Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Herr Meets Hare

Herr Meets Hare
Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

"Herr Meets Hare" is a cartoon that has been rarely seen until it's recent release on DVD. It is essentially a Bugs Bunny / Elmer Fudd hunting picture. But here's the catch, instead of Fudd as Bugs' nemesis we have Hitler's second in command Hermann Goring.

Bugs ends up near Goring's hunting lodge in Germany's black forest having, of course, forgotten to make a left turn at Albuquerque. By the way, this is actually the first film that features that line. The gags that follow are pretty much in line with what you would see if Fudd were in the picture, though customized a bit to make jabs at the Nazis. The sequence in which Bugs impersonates the fuhrer features some great poses for Bugs.

One segment of the film that is particularly interesting is essentially an early version of the classic cartoon "What's Opera Doc?" which was still 12 years away at this point. Just like in that more famous film, you have Bugs in the Brunehilde role and Herman Goring (Fudd) in the Siegfried role. The scene is very funny, particularly the animation of Goring who looks like a giant baby with a viking hat.

I realize some of these wartime cartoons often have some elements that are uncomfortable to watch in this day and age, but it so great to see the studios interested in not just preserving the history of these cartoons but sharing them in a major DVD release. This one is real classic.

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