One Step Ahead of My Shadow
Directed By: Rudolf Ising (uncredited)
Produced By: Hugh Harman
Rudolf Ising
Leon Schlesinger (associate producer)
Released: February 4, 1933
Series: Merrie Melodies
Animation: Isadore Freleng
Max Maxwell
Film Editor: Bernard B. Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By:
Music: Frank Marsales
Starring: Chinese People
Preceded By: The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives
Succeeded By: Young and Healthy

One Step Ahead of My Shadow is a 1933 Merrie Melodies short directed by Rudolf Ising.


The opening reveals a Chinese city. Among the people include a traffic cop, a bicyclist who uses hat like a bell, a trolley working for "Shanghai Express", a woman holding a pot on her head, and two people impersonating Amos and Andy. A Chinese boy pushes a boat down a stream, and a duck swallows several fishes, until a giant fish swallows him whole. The boy continues moving along the stream, but stops to sing "One Step Ahead of My Shadow" in a terrible Chinese impersonation. His sweethearts and the two join in on the song. He then pushes a tree sing next to her, and then pushes her on it a few times.

In the next scene we see a Chinese Aristocrat riding a rickshaw being pulled by a man who's winning is similar to that of a horse. The rickshaw bumps on the road, and the meter responds with, "No Sale". The aristocrat proceeds to sharpen his fingernails with his a pencil sharpener, and climbs back onto the rickshaw by shaping the convertible top into a stairway. He then arrives at his home and hears a Chinese band. He pulls out an instrument and plays along. Some servants also join in. One of the servant boy's uses a man's hat as a cymbal.

The scene cuts back to the boy and girl who are still playing on the swing, when they stop and hear the music. They rush inside the house.

The scene cuts back inside where a dragon hanging from the wall comes to life and starts singing along. We then see a man standing on a row of bald men. The aristocrat and two of his servants continue to sing the song, along the way making fake Chinese words.

Elsewhere a dragon escapes from his cage, and enters the house. He lets out a fierce roar. He sees the girl and chases her into a corner of the house, only for the boy arrive and attempt to throw a sword in the dragon, which fails. They eventually are able to get away, but find themselves being corned again. The boy spots a box of fireworks and throws it into the dragon's mouth. The fireworks burst inside the dragon, although a couple of the rockets do manage to get away such as one that falls into a goldfish bowl and explodes. Another explosion leaves the dragon with nothing but his skeleton. He flees and everybody rejoices.


  • (1992) LaserDisc - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Vol. 3, Side 1: Harman-Ising
  • (2009) DVD - Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 3 (1995 Turner dubbed version)


  • This is the earliest Merrie Melodies short under copyright; its copyright was renewed on March 24, 1961.[1] However, many copies exist without copyright protection.



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