Good Night Elmer
Directed byCharles Jones
Story byRich Hogan
Produced byLeon Schlesinger
StarringMel Blanc (uncredited)
Edited byTreg Brown (uncredited)
Music byCarl W. Stalling
Animation byPhilip Monroe
Robert Cannon (uncredited)
Ken Harris (uncredited)
Rudy Larriva (uncredited)
A.C. Gamer (effects, uncredited)
Layouts byBob Givens (uncredited)
Backgrounds byPaul Julian (uncredited)
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 26, 1940 (1940-10-26)
Running time
7 minutes

Good Night Elmer is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short, directed by Chuck Jones, animated by Phil Monroe and written by Rich Hogan.[1] The short was released on October 26, 1940, and features Elmer Fudd.[2]

Plot

The cartoon depicts ill-fated attempts by Elmer, in a rare leading role, to extinguish a candle by his bedside so that he can retire for the night, with the flame always surging again in spite of Elmer's best efforts. Elmer finally succeeds, but only at the expense of wrecking his bedroom in the process, and no sooner than he lies down, the sun comes up, precipitating a nervous breakdown in Elmer Fudd, who starts weeping, bawling, and crying.

Reception

Good Night Elmer was produced around the time Chuck Jones was directing cartoons that bear similarities towards those made by Disney and Harman and Ising. In retrospect, the short was derided by critics and animation enthusiasts, particularly for its dull pacing and noticeable lack of comedy. A review from the Motion Picture Herald in 1942 called the cartoon a "Very poor reel. Not up to standard."[3] Animation historians Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald also called the short "one of the most irritating cartoons ever made" in their book Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons.[4]

Beck again discussed the cartoon on his website, Cartoon Research, in a post about his least favorite Warner Bros. shorts. He would state:

"BOR-ring! One of the slowest moving animated shorts I’ve ever seen. First he can’t take off his jacket. Then he can’t blow out the candle. The character [Elmer] is so stupid its painful. The short ends with him crying in frustration (something we in the audience can identify with). It’s the equivalent of an Edgar Kennedy live action comedy short… only without the humor, the pacing… or Edgar Kennedy. The animation is beautiful, but there is nothing – I repeat nothing – in this film that couldn’t have been done in live action. A depressing film – far opposite of what Jones would start producing in a year or two."[5]

See also

References

  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. 108. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 77–79. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Motion Picture Herald (Jan-Feb 1942) - Lantern". lantern.mediahist.org. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  4. ^ Weinman, Jaime (2000-06-06). "What's up, Chuck?". Salon. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  5. ^ "My Least Favorite Warner Bros. Cartoons |". cartoonresearch.com. Retrieved 2023-02-22.