Punch Trunk
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byEdward Selzer (uncredited)
StarringMel Blanc
Robert C. Bruce (uncredited)
Marian Richman (uncredited)[1]
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byKen Harris
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts byMaurice Noble
Backgrounds byPhilip DeGuard
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
  • December 19, 1953 (1953-12-19)
Running time
7 minutes
LanguageEnglish

Punch Trunk is a 1953 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon written by Mike Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones.[2] The short was released on December 19, 1953.[3]

Plot

The short begins with a narrator (voiced by an uncredited Robert C. Bruce) who introduces a 5 inch tall dwarf elephant that has stowed away on the S.S. Michael Maltese's shipment of bananas and escapes. Its huge roar causes a dock worker next to the ship to faint. In the next scene, the elephant is hogging the bird bath in a yard. The owner of the house phones the police about it, but is merely taken to a mental hospital because they believe that he is crazy (one of the orderlies who takes him away sarcastically tells him that he "keeps a giraffe in [his]").

Next, a woman hanging up the laundry in another yard is handed clothes pins by the elephant. When she notices, she screams in horror and runs inside, taking refuge in a washer.

Next, a man exits an optometry clinic with new glasses, but when he sees the tiny elephant, he marches back inside, punches the optometrist, and leaves, because he thought the doctor made him see things that aren't there.

Next, in a high-rise apartment, a mother is informed by her daughter that an elephant is in her room. The skeptical mother puts her back to bed. Later, the daughter is bringing a piece of cake to the elephant. This time, the mother goes into her room to look in the dollhouse. When the tiny elephant roars at her, the mother faints in shock.

Later, a drunk man leaves a bar, and sees the tiny elephant (who gets the man's attention by roaring). He checks his watch and then simply says: "You're late." As he wanders off, he mutters to himself: "He always used to be pink!"

After that, a line of elephants at a circus includes the tiny elephant, which freaks out one of the other elephants. A cat chases a mouse under a tent, only to grab the tiny elephant instead. When it roars, the cat starts acting like a monkey.

Later, at a psychiatrist's office, a woman is talking about her life and when the psychiatrist sees the tiny elephant (who had just sucked up all the water from his drinking glass), he switches places with the woman.

Then, the cartoon cuts to a man painting a flagpole. A crowd is watching below. The elephant approaches and roars, causing the spectators to join the flagpole painter.

After this, various newspaper headlines describe the panic in the city: "Mass hallucination grips city", "Hundreds Claim to Have Seen Tiny Elephant", "I Seen It.", "Picayune Pachyderm Panics Populace", "Noted Scientist to Take to Air to Calm Alarmed Citizenry". The last headline leads into the final set piece: Robert Bruce Cameron, said scientist, says the elephant is just a figment of everyone's imagination. The tiny elephant walks into view, moving the microphone from the oblivious scientist as he reads his statement to the moderator who is petrified at the bizarre sight. The moderator says that Cameron's views don't necessarily represent the views of the station, and faints. The tiny elephant roars as the cartoon ends.

Legacy

The tiny elephant makes a cameo in 1959's Unnatural History.

The cartoon was edited into Daffy Duck's Quackbusters. Here, it begins from the bird bath scene and leaves out the scenes concerning the high-rise apartment, the circus, the cat, and the flagpole. The film's version of the bird bath scene has the bird bath owner phoning up Daffy to report the elephant, which leads Daffy to send the orderlies to pick the bird bath owner up having deemed him "definitely non compos mentis"; the elephant's height here is also stated to be "5-and-a-quarter inches tall". The newspaper headlines had been swapped around so that they are shown in this order; "Mass Hallucination Grips City", "Picayune Pachyderm Panics Populace", "Hundreds Claim To Have Seen Tiny Elephant" and "I Seen It". The last headline had been changed from "Noted Scientist to Take to Air to Calm Alarmed Citizenry" to "Sightings of Tiny Elephant Continue" to tie in with the story; Daffy, having read of the mass panic from the last headline, made a backfired attempt to disprove the tiny elephant's existence that resulted in him being "publicly disgraced on a coast-to-coast hookup!" when during his interview on Frightline with Zed Toppel, the elephant walked by Daffy (Daffy halfway noticing the elephant before it roared at him).

Home media

This short is a bonus feature on disc 4 of Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6.

References

  1. ^ Ohmart, Ben (2012). Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices. BearManor Media. p. 522. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 256. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  3. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 100–102. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.