Convict Concerto is the 58th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on November 22, 1954, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal-International.
Woody is a shy piano tuner who is held at gunpoint by a bank robber named Mugsy (Dal McKennon) who is on the lam. Mugsy hides out inside the grand piano Woody is tuning, and directs him to start playing immediately. Woody breaks into a rousing rendition of Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2," and manages to play the entire piece while being harassed by a gun-wielding Mugsy as well as a bricks-for-brains policeman (Daws Butler) hot on the trail of the stolen loot. Mugsy then calls his two hunch men to come get him with a moving truck and take him back to the hide out. Meanwhile the policeman has discovered some of the loot after having sat on money bag causing it to break open by his weight. The policeman gives chase in his police car, but Mugsy uses his large gun to reduce the police car to a unicycle, with the cop still riding it. The climax rises when the truck makes a sharp turn on a mountain road causing the piano with both Woody and Mugsy to fall out. After floating through the air for a while, the piano falls on top of the last box car of a slow moving freight train. While Woody is still playing, the box car becomes uncoupled from the rest of the train and proceeds to roll away in the opposite direction. After rolling through a long tunnel, the box car proceeds down hill to a trestle. The police man who has gotten ahead of the box car some how and abandons the remains of his police car, and runs up the tracks. However he beats a hasty retreat after he sees the box car rounding the bend. The policeman tries in vain to get the runaway box car to stop, but without success. Soon The box car rounds another sharp curve and the piano with Woody, Mugsy and the policeman falling off the boxcar and landing in a prison court yard. With the piano destroyed, the police man holds up the bank robber triumphantly as if to say,"I got you at last.", while Woody emerges from the wrecked piano, drivin quite insane by the whole ordeal, and laughs his trademark laugh.
- The normally red wood-plank backdrop used during the opening theme when Woody bursts through a hole, announcing "Guess who?", is replaced with a light balsa-colored wood backdrop starting with this entry. This lighter background would be used until 1970, when the background reverts back to a red wood plank for the remainder of the series.
- Mugsy refers to Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff when he quips to Woody, "Keep up the good work, Rachmaninoff!"
- Convict Concerto was Don Patterson's final effort as director on a Woody short, although he would stay on at Lantz as an animator until 1960's Heap Big Hepcat. He does not receive on-screen credit as director.
- The cartoon is similar to the MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon The Cat Concerto and the Warner Brothers cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit, which were both Academy Award nominees.
- Cooke, Jon, Komorowski, Thad, Shakarian, Pietro, and Tatay, Jack. "1954". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia.