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For Scent-imental Reasons is a 1949 Looney Tunes (later reissued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie) cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, with story by Michael Maltese, and featuring the characters Pepé Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat (all voices were done by Mel Blanc).

This short is notable for winning the 1949 Academy Award For Best Short Subject -- Cartoon (which producer Eddie Selzer -- who, ironically, hated the Pepe Le Pew cartoons and wanted Jones to stop making them -- accepted) and is also the debut of Penelope Pussycat.

Plot

The beginning shows a happy man riding his bicycle through Paris, greeting all the people he encounters, and singing The Happy Can-Can Song (created by Looney Tunes). He arrives at his shop, a perfume store, and unlocks his store's door. After peering into the store, he immediately runs away. He shouts out in a panic and runs up to a gendarme for assistance, yelling unintelligible phrases, presumably in French. The gendarme looks into the shop and it is revealed that Pepe Le Pew, a smelly skunk, is inside the store, smelling the various types of perfumes and singing to himself in French. The gendarme looks terrified as he speaks in his French accent about the "terrible odor," which is indicated by brownish "fumes" emanating from Pepe Le Pew's tail. The gendarme runs away and the perfume store owner cries out that he will now be bankrupt, Penelope Pussycat begins to console him by winding around his legs and saying, "Le meow, le purr." The storekeeper picks up Penelope and orders her to remove the skunk from the premises, then throws her into the store. Penelope slides across the floor and bumps into the leg of a table, knocking a bottle of white hair dye over. The hair dye drips down onto Penelope's tail and runs in a straight line down to her head, resulting in a white stripe down her back. Pepe Le Pew immediately sees her and mistakes her for a female skunk. Penelope smells Pepe's odor and tries to run away, but Pepe runs after her, shuts the shop door, and embraces Penelope. Penelope attempts to wiggle free as Pepe tells her things such as, "it is love at first sight," and "we will make beautiful music together." Just before Pepe tries to kiss her, Penelope gets free and runs away. Penelope climbs into the sink in an attempt to wash the stripe off but is unsuccessful. She runs to a window and tries to open it, but it is stuck. She runs away, and Pepe finds her inside a glass cabinet. They mime to each other, Pepe trying to get Penelope to come out, and Penelope refusing, indicating that it is due to his odor. At this point, in the original short, Pepe Le Pew pulls out a gun and holds it up to his head, then walks out of Penelope's line of sight. Then the gun goes off, and a panicked Penelope rushes out of the cabinet to Pepe. Pepe says, "I missed, fortunately for you," and begins kissing Penelope Pussycat. Penelope runs away and Pepe chases her, bouncing happily around the room. Pepe Le Pew finds Penelope on the windowsill and says that Penelope is trying to prove her love for her by committing suicide, but that he will save her. Pepe runs over and grabs Penelope but drops her, and they both fall out of the window. Pepe Le Pew falls into a blue paint can and Penelope falls into a barrel of water. When Pepe climbs out, he is blue but no longer smelly, and he sees the ragged-looking, sneezing wet cat beside him (who no longer has a white stripe down her back) and asks her if she has seen a beautiful young lady skunk. He goes off to find her. As he calls out Penelope watches him, notices how the paint makes him look handsome, and falls in love with him as her heart begins to beat against her chest. She runs after him and locks him in the perfume shop again, placing the key in her chest. Not recognizing her, Pepe Le Pew tries to discourage her, then runs away. As Penelope chases after Pepe Le Pew, Pepe tells the audience: "You know, it is possible to be too attractive!" He continues to run away as the cartoon ends.

Gallery

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Availability

  • VHS - Warner Bros. Cartoons Golden Jubilee 24 Karat Collection: A Salute to Chuck Jones and Pepe Le Pew's Skunk Tales (both PAL time-compressed)
  • VHS - Looney Tunes: The Collectors Edition, Volume 2
  • DVD - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1, Disc Three (with optional commentary by Michael Barrier)
  • DVD - Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection: Volume 1, Disc Two
  • DVD - Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection (with optional commentary by Greg Ford)
  • DVD - Looney Tunes Super Stars' Pepé Le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best
  • Blu-Ray - Looney Tunes Platinum Collection, Volume 1, Disc One
  • Blu-Ray - Looney Tunes Showcase, Volume One

Trivia

Censorship

  • The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show cuts out two suicide references:
    • The entire sequence in which Penelope locks herself in a glass case and Pepe tries to get her out, then when Penelope mimes that she won't come out because Pepe stinks, he pulls out a gun and goes to blow his brains out, leaving Penelope so guilt-ridden that she runs out to see if he's okay was cut.
    • When Pepe thinks Penelope is going to jump out the window, he rushes to save her, only to have her slip through his fingers. He turns to the camera and says, "Vive l'amour! We die together". The entire line was cut on ABC.
  • Cartoon Network and Boomerang initially aired this short uncut from 1992 to 2002 (despite both channels being prone to editing out jokes and references involving suicide, especially if they include someone putting a gun to his head). However, from 2003 to 2010, the glass case suicide part was edited similar to ABC's version. The Cartoon Network version also cut Pepe's line about how Penelope is committing suicide to prove her alleged love for him, his thinking it's a sweet gesture, then reconsidering and stopping it (though the "Vive l'amour! We die together" line was not edited. It also should be of note that 1961's "A Scent of the Matterhorn" had a similar scene of the female cat threatening to jump, Pepe mistaking it for a suicide, and thinking it's sweet [only in the latter cartoon short, he thinks it's a turn-on, not a gesture he must stop] that was never edited when aired on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, making Cartoon Network's decision to edit this scene from this short hypocritical). Since 2011, this short was once again shown uncut and uncensored on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, though the version currently airing is the time-compressed PAL version and not the NTSC version played at normal speed.

Notes

  • Boomerang and CN air this cartoon as a Golden Jubilee tape print, time-compressed to PAL speed.
  • The cartoon was reissued as a Blue Ribbon on February 2, 1957 with the production number 1457. The original closing still exists but the original opening is considered to be lost, considering that the DVD uses the Blue Ribbon. Post-1948 cartoons since they still have the credits, are easier to recreate the rings as shown below. The production code may be different because the production codes are unknown.


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