Toons go for the gold

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By John Friedlein

Maybe because the medium lends itself so well to the fanciful, several animated cartoons have been set at the U.S. Bullion Depository next to Fort Knox.
The moral of these stories seems to be: Don’t rob the Depository, because you’ll get caught.
This message is clear in “14 Carrot Rabbit,” a Looney Tunes cartoon from the ’50s. It’s only seven minutes long, so I’ll give away the ending.
It starts in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. Robbing prospectors isn’t paying off for Yosemite Sam, who laments how difficult it is to earn a dishonest living.
Then he sees Bugs Bunny carrying an oversized nugget. The rabbit finds gold when he walks over it and gets a special feeling – which includes a jackhammer dance.
Yosemite Sam tries to forge a partnership with Bugs, but they don’t get along, of course. So, under a hail of gunfire, the outlaw chases Bugs across a map of the country to Fort Knox, where the rabbit not surprisingly performs his gold dance.
The gunslinger digs under the spot and hauls a few bars to the surface. “I’m rich!” he says. But two MPs show up and drag him off while he protests; he worked so hard for it, after all.
Bugs also draws an MP’s attention. The rabbit, however, escapes when a cruise ship picks him up and sails away overland.
“Pinky and the Brain” – which features a megalomaniacal mouse – is another cartoon that depicts the Depository. Brain develops a chemical to give the guards sneezing fits so he can steal the gold, according to TV.com.
Another animated show set at the gold vault is, “What’s New Scooby-Doo?”
In the “Gold Paw” episode, The Mystery Machine drives past nearby businesses, which Velma says are “looking to make an easy buck off of unsuspecting tourists.” These include Gold Nug Taffy, the Gold Ade Drink Factory and another company with a gold soap-on-a-rope sale.
Later, getting their hippie van through security – which involves X-rays and pat downs – proves as intense as boarding an airplane these days. It doesn’t help that Scooby had stashed a box of “snax” under the bottom of the van.
Once they finally get onto post, Shaggy and Scooby look for an Army mess hall. Instead, they end up inside the gold vault, where they are chased by a phantom who turns people to gold by touching them.
In contrast to Yosemite Sam, Shaggy is disappointed when he finds the gold. He’d prefer a banana split.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or jfriedlein@thenewsenterprise.com. His Stories
from the Heartland column appears Mondays
in The News-Enterprise.