Title Card

Helter Shelter is the 59th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on January 17, 1955, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal International.


Woody is happily singing "Home! Sweet Home!" after building a brand new birdhouse until neighborhood dog Happy sets fire to the woodpecker's domicile. Frustrated, Woody builds a second birdhouse, only to have it thrown over the side of a mountain by a malicious Happy. Soon, it begins raining, and Happy takes refuge to his owner's home. The kindly mother Phoebe takes the dog in, but her towering husband Claude complains that she is letting the wet dog into the house. A soaked Woody then knocks on the door as well, and Phoebe takes pity on the drenched woodpecker. Claude, who openly declares "I hate animals!" angrily inquires, "What is this: a zoo?!" He then storms off to bed.


A jealous Happy (left) watches as his owner Phoebe carries a drenched Woody Woodpecker to his bed in Helter Shelter.

Only moments after Happy and Woody try to get some sleep, Claude begins sleepwalking and works his way right into the refrigerator. This leads to a series of mishaps resulting in Happy getting booted out of the house repeatedly. Finally, Claude's bed ends up landing in the basement, and he quickly accuses Happy (who tried to saw off the ground on which Woody's bed stood, but Woody himself replaced it with the couch on which Claude was sleeping). The frantic dog rolls up the saw he used, and hides it in his mouth. Woody then comes up behind him, asks "Hiya, pal! What's new?" and slaps his back, causing the saw to unroll in his mouth. Happy then bounces off into the night, with the saw twanging away inside his body.

Woody tries to win Claude's friendship, but gets booted out in the rain once again. Phoebe comes running down the stairs to rescue the woodpecker, leading Claude to threaten "Phoebe, either that woodpecker goes, or I go!" Phoebe then promptly throws Claude out the door, and tucks Woody into bed.


Helter Shelter was remade as 1968's Woody the Freeloader.

  • The scene when Happy gets hit on the head with the lid causing him to act like a Chinaman is cut.
  • The scene when the dog burned Woody's house was used for for a Woody Woodpecker Show bumper.


Woody Woodpecker - Helter Shelter (Higher Pitched Version)04:48

Woody Woodpecker - Helter Shelter (Higher Pitched Version)

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.