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Often an Orphan
Merrie Melodies (Porky Pig/ Charlie Dog) series
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Ken Harris
Phil Monroe
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Abe Levitow
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds by Peter Alvarado
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) August 13, 1949[1]
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:32 [1]
Language English

Often an Orphan is a 1949 cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series. It stars Charlie Dog and Porky Pig and is the last Charlie Dog short to have Porky present in it. The cartoon deals with Charlie trying to get Porky to adopt him after his old owner dumps him at Porky's farm on a trip disguised as a picnic. Charlie instead irritates Porky and the short deals with him trying to get rid of the dog in various ways, but fails each time.


The cartoon opens with a car driving up near a farm for a picnic and a man coming out and the dog Charlie coming out shortly after him. The man throws a stick, and when Charlie is off getting it, the man packs up and leaves in his car, deliberately leaving the dog behind. After Charlie is dumped, he tries various tricks to attract new owners from the people driving along the road. After three failures in various ways, he hears Porky singing and decides to go talk to him. He annoys Porky though as he says he is 50% various dogs but is mostly a Labrador Retriever. He eventually drives Porky crazy and is kicked off his property. A series of gags then ensues with Charlie trying to become Porky's dog, with them all failing until Porky is about to kick Charlie out but is stopped by a nearby humane society worker, who is spying on Porky, who does not want to get in trouble with the law. Porky then sings Rock-a-bye Baby as he carries Charlie back and puts Charlie down. After the Humane Society worker leaves, Porky demands that Charlie leaves, but Charlie sadly and dramatically pleads Porky not to kick him out, as he always wanted to live in the country, and not the city, while Porky finally feels ashamed of himself and his actions:

Charlie Dog: All my life I've dreamed of the day I could go and live in the country. I'm not strong. I need lots of fresh air, and milk, and cream... [Coughs] a-a-and fresh leafy veggie-tables! [Sobs]
Porky: B-b-b-but I -
Charlie Dog: Good, clean, wholesome farm living! [Sobs]
Porky: B-b-b-but I -
Charlie Dog: And now... [Sniffs] Now... Now that I got a chance to regain my health, you wanna send me back to the city. The city! I can see it all now. It's high towers! Cold, cruel, ominous! Closing down on ya! From every side till ya can't breathe! Closer! Closer! [Begins to choke] Ya can't breathe...! The traffic! Ya can't think! BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP! LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK! HONK HONK! LOOK OUT FOR THAT TAXI! BOINNNG! BREEP-BREEP! AROOOOGAH! HONK HONK! BEEP BEEP! Ah...! Hark. What's that? Look! It's the towers! THEY'RE FALLING! [Screams, then collapses onto ground]

Porky finally feels sorry for Charlie's traumatic experience in the city and tricks Charlie into accepting him as a pet and puts him in a "sleeping bag" (which is actually a golf bag) which he promptly shuts and sends Charlie off to Scotland in it. However, when Porky returns Charlie is there in Scottish attire complete with a bagpipe and he eventually drives Porky into accepting him as a pet with the bagpipe's annoying music. Porky promptly suggests a picnic afterwards and he decides to head to the middle of a desert to do it. As Porky unpacks the food and calls Charlie out to catch the stick he has, Charlie comes running out. Porky proceeds to throw the stick and Charlie runs to the car instead of going after the stick and drives off, deliberately leaving Porky behind. Porky then becomes angry and starts going crazy, gets the crazy look in his eyes, and he starts barking and panting, and acting like a dog and is picked up by the dog catcher, who picks him up and puts him in the back with the other dogs where he barks with them as the cartoon irises out.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Often An Orphan". www.bcdb.com, December 28, 2013

External links

Category:Merrie Melodies shorts Category:1949 animated films Category:1940s American animated films Category:English-language films Category:Films directed by Chuck Jones