SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON

Every frame of ‘Fresh Hare’, an early-ish Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd pairing (1942) is a gem–beautifully rendered and wittily constructed. You can feel how much fun the animators must have been having developing Bugs’ expressions, reactions and mannerisms–almost as if the animated animal anthropomorphically became a performer that was in control of its more than amused creators. It’s hard to remember (or impossible to imagine) that these cartoons had screenplays. Michael Maltese is most often credited with ‘story by’ but there was dialogue, there were situations set-up and paid off and there was the all-important unbeatable last joke to leave the audience with. Alas the unfortunate last joke in ‘Fresh Hare’ threatens to spoil the previous perfect seven minutes. But forgive them, they knew not that they’d sinned…

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