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Warner Bros. had retired the Looney Tunes characters throughout the
'60s and stopped producing cartoons at the end of the decade (although
the cartoons kept rerunning on TV). The release of "Bugs Bunny
Superstar" in 1975 renewed interest in the series - sort of like how
"American Graffiti" and "Happy Days" renewed interest in 1950s culture
- so it was no accident that they brought the characters back for
I should say that the animation in "A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court" looks really rough, and Sir Elmer of Fudde (Elmer Fudd) doesn't sound quite right with Mel Blanc doing his voice (his original voice artist Arthur Q. Bryan died in 1959), but you just gotta love some of the tricks in this movie. Whether it's Merlin's (Yosemite Sam) rants, Connecticut Rabbit's (Bugs Bunny) excessively long lance, or just the idea that advice from Ray Bradbury crossed with the missed left turn at Albuquerque could result in all this, there's some really funny stuff here. Chuck Jones had not run out of steam. Really great.
BTW, did you notice that the shield displaying the title said "Whatsupius Doctorus"? That could easily be one of the bogus scientific names in a Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
PS: this was the first time that Chuck Jones had directed Yosemite Sam, who had previously been a Friz Freleng character.
"A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court", which is retitled for home
video as "Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court", is a real treat for all
Tunes fans. Chuck Jones takes the original Mark Twain novel and turns it
upside down. This is not the novel, but a truly original reworking of
Bugs Bunny is the "Connecticut Yankee", which in itself is kind of odd because Bugs is from Brooklyn, NEW YORK, but never mind, we'll except the premise. Daffy Duck is King Arthur, Porky Pig is Sir Loin of Pork and Yosemite Sam is the Black Knight. The story is so well known that I won't bother retelling it here.
This short subject is smart, funny and original. This in itself is amazing since most animation is often uninspired, particularly when it comes from literature. But Chuck Jones, by planting the Looney Tunes characters into the plot and by making this 100% new footage, rather than most of the TV specials which are edited from the shorts, has made one of the most memorable TV specials ever.
**** out of 4 stars
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