Bugs Bunny comes to a city park to be daily fed carrots by a meek, little man. Bugs proposes that the man adopt him as a pet. The man accepts and takes Bugs home, where he states he is a ...
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The very first cartoon in Warner Bros. popular Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner series of cartoons. This one has the Coyote chasing the Roadrunner using a rather ingenious invention combining a fridge, a meat grinder, ice cubes, and skis.
Wile E. Coyote unsuccessfully chases the Road Runner using such contrivances as a rifle, a steel plate, a dynamite stick on an extending metal pulley, a painting of a collapsed bridge (... See full summary »
Bugs Bunny comes to a city park to be daily fed carrots by a meek, little man. Bugs proposes that the man adopt him as a pet. The man accepts and takes Bugs home, where he states he is a doctor - and the name on his shingle is Dr. Jekyll. Unbeknownst to Bugs, Jekyll gives into the temptation to drink his potion that changes him into Mr. Hyde. Bugs keeps fleeing Hyde and running to the re-transformed Jekyll for help, but behind Bugs' back, Jekyll involuntarily changes back into Hyde. Bugs helps himself to some of Jekyll's potion before leaving to return to the park, where he changes into a shaggy, green rabbit that scares everyone away. Written by
Kevin McCorry <email@example.com>
"Well, here we go again with the timid little rabbit routine. It's shameful but, eh, it's a living"
While the Sylvester and Tweety cartoon 'Hyde and Go Tweet' is the better take on the classic Jekyll and Hyde story, being funnier and more creative, 'Hyde and Hare' is still very entertaining in its own right.
'Hyde and Hare's' chief weak point is the ending. With the exception of Bugs's final line, which is pretty amusing, you can smell it from a mile off, Bugs's Hyde character is rather ugly and not frightening enough and the cartoon would have been two-joke if there was enough done with Bugs in the Hyde guise. Instead the ending scene felt rushed and in comparison to Dr Jekyll as Hyde there was nowhere near enough time dedicated to Bugs as Hyde. This viewer also does somewhat agree that the story is a touch thin and stretched, and also a touch repetitive (always a danger with one-joke cartoons).
On the other hand, the animation (as was the case with most 1950s Looney Tunes cartoons) is very nice, typical Fritz Freleng, and the one element that is- slightly- better than 'Hyde and Go Tweet's', which was still very good but made at a time where the Looney Tunes cartoons' budgets were starting to get lower and animation getting cheaper (though it only started to get bad in the mid-60s with primarily the Daffy and Speedy series and the later Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote shorts. In 'Hyde and Hare' the backgrounds are fluid and colourful, the colours are bright and quite attractive to look at, Bugs and Dr. Jekyll are drawn well and Dr. Jekyll as Hyde this viewer personally found pretty frightening.
Carl Stalling, a consistently great composer and my personal favourite for the Looney Tunes cartoons (like Milt Franklyn's scores a lot too, much less keen on Bill Lava's) provides a characteristically jaunty and characterful music score. It's lushly orchestrated, haunting in places (especially the opening credits) and syncs with the gags excellently and even enhances them (Franklyn was also very good at doing this, Lava's a good deal of the time were cheap-sounding, repetitive and even misplaced).
There are funnier, more creative and less predictable Looney Tunes shorts, sure, but the dialogue is still clever and witty- Bugs bagging all the best lines, particularly the one quoted in the review summary, Dr Jekyll's comparatively is ever so slightly bland and repetitive- and the gags range from amusing to hilarious. 'Hyde and Hare' is paced efficiently and Freleng (one of the more famous and popular Looney Tunes directors, second to Chuck Jones) directs with energy, his directorial and animation style unmistakable. Bugs' distinctive personality shines brilliantly, his energy and actions getting increasingly manic, while Dr Jekyll is a good, understated (if much less funny) contrast, the rapport between the two never coming across as dull, which is good because it is the thing that holds 'Hyde and Hare' together. Mel Blanc's voice work is faultless, once again showing the unparallelled ability to voice more than one character in the same cartoon and give them different and individual personalities to one another.
All in all, very entertaining. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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