Friends, welcome back to a new Toon In offering – this week we have the exceptional The Early Bird Dood It! – a classic theatrical animated short from Tex Avery. Originally released to theaters on August 29th of of 1942 although it actually saw a re-release 8 years later on December 2nd of 1950. For good reason too as it is an absolutely hilarious cartoon – although to be fair I will be the first to admit that I rather have an affinity for Tex Avery shorts. For what it is worth, this happens to be the second Tex Avery short for MGM – the first being released the previous week, a propaganda cartoon entitled Blitz Wolf.
The Early Bird Dood It! was written by Rich Hogan who wrote or had story credit for 72 other classic animated shorts – just a few of the highlights included Prest-O Change-O, Elmer’s Candid Camera, Red Hot Riding Hood, and Droopy’s Good Deed.
The legendary Tex Avery began his career in animation around 1928 – apparently after trying his hand at a variety of careers – when he was hired to be an inker for Winkler Pictures. You might be very intrigued to learn that Winkler Pictures was founded by Margaret J. Winkler – who previously had been the personal secretary for Harry Warner – one of the four brothers who co-founded Warner Bros. At one point in the early days of Winkler Pictures – Margaret was producing animated shorts for Felix the Cat as well as Walt Disney’s early Alice Comedies!
Avery would leave Winkler Pictures and find work at Universal Studios Cartoons – which would eventually become Walter Lantz Productions. While it is true that he was hired on there as an inker, he would find himself as an animator before he joined up with Leon Schlesinger Productions… after being let go at Universal Studios Cartoon. After working on the likes of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and Porky Pig – in September of 1941 – Avery would sign with MGM to put together his own animation studio. Producing among many other animated theatrical shorts The Early Bird Dood It! – a prime example of the screwball comedy that Avery excelled at.