198. Walky Talky Hawky – Robert McKimson

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SUMMARY: Henerey Hawk, in search of a chicken to eat, is tricked by Foghorn Leghorn (in his debut appearance) into thinking the barnyard dog is a chicken.

WHY IT’S HERE: Robert McKimson’s ‘Walky Talky Hawky’ introduced Foghorn Leghorn, a character with whom McKimson did much of his best work. This short was originally intended as a star vehicle for Henerey Hawk but Foggy obviously steals the show, so much so that Henerey became the supporting player. Foghorn is close to fully realised already in this debut outing, as is his regular rival, the barnyard dog. When Henerey comes to the farm looking for a chicken to eat, Foggy convinces him that the dog is a chicken, thereby exposing him to the little hawk’s persistent kidnapping attempts. It’s a funny set-up and makes for a very good cartoon, although a couple of cartoons down the line McKimson flipped the premise and had Foggy trying to convince Henerey that he was a chicken. That cartoon, ‘The Foghorn Leghorn’, was a classic and it also christened the character. In comparison, ‘Walky Talky Hawky’ still holds up well, setting up the premise for McKimson to later subvert. I always think McKimson seems most at ease when directing the Foghorn Leghorn series and ‘Walky Talky Hawky’ benefits greatly from that assurance. It’s a lovely cartoon with a great ending and it also proved to be a great beginning, giving birth to yet another classic Warner Bros. star.

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