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Western Animation / Nelly's Folly

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Nelly hits the big time

Nelly's Folly is a 1961 Warner Brothers Looney Tunes (actually, Merrie Melodies) cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.

Nelly is a giraffe somewhere in Africa, with a beautiful singing voice that she likes to show off for the local wildlife. She is discovered by a hunter who also happens to be a Broadway agent. Nelly is brought to New York and takes showbiz by storm, becoming a huge singing star. Unfortunately her career is threatened when she falls in love with a male giraffe, one who happens to be married.

Nelly's singing voice was provided by Gloria Wood, a stage singer who sang for many cartoon shorts of the era. Looney Tunes icon Mel Blanc only has a couple of lines, as a random turtle as well as the male giraffe.


  • Chirping Crickets: When Nelly comes out for her next show after the scandal breaks, only to find an empty theater.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the songs Nelly sings is "The Flower of Gower Gulch", which is actually an original Looney Tunes song composed for inclusion in the 1951 Daffy Duck cartoon "Drip-Along Daffy".
  • Darkest Africa: "Dark, brooding Africa" is where the narrator begins the story...and that description is immediately undercut by Nelly's soaring opera voice.
  • Darker and Edgier: It's not that much darker and edgier as the trope implies, but, like most cartoons during the twilight years of Warner Bros., this one was more experimental and dramatic (similar to "High Note", "Bartholomew vs. The Wheel", and "Now Hear This"), rather than the typical comedies that have been front and center.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After suffering from the loneliness of fame and returning home in disgrace following a love triangle scandal, Nelly continues singing and falls for a single male giraffe.
  • Jingle: Nelly's first gig in America involves recording a jingle for indigestion medicine to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne".
  • Jungles Sound Like Kookaburras: Of course they do! They certainly do here, as we hear kookaburras while the camera makes its way to Nelly in Africa.
  • Narrator: A narrator sets the scene in Africa and provides exposition at a couple more points along the way.
  • Spinning Paper: Nelly's fall from grace is recounted this way, with spinning newspaper headlines.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Both Nelly and the male giraffe's wife have long eyelashes.