The Terrytoons Wiki

The Talking Magpies is a 1946 animated short directed by Mannie Davis.


A married couple of Magpies are searching for a place to nest, they look at the Magpies' Hotel only to be kicked out as there isn't a vacancy, afterwards they find some nests made out of hats hanging off a tree for any bird to take, however when they find a decent spot it's already taken.

Finally they stumble into a shady landlord, who is willing to rent the couple a nest in a treetop, which unbeknownst to then is positioned just outside the bedroom window of onn Farmer Al Falfa along with his pet dog, both of which are trying to get some sleep. The couple check out their new nest which the husband likes, however his wife disagrees thinking it's a dump, the two loudly argue, shouting at the top of their lungs, which disturbers Al and his dog's sleep, he tell his dog to ask them to be a little quieter. But when the dog asks them to simmer down they squawk at him with relentless anger, the dog translates this to Al as "If you'd mind your business, they'd mind theirs". Al decides to shut them up by tossing a bowl of plant water out the window and into their faces, however the water is thrown back and instead hits him, to witch the wife slams the window shut so hard that it breaks.

Farmer Al Falfa grabs his shotgun ready and willing to blast them, however as he rounds the corner, the husband slips into the radio and imitates a program which at first seems to be about ridding your house of Magpies, only for it to be all about how great they are, Al realizes that he's being made a fool of as the bird shows him self and taunts our angry farmer, the hunt is on.

The husband and wife trick Al into thinking they left house and grab the dog, flying him to the top and dropping him on Al's head, his gun goes off and the magpies tease him by yelling "Quiet!". Next he tries to reach their nest by climbing a ladder, but by the time he makes it to the top the Magpies have a large mallet which they clobber him with, he falls breaking the ladder with a loud crash, and once again the couple shows their faces to shout "Quiet!". The landlord sees this decides to join the fun, offering Al some headache curing aspirin, when Al sates he doesn't have a headache, the landlord replies with "Oh, yes you do!" before slamming an even larger mallet down on his head.

After this the husband is chased by the dog into a barrel, the dog informs his mater of this, so Al pokes his gun through a hole only to be socked with a 2 by 4. Enraged, he looks inside only for it to be empty with the husband on the outside, who promptly pulls the trigger, blasting Al in the face.

The couple share a joyful laugh over this only to shocked by the sight of Al and his dog chopping their tree down, the pair chirp at them to stop however the continue to swing the axes. This gets the attention of the other Magpies from before who had previously ran them off, they rally against Al Falfa and attack him, he chases the army of magpies all around the farm. Several magpies hide inside the exhaust pipe of Al's car, he and his dog get inside hoping to whack them the second they leave, but unfortunately for Al the magpies exit the other end and shove the car down a steep hill, it rolls all the way down and crashes into a tree, sending Al and his dog high up into the air. And landing in the Magpie couples' nest

The cartoon ends with the couple claiming Al's bed for their own, and with the husband asking his wife, "Maggy, my dear, would you mind asking those uncouth neighbors to be a little more quiet?". The two share one final laugh.





  • When the magpies share their laugh at Al getting shot the voices of both male, even though one of them is meant to be the wife.


  • This cartoon went over very well with audiences, so well in fact that later that name year another short putting Al Falfa and his dog against two magpies was produced, titled "The Uninvited Pests", only this time instead of a husband and wife, it was a pair of brothers. These two characters would later be known as Heckle and Jeckle, who became very popular and got their own series of shorts right after. The pair were always billed in the opening credits as "The Talking Magpies".
  • The dog in this cartoon would later evolve into a recurring character for the studio named Dimwit.
  • The TV print of this cartoon cuts out the scene of the barrel and Al getting shot, it was likely cut for time.
  • This is one of the few Terrytoons shorts to be in the public domain.
  • This cartoon entered the Public Domain in 1974.