Thursday, April 19, 2007
There are all sorts of treasures in the Prelinger Archive of ephemeral films, including the 1946 film Johnny Learns His Manners produced by Hugh Harman. While it is not a finished film, just an animatic of the storyboard with narration, it features some amazing and clever drawings of a boy who turns into a pig until his "good self" triumphs over his "bad self." To make a long story short, Johnny thinks manners and good behavior are for "sissies" until he turns into a pig and his mother (who doesn't seem too upset that her son has changed form, by the way) shows him film clips of soldiers and athletes. Realizing that these young men can be neat, play fair, and still be manly, Johnny changes his tune, cleaning up his room and demonstrating good sportsmanship on the baseball field. After all, as the narrator notes: "Any drip can be a pig, but it takes a smart guy not to be one." You can watch the whole film, all 18:07 of it, here.