You Ought To Be In Pictures is a groundbreaking Looney Tunes short from 1940 directed by Friz Freleng made during The Golden Age of Animation. Though not the first to do it, it's widely considered to be the film that perfected the art of making cartoon characters interact with live-action actors, a special effect that had had several failed starts during The Silent Age of Animation and would only be surpassed 48 years later with Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
The plot of the short follows Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, who are Animated Actors that reside at the cartoon studio "Termite Terrace". During lunch time, Daffy, wanting to become the star of the studio and usurp Porky's fame, tricks Porky into tearing up his contract with Leon Schlesinger and leave to try and make it big on his own in another studio. Hilarity, naturally, ensues.
- Beware the Nice Ones: This short includes one of the rare moments where Porky Pig gets angry, and gives Daffy a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Conspicuously Light Patch: Certain objects, such as the Stage 7 door and Porky's torn-up contract, as well as the flurry of papers Porky pulls out of the wastebin, become hand-drawn cartoon objects when the 'toons need to manipulate them. The scenes in which the live actors physically interact with the 'toons are also noticeably blurrier (most of the shots otherwise have them acting against still photographs) due to the double-exposure to make the magic happen.
- Creator Cameo: Numerous Looney Tunes staff made cameos in this film:
- Producer Leon Schlesinger appears As Himself in the cartoon.
- Among the staffers running out of the studio for lunch are directors Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett.
- Writer Mike Maltese appears as the studio security guard (although his voice is dubbed over by Mel Blanc).
- Animator Gerry Chiniquy plays the studio director who calls for the stage to be quiet (though like with Mike, his voice is dubbed over by Mel Blanc). Staffers Henry Binder and Paul Marin make cameos, and Henry is the stagehand who throws Porky off the set.
- Fish out of Water: The primary reason for Porky's troubles at the film studio. First of all, he does not know that you cannot simply enter a film studio unannounced and start work, which results in him making an enemy with the studio guard. When he does manage to sneak in, he does not know where to go, resulting in him wandering around a number of sets and sound stages and causing problems, much to the staff's displeasure.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: At one point, Porky pretends to be Oliver Hardy.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Porky gives an offscreen one to Daffy near the end. He's covered in bandages the next time we see him.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: From the Trope Namer.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Friz allegedly based the events of the short off of a real life event where he briefly left the Warner Bros. cartoon studio to get a job at MGM. Unfortunately, the only work he got there was on the schlocky The Captain And The Kids shorts, which he hated. As soon as his contract expired, he went right back to Leon's studio, using this real life event as the basis for this cartoon.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: A milestone in the technique. However, due to a low budget, there are only a handful of shots where the toons actually appear in the same shot as the live actors. Said budget is also why all the characters, including the live action characters except Schlesinger, are dubbed over by Mel Blanc.
- Titled After the Song: From the 1930s song "You Oughta Be in Pictures", which is even used as the short's opening theme.