Sunday, 28 December 2008

Pronoun Trouble

The question has been asked as to which is the best Looney Tunes cartoon. This is virtually impossible to answer - it's akin to asking which you prefer, being able to see or being able to hear. However, I have narrowed it down to a choice few at this precise moment in time that I think are amongst the best (until I remember some of the other really good ones I've forgotten). Let the listing (with appropriate video evidence) commence:-

Duck Dodgers In The 24 1/2th Century - A parody of popular science fiction serials of the time, this one has to go into the list for unleashing one of my favourite Looney Tunes characters on to the world - Marvin The Martian. There's something appealing about the image of the tiny guy in the Roman centurion's outfit with his nerdy voice trying to destroy the Earth with his Eludium Pu-36 Explosive Space Modulator.
Best Moment - "I claim this planet in the name of Mars. Hmmm, isn't that lovely, hmmm?"

The Rabbit Of Seville - The other famous opera-based one. There's some really nice comedy business with all the various treatments that Bugs uses on Elmer while he;'s in the barber's chair and it's proof that these cartoons weren't aimed at an audience of children with the source material it references. It was comedy that happened to be animated.
Best Moment - The Deadpan expression on Bugs' face as he massages Elmers head with his hands and feet.

Duck Amuck - An entire short based on breaking the fourth wall where Daffy addresses the unseen animator who insists on tormenting him all the way through the picture. There are some great gags playing with the format of animation and some nice put-upon comedy expressions for the long-suffering Daffy.
Best Moment - The final reveal: "Ain't I a stinker?"

What's Opera, Doc? - The really famous opera one and frequently voted as the top Looney Tune ever, this one doesn't quite make it to the top spot for me. It's technically brilliant and has some absolutely beautiful animation but, I would say, at the expense of gags. it's just not got quite as high laugh quotient as some of the others. That's not to say that it's not a great cartoon - far from it, it's still head and shoulders above many others but I don't think it's the best one.
Best Moment - "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!"

Rabbit Seasoning - At the time of writing (I reserve the ability to change my mind at any point, naturally), I would have to say that this is probably my favourite Looney Tune cartoon. It has some fantastic comic timing, a nice line in escalating twisted logic (which in very reminiscent of the Marx Brothers), some great facial expressions from Daffy, a nice continuing joke about the different positions his beak ends up after being shot and the obligatory section of Bugs Bunny indulging in some cross-dressing. What's not to love?
Best Moment - The blog-titular "Aha! pronoun trouble" closely followed by the closing "You're dethpicable..."

The common denominator in all of these? They were all directed by the one, the only, Mr Chuck Jones, a man with an instinctive understanding of animation and comedy. I'm officially jealous of my mate Jonny who got to interview the man - even more so as he says he was lovely, too.

So there you have it. Those are my favourites (barring the ones I've forgotten). What are yours?

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