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Double or Mutton

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Double or Mutton
Double or Mutton
Directed By: Charles M. Jones
Produced By: Eddie Selzer
Released: July 23, 1955
Series: Looney Tunes
Story: Michael Maltese
Animation: Richard Thompson
Abe Levitow
Keith Darling
Ken Harris
Layouts: Philip DeGuard
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Music: Milt Franklyn
Starring: Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog
Preceded By: This Is A Life?
Succeeded By: Jumpin' Jupiter

Double or Mutton is a 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and released by Warner Bros. Pictures featuring Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. Mel Blanc provided for the voices of all the characters in this cartoon, however, like all Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf shorts, this short is mostly composed of visual gags.

This is the third short featuring Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf. The title is a play on the gambling wager double or nothing. This is the first episode where it is clearly established that Sam and Ralph are coworkers, as well as the first episode where their names are consistent.

Plot

Introduction: Like all Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf shorts, this one revolves around Ralph Wolf trying to steal the sheep which Sam Sheepdog is guarding.

1. As in the previous two shorts, Ralph attempts to steal some sheep by burrowing under the field. After finding Sam waiting for Ralph above one of his holes, Ralph attempts to look innocuous, but Sam hits him over the head with a large wooden mallet (off-screen, but the effects can still be seen). As in previous shorts, Ralph politely refills his tunnel.

2. Ralph next attempts to fashion himself a tightrope over the field by throwing a spear with a rope attached to a tree on the other side of the field. After walking across the tightrope and snagging a sheep with a lasso, he makes his way back to the cliff where the other end of the tightrope was fastened. Unfortunately, it turns out Sam is holding that end of the tightrope. Ralph hands the sheep over and begins running the other direction before Sam releases his end of the tightrope. Just before Ralph begins to fall, he manages to grab on to the spear that was attached to the tree. However, as Ralph looks to the left, it turns out Sam is also holding that end of the tightrope. Sam launches the spear — and Ralph — over the horizon.

3. Ralph next attempts to shoot a rocket with a lasso attached at Sam. The contraption very successfully catches Sam and carries him off into the distance. Ralph, enamoured with his success, prances down to the field and casually takes his choice of sheep. As he prances away he is hit over the head with a club from Sam, still hanging from the fired rocket now lodged in a tree.

Ralph and Sam undressing

Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog removing their disguises

4. Ralph's next plan is to disguise himself as Little Bo Peep. He prances up to Sam and shows him a book of nursery rhymes to bolster his disguise. He successfully herds a sheep past Sam and into his cave. However, the viewer soon discovers that the sheep is actually Sam in disguise. Ralph discovers this all too late, and the beating which ensues is left to the viewer's imagination.

5. Ralph's fifth plan is to fly over the field with an unwieldy helicopter while dangling a claw on a rope and attempting to grab a sheep with the claw, akin to the claw game. Sam casually walks by a yanks on the rope, causing the helicopter to plummet into the ground. After the crash, and much too late, Ralph deliriously attempts to abandon the helicopter and release his parachute, which simply falls on top of him as a shroud.

6. Ralph then attempts to hurl himself over Sam with a lever and a large stone. While successful, Ralph ends up hurling himself into a tree. Sam, sitting at the bottom of the tree, rolls Ralph up into a ball and tosses him over his shoulder, to the sound of bowling pins falling.

7. Ralph next attempts to roll a lit cannon behind Sam's back, but Sam simply flips the cannon around so it faces Ralph. As Ralph runs away, the cannonball lands exactly where Ralph ended up running.

8. Finally, Ralph is sitting in his cave, depressed, and notices the rain outside, when an idea strikes him. He sneaks up behind Sam with a bottle of "ACME Patented Hair Grower (guaranteed)" and splashes some on Sam's head, who doesn't notice because of the rain. When the rain clears up, Sam has even more hair in front of his eyes than usual. Ralph tests to make sure Sam can't see him through the unruly mop of hair on his head and then heads down to grab a sheep. However, the moment Ralph lays a finger on the sheep, Sam hurtles down the hill to grab Ralph and pummel him.

During the pummelling, the punch clock whistles the end of their shifts. Sam and Ralph punch out, then cordially bid each other a good night.

Censorship

Double or Mutton Censorship

This scene of off-screen violence was censored on ABC. This screenshot states that this scene was not censored on Cartoon Network.

  • On ABC after Ralph's Little Bo Peep plan fails and Sam places his hands around Ralph's neck, the scene fades to black. In the uncensored version, the viewer would see the scene to the right where the screen shakes as Ralph gets beaten. Also, the scene at the end of the short where Sam is punching Ralph in the face is shortened.
    • In earlier broadcasts, ABC cut out the entire ending to Ralph's plan to shoot Sam into the distance with a rocket. As soon as Sam was carried off, it cut to Ralph's Little Bo Peep plan.
    • In later broadcasts on ABC, part of the scene was replaced, but the viewer didn't see Sam herd his sheep back to the flock, or Ralph lying dazed with a lump on his head.

DVD availability

As of 2015, this short is not available on DVD. However, it was released on The Looney Tunes Video Show Volume 3 VHS release during the 1980s.

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