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Western Animation / The Legend of Rockabye Point

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Believe it or not, that's a dog!
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The Legend of Rockabye Point is a 1955 animated short film (six minutes) directed by Tex Avery, produced by Walter Lantz.

An old sea captain tells the viewer of the legend of Rockabye Point. It seems that some twenty years ago, the sea captain came to that particular spot in the far north to catch some bluefin tuna. His cargo of tuna catches the attention of a hungry polar bear named Charlie, as well as everybody's favorite penguin, Chilly Willy. The bear tries repeatedly to sneak onto the boat and steal some tuna, but has to deal with a very aggressive guard dog who keeps plunging his teeth into Charlie's backside. Chilly Willy, who also wants the tuna, contrives to sic the dog onto poor Charlie.

Daws Butler voiced both the bear and the guard dog.


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Tropes:

  • Angry Guard Dog: The bulldog seemingly lives to chomp down on Charlie's butt.
  • Beary Funny: An amiable bear really wants to eat some tuna, but Chilly Willy keeps getting the best of him.
  • Bully Bulldog: Charlie the mild-mannered bear continually braves the danger of a terrifying bulldog as he tries to get the tuna.
  • Butt Biter: The bulldog always heads for Charlie's posterior and latches on hard.
  • Don't Wake the Sleeper: Charlie tries to steal the tuna without waking up the dog. Chilly Willy then wakes up the dog, and Charlie has to sing him back to sleep.
  • Framing Device: The old sea captain telling the story of Rockabye Point.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The dog yawns and reveals a staggering amount of teeth.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: The guard dog is terrifying, but Charlie can always lull him to sleep with "Rock-a-Bye Baby". Then Chilly Willy wakes the dog up.
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  • Offscreen Inertia: The flashback ends with Charlie trapped up a high peak, trying to sing the dog to sleep. Twenty years later, they are still there, in what is now known as Rockabye Point.
  • Pepper Sneeze: Chilly Willy keeps waking up the guard dog so the dog will attack Charlie. One time he tries sprinking pepper onto the bear's nose. Charlie frantically races off into the hills to sneeze, before racing back to the boat.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Misplaced Wildlife in action, as polar bears and penguins live on opposite ends of the world, yet we have Charlie and Chilly Willy together in this cartoon.
  • Running Gag: Every time the dog attacks Charlie, the bear frantically sings "Rock-a-Bye Baby" to lull the dog to sleep. He does this eight times.
  • Script Swap: Chilly Willy sticks a clarinet in the dog's mouth. The dog snores, the clarinet sounds, the dog wakes up. Charlie hurriedly grabs the sheet music for "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and plays it on clarinet. Then Chilly Willy switches that out for some sheet music titled "Circus March". Charlie starts playing the circus march and the dog wakes up and bites him.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The old sea captain sails past Rockabye Point and notes that twenty years later, you can still hear the bear singing. Cut to the top of the point, where a withered old Charlie is gently rocking a withered old dog. The dog wakes up and says "Sing it again, Charlie," and the bear lovingly sings the nursery rhyme as the cartoon ends.
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