Bad Luck Blackie (1949)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
 Tex Avery, Dick Nelson
Directed by: Tex Avery

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: A tiny kitten is repeatedly tormented by a sadistic bulldog until he enlists the services of a black cat who comes when whistled to bring bad luck by crossing the dog’s path.

Cartoon Cats: This is one of Tex Avery’s unforgettable shorts with a completely absurd and hilarious cartoon universe, turning the myth about black cats being bad luck on its ear.  The tiny white kitten is tortured brutally by the big mean bulldog, whose distinctive laugh was provided by the director himself!

Bad Luck Blackie - white kitten being tormented by bulldog

Driven to despair, the kitten happens upon a black cat, who offers his card.  Upon it reads, “Black Cat Bad Luck Company; Paths Crossed – Guaranteed Bad Luck.”

Bad Luck Blackie - black cat shows white kitten his card

The black cat demonstrates his talents by walking across the path of the stampeding bulldog.  A flower pot lands on the dog’s head, knocking him cold.

Bad Luck Blackie - black cat holds up knocked out bulldog to show white kitten

The black cat gives the kitten a whistle and tells him to blow it whenever he needs help.

Bad Luck Blackie - black cat gives white kitten a whistle

As one would guess the kitten repeatedly blows the whistle and the black cat crosses the dog’s path, often in a very surrealistic way.  The dog then gets clobbered by an extraordinary amount of objects.

Bad Luck Blackie - black cat crosses bulldog's path

Eventually the dog manages to paint the black cat white, rendering him helpless.  He starts beating up the black cat when the kitten manages to paint himself black and repays the service, crossing the path of the dog.

Bad Luck Blackie - white kitten painted black crosses bulldog's path

The dog swallows the whistle, causing enormous items threatening to fall on him every time it blows.  The cat and kitten are victorious!  Stray Cats fans might recognize some of the footage from this short being used for their music video of the song Stray Cat Strut.

Bad Luck Blackie - cat and kitten shake hands

Final Mewsings: Leave it to a clever cat to capitalize on a myth!

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