Lighter than Hare

“We’ve been invaded!”

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?

A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur’s Court (A.K.A. Bugs Bunny in King Arthur’s Court)

Never again do I take directions from Ray Bradbury.

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!) 

Hare Trigger

I ain’t a-givin’ up without a struggle!

 Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, and Gerry Chiniquy;  Layouts and Backgrounds by Paul Julian and Hawley Pratt; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1945
Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, and Gerry Chiniquy;  Layouts and Backgrounds by Paul Julian and Hawley Pratt; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling. A Merrie Melody released in 1945

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. 

Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales

Merry Christmas to all!

 Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Bugs Bunny sequences Produced and Directed by Friz Freleng; Road Runner sequence Produced and Directed by Chuck Jones; Written by Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, John Dunn, and Tony Benedict; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Bill Perez, David Detiege, and Art Vitello; Voices by Mel Blanc and June Foray; Music by Doug Goodwin. Released in 1979
Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Bugs Bunny sequences Produced and Directed by Friz Freleng; Road Runner sequence Produced and Directed by Chuck Jones; Written by Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, John Dunn, and Tony Benedict; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Bill Perez, David Detiege, and Art Vitello; Voices by Mel Blanc and June Foray; Music by Doug Goodwin. Released in 1979

Happy Holidays! Here’s a Christmas special that stars all your favorites! (Except Daffy.) It starts with Bugs having some problems with his carolers. Besides Ehlmuh’s obvious speech pwobwems, we h-have P-P-P-Porky s-st-st-s-st-having problems spitting out the words, Fog-ah say, Foghorn getting off the beat. Music that is! Et Pepe chante “Alouette” à la place. The only one who wouldn’t have a problem is Sam, but for whatever reason, he declines to sing. (Why though? We clearly saw him singing a few seconds ago.) Well, whatever. We’ve got three new shorts made specifically for this program to enjoy. 

“Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol” Not as good as “Bah, Humduck!” in my opinion, but enjoyable nonetheless. Scrooge is played by Sam with Porky as Bob Cratchit. Bugs is playing Fred. Kind of. He comes in to the establishment and annoys Sam with mistletoe. He also gives Porky some much needed coal to warm himself with. But Sam’s cat, Sylvester sees the pig warming himself, (Although it looks like Porky is smacking his butt at the cat.) and alerts his master. Sam angrily takes it back. Bugs next comes in with Elmer, Foghorn, and Pepe to sing but Sam has reached his breaking point. He throws them all out and fires Porky. (Don’t make me leave Red Hot Ryder’s head in your bed, Sam.) Grateful for Bug’s efforts regardless, Porky invites him to dinner. Porky naturally has a family of his own. (A stud like him? It was easy!) His wife is Petunia of course. (You know, according to Walt, Mickey and Minnie are married. I’m going to say that Porky and Petunia are too. It’s canon now.) They have three children. (‘Atta boy, Porky!) One I’m going to guess is played by his nephew, Cicero, from the comics, the girl is most likely Priscilla, from “Bah, Humduck”, and the last is Tiny Tim. Played by Tweety. Apparently, he’s so small because he is fed birdseed. (Porky!) But Sam’s evil deeds are not over, as he forecloses the mortgage on Porky’s house. Since I’m not born yet to let Porky’s family move in with me, it’s up to Bugs to save the day. He tries the kind way first with more carols, but Sam chases them away. Well, that was the diplomatic approach, guess there’s no other choice but the hard way. Now that he’s awake, Sam tries to relax with a hot bath. Not wanting him to burn himself, Bugs thoughtfully fills the bath up with snow. Later, Bugs dresses as a ghost to scare Sam. (Seeing as how he probably never had a partner, he doesn’t pretend to be anyone Sam knew.) While searching for the source of the noise, Sam trips over Sylvester and they both end up outside. Returning back to his warm bed, Sam agrees to let Sylvester stay with him. That’s sweet. But Sylvester and his color-changing nose, beat it when Bugs appears before them. He tells Sam that he is taking him to see the man in the red suit. (Although it’s not Santa, that guess was only one letter off) Fearing for his soul, (although I do wonder what would have happened if Sam called Bug’s bluff,) he dresses as Santa and gives money to everyone he sees. He even makes Porky his partner! A Christmas feast is enjoyed by all! (Sam still doesn’t like kisses though)

After the commercial break, Bugs compliments Sam on his acting. Sam admits that his acting was just that, and starts demanding his stuff back. Meanwhile, the feast is being watched by two sets of hungry eyes. Them belonging to Wile E. and the Roadrunner. Seeing as they’re not invited, Wile E. chases the bird into our next short.

“Freeze Frame” Wile E. is reading a fascinating book: “Everything you’ve wanted to know about roadrunners but were afraid to ask” (That’s on my Christmas list.) Turns out, being a desert animal, the Roadrunner (Semper Food-Ellus) can’t function in cold climates. So Wile E. (Grotesques Appetitus) orders a machine that can make snow. It only lands on the coyote, so he just switches some signs around. Even though the short “Beep, Beep” said that roadrunners can’t read, the bird follows the sign pointing to the desert and ends up on top of a mountain. He really is out of his element, and ends up stranded on some ice. Wile E. skates over, but ends up sawing a hole around the bird. Seeing as this a cartoon, everything surrounding the cut part sinks, and the bird surfs back to shore. He next orders some sled dogs to help him chase down his prey. The poor things are kept in a crate with no air holes! So naturally, they’re a little cranky. (That, and it appears that they love Coyote meat.) Riding a rocking horse with a lasso only gets himself tied up and landing on some train tracks, and trying to crush the bird with a snowball had him get caught in it and soaring off a cliff. He wishes us a Merry Christmas before the short ends.

Back with Bugs he has his carolers hold a note. It’s then that his nephew, Clyde, reminds him of his promise to tell him a story. (Clyde really was a character in a couple of shorts. But there he was voiced by Blanc, and here I think he is voiced by Ms. Foray, seeing as he sounds a lot like Rocket J. Squirrel.) Seeing that his carolers are gasping for breath, Bugs dismisses them and decides now is a great time to go tell said story.

“Fright before Christmas” Up at the North Pole, Santa is waiting for his suit to finish drying. (Since it is air-drying, I think he’s not going to be too happy to wear it.) Meanwhile some pilots are flying their cargo over the North Pole. Contents: One Tasmanian Devil. (Aside from the plot, for what reason are they flying this animal over the Pole? Where is he being delivered to?) He breaks free and jumps out of the plane. (Don’t worry, he grabbed a parachute) he lands in his Santa’s suit and launched into his sleigh. Scared, the deer try to run off taking Taz along for the ride. Meanwhile in an actual house, (I guess it belongs to Clyde’s parents. Or Bugs just prefers a roof over his head in Winter) Bugs is reading Clyde “The night before Christmas” Everything seems to be just like in the poem. Except there is a mouse stirring: Speedy with his cocoa. When they hear “Santa” up on the roof, Bugs sends his nephew to bed. Taz comes down the chimney, and Bugs offers him plenty of food. By sheer coincidence, he has deviled ham, deviled eggs, and devils food cake. Not really. He just has milk and cookies. Taz takes them anyway, and begins to eat just about everything else in the house, while Bugs reads him Clyde’s outrageous Christmas list. (Which among other things, contains a solid gold football, and a little brother. You’d think as a rabbit, he’d already have both. Aren’t rabbits well known to be associated with their young and karats?) Seeing as “Santa” is still hungry, Bugs offers to make him some popcorn. Impatient as he is, Taz eats it before its popped. (Probably shouldn’t have done so in front of a roaring fireplace) He then makes to open a gift that is clearly not for him. Bugs sets up a holiday gift exchange and offers him to trade for a much bigger gift. He unwraps it outside at Bug’s suggestion and finds just what he wanted: more food. (Well, it’s really a self inflating raft, but Taz has a strong imagination) He floats away and Clyde, (who I guess was secretly witnessing the whole thing) bemoans the fact that “Santa” left without giving him anything. (I hate when kids act that way. From now on, he only gets birdseed to eat.) Bugs and him then decide to return his sleigh. Not only is it the right thing to do, Santa just might let Clyde get first pick at the presents.

We end with Bugs and his carolers (Foghorn’s head is white for some reason) getting a sleigh ride from Taz. (It’s kinda weird seeing him being used by Friz, but poor Bob had been dead by two years at this point, so he couldn’t really help out) It’s a nice gesture but it still ends with Taz eating the sleigh. (My favorite part is how they didn’t notice it happening.)

Merry Christmas from your own, Dr. Foolio! I’ll be checking in one more time before the year ends! Enjoy those holidays!

Commercials aired during “The Bugs Bunny Show”

Directed by Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Bob McKimson.

#1. A promo for the show. Besides mentioning that Bugs and Daffy are in it. The only characters they mention are Oscar winners: Pepe, Tweety, Sam, Sylvester and Speedy. C’mon, where is the love for Porky? The sole reason he never was even nominated gives me enough reason to always expect the worst from that award show. (On another note, Porky still hasn’t forgiven me for showing his breakdown reel.)

#2. Bugs is eating Post Alpha-bits but runs out. He needs more because they are made of oats, and oats give you energy. So he blows up a balloon to hop the fence of Elmer, who shoots him down. (That’s Mel voicing Elmer. He hasn’t quite got the hang of it yet.) Bugs ends up landing in his kitchen and dazes Fudd. Sending him out the door saying he’s going home, Bugs enjoys his ill gotten gains. Elmer comes back to his senses and throws Bugs out. Bugs comes back and takes the cereal. He’s going to need all their energy to escape the gunfire.

#3. While eating Post Alpha-bits, Bugs hears Elmer approaching. Seems someone robbed him of his bits. Disguised as a cop, Bugs hears Elmer blame him before asking him to describe the bits. Elmer describes them as only one can in a commercial. (It’s cereal…er surreal hearing a commercial mentioning their product has sugar. That won’t fly today.)

#4. Bugs (in disguise) hops on Elmer’s tandem bike with him. Seems Post Alpha-bits are now brown sugar frosted. (Which lets be honest, brown sugar tastes better than plain) Bugs takes them for himself. (Somehow splitting the bike in two) and digs in. Elmer brought his gun with him though, but it doesn’t matter as Bugs ate them all. But he makes up for it and brings Fudd more. Distracted by the generosity, Elmer bikes off a cliff.

#5. Enough with the bits. Bugs shows off how strong he has gotten by eating Post Sugar Crisp. The whole wheat makes him invulnerable to the hammers Daffy tries to smash him with.

#6. Seeing Sam coming his way with Post Sugar Crisp, Bugs disguises himself as a guy at a hunting lodge. Sam tells how he is hunting Bugs because he steals Post Sugar Crisp to make him strong. Bugs demonstrates, but is kind enough to invite Sam to join him. Since he can’t beat him, Sam does.

#7. Sam is panning for gold. Watching from the bushes, Bugs comes out in prospector garb and tells him that Cactus Canyon has just had a gold rush. Sam leaves asking Bugs to watch his claim. Bugs was really only after his Tang. He gets it and escapes from the angry Sam.

#8. Bugs is running a carnival game. Shoot a duck and win Tang. (Which he mentions is orange flavor. Isn’t that the only flavor it comes in? Even a good 50 years later?) Daffy hates to hurt a potential relative but really wants the Tang. (Sound reasoning) He misses and finds out that Bugs was hampering his chances. Being the one holding a rifle, Daffy takes over the game. Hit Bugs and win the Tang! (It’s refreshing to see Daffy win for once. So is Tang!)

#9. Bugs as a bartender in a saloon faces a customer. It’s Sam who demands a drink. Bugs only has Tang which Sam begrudgingly takes. He likes it! Turns out he’s a wanted criminal though. (No! Really?) He makes Bugs dance, but the rabbit uses a rope to tie him up. Sam requests just one more glass of Tang. Bugs refuses.

#10. Bugs is going into space as the first rabbit to land on Jupiter. Elmer launches him. It was all a ruse to keep Bugs from stealing his Tang. Removing one’s Tang supply is the best way to get even. Upon landing Bugs finds that not only is there air on Jupiter, (I mean, why else would he take it off?) but the planet gets its orange color from all the Tang there. At least he won’t bother you anymore, Elmer.

#11. Bugs and Daffy squabble over a Post cereal 6-pack. Nothing more.

#12. Bugs tells of Post cereal. Nothing less. (They remembered Porky existed!)

A Star is Bored

If a long eared rabbit can be a shtar, stho can a duck!

 Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Gerry Chiniquy, and Virgil Ross; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1956
Directed by Friz Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Gerry Chiniquy, and Virgil Ross; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Milt Franklyn. Released in 1956

It really is a shame. There are a good number of people in this world who are not talented and yet continue to get work in the movie biz. But I’ve complained about them before, it’s Daffy’s turn now. Specifically, his anger is once again aimed at the world’s favorite rabbit. Sick of Bugs getting big roles, Daffy heads to the bosses’ office and demands a part. He even performs at weddings. (I know what entertainment will be at mine. All I need is a fiance and several thousand dollars) It just so happens that the studio was looking for a stunt double to use in Bugs’ pictures, but they’re not telling Daffy that right away. Daffy gets the job and a rabbit suit and prepares to prove his worth. The first scene is with Sam and Daffy subs for Bugs to get shot. Next, Elmer is going to saw a limb of a tree that Bugs is sitting on, but Daffy knocks him out and takes his place. Sawing the limb topples the tree. (Hey, we learned how that gag works!) The next scene calls for Bugs to fish. Despite his protests, Daffy demands that he be the one to do this shot. He is eaten by a tuna. (I’m guessing that’s what it is. What do you want from me?) Next, Elmer is hunting Bugs. Sticking his gun into a tree results in another coming out of a hole behind him. Daffy takes his place again, to prove its a trick. He ties a bow to his end and when he pokes it through, the other one has a different bow. He shoots himself and finds the different bow on his gun. (I love that gag) And in a plane scene, Daffy gleefully watches Bugs about to smash into the earth. Stunt double time! (Loving Daffy’s reaction. That’s the look death row inmates have) This stunt is enough to break the camel’s back and he heads back to the boss and demands his own movie. He’s in luck! They just got a script in that calls for a duck. It’s aptly titled, “The Duck.” So what, is it going to be a nature documentary? Wishful thinking. It’s a twenty second flick about a duck getting shot to death by hunters. (Directed by: A German Director. Written by Bugs Bunny.)

Buccaneer Bunny

Have a nice dip, drip?

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Chapin, Virgil Ross, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Boice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Directon by Carl W. Stalling. Released on May 8, 1948.

He may be remembered as a cowboy, but Sam had many different occupations in the shorts he appeared in. This was his second appearance even! (Unless, you count “Along came Daffy” but there is no concrete evidence that either of the men in that short were Sam)

As a pirate, Sam is burying his treasure so that no one will know where it is. (His eyebrows turn pink. It’s that tropic sun, I tell ya.) But as he tosses it in the hole, Bugs tosses it back up. Sam decides to shoot him to keep his secret safe. “Dead rabbits tell no tales.” Bugs corrects him that it’s dead men. Sam figures he has no choice and starts to aim at his head. (Hysterical) He quickly catches on and gives chase. Bugs hops in Sam’s rowboat and rows so fast, he ends up paddling himself out of the boat and onto Sam’s ship. Seeing this, Sam swims out to the ship, grabs the oars and swims back to the boat to row. (A good gag to be sure, but it makes sense. He might needs that boat later and he’ll want the oars) Once aboard he runs into Captain Bligh from “Mutiny on the Bounty.” (Bugs of course) He gives Sam several orders and chuckles while Sam does so. He soon wises up and Bugs hides. It would work, but Sam’s parrot keeps obnoxiously pointing out the rabbit’s hiding places. Bugs shuts him up by giving it a (fire)cracker. Taking the birds place, he tells Sam the rabbit is in the cannon. BOOM! Bugs takes the crow’s nest like an elevator and is well out of Sam’s reach. Sam orders him down, and Bugs yells for him to catch him as he tosses an anvil which causes the whole ship to submerge, (save Bugs) until Sam lets go of it. After some hilarious cannon gags and the brilliant many doors gag, (Bugs enters a door, Sam is about to follow when Bugs emerges from another door and enters a different one and Sam can’t catch up) We get to undoubtedly the best part of this short. Sam comes over to Bugs who is standing by the stairs to the powder room. (By which I mean where the gunpowder is kept. It’s not a latrine. When you’re a pirate, the ocean is your latrine) Smiling like a troll, Bugs lights a match and throws it down. Sam reacts how you’d think and runs after it. He manages to get it and berates Bugs for doing that. Bugs responds by doing it again. Sam grabs it once more, but tells Bugs that if he does it again, he’s not chasing after it. Bugs does it again. (This really is one of the best gags is all cartoon-dom. I’ve yet to see it be used in any other piece of media) Sam is true to his word and tries to keep busy, but ultimately can’t take it and tries to retrieve the match. Too late. The ship is blown to pieces and Bugs and Sam are blown back to the Island. Sam chases Bugs back to his hole thinking he has him cornered. But Bug’s hole is really a buried cannon. Sam surrenders despite the Bugs claim that he hasn’t even begun the fight.   

14 Carrot Rabbit

Directed by I. Freleng.  Released in 1952

It’s gettin’ so a man can’t earn a dishonest livin’ no more.

Last week’s post really took it out of me. I lost my voice and there is now an amphibian inhabiting my esophagus. (Ironically, I’m wearing my Michigan J. Frog shirt) But there is some good that happened. Disneyland reached it’s 60th year last year (and had the celebration last Sunday?) which makes it it’s golden anniversary. (I don’t recall them making such a fuss over their 50th, but they were kinda struggling at the time and didn’t have Frozen yet. So I guess there was no point) Oh and they’re not getting rid of Toontown for that new Star Wars area. THANK YOU! On theme alone, it’s probably the best area of the park. (Fun story: Apparently my brother heard some park employee questioning my wearing a Porky shirt there. Too bad I wasn’t aware. I so wanted to get involved.) I ramble, but in honor of the golden anniversary, I present a short well worth its weight in the stuff.

Our story takes place in the Klondike, during the gold rush. What little people can find, is claimed by Chillicoot (Yosemite) Sam. While cashing in his ill gotten gains, he sees Bugs walking in with a boulder of a gold nugget. (Which he exchanges for carrots. Which are edible. As opposed to money. Which does nothing. There is my proof that Bugs Bunny is smarter than any man ever will be. Goodnight.) Apparently, a funny feeling comes over Bugs when he is near gold. Sam follows to see if it’s true. It must be, as Bugs finds a collar button by listening to his feelings. Sam springs into action claiming that they should be partners, and split any gold they might find 50/50. (I love the way Bugs waves his eyebrows at us. He’s not buying that crap.) He agrees and leads Sam to a spot. Instead of making Bugs dig, Sam rushes in and informs the rabbit their partnership is over. Bugs realizes they are on a cliff and feels he should warn the crook. Sam won’t listen to anything he has to say, and Bugs lets him fall. Knowing Sam is going to come back, Bugs starts digging elsewhere. Sam comes back and takes over, unaware that the pile of dirt he is digging through is in a dump truck that Bugs is driving. He dumps it off a cliff. Angered, Sam vows to chase Bugs all over America if he has to. (I guess he meant North America? Alaska wasn’t part of U.S. yet. Or did he intend to chase him down to the states?) He even gets a shot at Bugs’ tail. That’s rare. They chase for quite awhile, when Bugs is alerted to gold again. Sam knows it must be a trick, but ultimately decides he can’t take that chance and digs. Eureka! He finds gold bar after gold bar. Where is this heavenly location? Fort Knox. (Whoops.) He’s taken away but as Bugs is still there, it looks bad for him too. He says he’s just waiting for a street car, but is all too happy to take the boat that appears instead. (Cartoons. They’re magical)

Next week is a milestone of my own. It will be the fifth anniversary of my blog as a whole. Which means another change in posts (like I do every year) and maybe a special post? Who knows? I hope you’ll join me.

Tweety’s High-flying Adventure

Directed byKarl Torege, Charles Visser, James T. Walker, Kyung Won Lim
 

“Humph! Mr. Popular.”

In case you haven’t noticed, all of the shorts I’ve talked about recently had cats in them. Looney tunes are chock full of them. And so is this direct to video movie. It’s not spectacular, but I still find it enjoyable. So let’s get started.

It’s October 2nd, (I dunno, 2000 I guess) and Granny is living in London for some reason. She has two pets, namely Sylvester and Tweety. She is also a member of the Looney Club, which is located right next door to a children’s park that is going to close soon. Inside the club we see…COLONEL RIMFIRE? Wow! One of the last characters created for Looney Tunes. He doesn’t get roles anymore. Score one point for this film. He is busy ranting about the fact that he never caught his nemesis: Cool Cat. (Not that abomination created by Derek Savage. This character actually has earned his title) He takes a little solace in the fact that he was bested by a creature that was smarter than him. Not just Cool Cat, but all cats. He believes cats are the smartest creatures on the planet. (I disagree) Lucky for me, Granny is on my side, and when Rimfire says he’d bet his savings on his claim, she takes him up on it, hoping to use the winnings to restore the park. She claims that her canary can not only go around the globe in 80 days, (which would be until December 21, (I’m still going with 2000,) but also collect 80 different paw prints. It’s a big challenge, but Tweety’ll do anything for Granny. (Is it just me, or does that calendar have a picture of one of the hunters from “Horton hatches the egg” on it?) So he is given a passport to get stamped to prove he visited the locations. This gathers the attention of a shifty looking character in the crowd. It’s the Shropshire Slasher from the short “Deduce you say”. He eyes Tweety’s passport with great interest. The things might be rare soon. One’s been stolen apparently. Sylvester meanwhile plans on following the canary to make sure he and only he can have him for lunch. Outfitted with a tracking device, Tweety heads for his first stop in France. Not too long after, a wind blows him off course into the alps. Lodged into the side of a mountain, he asks a nearby climber for help. Said climber is actually Daffy, who is sore about the fact this is not his movie and refuses to help. An avalanche happens but the two are saved by snowboarder Bugs Bunny. It is now October 12, and Sylvester has been waiting in France this whole time. The script says that Tweety should have come here, could it be wrong? Nope. Here he comes now, being chased by Penelope Pussycat. She crashes into Sylvester’s table and gets a white stripe down her back. (hint hint) but that does not deter her from her purrrr-suit (weak I know.) of the bird. Not if Sylvester has anything to say about it. While they chase, Tweety get’s his passport stamped by Pepe. He then points out something he thinks he’ll like. Two skunks fighting over him. (It’s not really explained how Sylvester got a stripe as well) With those two occupied, Tweety collects Penelope’s print and flies off for Italy. Would you like to bet on whether or not Tweety will make it? Because his progress is being charted by Foghorn, Prissy, Henry, and Egghead Jr. And they’re accepting all bets. They believe he can do it. (Birds are encouraging like that) In Venice, Tweety stops at Pasquelles. The same restaurant Charlie Dog tried to make home in “A hound for trouble” He’s still there, playing waiter. Tweety orders a plate of birdseed with marinara sauce. As all Americans know, Italian food is good eating, so it’s no wonder that Tweety leaves the place plump as a turkey. He can’t even fly anymore, so he hitches a ride on a gondola. But flightless, plump, juicy, succulent birds are vulnerable. Surprise! The owner of it is a cat, and there are more up ahead on a bridge. Tweety uses his new physique to bowl over them. He gets their prints, and a stamp for Venice. (Turns out his fat was just gas. If only I had that problem) Tweety’s trip has garnered more attention, and he is even mentioned by Lola on the news. (She’s part of the cast now. So you might as well quit complaining about her.) Tweety makes it to Egypt and gets his passport stamped by a camel. (Who I think is Humpty Bumpty in a fez, but I can’t be sure.) Worn out, Tweety goes to sleep. But Sylvester must have gotten away form Pepe, (Please tell me he convinced him of his gender before it was too late.) And is back for more. After a scuffle, Tweety hides in the Sphinx. Granny wasn’t kidding about his smarts. He knows how to read Hieroglyphics. Turns out, the place has a terrible fate for anyone who tries to head down a certain hall. Since Sylvester isn’t aware, he gets attacked by mummified cats. (People really did that you know) They punch him hard enough to make a hole in the place for Tweety to escape from. He collects their prints and is on his way once more. Landing in Africa (in the jungle of crayon drawn trees) he encounters the Mynah Bird. Since that guy doesn’t talk, Tweety follows him hoping he’ll lead him to his next stamp. But he doesn’t look where he’s going and wanders into a lion’s mouth. (At least he found the stamp in there) He leaves the mouth of the beast, (which looks more like a dog dressed as a lion to me) but almost immediately runs into Pete Puma. (Why’s he here?) The two corner Tweety in a tree. (No relation to the short “Tree cornered Tweety”) Luckily for him, the Mynah comes back and saves him by flinging the predators away. With that done, Tweety heads to Tibet. He gets to a souvenir shop where Gossamar gives him another stamp. (Why not?) Tweety also catches sight of some monk cats lead by Claude. (He may look different, but the voice is a dead giveaway.) They are about to sacrifice a canary (who has hair) to their god. Tweety comes to the rescue in a snowball (picking up Hugo the abominable snowman along the way) and bowls over them. He looks just like their god and he demands that they release the bird, and knock off the canary sacrifices. Even though they agree, Tweety is a jerk and still sics Hugo on them. (But he does get their prints as well) He is joined by the other bird named Aooga. (No really.) After getting a stamp at China, the two are blown off course all the way to Mexico. At least that gives them a stamp for there. (Courtesy of Speedy) Since they are down there, they stop by Rio as well. Rocky and Muggsy are hiding out there, but they still give them a stamp. And in Argentina they get another one form (Spike? Marc Antony? Just a bulldog?) With the south taken care of, they fly back to Japan. (Seems the Slasher is still on the loose) Afterwards they decide to take a boat to their next destination. Sylvester has remembered he’s in this movie and prepares to dig in. But he’s caught by a ship hand and thrown in the galley to catch mice. The mice in question are Hubie and Bertie who are living a good life with all the cheese they can eat. Sylvester gives chase, but they use a bucket of soapy water to send him sliding off the ship. Even though he clasps on to the side, Tweety sadistically pries him off, sending him into the shark infested (badly animated water below) But he does throw him a life saver. (The things he does for Warner Bros.) The three drift to Australia. There, the passport is stamped by Hippety Hopper. (Why does he have a pouch?) And of course Sylvester thinks he’s a giant mouse. But this is also the home of the Tasmanian Devil who shows up and plans to eat some cat. Sylvester saves his hide, by encouraging him to team up so they can both get canary. They chase after the birds on a bike, (Taz really seems to be enjoying himself) but the birds make their getaway with a convenient hang glider. Sylvester leaps onto it, leaving Taz alone in the air. (He holds out Wile E. holding out a “mother” sign) The birds fly off leaving the cat stuck on the glider, but he bumps into a wind surfer. (Is that the flying fish from “The sour puss” on his sail?) The birds land atop it and ride to their next stop, San Francisco. With the putty tat still on their tails, the birds ride a skateboard through no color ville to escape. Sylvester hops aboard a trolley driven by Sam and shoves him out of the way. But he doesn’t really know how to work it, and ends up breaking the brake. (Which is sorta like winding the wind, or tearing a tear) With the vehicle out of control the two end up on Alcatraz much to Sam’s anger. The birds head off to Vegas, with Sylvester following on a train. (With an angry Sam chasing him the whole trip. He has great endurance.) Once there, Sylvester manages to get Sam taken away on another train, but loses the birds in Chalk Vegas. They are hiding in a casino which just so happens to be full of cats. They are all betting against Tweety. If they were to be spotted, they would probably chased down. Sylvester exposes their hiding spot and they are chased down. One cat catches Aoogah and I think Tweety shoves a pole up his butt. (What else could he have done?) Sylvester meanwhile has caused another cat to hit the jackpot. (Pussyfoot is with her, are they related? Also the kitten makes itself comfortable on Sylvester’s head. Adorable) The two head off again. (The Slasher also is outside. Is that other guy naked?) The two birds head off across the country collecting prints along the way. They eventually make it to New York. (It’s full of Looney Tune advertisments.) They stop for a hot dog at a cart that is by a strange looking man in a trench coat. Tweety asks a weird question to Aoogah. What kind of hot dog would she be? (what.) Sylvester is the vendor and plans to eat. During the scuffle, mustard is squirted all over the strange man, exposing him as Marvin. This gives the birds a chance to get to the airport. Tweety is sad that the fun is almost over, and decides for one more challenge, he’ll fly back to London on his own. He leaves his ticket with the stewardess and they head out. Sylvester meanwhile makes a pretty poor excuse for a poster that is framing Tweety as stealing the Passport. Good thing he showed it to a poor excuse for a cop who believes it. While this does not get him anywhere, he does get Tweety’s ticket. Guess he’ll meet them in London. The birds meanwhile have flown into a hurricane. Not only does it remove Tweety’s tracker, making the world believe he’s gone, (Now all they have left to enjoy is a man in a barrel. I’m not joking) but it separates the duo. And Aooga had the passport! Tweety feels sorry for himself, since it seems like he’s not going to win like he always does. He hears Aooga’s call and lands on an island in the eye of the storm. (Home of the worst CGI trees I’ve ever seen) Turns out the passport floats and after getting swarmed by some random cats. (Strange, but hey more prints) They fly off to London once more. Arriving in a pub, they are grabbed by the Slasher. Turns out he was behind the passport theft all along. (surprise surprise) He collects the things. He stuffs it in his pocket, and Tweety probably would have been lost if he was alone. But Aoogah snatches it back. The pollice arrive and the Slahser is forced to take off. Sylvester is with them, still clutching his poster. (I’m not surprised these guys believed it. They probably think all American posters are shoddily made.) Tweety has the passport and is presumed guilty. Sylvester takes it as Tweety is arrested and happily jumps in glee. But what’s this? There are two passports? And Tweety’s checks out. Leaving Sylvester holding the stolen one. Turns out the slasher stuck them in the same pocket he keeps his fish and chips in, and they got stuck together. (Gross. What was on those?) Sylvester won’t be a bother to them now, but Tweety is sad. According to the subtitle, it’s the 22nd. He’s late. But Aoogah points out that they crossed a time zone and actually it is the 21st! The subtitle was wrong! (ummm. The sun rises in the east. So if it’s really the 21st in London, wouldn’t it be the 20th in America?) They rush to the club. Rimfire points out that there’s only 79 prints. Tweety never managed to get Sylvester’s. Taking it back, he rushes to the police wagon and gets the last print! Rimfire reluctantly admits defeat. (And it turns out one of the other members was Cool Cat all along. And he knew Tweety would succeed. Only someone who is truly cool will admit he’s not the smartest.) For finding the missing passport, Tweety is knighted. (Not too absurd. There are King penguins) Sylvester however is off to prison.

Holy Flucking Sheet! This is the second time today I’ve had to type this up! For no apparent reason, it didn’t save. This new squarespace sucks whale balls! I hope you appreciate this post readers. I do it all for you. 

 

Fifty years of Bugs Bunny in 3 1/2 minutes

“The King! Your Majesty!”

This… is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life. If not the greatest, then probably the ninth. A 50 year tribute to the world’s most popular toon in such a compact time limit? It’s everybodies life mission to see it at least once. And since I was able to find both the American and Austrailian versions, you can enjoy both at any time! Since I have seen every Bugs Bunny short, I am going to list all that are here. (If I screwed up, please feel free to correct me. It’s the only way I’ll learn.)

“Rabbit Hood”, “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit”, “The Old Gray Hare”, “A Wild Hare”, “Rabbit Of Seville”, “Rabbit Rampage”, “Rabbit Seasoning”, “Rabbit Fire”, “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!”, “Person to Bunny”, “Rabbitson Crusoe”, “Wild And Woolly Hare”, “Big House Bunny”, “Mississippi Hare”, “Operation: Rabbit”, “Compressed Hare”, “Rabbit’s Feat”, “Bowery Bugs”, “Hare Splitter”, “Hare-Breadth Hurry”, “Sahara Hare”, “Long-Haired Hare”, “A Witch’s Tangled Hare”, “Foxy By Proxy”, “Barbary Coast Bunny”, “Big Top Bunny”, “Apes of Wrath”, “Homeless Hare”, “Haredevil Hare”, “Rabbit Punch”, “Hair-raising Hare”, “Bill of Hare”, “The Fair-Haired Hare”, “Bunny Hugged”, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again”, “The Bugs Bunny Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?”, “8-Ball Bunny”, “What’s Opera, Doc?”, “Bully For Bugs”, “Bunker Hill Bunny”, “Roman Leigon-Hare”, “Knights Must Fall”, “Knight-Mare Hare”, “Rebel Rabbit”, “Bedeviled Rabbit”, “Horse Hare”, “Lighter Than Hare”, “A-Lad-In His Lamp”, “Lumber Jack-Rabbit”, “14 Carrot Rabbit”, “The Million Hare”, “Which is Witch”, “Hot Cross Bunny”, “High Diving Hare”, “Captain Hareblower”, “Hare Trigger”, “Racketeer Rabbit”, “Acrobatty Bunny”, “The Heckling Hare”, “Bewithced Bunny”, “From Hare To Heir”, “Mad As A Mars Hare”, “The Grey Hounded Hare”, “Hare Do”, and in the Aussie’s case, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. All set to “The Barber of Seville” and “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2” Which is the superior version? I can’t choose. Tell me what you think.

Hopefully you’re not too worn out of Bugs shorts. We’ll switch it up again next week.