Knights Must Fall

“You can’t tell a knight from a day without a program.”

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Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, Manuel Perez, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Voice Characterization by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on July 16, 1949.

Bugs lives in medieval times, when it wasn’t odd to see a rabbit as a squire, I suppose. But manners still existed, and Bugs doesn’t show a very good example of them, as he sticks what leftover carrot parts he didn’t want to eat into the suit of Sir Pantsalot. (His name really is Pantsalot.) If you want to over analyze things, as humans typically do, that action can be interpreted as Bugs calling Pantsy ‘garbage’. With honor at stake, the knight challenges to bunny to a duel, and he accepts.

The name of the game is jousting. The two combatants will charge each other from the mount of their choosing with their lances. Bugs rides an adorable little donkey that will now be known to you as ‘Jacques.’ They don’t really stand a chance. Either getting knocked apart, or just having the lance whittled down to splinters. And since everyone expects one of the two on the field to die at any time, it’s a fast-running sport and that means it’s halftime. We’re playing the “Rubber Band’s” one-hit wonder. A true blast from the past!

After the festivities, we rejoin the rivals who have moved on to clubs by this point. I think Bugs has tried to win the fair way long enough. Trick time! And a spring is just what he needs to fling Pantsy’s morning star back in his face. (Is that the right term? Even though it has no spikes?) But what really turns the tables is Bugs hiding where the sun don’t shine, so it’s always knight: inside Pantsalot’s armor. And he’s got a needle. After the poking, he gets his adversary to chase him into a manhole cover. (These times are well known for their sewer systems.) Victory!

Is what I’d be saying if Bugs had won yet. For Pantsalot has brought his reserves, and they are going to take the rabbit on all at once. (It’s only fair to fight fire with cheating.) Bugs isn’t going to be cowed like that, and quickly fashions a tank for Jacques to carry and they ride head on into the fray. And somewhere, I’m sure heralds still sing and shout, but there’s a lack of joy in Drop Seat Mannor, for Sir Pantsalot has been knocked out. Him and all his toadies. I like to think Bugs indirectly killed them. That is the point of a joust, after all, right?

And making the best of a bloody situation, Bugs makes a used armor lot out of all the leftover shells. Once more sticking his refuse into what once held a man named Pantsalot. That’s just cold.

Favorite Part: Bugs knocks on Pants’s helmet, saying that the guy knows who he is; he was here last night with Joe. Which leads to three zingers mashed together: the knight’s goofy smile, Bugs saying the guy really should have known better, and the hatch disappearing for a brief moment.

Personal Rating: 3

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