Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Buckaroo Bugs

Buckaroo Bugs
Directed by Robert Clampett
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 5

There is no mistaking a Bob Clampett cartoon. Everything is taken to the extreme, and "Buckaroo Bugs" is no exception. In this short, Bugs Bunny is cast as the Masked Marauder who has been stealing carrots from an old west town. To catch him, the locals call in Red Hot Ryder, who could be considered an early version of Yosemite Sam. So, Bugs Bunny is actually the villain.

DVD's are great for viewing Clampett cartoons. Being able to freeze frame the images can give you a real appreciation for the various poses used in the animation. This is perhaps best demonstrated in Red Hot Ryder's horse. He's a minor character in the cartoon, but from an animation standpoint he's the highlight. The character combines modern elements along with qualities of a rubber band like character right out of the early days of animation. This one sequence where Red Hot Ryder and the horse jump off the edge of the Grand Canyon is evidence enough. When the horse realizes what he's done, he actually turns back through himself to turn around. It's brilliant animation!

Animation at it's best when it explores the limits of what the art form is capable of. This cartoon is a great example of that.

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