Charles McKimson

The Windblown Hare (1949, Robert McKimson)

The Windblown Hare is fairly intolerable. Even if the animation wasn’t lazy–maybe Warner slashed the budget after finding out what McKimson wanted to do–there are still two and a half major problems.

First, and most surprisingly, Mel Blanc’s Three Little Pigs voices are terrible. He’s doing them as Cagney toughs and it flops. Next, the half point, is Blanc’s Big Bad Wolf. Also bad.

His Bugs Bunny is fine, though the animation on Bugs is particularly bad.

The other big problem is the writing. McKimson doesn’t realize the Wolf doesn’t even acknowledge Bugs’s presence until it becomes a plot point. It’s incredibly lazy writing.

As far as the gags go, maybe the Wolf kicking grandma out of her house (without eating her) is the best. The final gag is terrible and the cartoon doesn’t even end properly; it stops instead.

At least Bugs isn’t annoying here. Just dumb.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Robert McKimson; written by Warren Foster; animated by John Carey, Phil DeLara, Manny Gould and Charles McKimson; edited by Treg Brown; music by Carl W. Stalling; produced by Edward Selzer; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny / The Three Little Pigs / The Big Bad Wolf).


Daffy Duck Slept Here (1948, Robert McKimson)

So all you need to make Daffy Duck an incredibly sympathetic character is Porky Pig.

In Daffy Duck Slept Here, Porky’s a traveler in search of a hotel room. He ends up lodging with Daffy, only they haven’t met yet. Once they do, the majority of the hilarity ensues.

And it is hilarity. Slept Here is an excellent cartoon, making great use of a Harvey reference, for example.

Daffy’s a fun loving guy and Porky’s somewhere between a square and a jerk. The animation on Porky is peculiar, actually. It’s almost like one’s supposed to be predisposed to dislike him. Even Mel Blanc’s voice for Porky is unenthusiastic, not just compared to his work on Daffy’s, but on the supporting characters too.

Treg Brown’s editing is particularly sublime here; the whole cartoon’s a technical achievement.

Well, except the final gag. It’s flat. But Slept Here still leaves a fine impression.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Robert McKimson; written by Warren Foster; animated by Manny Gould, Charles McKimson and Izzy Ellis; edited by Treg Brown; music by Carl W. Stalling; produced by Edward Selzer; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Mel Blanc (Daffy Duck / Porky Pig / Hotel Clerks / Manager).


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