Awful Orphan
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byEdward Selzer
StarringMel Blanc
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byPhil Monroe
Ben Washam
Lloyd Vaughan
Ken Harris
Layouts byRobert Gribbroek
Backgrounds byPeter Alvarado
Philip DeGuard
(reused backgrounds, uncredited)
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
  • January 29, 1949 (1949-01-29) (U.S.)
Running time
CountryUnited States

Awful Orphan is a 1949 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.[1] It is a sequel to the 1947 Looney Tunes short Little Orphan Airedale.[2]


Charlie has a crowd around him as he uses a stick in his mouth to turn pages over on a flip board. Each page dramatically builds on the theme that there is something these people should have in their home. When the last page reveals that the to-be-desired item is Charlie, the people who have been watching walk away in disgust. Charlie then stows away in a pet shop truck which makes a delivery to Porky's hotel room. Porky ordered a canary, but when he removes the cage covering it is Charlie, crammed into the cage. Porky proceeds to dial the pet store to complain ("I ordered a canary, not a monster!") He discovers he is actually talking to Charlie, who has pulled the telephone wire from the wall and is speaking through it.

Porky throws the dog out several times but each time, Charlie returns to demonstrate how wonderful he would be to have around. He even pretends to be a baby left in a basket outside the door. Porky leads Charlie on for a minute, then kicks the entire basket down the hall. Disguised as an old lady, Charlie hits Porky with an umbrella while berating him for being a brute to an innocent baby. Porky ends up being chased out of the room; he knocks angrily until Charlie opens the door. At this point, Porky demands the dog get out once and for all. Charlie conducts a fake suicide by jumping from the window onto an unlikely stack of mattresses piled up from the street. Frustrated, Porky slams the window and closes the curtains.

Porky initially believes the next knock on his door is Charlie, but it is his lunch, and he prepares to dig in. When he lifts the warming lid, Charlie is trussed up on the plate. Porky is holding a knife and the dog puts on an over-the-top performance begging Porky not to use it on him. He promises to do several chores if he is allowed to stay. Porky appears to give in. Pretending to be pinning a paper pattern for the coat onto Charlie, Porky succeeds in wrapping the dog up for mailing, and sticks a label on him reading, "To Siberia". In spite of being stuffed into a mailbox, Charlie returns wearing traditional clothing and, while doing the Cossack dance, kicks Porky in the rear end until he ejects him into the hall. The upstairs neighbor phones threatening to come down to stop the noise. Charlie responds by counter-threatening the man. He tricks Porky into going upstairs, and the man beats him up.

The man then drops off the injured Porky, who finally submits to making Charlie his pet. However, Charlie decides otherwise, saying that he thinks Porky's place is too noisy, and that Porky fights with his neighbors (even though Charlie started the fight in the first place). As Charlie starts to leave, Porky approaches him, laughing maniacally and with an evil look in his eyes showing that he has finally snapped. The screen fades to black, then the cartoon returns with a scene similar to an earlier one, but with the roles of dog and master reversed. Charlie tries to sneak away, but Porky's growls force him back into the chair.

Home media

Awful Orphan was released on DVD in 2003 on disc 3 of Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1.


  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 195. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 64. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.