Friday, 7 February 2014

What a Maroon, Pig Version

“What a maroon!” is one of Bugs Bunny’s immortal lines—I think he said it first in “Falling Hare” (1943)—but other Warner Bros. characters used it, too.

One is one of the three pigs in “Windblown Hare” (released 1949), a really funny cartoon and an atypical early directorial effort for Bob McKimson. His Bugs is easily conned, and characters have huge mouths and gesticulate an awful lot. Here’s the pig saying “What a maroon!” and slapping his knee.

Chuck McKimson, Manny Gould, Phil De Lara and John Carey animated on this one.


  1. 'Dupe' Bugs seemed to be a theme McKimson tried a few times in his early efforts, with varying success. Bugs gets suckered by the Easter Bunny in "Easter Yeggs", by the brain-transferring scientist in "Hot Cross Bunny", and can't tell a real female rabbit from a mechanical one in "The Grey-Hounded Hare".

    The problem of seeing Bugs in a less-than-in-control position in parts of the short were mitigated here and in "Yeggs" by having him blow up his scammers (or their home) at the end of those cartoons. But compared to how Chuck or Friz handed the rabbit (where his cluelessness about a situation would be short-lived), Bob's cartoons tended to dwell longer on Bugs being, if not out of character, out of the normal position of control audiences wanted to see him in.

  2. I first saw the post on Facebook, where image #2 is the teaser. Without even clicking through I knew this was a Bob McKimson toon - the hand is a dead giveaway.

  3. That's Manny Gould's animation on the pig, Yowp. Most of the really extreme gesticulation in early McKimson cartoons is Manny's. Like in "Rebel Rabbit", where the Senator is speaking before the Senate and Bugs pops out of his hat and does the "Hare Die" pun and slaps the Senator around, that's Manny.

  4. J Lee is absolutely correct re: McKimson's (mis)handling of Bugs. The worst offender, in my view, is WHAT'S UP, DOC (1950), yet somehow it makes the usual fan favorite lists. Even Joe Adamson put it in his "Bugs' Greatest Hits" chapter. It's got some funny bits, I'll grant you, but the whole is far less than the sum of its parts. Heroic underdog Bugs is nowhere in sight; the rabbit comes off as an obnoxious untalented imbecile throughout, and as such he gets what's coming to him in the end.