The Draft Horse

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The Draft Horse is a Warner Bros. cartoon released in 1942, directed by Chuck Jones. Mel Blanc provided the voices. Robert Cannon is the animator, Tedd Pierce is the screenwriter and the music of this cartoon was done by Carl Stalling. The title is a pun on draft horse and the Draft.

Plot[edit]

A farm horse sees a poster that says the U.S. Army needs horses. The horse goes to the recruiting station and tries to volunteer, but is eventually rejected, labeled "44-F". Leaving the station dejected, he wanders into a wargames situation, and the flying bullets frighten him so much he makes a dash for home. At the end, he is serving the war effort in another way, knitting "V for Victory" sweaters for the boys overseas.

One amusing bit that highlights the Warner cartoonists' penchant for going to the edge of general public taste without quite crossing over, is this "eye chart test", underscored by the music connected with You're in the Army Now,:

You're in the Army now [normal size letters]
You're not behind the plow [smaller letters]
You'll never get rich [very small letters]
By diggin' a ditch [letters too small to read]
YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW! [huge letters]

The missing line can either be rendered "You son-of-a-bitch" or "By diggin' a ditch", depending on the audience. A similar gag was employed by Tex Avery in MGM's 1942 cartoon, Blitz Wolf.

Trivia[edit]

  • A character who would go on to be Private Snafu gives the horse a brushing, only to end up being brushed by the horse himself. Private Snafu as a series character did not officially debut until 1943.

Soundtrack[edit]

We Did It Before (and We Can Do It Again)
Written by Cliff Friend and Charles Tobias
Played during the opening credits and at the end
Also played when the sergeant looks down the horse's throat

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Traditional
Sung by Horse as "This Is the Way We Plow the Field"

Light Cavalry Overture
Music by Franz von Suppé
Played when the horse sees the army billboard

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
Music by Thomas A. Beckett
Played when the horse kisses the farmer goodbye

William Tell Overture
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Played when the horse runs off to enlist
Also played during the sham battle
Also played when the horse races home

Battle Music No. 9
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
Played when the horse play-acts battle scenes in the recruiting office
Played again when the horse play-acts battle scenes a second time

Taps
Music by Daniel Butterfield
Hummed by the horse, causing the sergeant to cry

It Had to Be You
Music by Isham Jones
Played when the horse performs the striptease

The Old Grey Mare
Traditional
Played when the horse removes his harness and gets brushed

You're in the Army Now
Music by Isham Jones
Played during the eye test

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See also[edit]

External links[edit]