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Aviation Vacation

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Aviation Vacation
Directed By: Fred Avery
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: August 2, 1941
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Dave Monahan
Animation: Sidney Sutherland
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Robert C. Bruce
William Day
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Native Chief
Sick Butterfly
Irish Singer
Preceded By: Inki and the Lion
Succeeded By: We, The Animals - Squeak!

Aviation Vacation is a 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series. It was directed by Tex Avery, story by Dave Monahan, musical direction by Carl Stalling.


This is a series of gags, usually based on outrageous stereotypes and plays on words, as a narrator (Robert C. Bruce) describes the action. In this case, the story concerns a small airplane taking its passengers on a world tour. Some excerpts:

  • The plane, as well as its shadow, are remarkably flexible. The plane takes off like a bird, running and jumping and flapping its wings. The plane's shadow, seen from above, dodges ground-level obstacles.
  • The plane passes Mount Rushmore, which is seen to include the two major candidates from the 1940 election, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Wilkie.
  • In Ireland, an Irish tenor sings "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", while a (cartooned) stray hair keeps appearing in the frame, as if stuck in the projector. The Irishman abruptly stops singing and yells at the top of his lungs to the projectionist, "Hey, you, up there! Get that hair out of here!" (This joke was later reused in Avery's cartoon Magical Maestro (1952)).
  • In "Darkest Africa", natives are listening to jungle drumbeats which are used for communication. One native asks another what the drums are saying, and the second native (illustrating the age of this kind of joke), responds, "Boom-ditty, boom-ditty, boom-boom-boom-boom!"
  • Also in Africa, a native is using a blowgun, and is revealed that he was merely aiming at a practice target. His target calls him a "terrible shot".
  • A group of ostriches hide their heads in the sand. Another ostrich arrives, perplexed, wondering where everyone went.
  • A series of cocoons opens up, all of them producing beautiful butterflies, except for a weak and scrawny one: "Well, I've been sick!"
  • The cartoon ends with the plane lost in fog while returning to New York City. When the fog finally clears, the plane is discovered to be attached to a carousel ride, and as it circles, "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" is playing. In this unique instance for a WB cartoon, the Looney Tunes theme segués into the Merrie Melodies theme at iris-out.


  • When this cartoon aired on Cartoon Network, two entire racial stereotype scenes were cut. One scene has an African native using a blowgun. It is revealed he was merely aiming at a practice target. A second native comments, "Terrible shot, Joe." The other scene shows African natives pounding their drums and making signals. One native asks another, "Uh, what do he say?" The other native says (imitating drum sound), "Uh, he say, uh, 'Boom-ditty-boom-ditty-boom-boom-boom-boom, ditty-boom-ditty-boom-ditty-boom-boom-boom-boom'."[1]


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