190. The Bashful Buzzard – Bob Clampett

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SUMMARY: The runt in a family of buzzards tries to prove himself when his brothers all bring home large animals to eat.

WHY IT’S HERE: Beaky Buzzard is one of the lesser known Warner Bros. characters. Although he only appeared in a handful of cartoons, Warner’s apparently thought they had something in the character and gave him a big push, featuring him in much merchandising of the period. Ultimately Beaky was just a bit too one-note for any longevity but this, his second cartoon and first solo starring-role, is a little gem nonetheless. Beaky had debuted three years earlier in the rather weak ‘Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid’, proving too oddly-paced a character to work as a foil for Bugs. Let out on his own, however, there is a certain naïve appeal to Beaky which works. If the character doesn’t appeal then Clampett’s usual racy and bizarre approach surely will. Slipping in a surreal parade of airborne animals (including an elephant with a banner stating ‘I am NOT Dumbo’) and a couple of dirty jokes (some risqué heavy-breathing from a courting couple and the elongated insult ‘You piece of shhhhhhhh…oe leather’).

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