|Index||10 reviews in total|
Bugs Bunny envisions himself being a television star when he sees an ad
in the newspaper that reads, "Wanted: Rabbit For Personal Appearance On
TV; Opportunity for Career in TV. Apply in Person."
Unfortunately, he's going to be used as the prey for Elmer Fudd's "The Sportsman Hour," who offers handy hunting hints. This week's topic just happens to be how to track down and shoot a live rabbit!
After a few shots, Bugs runs for cover, followed by Elmer yelling, "Come back here , you wetched wabbit, you're wecking my pwogwam!" (BTW, the politically-correct English subtitles always correct the pronunciations.)
The best parts are Bugs imitation other people in other studios, such as Groucho Marx in his program "You Bet Your Life." Except in this cartoon, it's "You Beat Your Wife." Wow, at least the PC police didn't edit the cartoon, just the subtitles.
As a little kid growing up about this time, I can still recall all the TV programs mentioned here, like "You Asked For It," "You Were There" and "The Liberace Show."
Overall, this was more nostalgic than funny, to be honest. I enjoyed it, but there aren't a lot of laughs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Directed by Bob McKimson, "Wideo Wabbit" is a Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd
cartoon that brilliantly pokes fun at the burgeoning television
industry. Elmer Fudd needs a wabbit for his "Sportsman's Hour" show on
Station QTTV, and who else for the job but Bugs Bunny? Bugs thinks he's
going to get his big break as a television star; instead he gets a
10,000-volt battery in his derriere, courtesy of a very sleazy TV
executive with a voice similar to that of the famed comedian Ed Wynn.
Bugs soon discovers that he is exactly the target Elmer needs for his
show, as he plans to demonstrate for his studio audience how to twack
down & shoot a wabbit. Bugs refuses to cooperate, showing his disgust
with Elmer's "professional jealousy," and the chase is on!
My favorite highlights from "Wideo Wabbit" include the following (don't read any further if you have not yet seen this short). Bugs is absolutely hilarious in his Groucho Marx disguise (reminiscent of "Slick Hare" ) as he hosts "You Beat Your Wife," a parody of Groucho's famous TV show "You Bet Your Life" (although the real Groucho refused to wear his trademark greasepaint moustache & eyebrows on his show, claiming that THAT character was dead). Later on, Bugs dashes into the "Liverace" studio and, reminiscent of both "Rhapsody Rabbit" (1946) and "Hyde and Hare" (1955), adopts the famous pianist's voice as he plays Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody on a grand piano surrounded by candelabra. And at the end of this short, Bugs and Elmer switch roles, so that Bugs is the hunter and Elmer is the wabbit who gets blasted by Bugs' shotgun; the sight of Elmer in his torn-up pink bunny costume, as well as his waggling Groucho eyebrows, moustache, & cigar, is quite hilarious indeed!
"Wideo Wabbit" is a truly great Warner Bros. cartoon for its unique approach to the traditional hunter/rabbit story. Fortunately, this cartoon is available on DVD (Disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3), and although it may not be a classic, "Wideo Wabbit" is definitely a hilarious entry in the Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd catalog of films. Don't overlook it!
Bugs Bunny answers an ad in the paper for rabbits interested in working on
television he responds but finds himself not sure what his project is. He
discovers too late that he is to be the demonstration subject on Elmer
Fudd's hunting hour tv show. The show gets out of control when Fudd has
hunt Bugs through the other television studios.
The plot here is no more than an excuse to let Bugs run through the studios of some famous (of the time) television shows and do impersonations as he outwits Fudd. He does it well and people like Groucho Marx will always be well known, even if some of the others are not. Despite that, the antics they get up to are still funny and Bugs is as tricky as he always is.
Bugs is good and Elmer is a good partner for him, they usually seem to work well together. The character of the studio floor manager is a bit weird - was it just my eyes or was his jacket badly animated? It looked like the grid lines stayed still on the screen and his jacket moved through them.
Overall this is a good cartoon that does just what you want it to do - Bugs conning Fudd and ultimately outsmarting him!
This is a good and funny poke at television in the 1950s, although it is funnier if you understand what the jokes are about. If you know nothing about the shows that are lampooned here, it's not as enjoyable. Best bits are the impersonations, particularly the one of Liberace, which is dead on. The voice and mannerisms are nailed. Glad to see it's available. Well worth watching. Recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bugs Bunny finds himself an unwilling victim on The Sportsman's Hour of
"happy hunting hints", hosted by Elmer Fudd on station QTTV.
Bugs escapes, using a multitude of hilarious disguises, including Groucho Marx (of "You Beat Your Wife") and "Liverace" who renders "Pop Goes the Weasel" on a grand piano bristling with candelabra.
All told, this "Merrie Melodies" entry shapes up as an amusing frolic through mid-1950s television land. Perhaps it's not quite as side-splittingly devastating as it might have been (and it does slow down for some now rather obscure "digs" and references), but it's still most definitely recommended.
Bob McKimson's late-50s TV show spoofs, written by Tedd Pierce,
generally have not weathered time too well. Scarcely anyone living
today can recall the sources of such cartoons as "China Jones," "People
Are Bunny" (unless you can remember Art Linkletter's House Party), or
"Boston Quackie." But if you're old enough to remember when Groucho
Marx, Art Carney and Liberace were still alive, the present cartoon can
be a nifty laugh riot.
Elmer is host of QTTV's "The Sportsman's Hour"; how his speech impediment could allow him to become famous as a TV host really isn't supposed to bother us. Bugs answers the channel's want-ad for a rabbit, soon realizing he's being taken for a ride. The hunter chases him all through sets for other programs, like the fondly remembered Walter Cronkite show "You Are There," as well as Groucho's "You Bet Your Life," and Liberace.
Director McKimson allows voice artist Daws Bulter do imitations of some of the celebrities under whose guise Bugs appears; and I'm not all that certain I approve of anyone other than Blanc having this privilege.
But "Wideo Wabbit" stands comfortably alongside McKimson's "Honey-Mousers" trilogy as Warner TV spoofs that can delight and withstand repeated viewings. McKimson's almost at the end of his last fertile period, and the first two films and this cartoon really show the creative energy burning off him and his new animation unit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . the World Video Revolution, but a close viewing of WIDEO WABBIT discloses that it is actually a Looney Tunes prognostication about America's future Transgender and Second Amendment Crises. Though some critics have dubbed Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd as the first famous U.S. Bisexual couple, given their frequent flings with females and continual marriages to each other, this WIDEO reveals Bugs patterning himself after 1900s notable Transgendered pianist Liberace (or "Liverace" here). Though Bugs is hesitant to rely on 1950s surgical know-how for her transformation (to enable an all-Lesbian wedding with Ms. Fudd, of course), she has fewer qualms about blowing off Elmer's middle appendage with 4 phallic sticks of dynamite, as suggested by Elmer's tattered post-explosion boxer panties at the 5:33 mark. Most of WIDEO's mayhem, however, is carried out with firearms. At a time when elected officials among the U.S. Rich People Party's soreheads are demanding that President-Elect Clinton be shot by firing squad, it's refreshing to see Warner Bros. predicting that the tables will be turned soon, and that--like Bugs herself--the Champions of Democracy will not only seize the day, but also all of America's 300 million privately-held guns.
As a lifelong fan of Looney Tunes and who particularly enjoys the
pairing of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (Bugs is also to me one of Looney
Tunes' greatest creations), while 'Wideo Wabbit' is not one of the best
of either it is still very enjoyable stuff.
The animation in 'Wideo Wabbit' is colourful, with colours that are never flat but never overly-saturated, simple but elegant backgrounds and Bugs and Elmer are well designed and move easily. The one sore spot is the floor manager, whose character design is a little rushed and this reviewer does have to agree about the weirdness of the animation on the jacket.
Carl Stalling, my favourite of the Looney Tunes composers, provides a very vibrantly orchestrated and rhythmically energetic (the energy never stops too) music score, that synchronises with the action superbly and Stalling also had the strongest ability of composing music that not just fitted but enhanced the action (which the music in 'Wideo Wabbit' does). 'Wideo Wabbit' is a very funny cartoon if not a hilarious one. It's not laugh-a-minute, are slightly slower in timing than is characteristic and there are fewer gags than there tends to be.
With this being said the gags do work, they are well timed because they don't come across as tired or dull and they are very well animated. The ending makes for a fitting, touchingly nostalgic and laugh-out-loud funny end to the cartoon. Even better are Bugs' impersonations, the Groucho Marx gag is priceless but the dead-on "Liverace" impersonation is perhaps 'Wideo Wabbit's' highlight. The dialogue is typically razor sharp and witty, the best lines coming from Bugs, and there is a constant sense of nostalgia in recognising all the references and remembering the shows and stars mentioned.
The story here is fun and again lovingly nostalgic, though there are other Looney Tunes cartoons with slightly tighter pacing and slightly more going on. Bugs is vintage Bugs and a joy to watch, while Elmer is an amusing and easy-to-root-for foil. The only weakness character wise is the floor manager, a character who is not very funny and is forgettable at best. Mel Blanc does a fantastic job, and Arthur Q. Bryan is rock solid as well.
Overall, good and enjoyable cartoon but Bugs and Elmer, solo and together, have done better. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Everyone knows what happens when Elmer Fudd hunts Bugs Bunny, but
"Wideo Wabbit" throws in a new twist: the hunt is the plot of a TV
show. Of course, once Bugs realizes what's going on, he promptly starts
doing his usual stuff. To a hilarious extent, I might add.
We get to see parodies of famous 1950s shows: "You Beat Your Wife", for instance. While we in the 21st century might not get all the references, the antics themselves are a hoot. And besides, who doesn't like to see TV spoofed? It brings to mind the fact that present-day TV seems to be dominated by reality shows, talking heads, and the cult of celebrity. When I see how they give Bugs an electric shock to get him out of his rabbit hole, it reminds me of the degrading things that people do to themselves or other people on reality shows.
But I digress. I really liked this cartoon, and you probably will too.
Robert McKimson's 'Wideo Wabbit' is a weak and rather ugly Bugs and Elmer cartoon. Bugs is duped into taking part in Elmer's TV hunting show but refuses to be shot. Instead, he leads Elmer on a chase through the studio, impersonating various TV stars along the way including Groucho Marx, Liberace and Art Carney. The references are dated but that's not what makes the cartoon fail. From the outset it's clear there's something lacking and the instant you see the TV show's producer you know what it is. McKimson has gone for a more modern look and the extra characters in the short look positively hideous, clashing with the design of Bugs and Elmer (who are comparatively unattractive here too). The usually fantastic Arthur Q. Bryan seems to be going through the motions as Elmer, perhaps aware of the low quality material and unable to work up any enthusiasm. The whole affair seems tired and slow, building up to a painfully unfunny climax. 'Wideo Wabbit' acknowledges the rise of television which would eventually wipe out the cinematic cartoon. It also epitomises the decline in quality of the cinematic cartoon that TV brought about.
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