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Stewie Dancing with Gene Kelly

I first saw the season 5 episode Road to Rupert either the night it premiered on Adult Swim on 25 February 2007 or soon thereafter. I can remember with some haziness that I was entertained by what I was viewing, as it was the usual Family Guy humor which by then I had come to greatly enjoy. At one point during the episode, Stewie breaks out in song, and very soon afterwards the scene suddenly transitions from pure animation to a combined live-action/animated dance sequence featuring Stewie and a real man (whose identity, admittedly, I didn't yet know at the time).

Back then, I had seen very little combined live-action/animated footage, and so, when this scene appeared, the sheer novelty of the thing was sufficient to immediately catch my attention. I can still clearly remember being completely fixated on my television for the entire length of the segment because I was captivated by what I was witnessing, and quite amazed not only by the great skill and energy of the fellow's dancing by itself, but also by how smoothly and flawlessly Stewie had been animated into it so that the two actually appeared to be interacting with each other.

I enjoyed this dance so much that the next day (or, at least, sometime during the next few days) I even headed to YouTube and searched for a clip of the segment, successfully found one, and then proceeded to watch and re-watch it several times; pretty soon afterwards I also stumbled upon and watched various clips of the original scene featuring Jerry from Tom and Jerry, and subsequently learned that the dance segment was from an old film entitled Anchors Aweigh, that the man was a famous actor and dancer by the name of Gene Kelly, and that what I had viewed on TV was an edited and shortened version of the original in which Stewie had been carefully drawn over Jerry. (I also recall that, although I had been able at first to discern that the footage was older, I was still somewhat surprised to learn that it had actually been recorded as far back as the 1940s—the fact that it was in full color misled me into believing that it was decades newer.)

Apparently, the edited dance sequence generated so much interest at the time that even Adult Swim acknowledged it: I vividly remember that, not long after I had seen the episode, Adult Swim frequently aired a bumper in which the same section from both the original and edited versions of the dance was shown side-by-side for comparison. The attention was entirely deserved, though, for it was a truly extraordinary piece of combined live action and animation that was unlike anything I had ever previously seen in Family Guy; it made such a strong impression upon me that, even today, I am able to remember much of the music, choreography, and visuals in general, despite having not seen it since the late 2000s. This lively and highly enjoyable dance scene, in my opinion, is one of the finest moments of Family Guy, and after I saw it, my appreciation of the series grew even more.


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This page last modified on 17 September 2021.