Monday, October 27, 2008

Cartoon a Day: A Star is Bored

A Star is Bored
Directed by Friz Freleng
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5

I just realized this is my 200th blog post. Anyhow, I've been a bit behind on my "Cartoon a Day" postings. I spent a nice weekend with the family up in the mountains with no internet access. I did still watch a cartoon each day, though, so I'll try to get caught up on the three missed days soon.

Today we look at "A Star is Bored," but, contrary to what the title card says, the star of this short is not Bugs Bunny. Bugs plays straight man to Daffy in this one. Daffy is tired of Bugs getting all the attention, so he ends up taking a job as Bugs' double for a new movie. Just the image of Daffy in a loose fitting rabbit suit is hilarious by itself.

In some ways this film caries on the same general theme of Chuck Jones' great trilogy of "Rabbit Fire," Rabbit Seasoning," and "Duck, Rabbit, Duck," where Bugs pretty much just hangs around and looks innocent while Daffy gets pulverized. This relationship between Bugs and Daffy works so well and it creates some of their funniest shorts.

As usual, Freleng's comic timing is right on. Especially great are the moments where he plays with Daffy's smugness and over-confidence but then shows a moment of weakness. Daffy will march onto the set claiming he knows all his lines, and then turn to examine his script midway through a scene. Being a puppeteer, I can't help but think of similar moves that Frank Oz would do with characters such as Fozzie Bear or Sam the Eagle. I can't help but wonder if Oz was inspired by pieces of animation such as this when performing with the Muppets.

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