223. The Foghorn Leghorn – Robert McKimson

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SUMMARY: In a subversion of ‘Walky Talky Hawky’, Foghorn Leghorn spends this cartoon trying to convince a confused Henerey Hawk that he is a chicken.

WHY IT’S HERE: Prior to Robert McKimson’s ‘The Foghorn Leghorn’, the title character had made two previous appearances. By this, his third appearance, it was clear McKimson had a star on his hands and he went on to direct every one of the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. Originally a supporting player in what was intended as a star vehicle for Henerey Hawk, Foghorn stole the show so blatantly that it was the little chicken hawk who was subsequently reduced to the role of supporting player to the rooster’s verbose antics. The Foghorn cartoons represent some of McKimson’s best work and this short, which christened the rooster, is among the best. While the previous two Foggy shorts had involved him trying to prove to Henerey that he wasn’t a chicken, ‘The Foghorn Leghorn’ flips the situation as Foghorn tries desperately to prove to a skeptical Henerey that he is a chicken. McKimson’s direction is excellent adding extra hilarity to a fresh and funny setup. Mel Blanc’s voice characterization for Foghorn is priceless (“I almost had a joke, son”) even at this early stage. While there would ultimately be a few tedious entries in the eventually repetitive Foghorn Leghorn series, ‘The Foghorn Leghorn’ is certainly not one of them. A classic.

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