eutychus
2 years ago
"Wild Wife" (Warner Brothers, 1954)

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A long time ago when I was still running the DisneyShorts site we examined the role of marriage in the Disney cartoons; specifically the idea that marriage didn't seem to work out for either Mickey or Donald as seen in the cartoons "Mickey's Nightmare" and "Donald's Diary." (The blog is still accessible and you can read the discussion here .) The upshot was that since animation was largely a male dominated business, marriage was always seen from the male point of view. And in essence it was something to be avoided as evidenced in the title "Nightmare" and the ending of Donald's Diary where he ends up in the French Foreign Legion to escape it. I don't believe that marriage was ever looked at from the female point of view.

Which is why I liked "Wild Wife" so much. Even though by 1954 the animation industry was still male dominated, it took the chance of showing marriage from the female point of view which to my mind was a big step in cartoon history. Or possible it's more meta than that and it shows a male point of view of what a woman's day would be like. It's tough to tell. You decide.
nickramer
2 years ago
A personal favorite one-shot. Great performance of Bea Beniderict (who would later voice Betty Rubble, "a modern stone age" housewife).
Lee B
2 years ago
For anyone who isn't familiar with this short, I think MeTV is showing it tomorrow morning, Thursday, Feb. 10th. It looked like that in the teaser promo at the end of Wednesday's show, anyway.
Lee B
2 years ago

"Wild Wife" (Warner Brothers, 1954)

Main Entry 

UserPostedImage

A long time ago when I was still running the DisneyShorts site we examined the role of marriage in the Disney cartoons; specifically the idea that marriage didn't seem to work out for either Mickey or Donald as seen in the cartoons "Mickey's Nightmare" and "Donald's Diary." (The blog is still accessible and you can read the discussion here .) The upshot was that since animation was largely a male dominated business, marriage was always seen from the male point of view. And in essence it was something to be avoided as evidenced in the title "Nightmare" and the ending of Donald's Diary where he ends up in the French Foreign Legion to escape it. I don't believe that marriage was ever looked at from the female point of view.

Which is why I liked "Wild Wife" so much. Even though by 1954 the animation industry was still male dominated, it took the chance of showing marriage from the female point of view which to my mind was a big step in cartoon history. Or possible it's more meta than that and it shows a male point of view of what a woman's day would be like. It's tough to tell. You decide.

Originally Posted by: eutychus 




Watched it today, since it was on MeTV this morning. Now that I've seen it, I still can't decide! I will say that it's more likely a man's (Tedd Pierce's) comedic view of what a woman's day would be like. But I wonder if that was the underlying concept, or if it was the beginning of McKimson and Pierce's affection for mimicking mid 50's TV sitcoms. Off the top of my head, I feel like that team did those more than the Jones or Freleng units.

I'll give them this much...they make the wife much more of a true "cartoon character" than you ever saw with the cardboard wife in the Tom and Jerrys over at MGM from the same time period. When she opens the car door and is inundated by groceries...and she pokes her head up from the pile with a carrot in her mouth, you could easily see that gag happen to Daffy or Porky. She's a legitimate Looney Tunes character for a moment!

But before we give them too much credit for "female point of view", let's not forget some of the gags that show this was truly a man's take...when she drives to one of the locations, (maybe the beauty parlor?) we get the requisite "women as bad drivers" gag as she slams the car back and forth against parked cars while attempting to parallel park. (Reminds me of the Avery gag with the bumpers around the entire car, or the garage that lifts up over the wife trying to park.) And the shopping gag where she's coming out of the department store carrying a mountain of packages, while the voice over says she was shopping for him, but managed to "pick up a few things for herself as well".

It's also fun in retrospect to watch the future Barney and Betty Rubble working off each other. Fine job as always by Bea Benaderet, whom I've felt has gone underappreciated for years. She did some really great voice work in the Warners' shorts, but her having passed away before the golden age of "studying and discussing animation", it seems like she's almost always forgotten or at least passed over by everyone's praise and affection for June Foray, whom of course is equally deserving.

A fun one-shot, and a fairly unusual departure from the norm in many ways. I can understand why they didn't do more with the couple, but I'm glad this one did get produced. Kudos Eutycus, thanks for picking an unusual one. And I admit, I'm really glad it aired on TV just after you put it up for discussion!
nickramer
2 years ago





And the shopping gag where she's coming out of the department store carrying a mountain of packages, while the voice over says she was shopping for him, but managed to "pick up a few things for herself as well".

Originally Posted by: Lee B 



A little late on this, but I know someone who is kind of like that when she shops sometimes (although, she's been recently shopping online due to the pandemic).

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