Friday, June 1, 2012

Looney TV: From A To Z-Z-Z-Z (1953)

Chuck Jones created a different kind of character in this 1953 Merrie Melodies short.

"From A To Z-Z-Z-Z" was inspired by James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which had been adapted as a feature film starring Danny Kaye, and is being remade for release down the line with Ben Stiller. Ralph Phillips (Dick Beals, uncredited) is a grade school daydreamer whose fantasies include being a prize fighter and General MacArthur. Phillips would return in a sequel about a year later.

This short is dedicated to the memory of Dick Beals, who passed away on Tuesday at 85. Rest in peace, Dick.

Edit, 11/2/17: The video has been deleted.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

I love this short!

In real life, we've all been found letting our minds wander when we're bored or as a coping mechanism for times when we're feeling powerless. Ralph seems to fit in both catagories.

I like the dreamers because they often come up with great ideas; think of the inventors and artists and writers who were once, "Ralphs".

Ralph's daydreams make even the most mundane tasks seem cool!

hobbyfan said...

I dig. Too bad they couldn't go any futher than a 2nd short with Ralph, as he could've been a bigger star, albeit the only other human, aside from Elmer Fudd, Granny, Witch Hazel, & Yosemite Sam.

SaturdayMorningFan said...

Actually they did go further, but only in a pair of U.S. Army recruitment films. They were "Drafty, Isn’t It?" and "90 Day Wondering," both of which are available as special features in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series. They portray him as a young adult in them. I always wonder how much (if any) inspiration Bill Watterson drew from Ralph when creating Calvin.

hobbyfan said...

SaturdayMorningFan: You raise a great point. I wondered, too, during the Calvin & Hobbes run if Calvin had more than a little of Ralph Phillips in him.......