Your Evening Looney Tunes Fix

(Update: This video has since been removed from Youtube.  Sorry.)

It's time, kiddies, for our evening Looney Tunes fix. We've got ourselves into some heavy topics today, so this makes for a good release. Yay for Bugs Bunny cartoons!


Malik Ming said...

Daniel, can I do a constructive analysis of this short? It would be pointless on the long run, but this is (at the moment) my all-time favorite Bugs Bunny short, and I'd love to break it down.

Can I use this space for that?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Go ahead! That's what this blog is for!

And remember the old saying: in the long run, we're all dead.

Malik Ming said...

This short, of those I've seen, is the quintessential Bugs Bunny short, the one that truly displays how the character functions.

At his best, Bugs Bunny is a sly, intelligent, manipulative, friendly rabbit who attracts more trouble than he starts. Using his wit, timing, and seemingly unlimited resources from the ACME Corporation, he can defeat just about every one of his enemies so quickly that they have no chance to wonder where they went wrong.

Bugs is at his worst, however, when it comes to physical force (as this short demonstrates) and, more importantly, when he provides the first attack. Bugs almost always loses when given the chance to strike first (see Fallin' Hare), and often times the tricks pulled on him are the same ones he'd pulled on anyone else. Bugs is not a provoker, but a reactor, and it's when he turns the force of his enemies against them that he truly succeeds.

Bunny Hugged is the perfect example.

Once the stage is set for a pro-wrestling match, we are introduced the growling and improbably muscular Crusher, the world champion. Then, after some extravagant signals, we meet the challenger Ravishing Ronald, who appears as calm and confident as Bugs, which is probably why the rabbit serves as his mascot. This similarity leads us to believe that Ronald, like Bugs, has something sneaky up his sleeve as he prances ebulliently to confront the charging Crusher. He doesn't. The Crusher's roar reveals him to be the weak, shallow, clueless man boy we should have expected.

Afraid Ronald's sure defeat will lose him his "bread and butter," Bugs volunteers to take his place. Wrestling is clearly not Bugs' forte: he misses the Crusher completely and fights a pole before he fruitlessly attacks the Crusher's head. Thrown to the ground, Bugs recovers and repeats his attack, while the Crusher confidently does nothing but grin. After cleverly twisting Bugs' ears like a propeller and sending him flying into a leg lock, Bugs finally gets back into character with "a little stragety."

You can probably argue that Bugs had a strategy the entire time: build up the Crusher's confidence and then take him completely off guard with an unexpected move. In this case, Bugs rips his mask. The Crusher believes he has torn his tights and demands that Bugs, disguised as a tailor, fix him up while his tights are still on.

This is where I believe the short reaches the zenith of its comedy. We know very well what Bugs intends to do the instant he pulls out a needle. So why does he bother putting in the thread? Two reasons: 1) story-wise, it heightens the anticipation for the jab, and 2) Bugs is simply being a smart-ass. Typical Bugs irony. And so the deed is done, resulting in one of the funniest cutaway shots in the history of cartoons and films as the Crushes flies off the stage and at the audience far away.

It's all downhill for the Crusher from here. Furious, he charges at Bugs, who uses this force to slam the Crusher into a safe door. Totally out of it, Bugs sends him to rest and is promptly named the new world champion...much to the Crusher's shock and dismay.

When he goes to shake hands with Bugs, the crowd shouts for him not the be fooled, making the Crusher growl at them to shut 'em up. It's highly probable that members of the real audience did shout at the screen for Bugs not to accept the Crusher's trick, which also explains why the Crusher only growls at the film audience and not the whole cartoon one. Thanks to more trickery (and considering what the Crusher planned to do, it's well-deserved and fitting), Bugs is victorious once again.

In a nice resolution and reiteration of Bugs' character, he hilariously fails to make a muscle. He playfully slaps the useless flap on skin, fatalistically accepting that he's a weakling. And that's not such a bad thing.

I hope this isn't too much of a summary.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

No, that's perfect! That's the reason this blog exists, so people can have long discussions about these films. I'm greatly impressed.

Now, if you wrote an essay this long about Keyboard Cat, I'd be worried.

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