Looney Tunes - You Ought to Be in Pictures (1940)
Original B&W version of this much-loved animation masterpiece!
You Ought to Be in Pictures is a 1940 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes short film directed by Friz Freleng. The cartoon was released on May 18, 1940, and stars Porky Pig and Daffy Duck.
The film combined live-action and animation, and features live-action appearances by Leon Schlesinger, writer Michael Maltese, animator Gerry Chiniquy and other Schlesinger Productions staff members. The title comes from the popular 1934 song "You Oughta Be in Pictures" by Dana Suesse and Edward Heyman, which plays in the beginning of the film.
In 2016, it was shortlisted for the 1941 Retro-Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
Mel Blanc (voice) as Porky Pig and Daffy Duck
Blanc also voiced the animator, security guard, director, and stagehands below
Leon Schlesinger as himself
Fred Jones as the animator
Chuck Jones as himself (cameo)
Bob Clampett as himself (cameo)
Michael Maltese as security guard
Gerry Chiniquy as director
Henry Binder and Paul Marin as stagehands
On this occasion, Daffy Duck is seen as a much more self-centered individual who shows willingness to do anything to get what he wants, whether it was money or fame, instead of being seen as a trouble inducing screwball. This, in turn, is indirectly a foreshadowing of the character he would later become, particularly in Rabbit Fire, and onward. It was also Friz Freleng's first film back at the studio after being at MGM for two years. The film has become one of the better known shorts made by Warner Bros, and in 1994 was voted #34 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
First Daffy Duck cartoon directed by Friz Freleng.
In a real-life parallel of the storyline, the short was directed by Friz Freleng, who had just returned to Schlesinger after a stint as a director at MGM's cartoon division.
As noted, many staff members have cameos in this short:
Leon Schlesinger — appears as himself
Chuck Jones — one of the crowd rushing out during the lunch break
Bob Clampett — another one of the Termite Terrace employees rushing frantically off to lunch
Michael Maltese — the studio security guard (also voiced by Blanc)
Gerry Chiniquy — studio director calling for quiet
Henry Binder, Paul Marin — stagehands also calling for quiet. Binder is also the stagehand throwing Porky off the set
This is the second longest Looney Tunes cartoon ever made in the Golden Age of Animation, running for nine minutes and 45 seconds. The longest Looney Tunes cartoon of all is the 1942 Bob Clampett (coincidentally seen in this picture in a cameo) cartoon Horton Hatches the Egg, beating You Ought to be in Pictures by three seconds.
Because the animation unit did not have access to location sound recording equipment, all of the live-action footage was shot silent. The voices had to be dubbed in later (which is why most of them were dubbed by Mel Blanc, except for Leon Schlesinger).
To keep the short on-budget, relatively few special effects were used to marry the animation and live action. Where possible, the crew simply took still pictures of the office background and had them enlarged and placed directly on the animation stand.
Stock footage from the 1936 Western California Mail was used in the sequences of Porky driving through the backlot.
Despite being in black and white, this short was shown regularly on Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon, particularly during the Nick at Nite version.
In 1995, the film was computer colorized and became a regular part of the Cartoon Network rotation. The film could also be seen in its original black and white form on the network's installment show Late Night Black and White.
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