|title card of the episode. The original ending (after the explosion) of the episode is Lost.|
The reason for this change was the pressure that many US parents have made about Universal studios. The first crazy version of Woody Woodpecker was considered an apology for drugs, in addition to having caused innumerable cases of nightmares among children.
But the creator of the character, Walter Lantz, did not readily agree to the change. As at that time, early 40's Woody Woodpecker was still far from the success that would later, Lantz said he preferred to cancel the character to see it become something completely different from the planned.
The creator knew the tricks of the studios, and knew that the only way to really put an end to the subject would be to kill the character. He wrote the script, gathered a small group of animators he trusted, and recorded the story. It was exactly "Ration Bored" But in a different final.
However, the Universal Pictures offered to Walter Lantz an very good financial compensation and the episode was modified. In this episode one controversial scence was add. When Woody says "I'm a necessary evil". Is actually an evil a subliminar message by Walter Lantz to childrens related by the ending.
So, was created an new version (which aired). In this new version, Woody actually "dies" after a big explosion, becoming an angel. However this is shown in a "light" way, which, added to the character's non-sense style, did not at any time arouse in the public the impression that he might indeed have died, come to an end.
After the explosion, the camera shows Woody and the policeman on top of a small cloud, side by side, kneeling, staring at the earth below, crying. They have no wings or haloes. They are designed in colors of slight transparency, which indicate that they are two spirits. The whole scene is in grayish colors, as if a storm is about to fall. The bottom trail is deeply sad, depressing. Is set to low volume. The intention is to give full emphasis to their crying.
The camera cuts to a close-up of the policeman's face. The hands are on the head, pulling in desperation pieces of skin. Your crying is really suffered, of a disturbing truth. They cut the image to the ground, where the body of the policeman is seen in pieces, like a disassembled toy. All limbs and head are separated from the trunk. There is no blood or guts, but this does not relieve the impact of the scene. Cut to the head. The mouth is ajar, a small spittle of saliva flows from it; the eyes, very wide, have very small pupils, without shine, staring at nothingness.
Return to the image of the two crying in the cloud. It lasts for exactly 6 seconds, and cuts to a close-up of Woody's spirit face. His crying is not only disturbing, as it seems to be a desperate attack by someone who is losing his sanity. Another sinister point that draws attention is that the voice of the cry seems to have been made by someone other than the character's original voice. It is strongly speculated that it would be the voice of Walter Lantz himself. This hypothesis, although strong and coherent, has never been confirmed.
Cut to the body of Woody Woodpecker, which is also in pieces. Then show the head in close. You see an open beak, missing a piece of the tip and tongue out. The wide eyes showed the pupils as big as ever, but with one fundamental difference: irises, instead of green as they used to be, were totally black.
Gradually the volume of the sad song diminishes until it disappears. Do you only hear the cry of Woody Woodpecker (Lantz's cry?) Accompanying the image of the head. The screen goes dark until it is completely black, still listening to the cry of the spirit.
"The End" appears...
In the 90's, a group of trainers found the episode hidden inside the studio. They ended up watching the movie tape and were very scared and disillusioned with what they saw. The group handed the episode to the trainee coordinator and who watched the movie tape and saved it immediately and asked that everyone forget that bad joke.
However, one trainer filming the monitor screen with an amateur camera. The recording was digitized and was released on the internet. However the worldwide network still did not have the agility of repercussion today, and the Lantz company successfully managed to stall the video circulation.
However, Woody Woodpecker was not the first case of an edited episode. Two years earlier, in 1941, Bugs Bunny had an edited episode titled "The Heckling Hare," which led to the resignation of Tex Avery. Curiously, before working at Warner Bros., he worked in Walter Lantz Productions.
This Woody Woodpecker's lost version is frightening to many adults and children. But if this scared a lot of 17/18 years old trainees, how would it be with a child ...