February 2, 2013

Groundhog Day in cartoons

Groundhog Day in cartoons

Today’s Groundhog Day. Given it’s not a major holiday, it’s usually overshadowed as far as holiday specials are concerned. The most famous one is that Bill Murray movie with the bad “Star Trek” time-anomaly, a film I’ve never liked. However, cartoons do mention Groundhog Day on occasion.

Jack Frost

Rankin-Bass’ 1979 “Jack Frost” stop-motion animated special. Nominally a general “winter”-themed special, a key portion of the plot revolves around Groundhog Day. The special’s narrator is a groundhog named “Pardon-Me Pete,” voiced by Buddy Hackett.

Not a bad special, though it’s one with a “downer” ending. These days, it’s usually rerun at Christmastime, despite that it’s not a Christmas special.

Looney Tunes

The 1947 Looney Tunes short “One Meat Brawl” involves Porky and an early version of Foghorn Leghorn’s Barnyard Dog hunting for a groundhog on Groundhog Day. The song the groundhog sings at the start of the cartoon is pretty catchy, plus the cartoon’s ending is silly-but-funny.

The cartoon’s available on the “Porky Pig and Friends” “Looney Tunes Super Stars” DVD.

The Flintstones

One episode mentions Fred’s birthday as on February 2nd.

Mutts

Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip “Mutts” always has a storyline during the week before Groundhog Day involving a groundhog. Like Hackett’s “Pardon-Me Pete,” the gag is the groundhog’s treated like a celebrity.

Garfield and Friends

The episode “How to Be Funny” has Garfield giving a lecture to the TV audience on humor. One segment shows him demonstrating variations on his “I hate Mondays” catchphrase. For “I hate hockey season” and “I hate Groundhog Day,” Odie dresses up as a hockey player and in a groundhog costume, respectively.

Turbo

An episode of Netflix series “Turbo FAST” sees Skidmark and White Shadow, to get out of spring cleaning, try to get a famous groundhog to not come out of his hole on Groundhog Day. (The series takes place in snow-free southern California, which seems ignored here.)

(Updated 2/2/17)

Tags: animationcomics triviaGarfieldGroundhog DayholidaysJack FrostLooney TunesMediaRankin-BassThe FlintstonestriviaTurbo