[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Banjo_2_3127.jpg]]

An all-but-forgotten but charming Creator/DonBluth television special. It was his very first non-Disney production, and was essentially a test run for his newborn studio; though it was made before Bluth finally quit Disney. Originally conceived as a a full-length feature film (but was cut short due to budget restraints), and later as a ChristmasSpecial (which also didn't stick), the story tells the tale of a kitten who runs away from home and has adventures in the big city, but soon begins to get homesick for his family and deeply regret running away. With the help of some colorful locals, he eventually makes his way home again. The film can be considered an UrExample of a typical Creator/DonBluth film, as it employs many of the same tropes that would resurface in his later works.

Details behind the making of the film can be viewed [[http://www.cataroo.com/DBbanjo.html here]].

Watch it (in three parts) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QozwP4VmKcs here,]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC5Q8mSuXck&feature=related here,]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu_BSnYU4c8&feature=related here.]]

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!!Tropes used include:

* AngryGuardDog: (see "Cats Are Mean" below)
* CatsAreMean: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]; this is about the only Don Bluth production in which Dogs Are Mean and Cats Are Nice.
* CoolCat: Crazy Legs.
* CorporalPunishment: Banjo runs away from home after his father tells him to fetch his own switch to be beaten with.
* CuteKitten: This doesnt have a kitten for the main character for nothing.
* DashinglyDapperDerby: Crazy Legs wears one.
* DoTheyKnowItsChristmasTime: At one point, this short film was to be a ChristmasSpecial. Some Christmassy things are still visible in the film, such as Crazy Legs' SantaClaus costume.
* DownOnTheFarm
* TheForties: Set in 1944.
* GrayRainOfDepression: The scene where Banjo curls up in an alley and cries as he shelters himself from the rain in a tin can. It's very similar to a scene used in a later Bluth production, ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail''.
* GainaxEnding: Upon his return home, Banjo's parents don't look the least worried or seem at all curious as to where he's been. The movie just stops before we find out anything else. Hilarious {{Lampshaded}} in the DVDCommentary:
--> '''Gary Goldman''': Hey, how come his parents aren't angry?
--> '''Don Bluth''': Shh! Roll the credits! Roll the credits!
* TheHomewardJourney
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The DVD cover proudly displays the title as "Don Bluth's Banjo The Woodpile Cat."
* NoAntagonist: Though the full-length feature would have had one. Bluth later acknowledged that this was one weakness in the film's story, but then again the film was made more [[DoingItForTheArt for the art]] than for the plot.
* OffModel: Crazy Legs notably becomes slimmer whenever the situation calls for it--most blatantly during the climatic dog chase.
* ParentalAbandonment: In this case, it's Banjo's own fault.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Banjo himself, CuteLittleFangs and all.
* TheRunaway
* UndersideRide: This is how the title character goes to the city.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Bluth based the story on a childhood pet cat of his who lived in a woodpile on the farm he grew up on, got lost one day, and found its way back weeks later.

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