Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, John Carey, Rod Scribner, and J.C. Melendez; Layouts by Cornett Wood; Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on January 6, 1951.
Christopher Columbus has a new theory! The planet we live on, is not flat as many people suspect, but round! (Although, didn’t most people by 1492 KNOW it was round, but thought that the opposing side was nothing but danger water? Correct me if I’m wrong. Please. That means someone reads these) The king of Spain (who has a voice that I’m guessing helped inspire McKimson to create Speedy) is one of those “flatters” and throws Chris out of his palace.
Bugs is just outside, and he believes Chris. (All his underground traveling has taught him much about the globe. Did you know it is composed of layers?) In fact, he can prove it! He just throws a baseball over the horizon, and waits for it to come back adorned with various stamps. (A trick he must have learned from Porky who did the same thing in “Kristopher Kolumbus, Jr.”) The queen herself is a little more believing than her husband, promising Chris plenty of riches should he succeed. 3 ships with crews later, and they’re on their way.
Since Bugs was the first to believe, he is made mascot and brought along. For some reason, this gets the crew upset. Rabbits are jinxes?
Huh. Whod’ve guessed?
Chris is the man in charge though, and he says the rabbit stays. They’re good luck! (Well, their feet are. The rest is just tasty.) The days go by and the crew only grows more restless. Surely the lack of land is because of the mascot. It’s not like the ocean is a really big place. Actually, that probably isn’t true at all. Columbus is certain that they will reach land by the ‘morrow and Bugs relays the news. The crew is elated.
Oops. A little miscalculation. Still no land. And since the mascot was the one saying that, guess who the crew blames? Someone has gotta leave the ship, and Bugs is too beloved by the rest of the world, so the crew better know how to swim. Using a painting of an island, Bugs is able to get all of his pursuers off the ship. And the other two ships leave. Bugs says they were fired. Chris isn’t too happy with this, but Bugs is confident that the two are more than enough people required.
With no other crew, Bugs takes up the job as cook. Since they’ve been at sea this long, the food is rather slim. (I guess they ate all the rats. Should’ve left a couple to keep breeding, boys.) Bugs serves a bean, and tells Columbus that imagination can help. Chris tries it. Apparently, imagination also makes rabbits look like poultry.
Wow. I’m learning so much today!
The two are so caught up in the chase, that neither one notices they actually HAVE hit land. Naturally, Columbus takes all the credit. Cool as he is, Bugs lets him have it. (No use changing the history books. Bugs is a time lord)
Favorite part: The debate Chris had with the king. He claims the world is round like his head. The king smashes it and claims it is flat like his head.
Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Tom Ray, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, and Bob Bransford; Backgrounds by William Butler; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg. Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on June 8, 1963.
Wile E. is going through one of his many chases. The “beep-beep” indicates he’s chasing his usual prey, the Roadrunner. Odd. I figured that with Bugs appearing in the opening credits, and that pun-ish name, this short would contain, you know, a rabbit. Actually, it does! Wile E. IS chasing Bugs. You see, our usual roadrunner sprained a giblet. (I don’t want to know how that happened, but I’m sure the end result contains pain we mortals can’t begin to imagine.) So, Bugs is filling in for the bird. I really love this premise. It’s technically a crossover! Wouldn’t be cool if more were made in this style? Like Sylvester hunting Tweety and Speedy? Or Taz trying to catch Hippety Hopper? Or Beaky trying to eat Foghorn? (So, all my ideas are chase related.) Also of note, this was the last time Bugs and Wile E. starred together. Also, since this is “technically” a Roadrunner picture, Wile E. does not talk like he normally does as Bugs’ co-star.
That roadrunner is a little too fast for Bugs to match speed with naturally, so he takes vitamins to meet the requirements. They work great! As Bugs runs, the road can’t handle his speed and morphs accordingly. The good times can’t last forever, and Bugs soon runs out of speed. He solves this dilemma by drawing out a square in the road. When his pursuer steps on it, it becomes a pitfall. (And since they weren’t on a cliff, it can only lead to hell)
The advantage of chasing a rabbit over a bird, is you can bait a fish hook with a carrot. (Ever tried putting seed on a hook? It’s not worth the effort) The disadvantage to trying to catch a rabbit with a baited hook, is that you run the risk of attracting a large fish. (Environments don’t matter.) Also, since Bugs talks, he can explain when he is giving the predator more of fair shot. Or so he claims. Those pills certainly work wonders, as Bugs adds a bunch of pipe to Wile E’s gun in to time at all. (Don’t let your curiosity follow said pipe. It will only lead to a bullet in the face.)
All too soon, our final gag is upon us. Bugs has spread glue on the road, but Wile E. is going too fast to stop. His momentum carries the upper half of his body forward, and it’s a good thing too, as there’s a phone ringing up ahead. And it’s for him. Bugs hands him the device, just in time, as now the momentum has launched the coyote backwards. (Ripping the chunk of ground he is glued to up as well) He is flung off a cliff and hits the opposing side. He’d fall if he didn’t have a phone to hold on to. If only he’d paid his bills! Then Bugs wouldn’t have had to cut the service. Society is so cruel.
Favorite part: Wile E. drops an anvil towards a target that Bugs is standing on. Thanks to his speed pills, Bugs runs up behind him and holds the target over his head. The magic anvil heads to its destined mate, and the conk sends Wile E. over the edge. Bugs drops the anvil after him, but believe it or not, the anvil misses! (Wile E. is then run over by a van.)
Directed by Friz Freleng; Animation by Virgil Ross, Art Davis, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1960.
This is a weird one. By that title and that quote, you’d be sure this was a Bugs/Marvin picture. But it’s Bugs and Sam! Sam is an alien now. And you can’t claim he’s someone similar in voice and appearance, he flat out calls himself “Yosemite Sam of Outer Space.” (Because there’s a Yosemite outside of Earth?) Sadly, it’s just a generic Bugs short. I think Freleng just liked Jones’s martian and decided to do something similar.
So, we’ve got spaceman Sam; what is he doing coming down to our planet? Just the typical “bring back an Earth creature” thing every alien species that doesn’t want us dead, does. He chooses a rabbit, that lives in a garbage dump. (Not sure WHY Bugs is living there. I suppose it is a place hunters won’t try to bother him) Sam (who looks a bit like a pikmin) sends a robot to bring the rabbit back. In turn, Bugs uses it as a trash can. Which I guess destroys it, as Sam immediately tries a new tactic.
His next plan is to send a demolition squad to destroy the creature. (Good thing Earth has millions of species to choose from. Might I suggest a potato?) Bugs now notices he is having a close encounter of the second kind, and ducks into a shelter. The robots load it up with bombs, but Bugs managed to escape and sticks a magnet in the shelter, leading the bots to their doom. Robots are clearly going to be of no help. Sam decides to try his own luck.
He has an indestructible tank, but I don’t know what he was planning to do with it, as Bugs uses his own contraption to stick him with a TNT stick. Time to make a getaway! Good thing there was a set of rail tracks next to the dump. Bugs leaves on a handcart with Sam in pursuit. This is also one of those times that Bugs is able to spin in ears to possess the power of flight. Sam can keep pace with his jet-pack, but only as long as Bugs doesn’t replace it with another explosive.
When he hits his limit, Sam aims all his firepower at Bug’s hole, and demands his surrender. Bugs instead sends out a decoy with a bomb attached, and Sam takes his leave. Later that night, Bugs has his radio tuned into the frequency of the aliens and hears his prank pay off. Having had his fun, he tunes in for a little “Amos ‘n’ Andy.”
Favorite Part: One of Sam’s robots is clearly on loan from Marvin. It sounds just like him. And if you could give a robot a voice, you’d choose your own. Wouldn’t you?
“One of the most difficult birds to train, is the pigeon.”
Directed by Abe Levitow; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam, Richard Thompson, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Bob Singer; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on November 14, 1959.
As an animal lover, I can’t help but notice the parallels between us and them. It all boils down to one question: Are humans animals? Or are animals human? Our host, Dr. Beest Lee, (That’s really his first name? The X-Men weren’t around yet, so nobody in his childhood took him seriously. Well, he’s shown them all! He hosts this!) is here to guide us through several gags. It’s up to us to decide.
The most intelligent animal is a good place to start. A chimpanzee is taking part in an experiment where he has to make use of boxes to get a banana. He is more clever than the unseen researchers give him credit for. Not only does he make it to the fruit, he saws around it in order to get at the fridge that was on top. (Actually, that was probably part of the test. Who puts a fridge on a chimp cage, and doesn’t expect it to get stolen?)
Chickens tend to live in factories these days, and some bits of technology are sure to rub off on them. Namely, laying cube-shaped eggs. And they show that old gag about the man trying to prove his dog can talk, but only asking questions whose answers sound similar to a basic dog call. That’s a little weak. What other gags we got?
Chibi-Bugs is being sent into outer space as some sort of… experiment? What exactly is this supposed to accomplish? I suppose they were just trying to crossbreed lagomorphs. The bunny comes back with his Martian bride and offspring. And what of rodents? A groundhog is a natural meteorologist. (Although he now uses several pieces of high tech machinery to get info) A beaver damns a river. (Probably the best joke here.) And porcupines kiss despite the pain. (Also, that skunk looks a lot like Pepe. What is with all these cameos? Is the featured subject not strong enough to hold our attention?)
A chameleon is capable of changing color. Being from the 50’s, he is still under the illusion that he can match any background instantly. (Not plaid though, a lizard has his limits) And throughout the whole short, we’ve seen a poor dog waiting dutifully for his master to return. Luckily, we’re not given the “Jurassic Bark” treatment, as we see the reunion unfold. It’s not that cheerful. (The dog is irate to have been left alone for as long as he was. 3 years is nearly a third of his lifetime!)
Favorite Part: That beaver was pretty funny, but I like the elephant gag better. After a mouse gets some kicks terrifying one, he himself gets some comeuppance by an even smaller elephant. And you know what that means: Teeny procreated!
“Fasten you seat belts! It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”
Written by Duane Poole, Tom Swale; Directed by Milton Gray, Marsh Lamore, Bob Shellhorn, Mike Svayko, Karen Peterson (supervising); Starring the voices of Ross Bagdasarian, Jeff Bergman, Townsend Coleman, Wayne Collins, Jim Cummings, Jody Dedio, Paul Fusco, Danny Goldman, Georgi Irene, Janice Karman, Aaron Lohr, Jason Marsden, Don Messick, Lorenzo Music, Laurie O’Brien, Lindsay Parker, George C. Scott, Russi Taylor, and Frank Welker. Theme music composed by Richard Kosinski, Sam Winans, Paul Buckmaster, Bill Reichenbach, Bob Mann, Guy Moon, and Alan Menken. A TV special aired on April 21, 1990.
How dare I discuss this when so many others with notoriety have before me? Well, unlike them, I actually LIKE this. Unironically even. Since the plot is relatively well known, I’ll keep that part to a minimum and just give my overall opinion on it.
Many find this special disappointing. With its title, you’d think it’s some kind of action-packed thrill ride with the greatest heroes animation has to offer. I can see why most would feel let down, but I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t born when this special aired. In fact, I wasn’t aware of the thing until 2007. I happened to catch a glimpse of it during a cartoon music video, and wondered what it was. My best guess was that it was some promotional ad for a TV network. I mean, why else would all these toons owned by different companies all be here?
Luckily, someone in the comments also was clueless and asked what the source was. Now with title in hand, I looked it up. So I knew it was an anti-drug thing the whole time. While I agree that it would have been so much cooler as that aforementioned thrill ride, I think this is still a work of genius. Aren’t kids much more likely to listen to cartoons? And we’ve got a good mix of characters. Let’s run through them.
The Smurfs: never really saw them. (Especially not those horrific life action films. Don’t people know that cartoons are drawn because they look horrifying in realistic styles?) Considering how profitable they had been around the time, I think they were a good choice.
Alf: Can’t say this was a smart choice. You really wanted Alf as part of your anti drug squad? His live action series had just barely ended, and I’m guessing his popularity was ending. If this had come out a few years earlier, I’d have less problems. But it’s hard for me to hate a guy who munchs cats. And yes, I do get a kick out of him threatening to eat…
Garfield: I love this guy! Have ever since I was a kid. Garfield and Friends was something I watched every morning before school. He deserves to be here.
The Chipmunks: I was also rather fond of these guys as a child. Mostly because of “The Chipmunk Adventure” (I rented that movie every time I visited the local video rental place. Those were good times.) Not as big a fan as I once was, but I’m glad they’re here.
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger: Pooh is my favorite Disney character. I’m pleased as punch to find him in this. Tigger is also great. Another two solid picks.
Baby Kermit, Piggy, and Gonzo: I’m also quite the Muppets fan. Sadly, their adult counterparts wouldn’t fit in, being live action and all. I’ll settle for this version of them. At least it allows Kermit the frog to share the screen with Garfield and Pooh.
Slimer: I’m not really a Ghostbusters fan. Granted, I’ve yet to see the animated series they’re borrowing from. I have seen the movie. It’s not bad, but I don’t find it funny or really all that entertaining. But the franchise was still doing great at the time, it’d be idiotic to NOT include anyone from it.
Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck: The reason we are discussing this. With a title like “Cartoon ALL-STARS” you darn well better have at least one Looney Tune. Two is better than that. They had to pick the two most popular, and they did. (Wile E is also mentioned. Too bad he didn’t show his face)
Michelangelo: Also not much of a TMNT fan. I’d like to watch the 80’s series. Someday. Again, being the profitable series it was, they made a good choice of picking a turtle. They chose the kids favorite too.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie: It would have been cooler if Mickey, Donald and Goofy had been chosen, like they were originally intended to be, but these three are a good second choice. I like Ducktales.
So, that’s the lot. (Despite the fact Smurfette appears on the VHS cover) Overall, I like the selection. However, the special is definitely not perfect. The toons seem to keep changing size without explanation, and the majority of the characters feel very underutilized. Slimer disappears after everybody leaves the house. (At least he got one line) And Daffy doesn’t show up until the final few minutes. Also, most of them don’t contribute much to the problem at hand. It’s a good thing they all join in the song. (Most of them anyway. As stated, Slimer is gone by this point and most of the smurfs are too. He was probably eating them. And Alf steals Bugs’ line. Prick)
It doesn’t flow too naturally, either. The “human” characters disappear and warp around the world as needed. I guess it simulates how one feels on drugs? (“How’d I get back to my room? My weed must’ve given me super powers.”) Everything just seems to end too fast. It’s a shame they only got a half hour to tell their story. This would’ve been much more informative at twice the length.
Despite these complaints, there are some good parts to be had. Our villain isn’t terrible. He may just be a cloud of smoke named Smoke (despite no name being given during the run time) but he’s evil enough to suit his purpose. Does a good job of not giving a crap about anyone or caring. Just like real drugs! Also, this is the first time Bugs and Daffy aren’t being voiced by the voice god, Mel. Jeff Bergman is a good replacement. (Not a great one. There is no such person aside from Noel. Even then, he wouldn’t be perfect. No offense Mr. Blanc.)
All in all, this wasn’t the best it could be, but I think it came out fairly decent. I’m sure it was hard enough just getting everyone to agree to let their characters join in the fun. (It’s odd that the parents can’t get along as well as the children. Bugs and Mickey visit each other every Christmas and birthday.) If they had been given more time, I’m sure this could have been remembered more fondly. Anti-drug message and all.
Favorite part: I’m tempted to choose the few scenes showing our main character has a Looney Tunes poster in his room, but unfortunately, it’s too blurry to make out. ( I think it contains Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety, Taz and Porky) If only I could SEE IT! Instead, my pick goes to the song. It’s catchy and brings everyone together. (Just what every crossover gourmand wants.)
Producer: Hal Geer; Directed by David Detiege, Abe Levitow and Maurice Noble; Story by Cliff Roberts; Music by Harper McKay. A TV special aired on CBS on October 26, 1978.
Halloween is such a fun time of year. You can be as macabre as you want and nobody bats an eye. Having any excuse to eat nothing but chocolate is also a bonus. And unlike other holidays, this one doesn’t have any deeper meaning anymore, and is used solely as a fun excuse. And naturally, there are plenty of cartoon treats on the side.
This special consist of clips from other “spooky” themed Looney Tunes and edited together with some new footage. (Sort of like Frankenstein’s monster.) Even if you aren’t the expert on these shorts, like I am, it’s not hard to tell where edits were made. Voices sounding different and animation not syncing up properly.
We start with a bit of “A-haunting we will go.” Right after Daffy’s nephew warns of the real witch, and his uncle drags him out to prove him wrong, we cut to a snippet of “Broom Stick Bunny.” Hazel still invites Bugs in, but doesn’t explain why she is giving him a tea designed to un-uglify someone. Even more confusing, after Bugs reveals himself to be a rabbit, she still wants him to drink, as she sees “that witch” as a threat. (You’ve lost me. Can a rabbit be a witch? And if the two are combined, will that spell the end of all witches?)
Bugs refuses to drink her tea, saying that he only will drink the kind his doctor makes. So, now we jump to a “Hyde and Hare” clip. While Bugs is chased by Hyde, his screams wake up a sleeping Sylvester, and we next jump to an abridged “Hyde and go Tweet.” After that, Bugs has somehow managed to escape Hyde and samples his formula. Now properly scary, he leaves to try and frighten Hazel. She is immune, turns him back to normal, and that makes him fall asleep. Next up: “A witch’s tangled hare.”
After all that, we finally catch up to Daffy arriving at her place, with most of that short being played. It cuts right after Daffy leaves. (Here’s an omission I never noticed before: when Speedy tries to make Daffy drink, the table is gone. But there is still a chunk of Speedy’s clothes missing that is table shaped.)
After all this, Bugs is still not impressed with Hazel’s attempts at being scary. She decides to show him, by frightening the cat that is accompanying Porky who is coming to stay at her house, since she put up a vacancy sign. (She now lives amongst some other buildings? Magic works fast!) So now, we get a mishmash of “Claws for alarm” and “Scaredy Cat” playing. And despite Hazel saying SHE is going to be the one scaring the cat, he runs off when Porky orders him to get out. (Not to mention, was she doing anything? Were all those mice under her control?)
I guess Bugs is convinced, as he offers to team up with her to frighten people, and proposes a toast. Upon drinking she turns into Count Bloodcount and “Transylvania 6-5000” plays. To be fair, they put in some new dialogue here, with Bugs wondering where the witch went, and Hazel speaking instead of the vampire. (But they don’t explain why Bugs is dressed as an umpire suddenly. Unless you’ve seen the original, you’re going to be confused.)
Once back to her self, she chases Bugs as she has had enough of him. (I do love the face he makes as he runs away from her.) This leads to our last clip from “Bewitched Bunny.” This time, once Hazel is transformed, Bugs doesn’t make a sexist remark, and just notes that no one wants to be alone on Halloween. The two then go to share Hazel’s brew.
This special is kind of a mess. The cartoons don’t always flow together neatly, and will probably confuse anyone over the age of five. I’m sure little kids will love it through and through, but that doesn’t include me. Here’s wishing any of you REAL people who read this, a happy Halloween. (Seriously though people. Stop leaving your spam on my website. You’re just wasting your time.)
Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Gerry Chiniquy; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1945.
Hitler’s pet, Hermann Göring, (or as the short affectionately calls him, Fatso) is taking a break from being part of the worst kind of people in the world, (or as no one calls them affectionately, the Nazis) and is off on a hunting trip in the Black Forest. Bugs is tunneling nearby, and for the first time ever, makes a wrong turn at Albuquerque. The tubby one sets his gun sights on the rabbit. While Bugs asks Hermann for directions to Las Vegas. Hermann muses out loud about Vegas, and Bugs, ever the helpful sort, gives him the directions and sends him on his way. But as much as it pains me to admit, Göring was not that dumb and soon remembers that such a city does not exist in Germany. Bugs admires the medals the man has, but proves them all to be nothing but tin. Angry, Hermann starts insulting Hitler. Bugs uses this opportunity to disguise himself as the führer to really mess with Göring. (You ask why there is a mirror in the woods? I ask, “Why does it teleport to a different tree?”) He begs for forgiveness. He even gives a kiss. (♪ Right in the führers face! ♪) This causes some of Bugs fake mustache to come off on Hermann’s lips and upon heiling himself, he wises up. Chasing again, he hears something to his right. (Although Bugs comes from his left. Whoops.) It’s Bugs dressed as Brunhilde. (A good seventeen before “What’s Opera Doc?”) Hermann dresses as Sigfried and they dance. (Bugs getting the Nazi to crash into his shield) Hermann tries to set a falcon on him, but the bird can’t understand his commands through his accent. Bugs explains he is supposed to catch a rabbit. The bird grabs Bugs…and nods to show he understands. He takes off. Bugs wonders if the bird can actually catch him. Hermann has no doubts. Bugs tickles him and dives back into his hole. Unbelievably, the bird is at the bottom and catches Bugs in a sack. Yes, Bugs was actually caught! Gleeful over his prize, Hermann rushes to show Hitler. Hitler is happy and takes a peek into the bag. He freaks out and runs away with Hermann doing the same. Turns out, Bugs was able to scare them off with his Josef Stalin cosplay.
Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ben Washam; Layouts by Ernest Nordli; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Looney Tune released in 1955.
Do you remember “Duck Amuck?” It was a pretty well loved short. When someone creates something that the world loves, they can either leave it alone, satisfied that they made something wonderful and let fans cry for more, or they can try to capture lightning in a bottle twice and risk the chance of failing. I wouldn’t say this was a failure, but it really doens’t work with Bugs. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The script tells us we are to start in a classic woodland scene. The animator paints one, but adds Bugs’ hole in the sky. When Bugs sees just who is at the controls for this picture, he refuses to play along. (Don’t blink! When Bugs hits the ground, his leg disappears for a fraction of a second.) The artist stars putting picket signs in his hands. Bugs agrees to work with the artist, but now they are painting various hats on Bugs. (Making the top hat too big is quite clever.) Well, Bugs tried to be nice. Now to leave. But his hole is now upside down in the sky and he can’t get into it, as an anvil is tied to his tail. While he grumbles, his head is replaced with a jack o’ lantern. He requests a rabbit head. It’s tiny. Once it’s back to normal size though, it is without ears. Asking for some gets him human ears. He is given a horse’s tail next. When asking for it to be fixed, he is drawn as a horse. His contract states he is to be a rabbit. So the artist draws him as some fan’s Looney Tune OC. (Though to be fair, he looks better than anything I could draw) Then he is given some clones. His originality challenged, he puts his foot down. He refuses to move until the boss is notified of the artists shenanigans. Said artist calls his bluff, by drawing a train. With no other alternative, Bugs pulls out the “The End” card. Luckily the artist wasn’t Daffy. (That would have made this short bad.) It was Elmer, pleased to have finally gotten even.
Produced, Directed, and “Plagerized” by Chuck Jones; Music by Dean Elliot. A TV special released in 1978.
Bugs is on his way to Georgia for a peanut festival. But somehow, he has burrowed his way into medieval England. (Which he mistakes for Pittsburgh, due to all the smoke.) Said smoke is coming from a dragon which is being chased by Elmer as a knight. Finding the tracks leading to Bugs, he concludes that the dragon is a shapeshifter. He takes Bugs as a prisoner. They ride: to Camelot! But there aren’t any jovial singing knights here. Just the king and his knights. The king in fact looks a lot like Daffy. And Merlin looks an awful lot like Yosemite Sam. (Also, I think he stole Yen Sid’s hat and dyed it black.) Elmer offers up his catch to the king. Merlin suggests they kill the “dragon.” Not really caring about any of this, the king permits it. Bugs is set to be roasted, when he realizes that this all seems like some kind of Mark Twain story. He asks the varlet, (played by my pal Porky, who for some reason is having an even more difficult time speaking than usual) what day it is and finds that its the day that a solar eclipse happened. He demands to be set free, or he’ll blot out the sun. And boy is it ever an eclipse. One can even see the stars. The king is horrified and offers half his kingdom to the rabbit to undo his work. Bugs complies. Once gone, the king thanks Bugs and offers him something even better than half of his kingdom. A whole 32nd of it! Bugs declines and only asks that he be given a dragon. The king complies, Merlin is angry, and Fudd is convinced this was all a trick. So what did Bugs want with a dragon? He decided to open up his own armory, and uses the dragon’s flame to create steam, which in turn he uses to make electricity. Turns out Bugs was way ahead of all those types who needed to know how to train their dragons. They act just like any other animal. Feed them, and they’ll spend most of their time sleeping. (Yes, he alludes them to cats, but that sounds like pretty much every animal ever to me.) Being a rabbit, he specializes in armor for animals. Foxes, (why not?) Deer, (which he says can be outfitted for moose and elk as well. I should hope so. Since those ARE deer. Also antelope.) Tweety birds, (pratical) Mice, (it even has a little “S” on the chest. Wonder what that stands for) Cats, (to not play favorites, and besides it offers protection from dogs) Flies, (which Porky does point out is going to hamper the animal’s flying skills. Which will leave it as nothing more than a walk.) Roosters, (to prevent people from chopping off their heads. Everyone loves eating rooster meat) Rattlesnakes, (which don’t need armor, but hate being left out) and Porcupines. (Because it’s not like they have quills or anything. Also, he struggles to say it, while Porky has absolutely no problems) But his practice is put on hold, as Elmer finds his dragon and attacks. When Bugs goes to confront him, Elmer assumes Bugs is just in his rabbit form again and challenges him to a duel. Bugs and Porky versus Elmer and Merlin. And the king is loving every minute of it. They start off jousting. Bug’s lance is so long that he pole vaults over Elmer and chases Merlin into a moat. Charging again, he uses a magnet to remove Fudd’s armor, and he ends up chasing Merlin into the moat. Elmer fires an arrow, but Bug redirects it and it chases Elmer and Merlin into the moat. Then the two use a catapult, but Bugs launches the rock back with a spring and the two end up in the moat once more. (And Bugs calls Merlin out on using a cannon, seeing as gunpowder is yet to be invented.) As he leaves for a coffee break, he finds what he believes to be a carrot peeler. It’s really Excalibur and Bugs is recognized as the true king. Porky bows. Elmer and Merlin also bow to the true cartoon king. And the current king even willingly hands over his crown. (A duck as king really is ridiculous.) And so Bugs just adapts to living in a different century. All hail King Art-Hare! (The pun IS mightier than the sword!)
Happy 4th! There’s nothing more American than a cowboy. So, why not talk about Sam’s first short? (Heck, it was said to be Freleng’s favorite short that had him in it) This short is full of firsts! It’s Hawley’s first time being credited, and what’s more it’s the first short that gives everyone their due. Leon Scheslinger wasn’t one to let valuable screen time be taken up by a still shot with a bunch of names. But when the studio was sold to the W.B. they were finally given that right.
Bugs is riding a train through the west of America as a piece of mail. (And hiding fromhis numerous relatives who are trying to piggyback on his film super-stardom) Sam makes his first appearance trying to hold the train up. (He looks a wee bit different here than in his later appearances. He has a wart or something on his nose, and his mask has less hair surround it, so it is easier to tell it is a mask) The train doesn’t slow down at all. It passes right over him! Sam has to catch up to it on horse. (Which he needs stairs to mount.) Once on board, he frightens the post man away and begins to load up. (Mail was pretty valuable in the forties) One piece of mail talks back. (It’s Bugs) Sam introduces himself as “the meanest, roughest, rip-roaring’est, Edward Everett Horton-est, hombre that ever packed a six-shooter.” (Which is how I would introduce myself if Edward Everett Horton was still well known.) Bugs tells him of a guy in the next car who not only is all that, but packs a seven shooter to boot. Sam goes over to challenge him. (It’s Bugs) Sam challenges him to draw a gun. Bug’ is a pretty talented artist, so it’s no trouble for him. (I love this joke. I’ve pulled it before with cards. Then drew the same card I drew.) Sam is impressed and tries his hand at it. It takes a while, (his efforts brilliantly portrayed with piano notes being off tune) but he manages to draw one which Bugs seems to be genuinely interested in. (“It stinks.” Guess not) Bugs is chased and he considers heading into a club car, but it’s full of live action people. (While toons are definitely allowed in, the prejudice is still strong, so he heads back to the car Sam is in.) They trade shots with Bugs ultimately removing Sam’s hat. What he thinks is said hat getting put back on his head, is really Bugs who calls to Sam as a sheriff. He pours some red ink on Sam’s head and Sam believes himself done for. He might have actually convinced himself to death had Bugs not left the bottle dripping onto his face. Bugs next leads him into the club car, which now has a fight going on in it. Sam gets roughed up pretty badly, and while dazed, Bugs tricks him into stepping off the train. Sam returns though, and pulls Bugs on top for a brawl. Ultimately, Bugs is left tied up and dangling off the side with an anvil attached to his feet, Sam gleefully starts cutting the rope as the train passes over a gorge. Then a narrator acts like we’re in a serial and asks us if this is the end of our beloved Bugs Bunny. Bugs comes out onto the screen with Sam tied up mocking the idiot trying to pull this crap. He doesn’t know Bugs like we do.