SUMMARY: A cat pursues a humming bird but repeatedly falls victim to the sadistically inventive punishments of a dog.
WHY IT’S HERE:Robert McKimson’s ‘It’s Hummer Time’ is a gorgeous and extremely inventive cartoon that expands on the usual bird-cat-dog chase formula by incorporating sadistically pre-prepared punishments on the dog’s part. Like many Spring/Summer based cartoons (‘Swallow the Leader’, ‘Springtime for Thomas’ to name but two), ‘It’s Hummer Time’ is beautiful to look at, filled with uplifting bright colours. The plot pushes the whole thing into the realms of the classic as predictable spot gags are hysterically punctuated with unpredictable follow-ups in which the insistent dog drags the cat kicking and screaming to punishments that have been carried out so frequently in the past that the cat has named them all (“Oh no, not the thinker!”). There’s also a pleasingly cyclical nature to the plot in which the cat begins and ends the cartoon as a bird bath. ‘It’s Hummer Time’ was remade the following year as the infinitely inferior, over-complicated ‘Early to Bet’ which comes nowhere near recapturing the magic of this unique cartoon.