Shrunken Cinema/Termite Terrace/Baton Bunny

From Eccentric Flower

Baton Bunny

1958

Summary: Bugs attempts to conduct an orchestra while trying to deal with a pesky fly and other annoyances.

Director: Chuck Jones/Abe Levitow

Writer: Michael Maltese

Featuring: Bugs Bunny.

Onreel

0:39 Sound cue: Like the card says, almost all of the music in this will be the overture to Franz von Suppé's "Morning, Noon, and Night In Vienna" ("Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien").

1:10 The business with the coughing audience member is very similar to a gag at the beginning of Rhapsody Rabbit. However, Bugs is a little more polite about it here.

1:27 In case it's unclear, Bugs has put on his glasses upside down.

1:36 The rack of batons, the way Bugs sights along one for straightness, and the chalk are all things associated with pool cues.

3:14 Sound cue: The orchestra breaks into a 78 RPM version of "The Irish Washerwoman" as Bugs wrestles with the fly.

4:53 In case it is unclear from the pantomime, the parts Bugs plays in this sequence are a cowboy, an Indian, and a U.S. soldier (from the Civil War era), in that order.

Offreel

This is very much a late-period cartoon for Jones (check out those eyelids on Bugs!), and an odd one. Its spiritual ancestor is Rhapsody Rabbit, which to my mind is a better cartoon (but then, my love for Hungarian Rhapsody #2 is boundless). Still, this one has some laughs, notably the bit with the cuffs.

This is the only Bugs cartoon other than A Corny Concerto where Bugs has no proper lines - just a "shh" every so often. Mel Blanc was credited for voice as usual, but the only voice work he did in this cartoon was the coughing man in the audience! Meanwhile, however, Treg Brown and the sound effects crew were given plenty to do. For an even more extreme example of this approach, see Now Hear This.

I had originally written here that "It's nice to see some of Franz von Suppé's work besides his overtures get some play in one of these cartoons," but then a friend of mine pointed out that this piece is also an overture, it just didn't get billed as one. I did a little more checking on von Suppé's theatrical works, and gradually I realized: "Local play with songs," "Comedy with songs," "Farce with songs" ... you know what you call a play with an overture and songs? A musical. I've decided now that the problem is that the classicists think that the likes of Rogers and Hammerstein is beneath their dignity, which is why they won't just come out and say that von Suppé mostly wrote musicals. (Now ask me about Gilbert and Sullivan and what they actually wrote ....)

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