Hunky and Spunky

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Hunky and Spunky are fictional characters, appearing in the series of animated short subjects produced by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures from 1938 to 1941. Filmed in Technicolor, the series revolves around a mother burro and her son.

History[edit]

Hunky is a mother burro and Spunky is her young son. This story takes place in the old west, where a prospector attempts to make Spunky into his pack animal. Hunky and Spunky was nominated for the 1938 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons). Fleischer Studios went on to produce six more cartoons featuring Hunky and Spunky: Always Kickin' (1939), The Barnyard Brat (1939), A Kick in Time (1940), Snubbed by a Snob (1940), You Can't Shoe a Horsefly (1940), and Vitamin Hay (1941). The series ended in 1941 with Vitamin Hay.

A positive contemporary review of Hunky and Spunky in Film Daily praised the short for introducing "funny new characters," and stated that the short's device of having the animals speak in "donkey talk" "will amuse the kids" [1]

Filmography[edit]

Title Original release date Summary
Hunky and Spunky June 24, 1938 Hunky is a mother burro and Spunky is her young son. This story takes place in the Old West, where a prospector attempts to make Spunky into his pack animal.
Always Kickin' January 29, 1939 Hunky is teaching her son Spunky how to kick properly. She has him practice with a mattress propped against a tree. Spunky befriends a family of birds who are building a nest. Spunky copies their design and builds a nest of his own. Although he is a donkey, he tries to imitate the birds in flight and falls out of his nest. A vulture kidnaps the baby bird from the nest and Spunky follows them. Spunky uses his newfound kicking abilities to send the vulture packing and return the baby bird to its parents.
The Barnyard Brat June 30, 1939 Spunky throws a temper tantrum and proceeds to make things miserable for the animals on the farm despite Hunky's efforts to calm him. When the animals take matters into their own hands and begin to torment Spunky for his behavior, Hunky comes back to save her son.
A Kick in Time May 17, 1940 Spunky is kidnapped and sold at an auction to a cruel Italian peddler. It's up to Hunky to save him.
Snubbed by a Snob July 19, 1940 A young horse says hi to little donkey Spunky. But the horse's mother pulls him away, saying she doesn't associate with that kind. Spunky makes a few more overtures, and eventually they set off on a chase, running across a bull from time to time. The horse stops to eat a lot of apples and drink far too much water; this leaves him too bloated to move much at all. The two continue to anger the bull, which gives chase; Spunky saves the colt, and they all live in harmony.
You Can't Shoe a Horse Fly August 23, 1940 Hunky and Spunky are settling in for a nap, but a horse fly sees them and sees dinner. After battling the fly for a while, the youngster enlists mom's help. But the fly is merely stunned, and rallies a new attack, this time with friends. Hunky eventually kills the lot of them.
Vitamin Hay August 22, 1941 It's time for lunch, and Spunky (the baby donkey) is expected to feed on healthy (and awful-tasting) Vitamin Hay. He resists, and wanders out of the barn to look for more interesting things to eat.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ (July 1, 1938). Review of Hunky and Spunky. Film Daily, Vol. 74, No. 1, p. 4