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If a long-eared rabbit can be a star, so can a duck," pronounces Daffy
Duck as he disgustedly leaves some Hollywood dressing room area after
overhearing Bugs being interviewed by a columnist. Daffy wants to be a
Meanwhile some movie producer is looking for a double for Bugs. He's on the phone asking someone, "Where can I get someone stupid enough to take the job?"
You can guess who applies! The title to this cartoon is similar to Daffy's response, "You can hang up the phone, boss, because a star is born and that star is me!"
The results are predictable when Daffy is called upon, in the middle of various scenes to be a stand-in for Bugs - he gets pulverized in various. A couple of the "stunts" were funny, like the jet plane but most were so-so, at best.
The artwork was very 1950s-ish. It's hard to explain but you know the look, more "modern" than from 1940s to the early '50s.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . starred in more flicks for Warner Bros. than Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Bette Davis, George Raft, or Errol Flynn, some of the lesser-known players on the Warner Lot 75 years ago. (Wayne was heard in fewer Warner films than Mel Blanc, however.) By the Mid-1950s Warner Brass realized that they were in the exact same relationship to Wayne as Dr. Frankenstein was to his monster. Partly out of guilt, but mostly out of a belated sense of Social Responsibility, Warner began to Warn America about Wayne with increasing frequency and an ever-growing shrill urgency, often via Looney Tune animated shorts. A STAR IS BORED features Daffy Duck, Warner's frequent stand-in for Wayne. STAR traces Wayne's career from his humble beginnings as a studio janitor through his first 100 or so films as a stunt double (standing in here for Bugs Bunny) to the 79 times he'd be shot as a top-billed "star" (right down to his final flick, THE SHOOTIST, the last scene of which is blocked out EXACTLY as the final bit of A STAR IS BORED, which PRECEDED Wayne's SHOOTIST swan song by 20 years!). BORED also features an opening cameo showing the Henchwoman of Wayne's Real Life Reign of Terror, Hedda Hopper, as a cartoon gossip columnist with the name (as spelled in Warner's closed captioning) of "Loly," or Laugh-Out-Loud-Yeti (that is, a Bigfoot B-word).
Coming from a huge lifelong Looney Tunes fan, and as a fan of all four
characters, this viewer found herself loving every minute of 'A Star is
Sure it may be predictable, it is very clear who is going to get the worst of the violence from the very start, but that's not enough to take away from its high quality, entertainment value and sheer joy of seeing these four characters playing against one another.
The animation is very bright and colourful with everything drawn crisply and with great attention to detail, budgets may have been low at the time but luckily it does not show here. There is nothing to complain about the character designs, the colours are a feast for the eyes and the backgrounds were clearly designed with great care and love, nothing looks cheap here. 'A Star is Bored' benefits from another great Milt Franklyn score. It's beautifully and cleverly orchestrated, brings a huge amount of energy and the character not only blends so well with the action but like Carl Stalling (if not quite as ingeniously) enhances it.
Always a huge part of Looney Tunes' charm was the humour and the quality of the writing. 'A Star is Bored' does not disappoint at all in this regard. There are funnier ones definitely, but the dialogue is so sharp and witty, not showing an ounce of fatigue, especially Daffy's priceless "Oh boy, I could be sent to prison for the scenes I'm going to steal!" and the ending. All the gags work, they are very well timed and range from very funny to hilarious. The story is episodic and doesn't escape the predictability factor , but while it has the feel of a clip show, there is not a dull moment and scenes flow from one another with no obvious sense of choppiness.
Loved the expansion of the rivalry depicted between Bugs and Daffy, with Elmer and Yosemite Sam in support, amidst the show business setting. All four characters work brilliantly together, and the two producer and director characters offer some amusement. Elmer is suitably befuddled, though his appearance is rather cameo-like, and Yosemite Sam is effectively hot-headed, but Bugs and Daffy register more. Bugs is charismatic, likable, smart and somewhat arrogant (what's not to love about his final line?), though it is Daffy who has the bigger role and walks away with the cartoon. Daffy is just hilarious here with all the best lines and gags. Mel Blanc's vocal characterisations in multiple roles (all but two characters) are faultless, and Arthur Q. Bryan and June Foray are very good too though they don't have as much to do and their material is not quite as strong.
In conclusion, not Looney Tunes at their best and not quite one of my personal favourites but never less than hugely enjoyable. 9/10 Bethany Cox
Cute Daffy and Bugs short with a very funny set-up. This one has Daffy complaining to a Warner Bros. executive about Bugs getting all the attention. It just so happens the exec is having trouble finding stunt doubles for Bugs so Daffy is easily talked into taking on the job. This leads to several scenes where we see the cartoons being filmed like live-action movies. When it gets to the point in the scenes where violence is supposed to be inflicted upon Bugs, Daffy is forced to stand in and take the lumps. This type of cartoon, where the characters are actors acting out their roles, is the kind of thing that is all too common in modern Looney Tunes. It isn't funny anymore but, back then, it was fresh and clever. This is also a rare case where Bugs, Daffy, Yosemite Sam, and Elmer Fudd all appear in the same short. The animation is bright and colorful. The music is lively and fun. Great voice work from Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, of course. Lots of laughs to be had here, particularly where Daffy is concerned. Love that ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Directed by Friz Freleng, "A Star Is Bored" is a fine Daffy Duck/Bugs
Bunny cartoon. I place Daffy's name first because he is really the star
of this cartoon, even though he is predetermined to get his butt
whipped as a stunt double on the Warner Bros. soundstages.
Here are my favorite moments from "A Star Is Bored". Daffy's first appearance as a janitor outside Bugs' dressing room trailer just sums up the whole cartoon, in my opinion; Daffy expresses disgust and jealousy for not having his apparently great acting talent realized, while Bugs (supposedly having nothing on the ball) becomes a motion picture star. While Bugs sits on a tree limb way above the ground, Daffy saws off the limb and - what do you think? - slowly falls downward with the tree; the look on Daffy's face as he falls is hilarious. When Bugs operates a jet plane, the musical accompaniment we hear is "Captains of the Clouds", courtesy of orchestrator Milt Franklyn.
Catch "A Star Is Bored" on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 5 Disc 1. It seems unusual to have Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, AND Yosemite Sam all appear in the same film. The only other cartoon short that I know of in which they all appear is "(Blooper) Bunny!", released a few decades later in 1991.
For the umpteenth time, Daffy "hubris is my middle name" Duck tries to best Bugs Bunny, with the same success that he's had before. The hardest part here is wondering how a duck is supposed to double a rabbit. But, as has been said, anything can happen in a cartoon. This is a fun and enjoyable cartoon and Daffy gets what he deserves and what I suspect is his karmic birthright. Recommended.
In what must have been the only time that Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer
Fudd and Yosemite Sam all starred in the same cartoon, Daffy is movie
star Bugs's stunt double for every dangerous scene. Suffice it to say,
Daffy always believes that he'll end up the top star but always suffers
in the worst way possible. Is this his eternal doom?! Anyway, "A Star
Is Bored" really shows Friz Freleng's style. While his cartoons didn't
usually reach the cleverness attained by Chuck Jones's work, he always
kept his cartoons funny. He certainly gives Daffy his just desserts.
And he pokes fun at Hollywood just the right amount without the cartoon
turning obnoxious. A good one.
I bet that the people in Middle America didn't get the part about Daffy performing at bar mitzvahs. Of course, the Termite Terrace crowd always liked to sneak in things like that (see the kreplach scene in "The Scarlet Pumpernickel").
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