Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cartoon a Day: The Hunter Trilogy

I really fell behind on my cartoons this weekend. Missed Friday and Saturday, but I was determined to catch up with three cartoons today. What better way to do that than to take in Chuck Jones' "Hunter Trilogy."

Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)

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

Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)

Some might say that all three of these cartoons are pretty much the same. They do pretty much has the same basic plot...Daffy tries to get Elmer to believe it's rabbit season (when it's really duck season), Bugs does everything he can to turn it around on Daffy, and Elmer blows Daffy away in various ways. But each of these cartoons has their own special moments.

"Rabbit Fire" pretty much establishes the relationship of the three characters that will continue throughout the other films. It begins the running gag of figuring out how many different ways we can blow Daffy's beak off and also features the obligatory Bugs in drag moment.

"Rabbit Seasoning," which is my favorite of the three (middle chapters are the best folks, look at "The Empire Strikes Back") features much more creative, and gruesome, mangled beaks for Daffy and features the classic "pronoun trouble."

There's also another sequence with Bugs as a girl which not only improves on the previous film but also has Daffy pretty much admitting that the bit has been used before by screaming, "you're not going to fall for that old bit!"

"Duck! Rabbit, Duck!" takes things to a winter setting. It continues the tradition of blowing Daffy's beak off but also adds a highly original sequence in which Daffy gets called different animal names (such as "Dirty Skunk") and then Bugs produces a sign announcing that it's the appropriate season ("Dirty Skunk Season"). Elmer then, of course, shoots.

All three shorts feature incredible animation, especially on Daffy. Likewise, Mel Blanc's vocal performances, especially as Daffy, are some of his best. To sum it all up, probably the best movie trilogy ever that didn't have George Lucas' name attached.

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