Cross Country Detours

Cross ccountry

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 20.13.27

Directed By: Fred Avery
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: March 16, 1940
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Rich Hogan
Animation: Paul Smith
Backgrounds: John Didrik Johnsen (uncredited)
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Sara Berner (uncredited)
Karlton Kadell (uncredited)
Lou Marcelle (uncredited)
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Narrator
Little Girl
Phone Operator
Polar Bear
Baby Quail
Grand Canyon Tourist
Gila Monster
Preceded By: Pilgrim Porky
Succeeded By: Confederate Honey
Merrie Melodies -- Cross Country Detours-009:40

Merrie Melodies -- Cross Country Detours-0

1995 dubbed version, restored, uncut, 1944 blue ribbon

Cross Country Detours is a 1940 Merrie Melodies short directed by Tex Avery.


The cartoon starts with a narrator talking about the wonders of nature in Yosemite National Park in California. He talks about how tourists always feeding the wildlife and we cut to a man giving a bear a sandwich then the bear pounds the man on the head and says "Listen stupid can't you read!?" pointing to a "Do not feed the bears" sign. We then meet a deer who tells the narrator "Hello big boy!" in a Katherine Hepburn impression. We then see a scoutmaster taking his troops to a washroom at a gas station, the narrator tells of how careless people often forget to put out their cigars which could lead to fires; a ranger spots this only to smoke it himself. He then tells us about the natural rock formations, one of which looks like a mouth with a gold tooth. He then takes us to Alaska where we meet a polar bear whom the narrator informs us how his thick coat and layer of fat keeps him warm during the harsh winter climates, the polar bear says "I don't care what you say, I'm cold", he then tells us how happy Eskimo dogs are living there except one who wants to go to California.

Back into the United States we see a bobcat prepare to catch and eat a baby quail but he can't bring himself to do it, he then takes us to a local pond where many frogs reside he then says "here we have a frog croaking" the frog takes out a gun and commits suicide by shooting itself in the head we are then shown an apology for the pun by the theater, he then takes us to New Mexico briefly being interrupted by the Eskimo dog from earlier, we then are treated to a lizard shedding her skin which plays out like a striptease in which a sensor bar appears before her breasts are exposed, the narrator then tells us that the next tale is very gruesome and that he will split the screen in two one side for grownups a Gila monster who constantly snarls and growls and for children a little girl who recites Mary Had a Little Lamb, after being interrupted by the Gila monster she growls back at it causing it to run away, he then takes us to the Grand Canyon where a hiker tries to make an echo but nothing happens so finally he shouts at the top of his lungs and a female voice says "I'm sorry they do not answer", we then see the Eskimo dog again and the narrator tells us how determined he must be, he tells us of the Colorado River which is damned by beavers which create a giant man-made dam, finally the exhausted dog makes his way to California where he runs into the Red Wood Forest where he declares "Trees, thousands and thousands of trees, and they're mine, all mine!"


On Cartoon Network and its sister channel Boomerang, the entire part in which a frog shoots himself in the head after the narrator says, "Here, we have a close-up of a frog croaking", followed by a theater card reading that the management is not responsible for the lame pun was edited to remove the frog actually shooting himself in the head, leaving in the "frog croaking" line followed by a smash cut to the apology from the theater management card, making it obvious that something was cut.[1]


  • This cartoon was reissued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie on January 15, 1944.
  • Because it was reissued during Schlesinger's career, the original closing was kept.
  • This was the last prototype "That's all Folks!" and the final cartoon to have sky background.


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