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An Itch in Time
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. However, only the Blue Ribbon version is copyrighted; the original version is considered public domain.
Elmer Fudd is laughing while lounging in his easy chair and reading his comic book, his dog comfortably nearby sleeping in front of the fireplace. All is peaceful until a flea comes bouncing by. (The flea is dressed in a farmer's-type outfit with a big sombrero and is carrying a satchel with the name "A. Flea" on it). He gets out his telescope and spots the dog. (We see a big shot of the dog's butt and the flea whistles in excitement, screaming "T- Bone!" He then sings, "There's food around the corner; there's food around the corner!") The flea then begins to find a suitable portion of the dog for him to eat or work on, which in turn bothers the dog and then begins to scratch and bite the flea. Elmer soon notices this and threatens to give the dog a bath if he witnesses him scratching again. The dog makes his promise. The flea still searches for meat and uses pickaxes, jackhammers and even explosives while the dog tries to withstand the suffering pain, but finally yelps and runs around. After that Elmer advances on the dog, and gets a hold of him after the dogs says' Oh no, not that!...' and we a door bang but the dog still holds on the doorknob. 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, singing 'There will be no more meatless Tuesdays for me...' And then a cat witnesses it and says, 'Now I've seen everything!' and commits suicide by shooting himself with a pistol.
Supervision: Robert Clampett
Story: Warren Foster
Animation: Bob McKimson, Rod Scribner (uncredited)
Music: Carl W. Stalling
- Throughout the film, Elmer is reading a Bugs Bunny/Porky Pig comic book.
- A. Flea's repeated song was covered by Green Day (with drummer Tre Cool singing the song which contains some slight lyric changes).
- 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. As usual, Arthur Q. Bryan is the voice of Elmer.
- After the flea's pile of dynamite goes off, the dog scampers around the room on his hindquarters, barking in pain, until he stops sharply in mid-run, looks at the audience and says, "Hey, I'd better cut this out, I may get to like it!", then resumes. This gag was deliberately written to see if it would be removed by the Hays Office. Surprisingly, it remained in the cartoon unedited.
- There is one brief moment on the cover of Elmer's comic book when Porky's mouth is opened and closed.
- A. Flea would make another appearance in 1947's A Horsefly Fleas, directed by Robert McKimson, in which the "A" in the flea's name is revealed to stand for "Anthony".
- In the 1995 Turner "dubbed version" (and presumably other TV prints), Elmer's shirt appeared greenish (similar to the shirt color of his prototype Egghead). The restored version on DVD shows that the shirt was originally blue.
- 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), TNT, and TBS. Volume 3 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series has this cartoon uncut.
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- An Itch in Time at the Big Cartoon DataBase