Weasel While You Work
|Weasel While You Work|
|Merrie Melodies (Foghorn Leghorn) series|
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Produced by||John Burton, Sr.
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||John Seely|
|Animation by||Warren Batchelder
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||6 mins|
Weasel While You Work is a 1958 Merrie Melodies animated short starring Foghorn Leghorn, Barnyard Dawg, and the weasel from earlier shorts like Plop Goes the Weasel and Weasel Stop. Unlike many Foghorn shorts, this one takes place during the winter; as such, many of the gags involve snow and ice. The title is a pun on "whistle while you work".
At wintertime, Foghorn grabs Barnyard Dawg from his doghouse, coats him in snow, and puts snowman decorations on him. Dawg emerges from the snowman and says he'll "moidah da bum!". He sharpens Foghorn's ice skates, which causes Foghorn to fall through the ice when he skates a circle. In revenge, Foghorn rolls a snowball down the hill toward Dawg, who escapes just before the now giant snowball hits a curve and flies back at Foghorn, burying him. Foghorn emerges, declaring "That dog's like taxes. He just don't know when to stop". Suddenly, Foghorn is attacked by a ravenously hungry weasel who gnaws Foghorn's leg. Foghorn grabs the weasel and asks him if he wouldn't prefer some venison. Foghorn slips antlers onto Dawg's head and directs the weasel to him. The weasel attacks Dawg's leg. Dawg notices the antlers and removes them, and asks the weasel how he'd like some frozen chicken.
Foghorn is knocked unconscious when his sled hits a log Dawg has placed in his path. While Foghorn is down, Dawg covers him in water, which freezes him. Dawg tells weasel to eat hearty, so the weasel hits the frozen Foghorn with an axe. Foghorn says he's got a splitting headache and falls in half. To get revenge, Foghorn traps Dawg in a bag and gives him to the weasel to cook. While being peppered, Dawg sneezes, which causes an avalanche of snow to fall on him. A furious Dawg tells the weasel that he's a dog and that he should get a chicken instead ("What you want is a chicken! R-A-T. Chicken."). Later, the skiing Foghorn hits a tall pole and slides into a cooking pot, where the weasel is hungrily waiting. Foghorn bolts. Dawg hands a club to the weasel, who chases Foghorn until he is distracted by a huge Foghorn ice statue, which he proceeds to gnaw on. The real Foghorn, watching from behind a tree, thinks his troubles are over until at least the Fourth of July. In the final setpiece, Foghorn pulls on what he thinks is Barnyard Dawg's tail from his doghouse, but it's revealed to be a lit rocket that shoots Foghorn into the sky. Dawg remarks: "The Fourth of July came a little oily this year! Heh heh heh..." and the cartoon ends.
This is one of six cartoons scored by using stock music by John Seely of Capitol Records from the Hi-Q library because of a musicians' strike in 1958. The others are A Bird in a Bonnet, Hook, Line and Stinker, Pre-Hysterical Hare, Gopher Broke, and Hip Hip-Hurry!.
Mel Blanc supplied the voices of Foghorn Leghorn, Barnyard Dawg, and the weasel.
According to Michael Samerdyke, Weasel While You Work is "a very strong late Foghorn Leghorn cartoon .... The only jarring note, as several writers have noted, is the music by John Seely", which Samerdyke says is ill-suited to the Warner Bros. style.
The short was reviewed in Hollywood Classics, volume 23.
- Samerdyke, Michael (2014). Cartoon Carnival: A Critical Guide to the Best Cartoons from Warner Brothers, MGM, Walter Lantz and DePatie-Freleng. Lulu Press. ISBN 1312470070.
- Lawson, Tim, and Alisa Persons (2004). The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 71. ISBN 1578066964.
- Reid, John Howard (2010). Hollywood Classics Title Index to All Movies Reviewed in Books 1–24. Lulu.com. p. 122. ISBN 0557720869.