The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: King-Size Canary (1947)

Today we present to you a brief look at the 1947 one-off cartoon short King-Size Canary, an unrelenting bit of frenzied absurdity that may very well be Tex Avery’s masterpiece.

King-Size Canary takes all of the typical Avery hallmarks and elevates them to the next insane level. Everything in the cartoon builds continuously, with one uproarious bit after another, until the utterly preposterous yet somehow still rational conclusion. The takes are crazier. The clever signs that populate many Avery cartoons are even funnier (my favorite is the label on the refrigerator: it’s made by “COLDERNELL”). The visuals are among some of the most inventive of Avery’s career (the bit where the bird removes the cat’s face, and then flings it back on every which way, is hilarious in its blatant surrealism). The ending–well, considering what’s led up to it, it’s just perfectly, soundly logical.

And now, it feels perfectly, soundly logical to end our week-long Tex Avery tribute with this cartoon. Thanks for coming along with us as we celebrated one of our favorite pioneers of animation. We can only hope we did justice to his truly classic body of work this past week.

Make sure to stop back by tomorrow as we announce the winner of our “Tex Avery prize pack” giveaway!

5 thoughts on “The Screwy Genius of Tex Avery: King-Size Canary (1947)

  1. “King-Size Canary” is pretty great all right, but my favorite Avery cartoon is “Magical Maestro.” “Rock-a-Bye Bear” is right up there, too. Come to think of it, there are a lot of contenders for Tex’s Best Cartoon.

    Thanks for a great series of posts!

  2. That refrigerator gag never fails to break me up, but then I’m a sucker for puns (I also like the book the mouse is reading – The Lost Squeekend).

    I will second my learned friend policomic and heap praise on this great series. We watched some classic cartoons, we learned much in the process…and I like to think that we, just like the characters in King Size Canary, grew a little, too.

  3. Salvador Dali only wished he could be this surreal. It’s criminal that these cartoons don’t get as much play as they should.

  4. Pingback: Back to the Drawing Board: The TCM Classic Animation Event

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