Cartoon of the Day: The Early Bird And The Worm

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The Early Bird And The Worm

The Early Bird And The Worm

Today’s CotD takes us back to 1936 for The Early Bird And The Worm. Directed by Rudolf Ising, this color short was from the Happy Harmonies Theatrical Cartoon Series.

A sprightly young bird gets up early, the better to get the jump on his neighborhood worm, but he finds his quarry elusive. The worm, for his part, sets off with a flute and jazzes along happily, out-finessing the bird repeatedly. Then a pair of shiftless crows debate the virtues of early rising and decide that no worm is worth it (clearly, these are shiftless “Negro” stereotypes, though the ethnic angle isn’t stressed here so much). Finally, a rattlesnake practices some hypnotic moves on both bird and worm before getting tied up in knots.

The two lazy crows are caricatures of then-famous blackface comedy team Moran and Mack. Much of their dialogue is directly lifted from their hit 1920s comedy recording “Two Black Crows.”

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