175. Booby Hatched – Frank Tashlin

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SUMMARY: An unhatched egg goes in search of a source of warmth in order to finish the hatching process.

WHY IT’S HERE: Frank Tashlin’s ‘Booby Hatched’ is a splendid cartoon full to bursting with all sorts of different types of gag. A mother duck tries desperately to keep her eggs warm in subzero temperatures (and this set up alone spawns five or six great jokes in only a couple of minutes). All but one finally hatch out and the unhatched egg sets out on a journey to find warmth. ‘Booby Hatched’ seems to pack a ridiculous amount of plot into its seven minutes, incorporating the mother duck’s attempts to hatch the eggs, the introduction of the unhatched protagonist, his attempts to find a source of heat, the discovery of his disappearance, the very late introduction of the main villain, a frantic chase, an unexpected twist and finally the punch line. That’s without even mentioning the cameo appearance of a hibernating bear who steals the cartoon with just two lines! Tashlin’s direction here is as magnificent as ever with some great executions of some tricky concepts (the egg x-ray sequence that opens the cartoon is particularly beautiful) and ‘Booby Hatched’ emerges as something of an undiscovered masterpiece, a tremendously satisfying classic.

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