Woodpecker in the Moon

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Woodpecker in the Moon
Woody Woodpecker series
Directed by Alex Lovy
Produced by Walter Lantz
Story by Dalton Sandifer
Voices by Grace Stafford
Dal McKennon
Music by Clarence Wheeler
Animation by Don Patterson
Ray Abrams
Laverne Harding
Art Landy
Raymond Jacobs
Studio Walter Lantz Productions
Distributed by Universal International
Release date(s) July 13, 1959
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6 minutes and 16 seconds
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Panhandle Scandal
Followed by The Tee Bird

Woodpecker in the Moon is the 92nd animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on July 13, 1959, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal International.


The cartoon opens with a narrative about man's desire to break away from Earth and explore outer space (the moon being the first goal in this quest). After many unsuccessful attempts to launch rockets to the moon (including three scientists trying to launch a typical firework rocket that blows up in their faces), Professor Dingledong becomes the first man to reach the moon, but, two years later, hasn't returned to Earth. In the present day, at the Interplanetary Rocket Society, Professor P. Cosmo Clonk asks the other scientists if one of them will volunteer for the next manned mission to the moon. The scientists just look at each other until it boils down to Fido, the society's mascot, but Fido gulps and immediately pretends to have the measles.

Professor Clonk tries to coax Fido to stop delaying the progress of science, but Fido, still refusing to go first tries pretending he isn't Fido and shows his master pictures of his family (including an attractive wife whom Professor Clonk finds extremely attractive). Woody Woodpecker enters the scene as a volunteer telegram delivery man and presents a telegram to Professor Clonk, informing him of an overdue phone bill ("Roses are red. Violets are blue. If you don't pay your phone bill, the company will sue"). Professor Clonk is offended by the telegram, but after Woody points out his volunteer work, this gives Professor Clonk an idea to have Woody be the next astronaut.

Straight afterwards, at the rocket launching site, the society members wish Woody "bon voyage" and are immediately charred (while still on the gantry) as Woody blasts off in the rocket. While traveling through space, Woody opens the hatches to let a Sputnik satellite (with clotheslines) pass through. The rocket then lands safely on the moon, where we see the remains of Professor Dingledong's rocket (complete with mailbox and sidewalk canopy) and that Dingledong is still alive. Upon seeing the recently arrived spaceship, Dingledong rejoices at being rescued and gives Woody a rather mushy welcome by kissing him. Dingledong jumps at the idea of a woodpecker piloting a rocket, to which Woody states "Who were you expecting? Miss Universe?"

Unaware that Woody is listening in, Dingledong makes a plan to hijack the rocket and leave Woody stranded on the moon. As part of the plan, Dingledong takes Woody on a tour of the moon. As he shows Woody a crater, Woody questions on how deep the crater is, to which Dingledong kicks Woody into the crater, making him fall off the moon on the other side. As Dingledong reaches Woody's rocket, he laments on having volunteered for the mission that led to his being marooned on the moon and justifies his recent actions to the audience by confessing that he's so homesick after spending two years stuck on the moon. Before Dingledong can board the rocket, Woody reappears and punches him with a boxing glove. Woody then chastises Dingledong for his actions and puts the key to the rocket down his feathers. Wanting the key, Dingledong chases Woody into the rocket.

Just as it looks like Dingledong will corner Woody, Woody whips out an atom blaster ray gun and fires it at Dingledong. After the ray passes through him, Dingledong states it didn't do a thing, but soon finds out it did the hard way when his lower half runs away, making him call it back. Woody tries to flee into another section of the rocket, but Dingledong forces him at ray gunpoint to surrender the key. Woody gladly obliges and Dingledong kicks him off the rocket. Dingledong inserts the key, but a closeup reveals it's the key to the ejector seat, which launches Dingledong through the roof and into the air. Right after Dingledong states he made a boo-boo, he falls to the ground.

Woody places a door on the ground and opens it so that Dingledong falls through the doorway and deep underground. After removing the door, Woody gets back aboard the rocket and prepares to return to Earth, but Dingledong (having reappeared) forces him at gunpoint to bring him back to Earth. Straight after the rocket blasts off, it leaves Dingledong behind, making him say "Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles." The rocket, however, returns and snags Dingledong onto its nose, making him burn his butt upon reentering the Earth's atmosphere. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, the rocket zips around the Los Angeles City Hall and crashes into the top floor, where the scientists of the Interplanetary Rocket Society (plus Fido) are having their latest meeting. Dingledong crashes through the table and right into Professor Clonk, at which both professors shout out each other's names to each other (indicating Dingledong was part of the society).

In the last scene, angered that he'd been sent to the moon for nothing, Dingledong ties Professor Clonk to a large firework rocket (labeled "Moon or bust") and (as Woody watches) lights the fuse, launching Professor Clonk to the moon. As Dingledong walks away and says goodbye to Woody, we see a firework rocket (fuse already lit) tied to his back, which launches him to the moon after his former superior. Woody, holding a lit match in his hand, bids farewell to Dingledong, gives his trademark laugh, and an all knowing smirk at the fade-out.


  • Cooke, Jon, Komorowski, Thad, Shakarian, Pietro, and Tatay, Jack. "1959". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia.