SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON–PORKY’S RAILROAD (1937)

There are several things that this morning’s cartoon lacks. 1) Color. 2) Humor. 3) Porky Pig, as we’ve come to know him. This Porky is grossly fat, can barely speak and appears to have no fidelity at all to his poor suffering little train, which manages to win a race against a very 1930s streamline moderne competitor only to find itself junked by Porky, who proudly and obnoxiously becomes the conductor of the modern train. Directed by Frank Tashlin (who managed to be kinder to Jerry Lewis than he was to Porky), the movie is strictly a curio but an interesting one that raises more than a few question. Like: who was responsible for refining Porky’s character and humor? When did color come to Warner Brothers? Why was the pacing so relatively slow in these earlier ones? And who the hell was Leon Schelsinger and how did he get the gig of producing Warner Brothers cartoons anyway?

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