Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Bugs and Thugs

Bugs and Thugs
Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1

In "Bugs and Thugs," Bugs Bunny is enjoying a stress-free city life when he suddenly ends up in the getaway car with two bank robbers. Director Friz Freleng is a master of comic timing, and this cartoon is no exception. While the timing of the animation is great, the voice work for the gangster Rocky is a real standout. There is almost no emotion in any of his lines and it fits perfectly. He's too cool to show emotion, even when telling his partner to "Shadup" for the 10th time.

If you haven't figured it out from the other reviews I've written, character design is a favorite element of animation for me. I love the design on the gangsters Rocky and Mugsy. The leader, Rocky, is a tiny man who makes up for it by wearing a hat as tall as he is. His face stays locked in pretty much one expression, and his eyes are always hidden. Mugsy, meanwhile, is a huge, dim-witted character. A giant body on tiny legs who looks like he could topple over with the tiniest gust of wind. They are great examples of the originality which defined Warner Brothers animation.

The gags in "Bugs and Thugs" are good, though some are borrowed from other shorts. The two gangsters are great characters for Bugs to play off of. He doesn't have to put that much work into it. In one scene he actually looks at the audience and asks if it could really be this easy. With these two crooks, he pretty much has his work cut out for him.

No comments: