Western Animation / Cellbound

One of the Tex Avery MGM Cartoons from 1955, co-directed by Michael Lah. Set mostly in the "Sing-Song prison", it features a jailbird who, after years of arduous digging, manages to escape from his cell and sneaks aboard a train, hiding inside an old TV. The plan goes terribly wrong, though...

It is Avery's last cartoon for MGM, which he co-directed with unit animator Michael Lah.note  If such things interest you, a model sheet for the cartoon can be found here.

The short features examples of:

  • Captivity Harmonica: The prisoner's playing it in the beginning.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The warden has a few moments of this when watching the prisoner on TV.
    (after the "boxing match" ends with a KO) "That's a fixed fight if I ever saw one."
    (upon seeing a screen declaring the horse racing has been cancelled due to rain) "Hm. Sunny California."
  • Exploding Calendar: The years rapidly floating towards the camera to signify the passage of time.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Nobody ever notices the gigantic mountain of dirt right outside the prisoner's window as he digs.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: The prisoner acting out the TV programme can be seen as a variant of this.
  • Irony: Of the tragic kind. The whole reason the prisoner's escape failed was because, while making small talk to quell the warden's suspicions, he randomly mentioned an "anniversary"... thus prompting the warden to remember the forgotten wedding anniversary and hastily buy the TV.
  • Jaw Drop: One heck of a jaw drop when the prisoner realizes where the TV ended up.
  • Not So Stoic: The jail warden goes into an incredibly goofy dance when watching the "concert" on TV.
  • One-Man Band: The prisoner ends up becoming this for sake of a "TV concert".
  • Stand-In Portrait: The prisoner's antics inside the TV.
  • Verbed Title
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: The prisoner's disguises.