One of the great joys of living in Los Angeles is having the New Beverly Cinema available. Usually the New Bev shows classic films, but this week they've broken tradition and are showing Django Unchained in truly wonderful 35mm - the exact way Quentin Tarantino wants you to see the film. And since it's his theater, it gets shown his way.
The New Bev's run of Django Unchained boasts trailers hand-picked by Tarantino himself. The trailers include stuff like Boot Hill, Mandingo and Take A Hard Ride - all great reels selling some pretty good movies. But before all of that plays, a cartoon runs. It's a callback to the way things used to be long, long ago, when a trip to the movies included cartoon shorts and a newsreel and all sorts of extras.
This Merrie Melodies cartoon isn't randomly chosen. It's a perfect lead-in for Django Unchained, believe it or not, and if you don't have the good luck to see the film at the New Bev, you must watch it online! The short is called Dog Gone South, and it's a 1950 Chuck Jones cartoon featuring Charlie Dog. Charlie's schtick is that he's a smooth-talking con dog who is always looking for a home, and in this cartoon he tries to fit in on a plantation. The southern fried comedy that follows is hilarious and sometimes quite racially risque.
It's a terrific cartoon, and it seems that no Django Unchained experience is truly complete without it.