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Cartoon Culture

Hidden Message?


Jake Friedman sent this one in. Above is a still from Chuck Jones Now Hear This (1963). Below is a Morse Code decoder. Jake says:

I spent a few minutes trying to decode one with the other, hoping it spelled “Eddie Selzer eats sh-t” or something like that. Maybe Brew readers will see something in it…?

Any ideas? A prize to the reader with the cleverest “translation”. (Winner will be at the sole discretion of the Brewmasters. No deadlines, we’ll pick a winner sometime next week).


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  • James Kormann

    “44 years from now, a new sensation known as ‘Cartoon Brew’ will take the world by storm and bring lovers of animation together in one collective place.”

  • I think it says, “Nothing to do”.

  • I wrote a little recursive function to figure out some of the variations possible but there are too many to go through tonight so far all I’ve got is this jibber jabber:

    “Tart Dame Wet Ear By –.—…-.—”

    Assuming we’re reading from horn to egg some other possible starter words are:

    Tart, Try, Tent, Ten, Key, and Kent

    I’ll let you know if I find anything else. Now read our comics :)

  • It obviously reads; “I pooted”

  • George

    It says “There is nothing to hear here”

  • Jonathan Sloman

    “By Prohias”.

  • uncle wayne

    I’d have to agree & side with Mr. Kormann!!

  • “Key Sound Ten B Note —…-.—”

    Here’s the first complete sentence I’ve come up with:
    “Key Sound Talent Amy Nero”

    Obviously Amy was the key sound talent on this animated film but Bill Lava and Treg Brown were given her credit. Ok… it’s a stretch. It’s hard enough to find real words in this mess so when I run out it’s much easier to make up names.

  • “Which came first, the chicken, or the egg?

  • “Paul is Dead”

  • Joe

    After 3 hours I got “Why are you wasting your time with this you loser?”

  • I got:

    “Spongebob referenced this cartoon in the season one episode SB-129”

  • Cosio

    “I can’t believe you are actually doing this”

  • Eddie Selzer wasn’t even head of the Warners’ cartoon dept. anymore when Now Hear This was made. It’s doubtful Chuck would put a slam of him that late in the game (1953? Yes. 1963? No)

  • It’s not a waste of time. It’s a puzzle.


  • Joseph Nebus

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen the cartoon, but at this sequence, doesn’t the sound effects reel include the Morse Code being transmitted? If it is — and my memory is that it was much faster than I can read — and if it’s the same as what’s printed on the screen that would be pretty essential to deciphering the code, since it would tell where the spacing between letters and words go.

  • wundermild

    “Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja. Beierhundt das oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!” (dies laughing)

  • It says: Dash dot dash dot dash dot dash dash dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dash dash dot dash dot dot dash dot dash dot dash dot dot dot dash dot dash dash dash dash dot dash dash dash dot dot dot dash dot dash dash dash.

  • OM

    …If you read it forwards, it reads:


    …However, if you read it backwards, it reads:


  • Larry

    “God, I wish Mike Maltese would come back.”

  • Other possible translations:




  • Keith Paynter

    “Beetlegeuse, Beetlegeuse, Beetleguese!”

  • MGH

    He wants to switch his long-distance company, and is looking for the rates for his region. So, from egg to horn, he reads:

    MCI? MN, OK, SC, NE, NM, UT, NEW E, CT?

  • Bryan

    Dorothy, Will you still love me even if I told you that Gay Puree flick got me fired?


    One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “The world will end in fifty years!”

    OK, that was pushing it a little!

  • @Joseph Nebus: LOST is over for a few months, so I’m in need of some mysteries to try and solve and I liked your idea, so…

    The audible Morse Code in this scene says, “an egg” (I used Audio Hijack to record the sound, then opened that file in Audacity. It’s cool–when you look at the waveforms, you really can tell where the letter-breaks and spaces are.)

    The interesting thing is that there’s no possible way that any portion of the visual code contains a double “g” sequence… so the two aren’t synchronous.

    That being said, I’m still mulling over the screencap. I have trouble believing this is proper IMC, as the spacing and line widths seem all over the place.

    (Boy, I certainly do sound like a dork, don’t I? I swear I didn’t know a thing about Morse Code [beyond S.O.S., because it’s so simple] before reading this post!)

  • MGH

    Equal time for the competition:

    MCI? MT? ATT? ND, AR, NE, NM, UT, NEW E, CT?

  • Ok, I’ve looked backwards and forwards without too much more luck.

    I’m giving up on this but here’s a link to my decoder in case anyone else wants to dig:….-…–

    Just drop a chunk of dots and dashes in and it will spit out all the variations. I decided to limit it to 18 characters because the results are just too much to sift through with bigger strings. Some starter words I found (clockwise) are Tart, Try, Tent, Ten, Key, and Kent. “Key” and “Try” are spelled the same so “Key Sound Talent” / “Try Sound Talent” are both real sentence beginnings but can’t guess at an appropriate name to follow.

    Good luck!

  • MGH

    He wants to make a sequel to Now Hear This, and is looking for production companies to help him with funding. So, from upper right corner to egg, he reads from right to left:

    UA, AI, KT, E!, AG, ITC, TEN, TA, OE, MTV, AM?

  • Rogelio E. Toledo

    It’s actually a curse that they came up with back when Warners had a full time psychic workin’ for them.

    It reads


    which roughly translates to

    “If you tamper with this or any old cartoons you’ll forever be cursed with a really bad rash.”

    The psychic had informed them that one day the Devil in “Now Hear This” would be changed over fears that there might be a controversy and boycott over which specifc devil he was (religion).

    “Someday they’re going to re-color the Devil and claim that he always was a wholesome yet tempermental billy-goat.”

  • “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”

    Actually, the Chuck Jones version goes:

    “Green fish, Green fish, Green fish, Green fish”

  • MGH

    He is reading an old account of how the Revolutionary War started, from the British perspective. From upper right corner to egg, he reads from right to left:


  • MGH

    In reality, he does not understand the code, and that is why he looks so confused.

  • ReapLegague

    I strike down into the payday allowance beguile, which I struggled my in progress out of. Any longer when I see someone prospering into a person of those places, I just necessitate to run fingers on them and rend them in the inconsistent direction! I hate plundering lenders.

  • Non Z

    When is a winner going to be declared…

  • Jody Morgan

    I vote for ReapLegague.