Friday, February 8, 2008

Bugs and Thugs 1954 ( Dir : Friz Freleng)

(sorry the picture and spelling function aren't working!)

Bugs and Thugs is a sort of update or even evolution of the 1946 cartoon Racketeer Rabbit (also by Freleng)despite the fact that one gag is shared. I prefer this version. Mainly because the gangsters Rocky and Mugsy are 'proper' cartoon characters instead of Jimmy Cagney and Peter Lorre look alikes.

Bugs Bunny is off to the bank to withdraw some carrots from his account. After he finshes he decides to hail a taxi but it turns out to be Rocky and Mugsy's getaway car. Rocky robs the bank and jumps into the car, thus making Bugs an instant witness to the crime.

Rocky then plots to kill Bugs and the two goons go find a suitable place to dispose of him. Bugs, then reverts to his usual trickery by telling Mugsy to stop at a gas station. Once out of the car Bugs tries to phone the police but this fails.

The trio drive to a railway crossing and Rocky then tells Bugs to go out and check if there are any trains going by. Bugs again tries to outsmart them by telling them that the coast is clear. The second the car goes on the tracks a train rushes by and destroys everything. As a result Bugs has to fix the car and carry it to the gangster's hideout.

Once they arrive Rocky tells Mugsy to shoot Bugs but Bugs verbally tricks Mugsy into giving him the gun and promptly shoots him. ( Mugsy just faints) Rocky then decides to do the job but then Bugs pretends to be a policeman, which frightens the thugs. He convinces the idiot to hide in the oven and blows them up. Right after ( and this a great scene) a real policeman arrives and the whole oven scenario is renacted. Instead of being blown up a second time. Rocky and Mugsy run towards the policeman and give themselves up.

The cartoon ends with Bugs as a private-eye talking about his job.

Bugs and Thugs works cause it is zippy, full of action and concludes excellently. A very well-rounded cartoon with some unpredictability in it too.

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