights (Harris, 1959)
  • Wild and Wooly Hare (1959)
  • Horse Hare (1960)
  • From Hare to Heir (1960)
  • Lighter Than Hare (1960)
  • Prince Violent (Freleng/Pratt, 1961)
  • Shishkabugs (1962)
  • Devis Feud Cake (1963)
  • Dumb Patrol (Chiniquy, 1964)


“YOU BWOKE MY WIDDLE      !”

Catch-phrase of Red Skelton’s character known as Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid. In Warner Brothers cartoons, the phrase is usually connected with a little character overreacting to some physical stimulus. Examples can be found in Ain’t That Ducky (Freleng, 1945), The Impatient Patient (McCable, 1942), Birdy and the Beast (Clampett, 1944), Ballot Box Bunny (Freleng, 1951), and Case of the Missing Hare (Jones, 1942), among others.


“YOU NAAHSTY MAN!”

One of the tag lines of Joe Penner. A modified version is used by Porky in Ali Baba Bound (Clampett, 1940), as “You naahsty spy!”


 

Z

ZERO

Japanese fighter aircraft of World War II manufactured by Mitsubishi. The name derives from the fact that it was designed in the 2,600th year of the Nipponese dynasty, which is to say 1940. A highly efficient fighter, it was not matched by any Allied aircraft until well into the Pacific war. The spider in Meatless Flyday (Freleng, 1943) as he is going down in flames -- the result of a multiple hotfoot administered by his prey, a fly -- laughingly exclaims that he is a Zero.


 


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This page was originally maintained by Stephen Worth. Thanks to John K. for funding its production. Preserved by Kip Williams and restored in 2014 by Harry McCracken.
The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is Copyright 1996-1998
E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.