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Jerky Turkey (1968)

At a matinee show, Junior wins a prize, a pet turkey. But he isn't sure his parents will like it when he returns home. Much to his surprise, Charlie does to want to keep the turkey...... See full summary »


Paul J. Smith


Cal Howard (story)


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Credited cast:
Paul Frees ... Charlie Beary (voice)
Grace Stafford ... Bessie Beary (voice)


At a matinee show, Junior wins a prize, a pet turkey. But he isn't sure his parents will like it when he returns home. Much to his surprise, Charlie does to want to keep the turkey...exclaiming, "We'll have him for Sunday dinner!" Junior is not eager to have his new pet devoured and protects him from Charlie at all costs. He even tries to disguise the fowl as his friend, Redneck Rudy, a protest singer. Finally, Charlie captures the turkey and beats it senseless. Feeling bad, he revives it and they make up. He decides to have hot dogs for Sunday dinner instead. Written by Matt Yorston <george.y@ns.sympatico.ca>

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Animation | Short







Release Date:

1968 (USA) See more »

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Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?


Don't Eat Turkey
By Walter Greene
See more »

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User Reviews

Battle of the turkey
4 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have been increasingly unsure what to make of "The Beary Family" cartoons as an overall series, whether to stand by my initial statement of for Walter Lantz Studios' final series it not being as bad as anticipated or judging from the awfulness of the worst cartoons to take it back. Sorry if this sounds confusing.

Due to that there are some decent or watchable "Beary Family" cartoons, especially 'Fowled-Up Birthday' and 'Mother's Little Helper' (both directed by Jack Hannah, who generally is a much stronger animation director than Paul J. Smith and his cartoons much better). However, there are also a fair share of horrible ones, as seen with as far as previous cartoons go 'Goose in the Rough' and especially 'Charlie's Mother-in-Law'. While there are worse "Beary Family" cartoons, 'Jerky Turkey' is still a noisy mess of a cartoon and closer to the horrible quality category than to the watchable one.

It is indicative of when the studio and Paul J. Smith were at their worst the cartoons were very weak at best, coming from a big lifelong animation fan who tries to be quite lenient when watching and reviewing it. Even the weakest Chilly Willy and Woody Woodpecker cartoons were as bad as the worst cartoons from this series, and some of the later Woody Woodpecker cartoons in particular were not good.

Saving graces are only a few but they are there. One is the music, which is energetic and lushly orchestrated, succeeding in single-handedly giving the little energy the cartoon has. Am liking the main theme more and more every time upon hearing it. The voice work is solid. The best and most easy to relate to character here is the turkey while Junior is also at his most well-meaning. The ending was an atypically sweet one and a nice surprise from the rest of the cartoon.

'Jerky Turkey' has a lot of problems. Like many 60s Lantz-studio cartoons, the animation is not good, a problem in even the best cartoons in the series. Time and budget constraints shows in a lot of the animation, which is very rushed looking in the drawing and detail wise it's on the simplistic and careless side with colours that lack vibrancy and a fair share of goofs. The story is not much of one at all and what there is is sloppily timed and without anything surprising or imaginative, predictability is near-non-stop before the ending.

Furthermore, 'Jerky Turkey' is not funny, unlike the first two cartoons in the series directed by Jack Hannah and a few other Smith-directed efforts. There are a lot of gags, but here they are far too noisy and chaotic, irritating for the sake of it, and are memorable for their lack of taste and clumsy and lazy timing than their wit. Hannah's efforts had none of those faults when it came to the humour. Charlie is usually the best, most interesting, funniest and most sympathetic character and often the only likable one, so it was a shock to see him portrayed as an uncharacteristically cruel jerk.

In conclusion, weak. 3/10 Bethany Cox

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