A scene from THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW, directed by Tex Avery for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The House of Tomorrow (1949, Tex Avery)

The House of Tomorrow is such a well-made cartoon, the technical aspects more than make up for some of the weak writing. However, that weak writing does make the cartoon an interesting historical artifact.

First the technical stuff. Tomorrow is a tour through a house of 2050. The year’s made clear when the kitchenwares get their emphasis and the opening actually makes it seem more immediate. So there’s a bit of a disconnect, but whatever. Avery’s direction, from the first frame, is fantastic. His animators do an outstanding job.

Where Tomorrow goes wrong is in the jokes. There’s a lot of vague misogyny but then it gets a lot more pointed–there are endless jokes about killing one’s mother-in-law. It wasn’t until halfway through I realized the mother-in-law in question was the wife’s not the husband’s.

Comedy’s changed.

But besides that aspect, Tomorrow is great.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Tex Avery; written by Jack Cosgriff and Rich Hogan; animated by Walt Clinton, Michael Lah and Grant Simmons; music by Scott Bradley; produced by Fred Quimby; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Narrated by Frank Graham and Don Messick.

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One thought on “The House of Tomorrow (1949, Tex Avery)”

  1. The mother-in-law jokes are definitely old hat, but when you think about it, the culture at large was taking all that “world of tomorrow” consumer paradise stuff pretty seriously and Tex made an extremely subversive cartoon mocking all that gee-wiz housewife futurism long before people realized how silly it was.

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