Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Bully for Bugs

Bully for Bugs
Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M Jones)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1

Well, I decided that this week would be Bullfight week! Not that many people can say they've been in a real bullfight, but a lot of our favorite cartoon characters can. Let's begin with one of the best bullfight cartoons, "Bully for Bugs"

Bugs is on his way to a carrot festival, but he should've made that left turn at Albuquerque and ends up in the middle of a bullfight arena. When his tail meets with the business end of the bull, well "this means war."

Toro the bull really has a great design. He's a hulking figure, but his range of movement and expression is classic Chuck Jones. In several sequences, he moves from pose to pose with such quick movement, it helps establish his somewhat pompous character.

This short also has a great balance of simple and complex gags. In one scene, Bugs simply attaches a large rubber band to the bull's horns, stretches it, loads a bolder like a giant sling shot and let's fly into Toro's face (which we see from the bull's point of view). It's so simple, yet at the end of the short is one of the most complex gags you'll ever see. The bull slides on grease, is sent flying off a ramp, has glue spread on his belly as he flies, has sandpaper attached to the glue, the sandpaper strikes a match which lights a fuse which sets off dynamite just as the bull flies over it. Hilarious! But it's also worth noting that this short works well because the bull gets the best of Bugs too. Bugs' rear meets with those horns several times, so it's not just a walk in the park for the long-eared one. Still, he wins out in the end.

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