Steven Spielberg called this cartoon short “the Citizen Kane of animated shorts.” It was written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones.
This is my favorite cartoon short. The short story is told without dialog…just singing in parts.
If you want to teach someone about Greed… watch this short. Instead of appreciating what he had…he wasn’t happy unless he could make money off of the frog.
The story is great. A 1955 construction worker is on a demolition site and pries open a box from 1892 found in the cornerstone of the building. Out of the box comes an old frog that climbs to the lid. The frog looks up at the construction worker and suddenly pulls up a top hat and coattails and starts singing “Hello my Honey, Hello my Baby…” and continues with the song.
The worker then starts dreaming of a theater marque with the picture of the frog…”He Sings”, “Talks”, and “Dances” with a picture of the frog.
He rents a theater and presents his frog to the audience. Right before the crowd settles in with the curtain down…the Frog starts singing and dancing away but stops the instant the curtain rises. The audience boos and throws vegetables.
That is his dilemma. The frog will only sing for this one guy. Not for paying crowds, not talent agents, ONLY HIM. Slowly he is driven mad, not so much by the frog but by his own failed plans with the frog. Failing to recognize the special gift he has, he sees the building going up and sticks the frog back into the cornerstone. Years pass, and when the laser demolition-man is vaporizing the building with his 21st-century technology, what does he find? Our friend the singing frog. The space suited construction worker from 2056 starts dreaming of the money he can make from the frog… And so the cycle continues.