308. From A to Z-Z-Z-Z – Chuck Jones

song-of-the-prairie
SUMMARY: A young boy named Ralph Philips daydreams his way through the school day

WHY IT’S HERE: Chuck Jones is indisputably one of the greatest talents in animation history but most of his best and most famous shorts weren’t nominated for Oscars. ‘One Froggy Evening’, ‘What’s Opera, Doc’, ‘Duck Amuck’, ‘Feed the Kitty’. These are just a handful of the masterpieces that received no Academy recognition. One of Jones’s lesser known gems did get the nod though, although it was up against competition too stiff to actually win (although the inferior Disney short ‘Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom’ ultimately triumphed). A rarity in the Warner Bros. canon in that it stars a human character, ‘From A to Z-Z-Z-Z’ was one of a very short series of cartoons Jones made starring a little boy (and, in later shorts, an adult man) named Ralph Philips, a sort of pint-sized Walter Mitty who eschews school work in favour of vivid fantasies. Underseen and atypical, ‘From A to Z-Z-Z-Z’ is a lovely little film worth discovering.

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