Monday, June 22, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Mississippi Hare

Mississippi Hare
Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M. Jones)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 4

I've been away from "Cartoon a Day" for awhile, but let's get back on track with a cartoon that isn't in the TV rotation much anymore, "Mississippi Hare."

The very first scene is the primary reason this cartoon isn't shown much. We begin by seeing workers in a southern cotton field. Bugs' tail is mistaken for some cotton, and he's picked and bailed. He then ends up on a paddle boat where he faces a riverboat gambler called Colonel Shuffle.

Shuffle is pretty much Yosemite Sam. The voice is different, but the look, and certainly his stature, is similar. Part of me thinks that the short would've been even better with Sam as the bad guy, but it's still a great cartoon.

The pacing of this short is one of the most interesting parts. Some of the gags are very quick, while others build and build. The sequence in which Shuffle chases Bugs through the ship and they take turns opening doors for each other has a great payoff when Bugs opens the door of the furnace for the Colonel. But then, it keeps going as the short gambler tries to douse his burning pants with water. Watching Bugs slowly counting out change so that Shuffle can get water from a coin operated cooler as his pants burn is hilarious.

It's a shame that this one is out of the TV rotation. It's pretty tame compared to some.

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