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Angel Puss is a 1944 Looney Tunes short directed by Chuck Jones.

Plot

A young African-American boy (drawn in blackface style) carries a sack to a river and laments that he has agreed to drown a cat. While the boy stares at the water, the cat slips out of the sack and fills it with bricks. When the boy says that he can't go through with the task, the hidden cat, pretending to be the boy's conscience, says, "Go ahead, Sambo, go ahead, boy," and reminds him that he has been paid four bits to do the job. Sambo reluctantly drops the bag in the river rather than return the money.

The cat then disguises itself as its own ghost, painting itself white and donning wings and a halo, and proceeds to "haunt" Sambo by repeatedly sneaking up on him and whispering "boo." Sambo runs away, but the cat rattles a pair of dice, causing Sambo to fall into a trance and sleepwalk back to the cat.

The hauntings continue until Sambo and the cat fall in a pond, washing off the cat's paint. When Sambo realizes that he has been tricked, he kills the cat with a shotgun blast. Immediately afterward, a line of nine ghost cats (representing a cat's nine lives) marches toward Sambo, saying, "And this time, brother, us ain't kiddin'."

Availability

  • (2017) Blu-ray - All Scrappy, All Warners

Caricatures

Bans

Because the film contains stereotypical portrayals of African-Americans, it is among the group of controversial cartoons known to animation buffs as the Censored Eleven. "Angel Puss" is the only Chuck Jones film and the only Looney Tunes release on the list. In addition, this short was not shown at the TCM Movie Festival in Los Angeles in 2010, but has been restored for an indefinitely delayed DVD.

Notes

  • This was the last cartoon to use the 1942-1944 Looney Tunes title card with Porky and Daffy in the rings. It wouldn't return until the late 40s; with updated designs of Porky and Daffy, it was used in "Riff Raffy Daffy", and "The Prize Pest".

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