Down on the Farm is a 1941 short film (10 minutes) directed by Lou Lilly and Tex Avery.
It was created by Avery for Paramount as part of a short-lived series called Speaking of Animals. This, the first film of the series, involves an unseen farmer introducing the audience to the various animals on the farm. Unlike almost everything else Avery did in his career, the film is mostly live-action. As the farmer introduces us to each animal, however, their mouths are animated, and they talk English. This is the framework for a series of gags that include a ferret on a wheel complaining about the monotony, a cow that says "I'm ticklish!" as she's milked, and other jokes.
- Chocolate Baby: A racist joke has a hen greeting her chicks with "Good morning, children!" All the chicks say "Good morning, mother," except for the last chick, a black-feathered one that says "Good mornin', mammy!" Evidently the hen has been stepping out with more than one rooster.
- Down on the Farm: How did you guess?
- Medium Blending: Live-action blended with rotoscoping animation, mostly of the animals' mouths.
- Narrator: The voice of a genial old farmer describes his farm and the animals that live there.
- Rotoscoping: Rotoscoping of the animals' mouth to match the animation.
- The Runt at the End: A gaggle of geese skitter across the yard. As a smaller goose struggles to keep up, the narrator says "They're leavin' you behind, shorty! Better get a-goin'!"
- Smelly Skunk: One scene has the geese fleeing the barn. Behind them is a skunk. A closeup has the skunk wondering disconsolately why his friends didn't tell him about this.
- Talking Animal: The whole point of the short, as the animals talk to the camera. Well, except for the hummingbird, which—hums.