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Western Animation / The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil

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The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil is a 1986 animated short film (8 minutes) from New Zealand, directed by Bob Stenhouse.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night in 1902. A swagman stands outside a saloon in a remote area. After chugging a bottle of liquor outside the saloon, he then fills it with water from a horse trough. He then enters and asks for a bottle, but when the wizened old bartender's attractive daughter gets him one, he says he has no money. The bar man asks for his bottle back, but the swagman gives back the old bottle, filled with water...and also containing a frog that slipped into the bottle.

The man beats a quick retreat and gets on his horse, before the barman and the daughter see the frog in the bottle and realize the switcheroo. The man makes it out of town and chugs from the bottle he stole. But the rain continues to pour and the lightning continues to flash, and it seems that something scary and supernatural is chasing him...

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Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: A guy who chugs from a bottle of liquor outside a saloon, enters the saloon, and steals a second bottle of liquor, is clearly an alcoholic. Some sources suggest that the hallucinatory wild ride the man takes is actually a metaphor for delirium tremens aka Pink Elephants, but there's nothing in the cartoon to confirm that.
  • Bar Brawl: Not only does the man steal a bottle of alcohol, he also chugs another man's drink. The other man finds his drink gone, falsely accuses a third man, and punches him. A chaotic bar brawl breaks out as the man beats a retreat.
  • Bat Out of Hell: When the thing chasing the man morphs from a beautiful woman to a skeleton or demon, it's accompanied by bats flying around.
  • Book-Ends: The end of the cartoon finds the man being flung off his horse and back into the saloon. He asks for whiskey, this time the bartender demands payment in advance, and the swagman buys a bottle—the same bottle with the frog in it that he took in at the beginning.
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  • Dem Bones: The demon chasing the man sometimes changes from a beautiful woman to a screaming skeleton.
  • Dramatic Thunder: The creepy, foreboding mood is established in the opening moments where peals of dramatic thunder light up the otherwise pitch-dark night above the saloon.
  • The End: A homeless derelict lurks outside the saloon saying things like "Repent! Prepare to meet your doom!" At the end the derelict looks at the camera and says "The end!"
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: The bartender's daughter cocks an eyebrow in disdain as she regards the disheveled, no doubt smelly swagman asking for a bottle of alcohol.
  • Horror Comedy: The short mixes comedy—the Bar Brawl, the frog hopping around—with a legitimately scary demon that chases the swagman around the countryside.
  • Hot as Hell: The swagman is wandering through the forest on his horse when he sees a beautiful naked lady appear out of nowhere. He's pretty intrigued, until the beautiful lady turns into a cackling skeleton. He flees in terror.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: One time the beautiful demon morphs into Bahomet, complete with glowing red eyes.
  • The Reveal: The ending scene reveals that the barkeep's pretty daughter is the demon that chased the swagman around and eventually forced him back into the saloon to pay up.
  • Short Con: The man fills an empty bottle of booze with water. He goes into a saloon, asks for a bottle, gets it, then says he has no money. When the barkeep demands his bottle back, the swagman returns the other bottle, the one filled with water (and a frog).

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