Friday, November 28, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Devil May Hare

Devil May Hare
Directed by Robert McKimson
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1

The Tasmanian Devil is a favorite character for many. What many don't realize is that he only appeared in about five of the Looney Tunes theatrical shorts. "Devil May Hare" marks his first appearance.

"Taz," as he would later be called, is a great lesson in character development. While some characters need to be complex, some can be extremely simple. The Tasmanian Devil is a lot like Cookie Monster, he is driven by his hunger and that's about it. If it can fit in his mouth, it's eat now and ask questions later.

As you watch this short you can see Bugs Bunny's mind whirling as he comes up with ways to handle this wild new character. The animators were probably going through the same thing. The Devil is a character without limits, it's a shame the classic animators didn't have more opportunities to explore the character.

The art is worth noting as well. The Devil's whirlwind entrance is perhaps one of the best entrances for any of the Looney Tunes characters. The stylized look of the backgrounds are also fun to look at. They are very simple but with beautiful use of color. They also really fit the wild action of the Tasmanian Devil, not stealing any of his impact.

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