Confederate Honey

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Confederate Honey
Merrie Melodies (Elmer Fudd) series
Directed by Friz Freleng
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Ben Hardaway
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
Sara Berner
(all uncredited)
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Layouts by Owen Fitzgerald (uncredited)
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) March 30, 1940 (USA premiere)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 min (one reel)
Country United States
Language English

Confederate Honey is a 1940 Merrie Melodies animated cartoon short directed by Friz Freleng and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It is a sendup of Gone with the Wind, and features an early appearance by Elmer Fudd in his most familiar form.

The cartoon's title is meant to evoke "Confederate money." The Merrie Melodies rings change slightly starting with this cartoon, changing from a red and blue color scheme with a sky background to a red and blue color scheme with a black background.

Plot summary[edit]

It is 1861 (B.Sea., that is "Before Seabiscuit"), and Colonel O'Hairoil, a literal blueblood in the literally bluegrass country of Kentucky, presides over rich tobacco and cotton plantations. His black workers slowly pick the cotton one boll at a time, and when one young lad takes two bolls of cotton and hands them to his recumbent father to place in the packing crate, he is warned, "Don't get too ambitious there, son."

The pride of the plantation is the Colonel's daughter, Crimson O'Hairoil, who is courted by many suitors, who leave in vain after having their horse parking ticket validated (for parking is charged by the hour). Crimson has eyes only for the "chivalrous," "hard riding, square shooting soldier of fortune, Ned Cutler." (Elmer Fudd). Ned arrives, and is just, with some difficulty, about to ask Crimson a question, when there is an explosion—the war has started. Ned must leave to join his "wegiment." He leaves his horse in the paid lot, despite the warning of the attendant.

The war drags on. The war is picketed on the grounds that it is unfair to the Union, while civilians are equipped with blue "Union suits" (uniforms). An officer addresses his men, warning that the other side is pitching Stoneball Jackson, "a southpaw" against them, and if they win, they will meet the South in the Cotton Bowl. A trumpeteer sounds a call, but things degenerate into a jazz band. A nervous Confederate officer paces in a tent with information coming in by telegraph—it turns out to be race results. Ned shoots a cannon, whose ball acts like a pinball in a machine.

Meanwhile, the horse and attendant await Ned's return. The Colonel is dispirited to hear, on the radio, that "The Yanks" have won again, announced before a victory for Brooklyn (and all others rained out), and curses the Yankees.

Back at camp, Ned reads a letter and sighs. A signal rocket turns into an advertisement "After the battle eat Southern Fried Chicken at Mammy's Shack." Crimson, having promised to burn a light in the window for Ned, does so with such enthusiasm with a searchlight that she alarms Paul Revere, who rides away giving his famous warning.

Time passes (with the horse and attendant still in the lot) from 1861 to 1865, and the war ends. Crimson looks out her window, strewn with the remains of candles. At last, Ned returns, and finally asks Crimson the question—can she validate his parking ticket? She stamps "REVOKED" across his forehead.

This is the first of three cartoons featuring the black hunter from All This and Rabbit Stew. He appears as the slave who is waiting for Ned to pick up his horse.

Availability[edit]

While this cartoon is not one of the "Censored Eleven" shorts, it has not been shown in full (or at all) on American television in many years due to content demeaning to African-Americans.

An unedited version was released on the laserdisc set The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vol. 3. A Turner dubbed version (which has the same edits as seen on TV airings) was released in the Errol Flynn Westerns Collection on the DVD release of Virginia City.

References[edit]

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