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Cross Country Detours

Cross ccountry

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Directed By: Fred Avery
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: March 16, 1940
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Rich Hogan
Animation: Paul Smith
Layouts:
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
Deer
Little Girl
Phone Operator
Bear
Scoutmaster
Polar Bear
Bobcat
Baby Quail
Grand Canyon Tourist
Gila Monster
Husky
Preceded By: Pilgrim Porky
Succeeded By: Confederate Honey
Merrie Melodies -- Cross Country Detours-0

Merrie Melodies -- Cross Country Detours-0

USA Turner print

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

Plot

A narrator talks about the wonders of nature in the USA;

  1. He starts with Yosemite National Park in California. He talks about how tourists always feeding the wildlife. A man gives 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.
  2. We then meet a deer. As the narrator says, "Hello, deer!", the deer gets up on its hind legs and says, "Hello big boy!" in a Katherine Hepburn impression.
  3. A scoutmaster takes his troops to a washroom at a gas station. The narrator tells of how careless people often forget to put out their cigarettes or cigars, which could lead to forest fires. A ranger spots one, and goes all the way to pick it up only to smoke it himself.
  4. The narrator then describes natural rock formations, one of which looks like a mouth with a gold tooth.
  5. In Alaska the narrator tells how a polar bear's 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".
  6. The narrator then tells about how happy Eskimo dogs are living in Alaska, except for one who wants to go to California.
  7. Back into the United States, a bobcat prepares to pounce on, and eat a cute baby quail, but he can't bring himself to do it.
  8. Then, at a local pond where many frogs reside, the narrator says, "Here, we have a close-up of a frog croaking." The frog then takes out a pistol and commits suicide by shooting itself in the head. An apology by the theater for the pun is shown.
  9. The Eskimo dog from earlier is still running.
  10. In New Mexico, a lizard is shedding her skin which plays out like a striptease, in which a censor bar appears before her breasts are exposed.
  11. The narrator then says that the next tale is very gruesome and that he will split the screen in two halves. On the grownup's side, a Gila monster who constantly snarls and growls, and on the children's side, 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.
  12. At the Grand Canyon, a hiker tries to make an echo, but nothing happens. So finally, he shouts at the top of his lungs and a female telephone operator's voice says "I'm sorry, they do not answer."
  13. The husky appears again, and the narrator remarks how determined he must be.
  14. He tells of the Colorado River, and some beavers create a giant man-made dam.
  15. Finally, the exhausted husky makes his way to California where he runs into the Redwood Forest, where he declares, "Trees, thousands and thousands of trees, and they're mine, all mine!"

Availability

Censorship

  • 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]

Notes

  • This cartoon was re-released into the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies program on January 15, 1944. Because the short credits Schlesinger on re-release, the original closing title card was kept.
  • This cartoon was the last to have a prototype "That's all Folks!" writing and the final cartoon to have the sky background, evident from the closing title card.

Gallery

References