Terrier Stricken

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Terrier-Stricken
Merrie Melodies series
Terrierstricken.jpg
Screenshot of Terrier-Stricken title card
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Edward Selzer
Voices by Mel Blanc (Frisky/Claude)
Bea Benaderet (Frisky's Mistress, uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Milt Franklyn (uncredited)
Animation by Lloyd Vaughan
Ken Harris
Ben Washam
Harry Love
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds by Philip de Guard
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, 1952
Release date(s) November 29, 1952 (USA)
Color process Color
Running time 7 min
Language English

Terrier-Stricken is a Merrie Melodies cartoon short, released in 1952, which was written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones. Frisky's barking at the worst possible moments get Claude into a heap of troublesome situations.

Story[edit]

In the opening scene, Claude is happily eating his dinner but becomes frustrated that there isn't more food in his bowl. He gets the idea that because Frisky hasn't eaten his dinner yet, he can eat the dog's food. Sneaking over to the dog's food dish, his tail in the form of a devil's pitchfork, Claude arrives at the dog dish and is about to take a bite when Frisky sneaks up behind him and barks. Claude is seen flying upward out of the scene. A moment later, we see Claude with his claws stuck into the ceiling, shaking like a leaf. Frisky downs his dinner in a flash of a second and runs off. Claude becomes disgusted with the dog and begins murmuring in his kitty voice.

Frisky is seen running through the hallway where he sees his ball, and he pounces on it and it rolls under the carpet. As he goes after the ball by crawling under the carpet, he's not quite sure where it is, so he takes a sniff and bites down on the ball and comes out from under the carpet, ball held tightly in his teeth (typical puppy-style). He throws the ball up into the air and tries to catch it as it falls back to the floor but he misses, and his empty jaws snap shut. He throws the ball up again, but this time it doesn't come down right after, and as he's trying to figure out where the ball is, it drops out of the air and hits him on the head. He gets scared and scampers off behind a wall, yelping all the way. Angrily, he jumps out at the ball and barks at it and walks away, but has to stop for a moment as he has to scratch. A flea falls to the floor as he looks down at it and gives it a sniff. It jumps at him and he yelps, but as he leaves, the flea jumps back into his fur. Frisky's mistress (Bea Benaderet) notices him scratching away and says, "So, Mr. Frisky - I see YOU need a bath! Well, there's no time like the present."

As his mistress carries him, they pass Claude who is watching and he sticks out his tongue at Frisky. Frisky escapes and his mistress yells, "Frisky, you come back here this minute!" Frisky hides under the couch, and Claude goes over to the couch skirt and lifts it up with his hind leg as the mistress asks herself, "Where is that dog? Oh there you are, you naughty thing!" and carries him back to the wash tub. We see her pouring hot water into the wash tub when the phone rings. She says, "Oh dear, that phone again! Now you stay right there till I get back!" Frisky is backed into a corner and cannot escape. As Claude tests the water to see how hot it is, Frisky sneaks up behind him and lets out a loud bark. This scares Claude and again he is seen leaping upward out of the scene. Claude causes a splash of hot water from the tub on the way down.

Mad at the dog for scaring him, Claude picks up a pail and fills it up with the hot water and runs through the house after Frisky. He pauses for a moment when he cannot find the puppy, but Frisky sees Claude and barks again, sending Claude and the hot water bucket hurtling toward the ceiling. Claude lets go of the ceiling and you know that they say - cats always land on their feet, and just as he's about to hit the floor, the bucket turns upside down and he lands normally on all fours. What's left of the water in the bucket empties out on to the floor. Claude walks on with the bucket over his body.

Frisky is outside now, and Claude sneaks behind a tree (it happens to be the same tree that Frisky is behind, but Claude does not notice). Frisky lets out a loud bark sending Claude sailing through the air, and he lands in a watering can.

Back inside, Frisky is chewing on part of the carpet and Claude is seen with a bone attached to the line of a fishing rod. He casts the bone to Frisky but he lets go of the bone and the hook ends up hooking the fish bowl. It lands on the floor and as Claude reels it in, he thinks Frisky is at the end of it and he leaps from behind the wall to scare him, and he lands in the fish bowl.

Now Claude is really angry. He sharpens an axe and runs through the house like an axe-wielding maniac. Frisky watches from the upstairs hallway and Claude notices. Claude runs up the stairs toward Frisky but Frisky sneaks up behind Claude and lets out a loud bark, sending Claude and the axe skyward. Stuck on the ceiling, Claude falls to the floor when the axe handle comes out of the hole, landing on and sliding down the banister. He lands on a roller skate, which sends him wheeling through the house at break-neck speed. As he holds on for dear life, he moves to avoid any furniture in the way and in a chain reaction, shoots him out the door into a wagon. The wagon then hits a brick wall, sending him sailing through the neighbour's upstairs window, freaking out the lady of the house who lets out a blood-curdling scream. She kicks him back out the window and he lands in a rain barrel at the bottom of a downspout. Frisky notices and lets out a bark sending Claude airborne again. This time Claude has nothing to hold on to, and he falls into the chimney on the way down, clumsily landing on some fire logs which roll across the room. He grabs on to a water dispenser which doesn't slow him down and the logs, Claude and the water dispenser fall down the basement stairs with a crash. Claude comes back up the stairs but he is inside the water bottle, only his feet are outside the lip of the bottle. Frisky reappears and barks at Claude, sending him airborne toward the ceiling again. As he hits the ceiling, the bottle smashes open and the glass and what's left of the water fall toward the floor sending a frightened Frisky out of the scene.

Claude chases Frisky outside again and into a laundry truck. Frisky gets caught in a sweater but before he can get away, Claude latches on to the sweater with a claw and Frisky runs away leaving a trail of wool string. Claude ties the string to the truck (thinking that when the truck takes off, it'll take Frisky with it) and he follows the string where he believes Frisky will be when he gets to the end. The string is everywhere - through the banister rails, in and out two mouse holes, through the handles of a vase, in and out of a kettle, through the hot and cold water taps, and into a tipped over trash can. Claude investigates the trash can but Frisky is nowhere to be found. As Claude grabs the end of the string, the truck's engine starts and the truck drives off, sending him back the way he came, all the while holding onto the string! As he exits the house, he is hurtled into the air and lands on a swimming pool diving board in a neighbouring yard. As he bounces up in the air, he holds his nose as if he's going to plunge into the water, and as he falls, we see there is no water in the pool and he lands with a thud at the bottom of the dry pool, cracking the cement. In a daze, he starts "swimming" through the broken concrete, and the cartoon comes to a close.

Censorship[edit]

  • On CBS, the ending where Claude the Cat lands in an empty swimming pool and is shown dazedly swimming through the broken concrete was cut, fading out on the part where Claude is in the air shrugging just before he drops.

Music[edit]

  • Shortnin' Bread (Traditional)
  • Singin' in the Bathtub, by Michael Cleary
  • Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone
  • Over The Waves, by Juventino Rosas
  • All The Time, by Sunny Skylar