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Western Animation / From A to Z-Z-Z-Z

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"From A to Z-Z-Z-Z" is a 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones.

It does not feature any of the Looney Tunes regulars. Instead it's about the daydreams of young school boy Ralph Phillips, who would recur again in "Boyhood Daze" (1957).

The short was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost. It did receive an entry in The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes though.

This cartoon provides examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Ralph.
  • Alliterative Title: "Valley View School".
  • Bowdlerization: On Cartoon Network airings (except on The Chuck Jones Show), the scene when Ralph in his Western daydream, shooting pistols at Indians, has been shortened.
  • Catching Some Z's: In the opening credits Ralph's "Z's" are seen in one continuous stream until the cartoon starts.
  • Cheerful Child: Ralph.
  • Cuteness Overload: Avoided. Every time his fantasies are in danger of becoming rather cute he has some violent fantasy where he kills off whatever threatens him.
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  • Daydream Surprise: Ralph's daydreams are often harshly interrupted by his teacher telling him to pay attention.
  • Dream Sequence: Ralph's daydreams in class.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Ralph has to solve a complicated math problem, but doesn't know how. As a result, he imagines the numbers laughing at him and in an act of revenge, he battles them.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Ralph imagines that he can fly, that he battles numbers, that he is a cowboy working for the Pony Express, that he is a sea captain bringing a submarine back to the surface, that he is a boxer and that he is Douglas MacArthur.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Ralph imagines himself battling numbers with other numbers.
  • Made of Bologna: Ralph daydreams that he's a deep-sea diver. While underwater, he's attacked by a tiger shark. He cuts it in half with a knife and it appears to be solid tissue inside.
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  • Mr. Imagination: Ralph does have a lot of imagination. Every other moment he is dozing off.
  • Power Fantasy: Ralph has to solve a math problem, but doesn't know how, so he imagines the numbers laughing at him. He then fights back by killing them. In other fantasies, he battles Native Americans and a large shark.
  • Pun-Based Title: "From A to Z-Z-Z-Z" instead of "From A to Z".
  • Shout-Out: Near the end Ralph imagines himself to be Douglas MacArthur and says the general's famous line: "I shall return."
  • Spiritual Successor: "Boyhood Daze". Later, Warners made a couple of recruitment films for the U.S. Army featuring Ralph as an adult.
  • Standard Snippet: "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman" (aka, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "The Alphabet Song") is used whenever scenes cut to the school.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Ralph's underwater sequence has him free-diving because he says that the sub is too deep for diving equipment to withstand the pressure. Understandably, the other people on the rescue ship believe that Ralph will drown on his attempt to save the sub, but Ralph manages to accomplish it and even give a Single-Stroke Battle curb stomp to a massive shark along the way. Justified Trope in that it's Ralph's fantasy.
  • Talking with Signs: The woman inside the submarine uses a sign to express her thanks that Ralph saved her, because under water he wouldn't be able to hear her.
  • Time Marches On: Ralph daydreaming about shooting Native Americans is nowadays less innocent than it was in the 1950s. On some broadcasts on US television the scene is often shortened to remove this violent bit.


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