An Itch in Time
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|An Itch in Time|
|Directed by||Robert Clampett|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Sara Berner
Arthur Q. Bryan
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling
Treg Brown (editing)
|Running time||8 minutes|
An Itch in Time is a 1943 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Bob Clampett and starring Elmer Fudd and a dog which looks very similar to, if not a modified Willoughby the Dog. It is the only Elmer cartoon from 1943 to remain under copyright; the others, To Duck or Not To Duck and A Corny Concerto, are in the public domain (although the original 1943 version of An Itch in Time is in the public domain due to lack of copyright protection).
The voice of A. Flea is uncredited and was provided by Sara Berner, except for the character screaming "T-Bone!" which was done by Mel Blanc. Blanc also performs the voice of the dog and the cat. As usual, Arthur Q. Bryan is the voice of Elmer.
Elmer Fudd is laughing while lounging in his easy chair and reading his comic book (which is later revealed to have Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig on its cover), his dog nearby, sleeping comfortably in front of the fireplace. All is peaceful until a flea comes bouncing by, dressed in a farmer's-type outfit with a big straw hat, and carrying a satchel inscribed "Anthony Flea" also known as A. Flea. Pulling out his telescope and spotting the dog, he whistles and screams in excitement before beginning to sing "Food Around the Corner", which become a recurring theme throughout the cartoon. The flea then begins to find a suitable portion of the dog for him to eat or work on, which in turn causes the dog to scratch and bite the flea. Elmer soon notices this and threatens to give the dog a bath if he witnesses him scratching again, which the dog promises not to do. Although the dog keeps his promise, at one point he enlists help from the cat, but they are both caught by a stern-looking Elmer and retreat in shame.
The flea continues searching for meat and uses pickaxes, jackhammers and even explosives while the dog tries to withstand the suffering pain, but finally yelps and runs around. Elmer then advances on the dog, grasps him, and carries him to the bathroom. However, the flea manages to get on Elmer, causing him to scratch, and the dog proceeds to carry Elmer and give him a bath. He promptly slips on a soap bar on the floor and lands in the kitchen sink. The flea soon carries the two away on a plate, labelled as a "Blue Plate special"; the sight being enough to cause Elmer's cat to commit suicide. "Well, now I've seen everything." said Elmer's cat, who've witnessed A. Flea carrying Willoughby and Elmer out of the house.
Sara Berner as A. Flea
Mel Blanc as Dog, Cat and A. Flea (Screaming)
The end gag where the cat shoots himself after seeing the flea carry Elmer and the dog on a platter has been cut on most TV airings, particularly on Cartoon Network (excluding The Bob Clampett Show broadcast), Boomerang, TNT, and TBS. While the older transfers (oldest a.a.p. prints on syndicated TV channels and then the Cartoon Festivals tape prints on the Turner networks) edit the scene out with a fake "iris-out", the 1995 dubbed version seen on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the United States uses a fake dissolve to the dubbed version outro card.
- The cartoon's original version was released without copyright protection. For the Blue Ribbon reissue, a copyright was filed. The reissue remains under copyright, but the original is in the public domain.