277. Chow Hound – Chuck Jones

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: A dog uses a kidnapped cat and mouse in an elaborate scheme to obtain food… but he takes the scheme too far.

WHY IT’S HERE:Chuck Jones’s ‘Chow Hound’ is a legendary cult classic, renowned for its extremely dark plot (from a beautiful script by Michael Maltese). It would make a great double bill with Jones’s equally dark ‘Fresh Airedale’ since both cartoons feature villainous dogs mercilessly exploiting innocent cats. The main difference is that in ‘Chow Hound’ the villain actually gets his comeuppance in a gruesomely unforgettable final twist. To say too much more about ‘Chow Hound’s’ plot would be to spoil it but special mention must go to the exceptional characterisation that Jones teases out of even the most minor of players. All three of the cat’s unwitting shared owners are brilliantly rendered without the audience ever seeing their faces, a little mouse steals every scene he appears in and the villainous dog is a truly despicable and genuinely threatening presence. ‘Chow Hound’ is thoroughly deserving of its cult status and will remain in any viewers mind long after the chilling iris out.

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