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Western Animation / Little Johnny Jet

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Little Johnny Jet is a 1953 animated short film (6 1/2 minutes) directed by Tex Avery, one of the Tex Avery MGM Cartoons.

An anthropomorphic B-29 Superfortress named John is struggling to find work: Despite being a (very) decorated veteran of "the War", the military and civil aviation industries are more interested in the revolutionary new jet-engined aircraft than than an "old" propeller plane like himself. As a consequence he really hates jets. Thus he is appalled when the stork delivers to him and his wife Mary (a DC-3) a little baby boy jet. The fact that Junior at birth can fly way faster than his dad makes John hate the boy even more.

One day John, who still can't find work and has "another propeller to feed", reads a trade paper article about an around-the-world race, the winner of which will receive a fat government contract. Determined to prove himself, he enters the race—with little Junior stowed away in his passenger compartment.



  • Delivery Stork: A helicopter stork drops little Junior through John and Mary's chimney.
  • Fantastic Racism: John doesn't care for jet planes, and all of the jobs rejecting him in favor of jets seems to return the sentiment towards older planes.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Despite supposedly being a "B-29", John is more closely shaped like a B-17 in flight, though the shape of his vertical stabilizer and doubled main tires on his undercarriage are accurate. Additionally, while there were B-29s that were painted in olive drab rather than the more well-known baremetal silver coloring, there is no bomber unit that painted the entire rudders red, white, and blue like John's were, and likely it was just done to make it clear John is an American warplane. Additionally, Mary, supposedly a DC-3, has a glazed nose to signify her more literal "nose", a feature no DC-3 or the military variant the C-47 possessed.
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  • Knitting Pregnancy Announcement: Mary announces her pregnancy by knitting a "bootie" shaped like a tiny little plane. At the end, when the government says they want ten thousand planes like little Junior, a blushing Mary reveals she has knitted a whole row of little plane booties.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: From the Statue of Liberty, no less, when John and Junior zoom by and her skirt flies up to show her underwear.
  • Monumental Damage: Parodied. As John and Junior rocket around the world at high speed, some famous monuments get the Trope equivalent of Amusing Injuries; the Sphinx is given a crew cut, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tilted the other way, the Eiffel Tower barely avoids a collision by lifting its "legs", and rushing past the Statue of Liberty gets her skirt blown up, showing her legs.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Sentient planes. This film is said to have influenced the look of Cars, although it looks more like a prototype version of Planes.
    • This cartoon is a Spiritual Successor to Tex Avery's 1952 short One Cab's Family, in which the boy car wants to be a hotrodder instead of a taxicab.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Mary has long eyelashes and lipstick, as well as "feminine" paint.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: Despite having a face made out of metal, Mary still blushes at the prospect of producing ten thousand baby planes.
  • Tilting Tower of Pisa: Backwash from the planes alters the angle of the famous Tower.
  • War Hero: John, an old B-29 plane, bemoans being unable to find a job despite his military record.
    Mary: Did you tell them of your wonderful war record? A hero of 90 missions across the Pacific?
    John: Yeah. I even showed 'em my Purple Heart [opens his chest cavity to reveal a ticking mechanical heart]
  • "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: After Junior tags along for John's race and then proceeds to save his life, and then win the race for him, John realizes he has nothing to prove to his son.