103. Porky the Fireman -Frank Tashlin


SUMMARY: Fireman Porky and his crew attempt to put out a blaze and rescure the inhabitants of a building.

WHY IT’S HERE:Frank Tashlin’s ‘Porky the Fireman’ is one of those excellent early Porky Pig cartoons in which Porky could easily be substituted for a different character. The emphasis here is very much on a series of extremely inventive gags all based around a burning building which Porky’s fire brigade is trying to save. Frantically alternating between trying to find a source of water and rescue people from the blazing windows, the firemen finally extinguish the last flame… or do they?! ‘Porky the Fireman’ moves at a real lick, ensuring that if you don’t like one gag there’ll be another one along immediately. This speedy pace is only broken up by the cartoon’s true star, a laid-back, pipe-smoking dog whose terminally relaxed demeanour is entirely incongruous with the situation. Some of the dog’s jokes take longer than your average gag but Tashlin treats his material with an assurance which makes certain that the audience will not become bored. The inventive idea of personifying the flames that are destroying the building results in some brilliant moments too. ‘Porky the Fireman’ dashed my preconceptions about its dull title by proving to be a fast-moving, funny and fresh animated short.


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