|Two Crows from Tacos|
Two Crows from Tacos is a 1956 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. This largely overlooked cartoon by Friz Freleng takes a Speedy Gonzales-like grasshopper and two Mexican crows and creates a wonderful battle of (half) wits. Obviously exploring the Academy Award winning Speedy Gonzales (1955) a little further, Freleng tries to develop some new characters to add to the Warner "funny Mexican" canon.
Two crows, Jose and Manuel, chase the grasshopper all through the Mexican desert. The grasshopper is always a step ahead, and does not really have to do a whole lot for revenge...the crows are so stupid they end up hurting each other more than the silent, smiling bug. After injuries resulting from clubs, cacti, their own guitars, and dynamite among other things, the crows ultimately give up. The unusual ending features no iris out circle ending at all, rather, the "That's All Folks" title is written out over the beautiful sunset background as the crows sing and play the guitar atop their tree.
As funny as this cartoon is, particularly its wonderful fractured Spanish dialogue, it may be considered too politically incorrect for television, at least by the modern Cartoon Network standards. Unlike Speedy Gonzales, Jose and Manuel are negative Mexican caricatures, and they are neither quick nor smart. Still, the Mel Blanc vocal genius and the wonderful Stalling music make it a classic, and the concept would be revisited in the equally hilarious Mexicali Shmoes (1959, Freleng), an Academy Award nominee, in which the same characters are redesigned as cats and set out to chase Speedy Gonzales. They returned as crows in Freleng's Crow's Feat (1962) and a close cousin shows up as the "Loco Crow" in Robert McKimson's Chili Corn Corny (1965).