Thursday, May 30, 2013

Animated Short Review: "Baby Buggy Bunny" is One of the Great Bugs Bunny Shorts (Happy B'day, Mel Blanc)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 163 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Baby Buggy Bunny (1954)
Running time: 7 minutes
DIRECTOR: Charles M. Jones
WRITER: Michael Maltese
PRODUCER: Edward Selzer
ANIMATORS: Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, Lloyd Vaughan, and Ben Washam
LAYOUT ARTIST: Ernest Nordli
COMPOSER: Milt Franklyn


Starring: (voice) Mel Blanc

The subject of this review is Baby Buggy Bunny, a 1954 animated short film directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. This animated film is part of the “Merrie Melodies” series of cartoon shorts from Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Bugs Bunny, as he takes on an orphaned baby who is definitely more than he seems.

In Baby Buggy Bunny, Baby-Faced Finster (aka Ant Hill Harry) (Mel Blanc) robs a bank, but his loot ends up in Bugs Bunny’s (Mel Blanc) home (the hole in the ground, rabbit hutch). Finster disguises himself as an orphaned baby, and perches himself on Bugs’ doorstep as an orphaned infant, left with a note by the missing mother in which she ask Bugs to care for Baby Finster. Bugs takes Finster in, but finds the baby quite ornery. Soon, Bugs figures out that Baby Finster is really Baby-Faced Finster, hot off a bank robbery, and Bugs is determined to see justice done.

Although there are so many Looney Tunes animated shorts that I could call a favorite, Baby Buggy Bunny stands out because the entire cartoon is top-notch – from the stylish character designs and quicksilver animation to the superb sketch comedy and gag writing. This is one of the Looney Tunes that is as much for adults (if not more so) as it is for children.

Classic Bugs Bunny cartoons usually set the rabbit up against worthy adversaries; in the case of Baby-Faced Finster, the short film has a nasty and sneaky creep who is as malevolent as he can be in Looney Tune cartoon. A good villain really kicks Bugs Bunny’s smarts and luck into high gear, and Finster certainly does that. Outside of cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck or Yosemite Sam, Baby Buggy Bunny is one of the better fight Tunes.

8 of 10

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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