A scene from RABBIT HOOD, directed by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros.

Rabbit Hood (1949, Chuck Jones)

Rabbit Hood features some great voice work from Mel Blanc. Some of the responsibility falls on Jones and writer Michael Maltese, of course, since they put Bugs Bunny in Sherwood Forest with the Sheriff of Nottingham as an antagonist… but Blanc makes the cartoon memorable. Bugs has some great dialogue and Blanc nails it.

That success even makes up for his lesser work on the Sheriff, who’s a problematic antagonist. Jones and Maltese can’t make him actually threatening, so they play him like a buffoon. He’s not just an unworthy adversary for Bugs, he’s a boring one.

But the cartoon excels anyway. The gags are all strong, as is the pacing. Jones holds the gags in their aftermaths, waiting until the perfect moment to release the tension.

The animation’s quite good and Jones composes some excellent frames.

Hilarious tights on the Sheriff too.

And the final gag is utterly fantastic.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Chuck Jones; written by Michael Maltese; animated by Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Lloyd Vaughan and Ben Washam; edited by Treg Brown; music by Carl W. Stalling; produced by Edward Selzer; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny / Sheriff of Nottingham / Little John).

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