#39 -- Canned Feud


Title - Canned Feud
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1951

Reason for Placement --

Of all the Looney Tunes stars, Sylvester was one of the few that didn't need a specific counterpart. He worked just as well against Speedy Gonzalez and Tweety as he did about half-a-dozen one-shot characters, including in Freleng's Canned Feud.

Sylvester's owners forget to put him outside before leaving on a long vacation, leaving him locked in the house. While Sylvester finds plenty of cans of food, the only can opener is being held by a mouse, who delights in torturing the poor cat over it!

Everytime I watch this toon, all I can do is wonder what Sylvester did to deserve to be treated like this. Did he chase or try to eat this mouse in the past, or is the mouse just a sadist? Seriously, he's pure evil!

#40 -- Early to Bet


Title - Early to Bet
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1951

Reason for Placement --

"Better watch out, folks, or the Gambling Bug will get you!" Might sound like a simple enough warning to stay away from gambling, but in Early to Bet, it's actually a warning about a real-life Gambling Bug, whose bites cause the victim to start compusively gambling (geez, Gamblers Anonymous would have a field day with this episode).

Anyway, the focus of the short is actually McKimson's nameless cat (who appeared in multiple other shorts, including A Fractured Leghorn), who is bitten by the Gambling Bug and continually plays cards with a bulldog. Sadly, the bite doesn't bring luck with the cards, as the cat loses every time. And, for some reason, when the cat loses he has to be the victim of random penalties, which to me seem like a precursor to the Physical Challenges of Double Dare.

It's probably worth pointing out that the idea of the penalties being inflicted by the dog to the cat was previously used by McKimson in 1950s It's Hummer Time. However, in my opinion, Early to Bet works out as the better of the two, if for no other reason than the extra humor the Gambling Bug brings to the screen.

#41 -- Ready, Woolen, and Able


Title - Ready, Woolen, and Able
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1960

Reason for Placement --

As I stated before in a previous post, I had a pretty hard time originally telling the difference between Ralph Wolf and Wile E. Coyote, mostly because a few of the Ralph Wolf/Sam Sheepdog shorts were on my WEC/RR tapes.  However, looking back on it, I think this was the short that always confused me into thinking that Ralph and Wile E. were the same character... which is also probably why I loved this short so much as a kid!

The premise is the same as other Ralph/Sam shorts: they punch the clock, Ralph tries to steal sheep, and Sam has to guard them.  But the gags in this one really reminded me of Wile E.; for example, there is one part where Ralph decides to put a pair of bed springs on his feet so he can jump over Sam and get to the sheep.  We have a few moments where he tries to get the springs under control, only to keep falling on his face.  Watch that scene and tell me that doesn't remind you 100% of everyone's favorite coyote!

Still, I have to go with the final scene for my reasoning behind choosing this short.  Ralph uses a trapeze to swing over Sam, but when he gets to the cliffside the sheep was sitting on... he finds Sam again.  A little confused, Ralph climbs up the trapeze, and finds Sam sitting up there, holding the trapeze!  He goes back down to his seat, and there's Sam again!  He jumps from the trapeze into the water below, and as he falls he sees Sam no less than 6 times before he hits!  He goes underwater... OK, I think by this point you get the point.  Ralph makes it to a beach, which is for some reason, filled with at least two dozen Sams!  Fade-in to the end of the day, Sam is going home, and Ralph is being led away in an ambulance, tied up in a straight-jacket.  They never explain what exactly happened or if Ralph is actually going nuts, but frankly, we don't care, we enjoy the ending all the same.

#42 -- The Foghorn Leghorn


Title - The Foghorn Leghorn
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1948

Reason for Placement --

It's no surprise that Foghorn Leghorn worked best when paired with both Barnyard Dog and Henery Hawk, and The Foghorn Leghorn, which stared all three, has always been one of my favorite shorts.  

In an attempt to dissuade Henery from joining him on his chicken hunt, Henery's father tells him that chickens are actually huge ferocious monsters... of course, it doesn't work, and Henery follows his father to the hen house, arriving just in time to see his old man get beaten up by Foghorn!  Henery asks his father if the creature that attacked him was a chicken, but wanting to save face, tells Henery, "...that's just a loud-mouth'd schnook!"  

As with many other Foghorn shorts, we now get the classic gag of Henery mistaking Barnyard Dog for a chicken, and attempting to take him home.  In past shorts, however, it's Foghorn himself who tells Henery that the dog is a chicken, whereas in The Foghorn Leghorn, Henery just comes to the conclusion based on what his father has told him about chickens.

Some of the best humor, however, comes from Foghorn, as he attempts to persuade Henery that his is indeed a chicken, not a schnook.  This is a great set-up, as Foghorn is driven entirely to salvage his dignity, not realizing what'll happen to him once Henery realizes the truth!  

#43 -- A Mouse Divided


Title - A Mouse Divided
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1953

Reason for Placement --

The directors at Termite Terrace were famous for including recurring background characters in their shorts; they weren't stars, but they would help shape the toon's story and feel.  One of these was Freleng's drunken stork.  Working with the classic myth that storks bring newborn babies to the Earth,  this character would usually mess up his delivery by giving the baby to the wrong parents.  Bob Clampett briefly introduced this character in 1946's Baby Bottleneck, and Freleng would use it again in 1954's Goo Goo Goliath, 1955's Stork Naked, & 1959's Apes of Wrath.  One of the best shorts featuring this character was A Mouse Divided, where the stork accidentally gives a baby mouse to Sylvester and his wife!

This short has probably one of the sweetest moments in Looney Tunes history: after his wife leaves, Sylvester decides to go ahead and eat the mouse, and prepares him in a sandwich (see above photo).  However, just as he is about to take the first bite, the baby mouse pokes his head out of the bread and says, "Daddy!"  And with that, Sylvester giggles and finds himself unable to eat the mouse, officially considering it his son.  

#44 -- Lumber Jack-Rabbit


Title - Lumber Jack-Rabbit
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1954

Interesting Fact -- The only Warner Bros. cartoon filmed in 3-D

Reason for Placement --

Most animation studios have had one or two attempts to showcase films/shorts in 3-D, but with Termite Terrace, they only did it once, with Lumber Jack-Rabbit.  Now for the record, I've never actually seen this short in 3-D, just in regular 2-D fashion, so I can't really comment on how good the 3-D effects are or anything like that.  But regardless of that, this is still a pretty funny short.

Bugs, while on vacation, finds himself in Paul Bunyan's garden and helps himself to the carrot patch (claiming he's discovered a "carrot mine"); too bad he didn't count on Paul's faithful dog, Smidgen, who is responsible for guarding the vegetables.  

On a secondary interesting note, this was the last cartoon Jones did before temporarily leaving Warner Bros. to work at Disney (some sources I've found said the animation department was shut down for a short time, while others say that Jones left because he was unsatisfied with the end result of this short).  

#45 -- Much Ado About Nutting


Title - Much Ado About Nutting
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1953

Reason for Placement --

A squirrel living in a downtown park heads to an nearby outdoor stand selling nuts.  He first helps himself first to a bag of peanuts, but then he trades up for walnuts, and then again for brazil nuts... and once more when he sees a towering display of coconuts (yes, we all know coconuts aren't actually nuts, but it makes for a pretty funny gag)!  However, the squirrel quickly realizes he cannot bite into the shell of the coconut, and now must try everything he can think of to break it open.

Much Ado About Nutting has no dialogue whatsoever, so it has to rely entirely on the squirrel's expressions and visual gags.  And thankfully, Jones is able to truly convey just how frustrated this squirrel gets without a single word, no doubt a trick he picked up after years of directing Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner shorts.  As we watch the squirrel try multiple tricks to open the coconut (using an axe, jackhammer, dynamite, even pushing it off the top of the Empire State Building), he never says a word, but we are fully able to see just how upset he is getting.  

#46 -- Hare Splitter


Title - Hare Splitter
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1948

Reason for Placement --

One thing I have always given credit to Termite Terrace was that when they made Bugs Bunny, they didn't try to create a female counterpart to bring in more of a fanbase.  Most cartoon characters don't need a partner of the opposite sex to be funny, they work well by themselves.  This is nothing against Disney characters like Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, they were always fun, but Warner Bros. was smart enough to know that most of the Looney Tunes characters did not need a girlfriend/wife to work (Pepe had Penelope, Porky had Petunia, and Foghorn had Miss Prissy, but that was about it).  However, every now and then they did give Bugs a romantic conquest, and one of the best examples is Hare Splitter.

Bugs is vying for the affection of Daisy Lou, but has to go up against his rival, a brown rabbit named Casbah.  When he gets to her house, Bugs sees Daisy has gone out for the day, so he decides to dress in her clothes and mess with Casbah in an attempt to drive him away.  Of course, what Bugs Bunny-toon would be complete without everyone's favorite rabbit dressing in drag?

One of my favorite moments is when Casbah starts grabbing Bugs/Daisy for a kiss, with Bugs fighting tooth-and-nail to try and get away.  During the struggle, he looks at the audience and asks, "Do all you girls have to go through this?!?"

Daisy (who does show up at the end) was never put in any other toons, but in my opinion, that's what works best.  Bugs never really needed a girlfriend, and I'm glad that Warner Bros. didn't try to force one on him... at least, not for a while (ok, seriously, who came up with the idea of Lola Bunny?).  

#47 -- Night of the Living Duck


Title - Night of the Living Duck
Director - Greg Ford & Terry Lennon
Released - 1988

Interesting Fact -- Final Warner Bros. short to feature the voice of Mel Blanc

Reason for Placement -- 

After reading a comic book that ends on a cliffhanger, Daffy searches his room to find the next story, only to get knocked unconscious when his clock falls off the bookcase.  Upon waking, Daffy finds out he's the entertainment at a nightclub... populated by some of the most famous horror movie monsters ever created!  A quick scan of the audience shows us Dracula, Frankenstein, the Human Fly, the Mummy, a werewolf, Medusa, and a host of others.  

This short is probably best remembered for the song Daffy sings while on stage, with Mel Tormé providing the singing voice (this was the guy who wrote and sang 'The Christmas Song').  One of my favorite parts is actually how Daffy gets the ability to sing this way: he sprays a bottle of "Eau de Tormé" in his mouth, which makes him automatically start scatting!  It's a small joke in what is essentially a pretty funny cartoon, but for some reason, I always enjoyed that moment.  

#48 -- Pigs in a Polka


Title - Pigs in a Polka
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1943

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoons

Reason for Placement --

Out of all the Termite Terrace directors, Freleng was probably the best at timing to music.  You can clearly see evidence of this in toons like Rhapsody Rabbit, Rhapsody in Rivets, and my personal favorite, Pigs in a Polka.

Parodying not one, but two Disney creations (1933's Three Little Pigs and 1940's Fantasia), Pigs in a Polka puts a new twist on the classic story; the pigs and the Big Bad Wolf is there, but the entire toon is set to Brahms' Hungarian Dances (specifically, Dances #5, 7, 6, and 17, which appear in that order).  

One of the best visual gags in the short is when the Wolf finally manages to get into the third little pig's house; while this had appeared to be a single-story house, all of the sudden the pigs are running up stairs and finding an elevator that takes them down about ten floors!  Where did all this room come from?  To us though, it doesn't matter: we're enjoying the short too much to question this change.  

#49 -- The Last Hungry Cat


Title - The Last Hungry Cat
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1961

Interesting Fact -- The only Warner Bros. short released to make reference to Alfred Hitchcock

Reason for Placement --

Ever wondered what would happen if Sylvester ever caught Tweety?  In The Last Hungry Cat, Sylvester finds himself in a parody of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".  While trying to grab Tweety from his cage, Sylvester trips and falls down, allowing Tweety to escape.  However, one of his yellow feathers lands on the cat's lips, making him think he swallowed the bird.  As he makes his way back home, the narrator fills Sylvester's head with guilt, causing the poor cat to pretty much suffer from a nervous breakdown.  

This was a real unique approach to the Sylvester/Tweety shorts.  Instead of the usual chases and traps, we get a bit more of a mature style and story that, honestly, I don't think a lot of younger kids would get.  To them, it would be hard to understand why Sylvester would feel guilty over killing the canary that he spent years chasing.  Speaking of that, it's also interesting that Tweety is hardly in this piece, it's mostly a vehicle for Sylvester to star.  Regardless, this is a clever idea, and a great caricature of one of the most brilliant filmmakers in the history of cinema.  

#50 -- From A to Z-Z-Z-Z


Title - From A to Z-Z-Z-Z
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1953

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award for Short Subject, Cartoons

Reason for Placement -- 

Let's face it, as kids we all had a tendency to daydream a bit, but I dare any of you to admit that you reached the high point of Ralph Phillips' daydreams.  Ralph, one of Jones' most endearing creations, just can't seem to focus on his work in elementary school, continually lapsing into some of the most vivid daydreams imaginable. 

This was one of my favorite shorts growing up, probably because I did more than my fair share of daydreaming in school as well.  But it's not just how we relate to the character: it's also the amazing dreams Ralph experiences.  These are not just everyday/boredom dreams, these are incredible adventures that put Walter Mitty to shame, elaborate creations that most modern-day Hollywood directors wish they could create.  When he goes up to solve a math problem, he imagines himself actually fighting off the numbers (see above photo); when he is put in the corner for not paying attention, he sees himself as a boxer, getting ready to fight his opponent.  

In a word: amazing.  

#51 -- Rebel Rabbit


Title - Rebel Rabbit
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1949

Reason for Placement --

It's not everyday you see Bugs Bunny play the role of the antagonist, but in Rebel Rabbit, he's not just the aggressor... he's a national menace!  After finding out that the bounty for rabbits are only 2 cents, Bugs is furious, and heads to Washington DC to find out why.  As the game commissioner tells him, the bounty is so low because rabbits are harmless creatures (kinda makes one wonder why there was a bounty put on them in the first place).  Determined to prove that rabbits are indeed worth more than 2 cents, Bugs proceeds to become "more obnoxious than anybody".  

And when Bugs Bunny stirs up trouble...  look out.

This is one of McKimson's and Warren Foster's best pieces, if for no other reason than I was blown away by the amount of mischief Bugs cooks up.  He paints the Washington Monument, cuts Florida loose, fills up the Grand Canyon, turns off Niagara Falls, and even sells Manhattan back to the Indians (a scene often cut from TV broadcasts).  

It's already been established that villains don't want to get Bugs Bunny mad... however, after watching Rebel Rabbit, I'm pretty sure that NO ONE should get Bugs Bunny mad.  

#52 -- Dough Ray Me-Ow


Title - Dough Ray Me-Ow
Director - Arthur Davis
Released - 1948

Reason for Placement --

Louie the Parrot finds his owner's last will and testament, only to see that the family fortune will be bequeathed to Heathcliff, a cat so stupid he actually has to be reminded to breathe! However, the will also states that in the event of Heathcliff's disappearance, Louie will receive the money.

And so starts Dough Ray Me-Ow, a classic short where Louie tries everything he can think of to get poor Heathcliff out of the picture. What makes this short so funny is that Heathcliff is so ridicuously dumb that he can't figure out that his "best pal" is trying to do him in! Of course, he's not able to outsmart the parrot's traps and tricks, so it's pretty much by dumb luck that Heathcliff manages to survive.

In the last scene, it looks like Louie has finally managed to get Heathcliff (using dynamite as candles on a birthday cake). As we see the cat's nine lives moving on, Louie brags that now he won't get the fortune, since he can't take it with him. Upon hearing this, Heathcliff's lives return to him, and he sits up, folding his arms and says, "Well, if I can't take it with me, I'm not going!"

#53 -- Stupor Duck


Title - Stupor Duck
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1956

Reason for Placement --

In the early 1940s, Fleischer Studios released an animated Superman series, which quickly became one of the most popular animated shows on at that time. So obviously, it didn't take long for Termite Terrace to go ahead and create their own parodies of the show. In 1943, Chuck Jones released his short, Super-Rabbit, which put Bugs Bunny in the lead role. However, 13 years later, McKimson would come out with his own version, staring Daffy Duck.

In Stupor Duck, Daffy (while disguised as his alter-ego, Cluck Trent) overhears a villain named Aardvark Ratfink threatening his editor that he will cause a wave of destruction across the city until he is made ruler of the world. Knowing his duty, Daffy/Cluck changes into Stupor Duck and goes out to defend the city against the destruction. Only one slight problem: there is noAardvark Ratfink. His editor was watching a "corny soap opera", and Ratfink is a character on the show. But if you think that'll stop Stupor Duck from saving the city, you're dead wrong.

One of the best things about this short was that they actually put Daffy in the mold of Superman, he wasn't just himself playing a superhero. When he goes to "save" the city, he's not looking for fame or glory, he actually thinks he is helping out.

But regardless of what his motive is, it doesn't change the fact that Daffy simply cannot win. Thanks for trying, Daffy, but next time, we'll call someone else.

#54 -- The Wacky Wabbit


Title - The Wacky Wabbit
Director - Bob Clampett
Released - 1942

Reason for Placement --

While a lot of Looney Tunes characters went through periods of redesign before becoming the famous stars we know and love nowadays, Elmer Fudd went through probably the biggest change. In the early 1940s, Elmer was made much fatter and stockier, resembling the voice actor who gave him his trademark speech impediment, Arthur Q. Bryan. One of the toons created with Fat Elmer was The Wacky Wabbit, which shows him prospecting for gold in the desert (if you listen to the lyrics of the song he sings, you can hear he plans to donate the gold to help fund the war effort). And, of course, along comes Bugs Bunny to heckle and annoy him to no avail.

This short has one of my favorite Elmer moments of all time: while attempting to hit Bugs with his pick axe, the rabbit takes a pair of scissors and cuts loose Elmer's pants and suspenders, revealing that Elmer actually wears a girdle! Elmer looks at the audience, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Don't waugh, I bet pwenty of you men wear one of these."

While audiences didn't respond well to the Fat Elmer, and Clampett soon went back to styling him with his slimmer build, the few shorts created managed to linger on and become fan favorites, mostly because in a lot of them, Bugs actually goes after Elmer without provocation. Maybe, deep down, we wanted to see Bugs give Elmer all the grief that he would later attempt to give him in return. Or maybe we just like seeing Bugs start the fight. One might never know, but it doesn't change the fact that The Wacky Wabbit is one of Clampett's best Bugs Bunny shorts.

#55 -- Bye Bye Bluebeard


Title - Bye Bye Bluebeard
Director - Arthur Davis
Released - 1949

Reason for Placement --

Porky is trying to deal with an annoying mouse when he hears on the radio that Bluebeard, a well-known killer, has escaped from prison. Deciding to take advantage of the situation, the mouse dresses as Bluebeard and proceeds to threaten poor Porky into giving him free food. Of course, it doesn't take long for Porky to realize that he's been tricked, but before he can do anything about it... the real Bluebeard shows up.

I always enjoyed this toon, mostly because Bluebeard is such an impressive character. When he first appears on screen, you can see why Porky got so scared when he heard the radio broadcast, this guy is freakin' scary! We never see him after this toon, but for an animated serial killer, he pulls it off.

#56 -- Design for Leaving


Title - Design for Leaving
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1954

Reason for Placement --

When not being crazy or greedy, Daffy was sometimes pushed into particular roles in his shorts; one that was used in multiple toons was a salesman, where Daffy would attempt to sell various items to other characters (normally Porky and Elmer were the ones who got stuck listening to his salespitch). In Design for Leaving, Daffy works for a futuristic "push-button" company that has decided to install a number of devices in Elmer Fudd's house for a trial period. The fun really picks up when Elmer gets home and finds out what Daffy has installed.

I first saw this cartoon when I was a kid, and then years later, and I'm honestly still surprised that a number of the gadgets featured in this toon never caught on. Of course, it's probably a good thing we skipped gems like the 'Alcatrez Ascot Tie Machine' and the 'Upstairs-Downstairs Elevator', but you get the idea. And after seeing it again recently, I actually found myself wondering if this could become a new wave of reality shows: updating a house with modern technology, giving average citizens the "push-button" treatment! May not be a bad idea in the long run, as long as they remember to never, EVER touch the red button!

#57 -- Louvre Come Back to Me


Title - Louvre Come Back to Me
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1962

Interesting Fact -- Final Pepe Le Pew cartoon made before Warner Bros. closed their animation department

Reason for Placement --

Jones certainly picked an interesting location for everyone's favorite skunk to chase after the apple of his eye in his farwell toon. Pepe, enjoying Paris in the spring, chases Penelope into one of the most famous art museums of all time, the Louvre (as a former art student, however, I have to nitpick that Jones and Maltese didn't do their homework: half the pieces in the museum shown are not, nor were they ever, on display there).

Jones also added a second feature to this toon that gave us something new: Penelope is shown to already have a male cat lover, who rushes into the Louvre after Pepe to fight for his girl... if only he can get over the stench.

In the final gag, Pepe pulls himself and Penelope into the air vent for a little "privacy", which causes the smell to flow through the air conditioning, causing almost all of the paintings and sculptures to react! While Pepe's chases are always fun to watch, it's these visual gags that really capture our attention, as well as earning its spot on the countdown.

#58 -- A Fractured Leghorn


Title - A Fractured Leghorn
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1950

Reason for Placement --

This was one of my all-time favorite Foghorn Leghorn shorts. Why? Because it showed his personality better than almost any other toon created. Ol' Foggy has to go up against a nameless cat (who would appear in a few other McKimson shorts) to see who gets to keep a worm they found. The cat wants to use it as bait so he can catch a fish, and Foghorn is eyeing the worm for his dinner.

Like I said, this was the short that showed us just how much of a loud-mouthed pain in the you-know-what Foghorn really could be. He quite literally gets in the cat's face, ranting and raving over just about anything, never gives him a moment of peace, all while yelling at the cat to be quiet (he's not saying anything) or to stop falling over as he pushes him to the ground! Imagine how out of breath Mel Blanc must have been at the end of the recording session!

#59 -- Rabbit's Kin



Title - Rabbit's Kin
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1952

Reason for Placement --

There were plenty of Looney Tunes characters that were given just one cartoon to star in, and then never heard from again. Some would become treasured icons, some would be recycled and changed for another director to use, and some would just fall by the wayside. One of these characters that really stood out was Pete Puma, who made his debut in 1952's Rabbit's Kin.

In this short, Bugs befriends an impossibly cute rabbit (nicknamed 'Shorty), who is trying to escape from Pete. This was always a fun cartoon, mostly because they were able to do so much with a single joke: "How many lumps do you want?" Seriously: three main gags, and they all revolved around this question. All Pete had to do was answer, and Bugs would whack him on the head with a mallet.

While Pete wouldn't star in another toon until 1997's Pullet Surprise, he's one of those characters that everyone seems to know and remember, both for his stupidity and his unique voice, provided by Stan Freberg. Warner Bros didn't complete abandon ol' Pete though: he would go on to make a few cameos in a couple other toons (including playing a waiter in Carrotblanca [#76]), and would become a regular background character in Tiny Toon Adventures (as the janitor of Acme Looniversity).

#60 -- The Lion's Busy


Title - The Lion's Busy
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1950

Reason for Placement --

For me, Beaky the Buzzard was one of those take-'em-or-leave-'em characters. I didn't jump for joy when his shorts were on, but I enjoyed them all the same. However, The Lion's Busy was a new approach for the character, making him just a bit smarter (like I said, just a bit) and more fun to watch.

Leo the Lion is celebrating his 10th birthday party when he gets a message from Beaky: lions generally do not live beyond 10 years. And now, all the buzzard sees in Leo is his next meal, despite the fact that the lion hasn't even kicked the bucket yet.

In my opinion, this is one of Beaky's best shorts; he is in rare form as he chases after Leo, including a great climax where he actually follows the lion all the way to the moon! All in all, The Lion's Busy is probably not one of Freleng's best pieces, nor most memorable, but it's still fun.

#61 -- The Mouse on 57th Street


Title - The Mouse on 57th Street
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1961

Reason for Placement --

It wasn't out of the ordinary for a cartoon character to get drunk during the Golden Age of animation, but I'm pretty sure this was the only toon ever created that showed a character dealing with a hangover! In The Mouse on 57th Street, a nameless mouse eats far too much rum cake and gets drunk, only to have a piercing headache in the morning (not helped by the nearby construction). Hoping to find some relief, the mouse grabs what he thinks is a large piece of ice and ties it to his head... in actuality, it's a priceless uncut diamond, starting a police chase for the poor little mouse.

The toon is probably best remembered for the two policemen who catch up to the mouse, which gives us some great slapstick humor, especially from the lunkhead officer who exclaims, "Oh boy, da diamond!" every time he sees our protagonist.

#62 -- Stop! Look! and Hasten!




Title - Stop! Look! and Hasten!
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1954

Reason for Placement --

In the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner toons, there was always a formula to the gags: Wile E. sets trap, trap somehow fails, repeat as necessary. Some of the best WEC/RR shorts used a different approach to this method, including Stop! Look! and Hasten!

About half-way through the short, Wile E. sets up a steel door that will shoot up from the ground when he releases it. However, when the Road Runner runs past it, the door doesn't budge. Wile E. goes out to take a look, trying to pull it up and even starts jumping on it. Normally, this is where we expect to see the punchline of this gag, but interestingly enough, nothing happens. Wile E. just abandons the door and runs after the Road Runner.

For the last trap, Wile E. eats an entire box of "leg muscle vitamins" so he can catch up to the Road Runner (insert your own Barry Bonds joke here). The vitamins work, and Wile E. chases after the Road Runner, going so fast that he literally leaves a streak of fire on the ground!

And that's when we get the payoff: just as they run over the steel door, it finally shoots up... just in time for poor Wile E. to slam head-first into it!

#63 -- Herr Meets Hare


Title - Herr Meets Hare
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1945

Interesting Note -- First short to have Bugs realize he "should have made a left toin at Albukoykee."

Reason for Placement --

When WWII broke out, it's no surprise that animation studios around the country quickly rallied behind the armed forces.  Warner Bros, Disney, and MGM, among others, produced dozens of cartoons that reflected either on the war overseas, or what civilians were doing back home to help their country, including rationing of food, collecting scrap metal, growing victory gardens, buying war bonds, you get the idea.  Still, some cartoons actually put their characters right in the thick of it, and one of these was Herr Meets Hare.

Bugs takes the wrong turn at Albuquerque and ends up in Germany, facing Hermann Göring (for those in need a history lesson, Göring was a Nazi officer and Hitler's designated successor).  Shocked, Bugs tries to make his escape before "Fatso" Göring delivers him to Hitler as a trophy.  On a side note, this toon was released just a few months before the collapse of the Third Reich, and was one of the last war-themed toons to be released by Warner Bros.

This isn't a cartoon one sees very often, mostly because it was pulled from circulation, along with many other WWII-themed toons.  The first time I saw it, I actually got a little freaked out during the scene where Bugs pretends to be Hitler so he can mess with Göring.  I mean, Bugs Bunny, a treasured American icon, disguising himself as one of the most evil and hated men in history?  I know that when this toon was made, it was more of a pop culture gag than anything else, but decades later, this moment honestly made my jaw drop.  

One of the more notable scenes in this short shows Bugs dressing as a female viking, and dances with Göring.  Sound familiar?  Yep, this scene would later be retooled for Chuck Jones' What's Opera, Doc?  

#64 -- Golden Yeggs


Title - Golden Yeggs
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1950

Reason for Placement --

Remember Aesop's fable The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg?  Well, according to this short, Daffy certainly doesn't!  The story opens on a poultry farm, run by Porky Pig, who discovers that one of his birds has laid a golden egg!  He asks which one of them did it, but the actual bird standing in the back refuses to admit he laid it, saying he remembers the original story (for those of you who need a refresher, here's a hint: he runs his finger across his neck and makes a squelching sound).  

So Daffy ends up getting the credit, and it doesn't take long for him to become famous.  However, Rocky and his gang soon kidnap the duck and force him to lay another egg.  On a side note, a few eyebrows have been raised as both Daffy and the goose that laid the egg are male... never mind, I should know better than to ask questions by now.

Interestingly enough, there are two morals to this short: first is the obvious, "Never take credit for what isn't yours, it might come back to haunt you," but there is another moral at the end.  When Daffy is unable to lay the egg, Rocky points a gun at him and fires; the shot doesn't kill Daffy, and in the shock, he looks down to see that he has, indeed, laid a golden egg!  Looking at the camera, Daffy says, "Guess it just goes to show you: you don't know what you can do 'till you got a gun against your head!"

Yeah, I think I'll just go ahead and ignore that second moral.  

#65 -- Knight-Mare Hare


Title - Knight-Mare Hare
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1955

Interesting Fact -- This was the first cartoon for Chuck Jones where stopped crediting himself as 'Charles M. Jones'.  

Reason for Placement -- 

It was common place to stick Bugs Bunny in different locations or times in his shorts for the purpose of plot; we never asked how he ended up at that particular spot, we just accepted it.  In Knight-Mare Hare, however, Jones gives a bit more set-up to the story.  Namely, Bugs gets conked on the head by an apple, and when he wakes up, he finds that he's somehow been transported to medieval times and is staring down the lance of a rather angry knight.  

OK, I didn't say it made a lot of sense, but at least they tried.

This is a great short, showcasing a lot of Jones' signature style and humor.  However, credit must also go to Friz Freleng for inspiration: Sir O of K (the knight previously mentioned) bares more than a passing resemblance to the Black Knight from Knights Must Fall, directed by Freleng and released in 1949.  

My favorite part is easily when Bugs challenges the knight to a duel, only to find he can't lift the sword he's been given.   Unable to defend himself, Bugs ties a blindfold over his eyes and prepares to meet his maker... and that's when he leans to the side, sticks out his foot, and trips the horse, sending the knight flying into a nearby castle!  That's always been one of Bugs' best attributes in his toons: just when you think he's down for the count, he shows us that he had a plan all along.  

#66 -- Bartholomew Versus the Wheel


Title - Bartholomew Versus the Wheel
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1964

Reason for Placement --

This toon focuses on a lovable dog named Bartholomew, who grows to hate wheels of all shapes and sizes after his tail is run over by a child's scooter.  Bartholomew runs down and attacks every wheel he sees (and we get some pretty funny shots of him chasing down bikes, cars, and trucks), but when he goes after an airplane's landing gear, well, the narrator says it best: "...Bartholomew got a big surprise!"

Though this short may not have had the best animation in the world (in fact, it was extremely 2-dimensional, resembling the UPA-influenced work that would come in later years), it had a great story and feel to it.  While Mel Blanc provides the voices of Bartholomew and a few others, the narrator of the short is actually Bartholomew's owner, voiced by Leslie Barringer.  The whole thing feels like a story that your kids tell you when they get home from school, and it really gives you a warm feeling inside.  It's not hilarious, and it's not revolutionary, but it is sweet, and sometimes, that's all you need.

#67 -- The Hypo-Chondri-Cat


Title - The Hypo-Chondri-Cat
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1950

Reason for Placement --

Ok, where do I begin?  This was, by far, one of the strangest toons ever to come from Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese.  And I'm not talking abstract/so cool/never-before-seen strange; no, this is a whole new level of strange and bizarre.

Bertie & Hubie find themselves a new home, but find it's also the home of Claude Cat.  However, Hubie notices that Claude is a hypochondriac, so the two mice proceed to mentally torture the poor feline into thinking he has a horrible disease, then that he requires an operation, and finally, that he has actually died and must ascend into Cat Heaven!  

Time to be honest: this cartoon seriously freaked me out when I was a kid, mostly from the insanely creepy dream sequence Claude has after blacking out during the "operation".  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  In the end, Bertie and Hubie manage to convince Claude to "move on", so to speak, by tying a balloon to his back and letting him fly upwards.  And that's where the cartoon ends; I've always wanted to know what happened after that balloon finally popped and Claude realized he had been fooled.  

Believe it or not, The Hypo-Chondri-Cat wasn't the first time Bertie and Hubie had tortured poor Claude (probably the first time I genuinely felt sorry for the so-called antagonist), and it wouldn't be the last, but this was a toon that really got into your mind and refused to let go.  You may not laugh as much as you do in other toons, but it definitely leaves a mark.

#68 -- Curtain Razor


Title - Curtain Razor
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1949

Reason for Placement --

Porky almost gets the spotlight all to himself in this toon; while he is the star and there are no other major Looney Tunes characters in sight, he gets to share the short with a number of one-shot characters.  One could almost imagine this toon as a casting call for new Looney Tunes, it's almost too bad none of them made it past this one short (although a few would perform gags that would go on to be repeated in later shorts).  

Among the line-up, there were two parts that I always loved as a kid.  First, we are treated to a trio of singing birds (parodying Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Al Jolsen) performing their take on 'April Showers'.  When I was younger, I certainly didn't get the reference, nor did I understand when syndication started cutting out the Al Jolsen impersonator.  

The second is a very nice tribute to the man of a thousand voices himself, Mel Blanc.  A turtle comes in offering to literally perform 1,000 voices, but when he is done, Porky corrects him that he only did 999 voices.  The turtle, slightly dejected, mutters, "Shucks, I know I've got another one... well, I'll think of it."  Very nice touch. 

#69 -- To Hare is Human


Title - To Hare is Human
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1956

Reason for Placement --

Putting one of my all-time favorite cartoon characters up against Bugs Bunny?  Oh yeah, this is going to be good.  Wile E. Coyote is after Bugs for his breakfast, but when the rabbit originally outsmarts him, he builds a UNIVAC Electronic Brain to come up with ideas on how to capture his meal.  

The gags resulting from the Brain's suggestions are pure gold.  One of the best moments comes after another failed attempt, Wile E. goes back and you simply see him pressing three buttons: "What" "Now" "?".  That alone says just how frustrated the coyote is getting, we don't need to see his face to figure it out.

I always thought the idea of consulting the Electronic Brain was pretty interesting, all Wile E. has to do is enter key words and the computer tells him what he should do.  But then again... Wile E., you're supposed to be this great genius, shouldn't you be coming up with these ideas yourself?  

#70 -- The Pied Piper of Guadalupe


Title - The Pied Piper of Guadalupe
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1961

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoon

Reason for Placement --

When Sylvester can't seem to catch any of the mice in town, he decides to channel the classic story 'The Pied Piper of Hamilton' and uses music to capture all of the mice.  Well, almost all of them... Speedy Gonzales manages to elude capture, and comes to rescue his friends from the flute-playing feline.

Interestingly enough, this toon actually seems to have more story and action to it before Speedy comes along.   We see Sylvester chasing the mice and finally luring them in, which in itself is a pretty fun sequence.  Using 'The Mexican Hat Dance' as the song that hypnotizes the mice is a nice touch, with full credit going to Music Director Milt Franklyn.  Still, Speedy does manage to keep the action going, with a great gag at the end when Sylvester decides to get rid of his flute.... probably not a good idea to give it to Speedy!

#71 -- Odor of the Day


Title - Odor of the Day
Director - Arthur Davis
Released - 1948

Reason for Placement -- 

This cartoon has always been the subject of debate amongst Looney Tunes fans.  The reason?  Simply put, there's no clear definition on the main character of this short.  You're probably looking at the picture above and thinking, "What are you talking about?  That's Pepe Le Pew!"  Well, here's the thing: while the skunk looked exactly like Pepe, the similarities stop there.  This skunk doesn't act like Pepe, doesn't talk like him (in fact, besides one sneeze and sentence, we never hear him speak), and rather than chasing the female skunk of his dreams around, all this one wants to do is stay warm and get some sleep.  Plus, while Pepe was never fully aware of his stench (often acting shocked whenever a character told him he smelled terrible), this skunk is well aware of it and uses it to its fullest.  

Whether or not it really is Pepe in this toon (it is techincally considered a Pepe short, making it only one of two not directed by Chuck Jones), Odor of the Day was still one of my favorite cartoons growing up.  The style is great and the visual humor works well against the limited dialogue.  And, quite frankly, we can debate forever if that is Pepe Le Pew or not, but remember, a skunk by any other name would smell just as bad.  

#72 -- Tortoise Wins by a Hare


Title - Tortoise Wins by a Hare
Director - Bob Clampett
Released - 1943

Reason for Placement -- 

Essentially a sequel to Tex Avery's Tortoise Beats Hare in 1941, Tortoise Wins by a Hare features Bugs (who lost the previous race) challenging Cecil Turtle to a rematch.  Bob Clampett was known for using a unique approach in his Bugs Bunny cartoons: namely, he didn't like to let the rabbit win.  In a majority of Bugs' toons he directed, another character would often be the one to come out victorious in the end, and this toon is no exception.

As we find out, Cecil attributes his win in the previous race to his streamlined build, leading Bugs to create a metal shell that will allow him to win.  However, this proves to be his undoing: the entire rabbit community in the forest is determined to let "the rabbit" win this time, going so far as to attack Bugs (who now looks like Cecil) while he runs!  And where is Cecil during all this?  He's taken advantage of the scenario and dresses in a grey rabbit costume, allowing the other rabbits to cheer him on. 

This toon always stood out for me when I was a kid, not because of its humor or style, but because it was so different.  Bugs isn't the cool, calm hero we all know from his other toons: he's angry, he's throwing fits, he's cheating to win a race... for me, the whole thing was just weird!  And any toon that leaves an impression like that definitely earns its place on this countdown.

#73 -- A Sheep in the Deep


Title - A Sheep in the Deep
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1962

Reason for Placement --

The idea behind Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf always intrigued me when I was younger, and I don't think it was until I got older that I truly understood the premise: we see the two doing what they do best (namely, protecting a flock of sheep and trying to steal said-sheep), but we find out that this is literally their jobs.  Hmm, wonder who signs their checks...

Anyway, A Sheep in the Deep was always a fun toon, mostly for the balance of visual gags that made the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner toons famous (yes, I'll admit it, it took me a long time to realize that Ralph and Wile E. were two totally different characters, didn't help that a few of the Sam/Ralph toons were found on my old WEC/RR videotapes).  

In one of the more brilliant moments to come from Chuck Jones (and that alone is saying something), Sam dangles Ralph over a cliff after another failed sheep-stealing attempt, and is about to drop him... when the lunch bell rings.  The two stop to have lunch, even sharing a cup of coffee, and take a smoke break (which, I should mention, was edited out of certain broadcasts), and then go right back to where they left off, with Sam dropping him off the cliff!  That is comedy gold right there: Ralph knows that when they go back, he'll be dropped of the cliff, but he shows no remorse or fear while on break.  To him, it's just part of the job, and that, my friends, is hilarity in its finest.

#74 -- Easter Yeggs


Title - Easter Yeggs
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1946

Interesting Fact -- This was the 500th cartoon released by Warner Bros.

Reason for Placement --

Next time you think you have a hard job, just be thankful you don't have to work as the Easter Bunny.  At least, that's the message I got from watching Easter Yeggs.

Bugs gets suckered into delivering Easter eggs for the Easter Bunny, who claims that his feet hurt too much for him to do the job (in truth, he tricks someone to do this for him every year).  Bugs ends up getting chased by Elmer Fudd, who is waiting for the Easter Bunny so he can make "Easter Wabbit Stew".  

Of course, there's another scene we all remember from this short: the Dead End Kid.  At Bugs' first stop, he encounters a bratty kid who breaks the egg in his face and proceeds to, well, beat the ever-loving you-know-what out of everyone's favorite rabbit!  "I-wanna-Easta-egg-I-wanna-Easta-egg-I-wanna-Easta-egg!"  Geez, and I thought the kids I used to baby-sit were bad.

#75 -- Porky Pig's Feat


Title - Porky Pig's Feat
Director - Frank Tashlin
Released - 1943

Interesting Fact -- The first cartoon to use 'Powerhouse' by Raymond Scott, which would later become an iconic song used in over forty Warner Bros. shorts

Reason for Placement --

Bet you never thought of your favorite Looney Tunes characters as the types to ditch payment on a bill, but they do in Porky Pig's Feat.  Daffy and Porky find themselves unable to pay their bill at the Broken Arms Hotel (Daffy having gambled away the money in the elevator), and try every trick in the book to get out without the manager catching them.  

In one of my favorite moments, Porky throws a lasso across to another building, and he and Daffy swing out, with Daffy saying: "One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to... GERONIMO!!!!  Don't know why, but that moment always made me laugh so hard. 

Whether seen in the original black-&-white, or in the colorized version (released in 1968), Porky Pig's Feat is a Looney Tunes classic, and one of Tashlin's best pieces.    

#76 -- Carrotblanca


Title - Carrotblanca
Director - Douglas McCarthy
Released - 1995

Reason for Placement --

Termite Terrace never shied away from putting references to famous movies and stars in their cartoons, but it was rare to do a full-blown parody of a film.  That all changed in 1995, when Warner Bros. released their homage to one of the greatest films of all time: Carrotblanca.

Bugs and Penelope Pussycat (in her only speaking role, voiced by Tress MacNeille) fill out the main characters as parodies of Rick and Ilsa, with Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy taking care of the supporting cast (playing Laszlo, Major Strausser, and Sam, respectively).  A number of other Looney Tunes characters fill out the background, giving a real treat for die-hard fans.

While a great homage to such an amazing film (and my personal #1 pick for greatest movie ever), the best part of the toon is easily Tweety, who does a disturbingly perfect portrayal of Peter Lorre's role, Ugarte.  Wow, never thought of Tweety as such a creepy character before.

#77 -- Case of the Missing Hare


Title - Case of the Missing Hare
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1942

Reason for Placement --

When will villains learn not to get Bugs Bunny mad?  In Case of the Missing Hare, a snobby magician named Ala Bahma is putting up posters for his upcoming show and puts one over the entrance to Bugs' home (in this toon, Bugs apparently lives in a hollowed tree, not a hole in the ground as usual).  Bugs tries to get Bahma to stop blocking his entrance, only to get a pie in the face for his troubles.  In one of my favorite all-time shots, Bugs picks a piece of the pie crust off of his face, crumbles it between his fingers, and says the time-honored Marx Brothers catchphrase: "Of course, you realize this means war!"

Bugs proceeds to get his revenge on Ala Bahma during his performance, including stealing the show when the magician tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat (see the above photo).  Case of the Missing Hare has some great dialogue between Bugs and Bahma, and the gags on the stage are timeless (in fact, many cartoons have borrowed various jokes from this scene, including the "knives in the basket" moment, where Bugs tries to fool the audience into thinking Bahma is sticking sharp swords into him while he hides in a basket).  

#78 -- Muscle Tussle


Title - Muscle Tussle
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1953

Interesting Fact -- Daffy's girlfriend in this toon was not named, but would later be dubbed Melissa (this is the same name as Daffy's beloved in The Scarlet Pumpernickel, and would later be given to the Baby Daffy's counterpart on Baby Looney Tunes)

Reason for Placement --

Daffy takes his girl to the beach, but she ends up leaving him for a tall muscular duck instead.  A traveling salesmen offers to sell Daffy a bogus miracle serum that is "guaranteed" to give him strength.  Now believing that he is super-strong, Daffy challenges the muscular duck to a number of tests to see who is more worthy of the girl duck's attention.  

When Daffy was first created, he was crazy, zany, hyper, etc., but around the mid-1950s, the character was changed into the greedy, self-centered duck we know.  This is one of those rare toons where Daffy is neither crazy, nor greedy, he's just the protagonist.  But that doesn't stop him from taking his lumps from the bigger duck!

#79 -- My Favorite Duck


Title - My Favorite Duck
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1942

Interesting Fact -- First pairing of Daffy and Porky produced in Technicolor

Reason for Placement --

When it came to the Looney Tunes, those at Termite Terrace quickly realized that certain characters worked better when teamed up with each other.  One of the best teams they came out with, however, was Daffy and Porky.  In the early days, Daffy's mad-cap zaniness was perfect against straight-man Porky, and no where is this more evident in My Favorite Duck.  

Porky is out camping, but can't get any rest because Daffy won't leave him alone.  However, when Porky considers getting rid of the pesky little black duck, he is reminded that he will be charged with a fine if he harms Daffy, as it is not duck-hunting season (not rabbit season either, we had to wait another decade to get those jokes going).  

Michael Maltese really outdoes himself with the ending: duck season is declared, but as Porky starts chasing Daffy, the film breaks (a trick that would be used again in 1948's Rabbit Punch)!  Daffy comes out to tell the audience what has happened, but offers to fill them in on what happened... or at least, his version of it.  As he gets carried away with his story, a hook comes out of nowhere, grabs Daffy, the audience hears a crash, and Porky comes onto the screen, with his gun bent and carrying a delirious Daffy.  

#80 -- Raw! Raw! Rooster


Title -- Raw! Raw! Rooster!
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1960

Reason for Placement --

This is a great Foghorn Leghorn cartoon, which places the loud-mouthed rooster up against his old college roommate, Rhode Island Red, who just seems to be a louder, more rowdy version of Foghorn himself!

Instead of having to deal with Barnyard Dog or Miss Prissy, McKimson gives us this new character that old Foggy just can't seem to get rid of.  What I always loved about this toon was the fact that we can actually identify a bit with Foghorn, because, let's face it, we all knew someone like this at one point in our lives.  That annoying person who thinks he or she is your best friend and just can't seem to take the hint that you want them gone.  The last line of the cartoon says it best about those people: "With a friend like you, I'll never need an enemy!"  

Couldn't agree more.

#81 -- Lighter than Hare


Title - Lighter than Hare
Director - Friz Freleng 
Released - 1960

Reason for Placement --

One of the best things about Yosemite Sam was the ability to put him in virtually any scenario to make him a villain for Bugs Bunny.  Though he was introduced as a cowboy, Freleng really used him to his full potential, transforming him into a Roman soldier, knight, pirate, Hessian, confederate soldier, even a royal cook.  However, one of his strangest roles was in Lighter than Hare, where Sam actually played... a space alien!

I'll admit that, at first, I was not impressed with Sam's design; he looks the same, just crammed into a futuristic-looking space suit.  However, this is a great toon that also gives some new dimension to Bugs Bunny, as he is able to create tons of high-tech machinery using scrap metal from the junk yard he lives in.  

Oh, and apparently, Bugs can fly if he spins his ears like a propeller.  That's new.

#82 -- Nelly's Folly


Title - Nelly's Folly
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1961

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoon

Shortly before leaving Warner Bros., Chuck Jones created a number of toons with one-shot characters and stories, amongst these was Nelly's Folly.  

This is a great story about a young singer who goes to the big city to find fame and fortune, only to become lonely and in need of a friend.  In her depression, she ends up in a love triangle with a married man, which ruins her image and destroys her career.  

Oh, and did I mention that this singer is a giraffe?  

Yep, a singing giraffe, voiced by the late Gloria Wood (a vocalist who dubbed the singing voices for many famous actresses, and also sang the original Rice-a-Roni jingles).  

#83 -- Dog Gone South


Title - Dog Gone South
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1950

Interesting Fact -- The Colonial from this toon made his debut a year earlier in Jones' Mississippi Hare as an antagonist for Bugs Bunny

Reason for Placement -- 

Charlie Dog has always been one of Chuck Jones' most interesting characters (though technically created by Bob Clampett in Porky's Pooch, it was Jones that helped shape the character with further toons).  He's not a bad guy, but he never gets his way in any cartoon he's ever been in.  All he wants is a good home, but the only way he seems to be able to do this is force himself on any poor soul he comes across.  

By this point in the timeline, Charlie Dog had pushed himself upon Porky Pig for three previous cartoons, so it was pretty interesting to see him work with a totally different character.  

In Dog Gone South, Charlie wanders onto the plantation of a southern Colonial (whose state-of-mind seems to be stuck in Civil War times), and tries to make it his new home.  However, there are two conflicts standing in his way: the Colonial already owns a dog named Belvedere, and HATES anything associated with the North.  Some of the best humor comes from Charlie's attempts to prove his Southern roots, and failing miserably.

#84 -- Napolean Bunny-Part


Title - Napoleon Bunny-Part
Director - Friz Freleng
Released - 1956

Reason for Placement --

Each director had a different angle for how they wanted Bugs Bunny to find adventure. For Freleng, he would often put him in a historial scenerio to see how the wascially wabbit would deal with famous figures from history. One of these was the 1956 release, Napoleon Bunny-Part.

Bugs, as he often does, takes a wrong turn and ends up in Paris during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. And, as usual, it doesn't take long for Bugs to get on the emperor's wrong side, which leads to a pretty great chase scene throughout the palace, along with Bugs dressing in drag as Josephine, Napoleon's wife.

In an interesting touch, Freleng uses another previous character in this toon: Mugsy, from 1954's Bugs & Thugs, plays a dim-witted guard who also tries to catch Bugs.

#85 -- The Old Grey Hare


Title - The Old Grey Hare
Director - Bob Clampett
Released - 1944

Reason for Placement --

It's one of the big questions that has boggled the minds of people throughout the ages: will Elmer Fudd ever catch Bugs?  Of course not.  But Bob Clampett attempted to give us an answer with The Old Grey Hare.

This is one of the more original cartoons to ever come out of Termite Terrace, because the action doesn't take place in the present time, but flashes forwards to the future to show how Elmer will continue to chase Bugs when he is ancient and covered with wrinkles, and then back to the past to show them fighting as babies.  In a way, one could almost look at this toon as the Alpha and Omega of the Bugs Bunny/Elmer feud, we see how it starts and how it ends.  

Personally, I seriously doubt Bugs would let a little thing like old age or even death stop him from tormenting Elmer, but this cartoon certainly sets up the idea of what it would be like if the fighting does one day come to an end.  

#86 -- Jumpin' Jupiter


Title - Jumpin' Jupiter
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1955

Reason for Placement --

In the last of what I personally call the "Scaredy Cat Trilogy" (featuring Claws for Alarm and, of course, Scaredy Cat), Porky and Sylvester are out camping in the desert when they are abducted by an alien from Jupiter. Their entire campsite is lifted into space, and as usual, Sylvester is left to cower in terror as Porky remains oblivious about what is going on around him.

This has always been a favorite of mine, maybe because it was never put on the air that often (there is one joke about Native Americans that might be taken as non-PC, but the rest is kosher). Most of the humor can be seen in the expressions of the characters: from Sylvester's horror as to what is going on, to Porky's annoyance as Sylvester refuses to be left alone. Another great gag is the recycling of another character: the alien from Jupiter is actually a dehydrated Martian from Hare-Way to the Stars. Chuck Jones has always excelled when it came to outer space-themed toons, and Jumpin' Jupiter is no exception.

#87 -- Ducking the Devil


Title - Ducking the Devil
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1957

Interesting Fact -- Of all the Tazmanian Devil shorts released, this is the only one where he goes up against Daffy, not Bugs

Reason for Placement --

Once again, the Tazmanian Devil is on the loose, and this time, he has his sight set on wild duck... aka, Daffy.  Normally, Daffy is ready, willing, and able, to get out of the way as fast as possible.  However, he overhears a radio broadcast that says the zoo from which Taz escaped will offer a $5000 reward for the devil's recapture.  So, despite the fact that Taz is eying him for lunch, Daffy decides to try and lure him back to the zoo (thankfully, the sound of music pacifies him, so we get a couple great scenes of Daffy trying to either play instruments or sing to get Taz to follow him).  

Daffy's line says it best: "I may be a coward, but I'm a greedy little coward."  Thirty years later, Gordon Gekko would probably agree with you, Daffy.

#88 -- Tabasco Road


Title - Tabasco Road
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1957

Interesting Fact -- Nominated for Academy Award for Short Subject, Cartoons (but would end up losing to Birds Anonymous)

Reason for Placement --

In most Speedy Gonzales cartoons, we see Speedy going to fetch cheese, going up against Sylvester, or (in the much later cartoons of the 60s) facing Daffy Duck. But in Tabasco Road, Speedy is on a mission to save his two friends, Pablo and Fernando before they get eaten by a hungry alley cat.

So why is this cartoon so great? Very simple: Pablo and Fernando are completely drunk! Sorry, but the blunt humor of two drunk cartoon mice doesn't get much better than this. There's even a scene where Speedy tries to get his friends to stop drinking by saying, "No mas tequilla, already muy loaded!" I remember hearing that when I was a teenager and thinking, "Did Speedy Gonzales actually make a reference to someone being drunk?!?" Call me crazy, but I can't help but think that nowadays, this cartoon would probably be used to help educate children on the dangers of alcohol.