Robinson, Edward G.
Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
Edward G. Robinson is probably best remembered for his roles as tough underworld characters in the Warner Brothers crime films of the 1930s, particularly Little Caesar (1931), though he also had excellent dramatic turns in Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet and A Dispatch From Reuters (both 1940), Double Indemnity (1944), and Scarlet Street (1945).
Warner cartoons preferred to focus on his gangster persona. The two cartoons that best typify this are the classics Thugs With Dirty Mugs (Avery, 1939) in which, as a bonus, the Robinson caricature does a Fred Allen impersonation, and Racketeer Rabbit (Freleng, 1946) in which the character is identified as Rocky, with his sidekick Hugo, a classic Peter Lorre caricature. Bugs also does a quick Robinson impression in this film, as he had done previously in What’s Cookin’ Doc (Clampett, 1943).
Beck and Friedwald accurately describe the caricature in I Like Mountain Music (Harman/Ising, 1933) as “the worst impression of Edward G. Robinson ever”. Robinson can also be spotted talking to “the Oomph Girl” (Ann Sheridan) in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941), and enjoying a good cry with George Raft in The Coo Coo Nut Grove (Freleng, 1936).