Woody (Danny Webb) stays behind to swim while the other birds in the forest migrate south for the winter. Just after the other birds leave, the cold of winter sets in instantly, to the point that Woody's swimming hole freezes instantly solid just after he jumps in ("Must be hard water", he remarks). Woody does not worry, because he has stored up plenty of food. However, a snow storm enters his house and makes off with all of his possessions, food included.
Two weeks later, a title card informs the audience that "his food all gone, starvation stares Woody in the face!" Cut to a shot of Woody, seated at his dinner table, having a staring (and cackling) contest with "Starvation", personified as something vaguely resembling the Grim Reaper. A month later, a hungry cat (Webb) happens upon Woody's cabin, and conspires to eat the woodpecker. The famished Woody, however, plans just as quickly to eat the cat, and the two spend much of the remainder of the short trying to decapitate, bake, broil, and season each other. After several minutes of battling, a moose appears at Woody's open door, and the starving cat and woodpecker chase after it.
Sitting near a pile of moose bones with full bellies, Woody and the cat appear content. However, the cat looks over at Woody and remarks, "Y'know, I'm still hungry." "Yeah," replies Woody (in a normal, not sped-up voice), "so am I!" Brandishing knives, the two go right back at each other's throats.
Production notesEditLike most of the early 1940s Lantz cartoons, Pantry Panic carried no director's credit. Lantz himself has claimed to have directed this cartoon, which features animation by Alex Lovy and LaVerne Harding, a story by Ben Hardaway and Lowell Elliott, and music by Darrell Calker.
Pantry Panic was the third cartoon in the Woody Woodpecker series (thus featuring an early garish Woody Woodpecker design), and the fourth short to star the character. It was the first short with Danny Webb as Woody's voice. However, the woodpecker's famous laugh (provided by Mel Blanc) would continue to be recycled until 1951, when Grace Stafford rerecorded a softer version. Woody's "Guess Who?" (also supplied by Blanc), however, would continue to be used right up until the end of the series in 1972.
Today, Pantry Panic is the only Woody Woodpecker cartoon in the public domain. As such, it is freely distributed, and can be downloaded from the Internet Archive and seen on YouTube. It is available as a part of the 200 Classic Cartoon Collection.
- Danny Webb as Woody Woodpecker
- Mel Blanc as Woody Woodpecker's Laugh
- Jack Mercer as Cat
- Walter Tetley as Birds
- Bill Thompson as Owls, Stork and Dizzy Bird