244. For Scent-imental Reasons – Chuck Jones

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SUMMARY: Pepe Le Pew pursues his latest ‘love’ into a perfume shop.

WHY IT’S HERE: Chuck Jones’s ‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ is a brilliantly witty cartoon for which Pepe Le Pew won a well earned Academy Award on only his fourth outing. As a child I hated the Pepe Le Pew cartoons for several reasons. Of course, I thought love was yucky but also the pseudo-French gags and more verbal approach to comedy went completely over my head. Bearing in mind that these sexually charged cartoons were never meant for young eyes, it’s hardly surprising that I have come round to loving Pepe and his straight-to-camera witticisms. Having said all that, even as a Pepe-hating child I still enjoyed ‘For Scent-imental Reasons’. There was something about it that made it stand out over the other Le Pew shorts and clearly the Academy agreed.

Set in and around a perfume shop, ‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ finds Penelope the cat locked in with the amorous skunk after a bottle of white hair-dye bestows the obligatory deceptive markings down her spine. There follows a series of great gags, two of which involve aborted suicides! The best gag in the whole cartoon is when Penelope locks herself in a glass case causing Pepe to go absolutely insane with frustration until finally he pulls out a gun, puts it to his temple and walks out of sight. Hearing the shot, the guilt-ridden cat unlocks the case and leaps out straight into Pepe’s arms. “I meesed” he tells her! ‘For Scent-imental Reasons’ is a lovely piece of work and undoubtedly one of the best Pepe Le Pew cartoons. From its familiar setup through to the table-turning ending, it’s a classy and classic short.

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