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Robert McKimson ventured into Tex Avery territory with "There Auto Be a
Law", a blackout gag cartoon looking at the rise of cars. I laughed the
whole way through, but the cartoon looks dated now that we're trying to
move away from motor vehicles. Once upon a time owning a car was seen
as symbolic of freedom, but before too long more cars meant more
traffic jams, hence road rage (which we see in the cartoon). And that's
not even counting air pollution. I can happily say that my city is
expanding its light rail, including a bridge exclusively for light
rail, pedestrians and bicycles. It would be best if the US had a
nationwide high-speed rail system like Japan's bullet train. Extensive
mass transit is the true sign of progress, not millions of cars.
But anyway, the cartoon's really funny. The meek motorist has a voice almost exactly like Bugs Bunny. Aren't we all destined to look over a four-leaf clover eventually?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the 65th cartoon Robert McKimson directed. This is a "blackout" cartoon. Where there's a gag and then a blackout before the next gag. Tex Avery was a master at this style of cartoon; McKimson is better with character driven shorts, but there are still some gems here, especially the repetitive gags sprinkled throughout the cartoon. The narration is credited to John T. Smith, who played a few classic Looney Tune one-shot characters, like Bugs Bunny's Master Sargent in FORWARD MARCH HARE, outlaw Nasty Canasta in the Daffy & Porky horse opera DRIP-ALONG DAFFY, Bugs Bunny's wrestling opponent, The Crusher, in BUNNY HUGGED, and Hercules, the construction worker, in HOMELESS HARE ("I'm feelin' mighty low").
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