Monday, 8 August 2016
Virgil Ross and Bashing Bugs Bunny
Ross spent the majority of his career at Warners in Friz Freleng’s unit, where he crafted some subtle, nuanced animation. One of his scenes I really like is in Ballot Box Bunny (released 1950), where there’s violent action—Sam clobbers Bugs Bunny with a club—but also expressions and gestures that may not have been noticed, but were certainly felt by the audience.
See how Sam thumps his chest, sizes up his club with a squinted eye, pushes up his sleeve, measures Bugs with one eye, wham! (Bugs weaves around and drops out of the scene), then changes his expression to scream that he loves babies.
Virgil died on May 15, 1996.
A few years ago, a great interview with Virgil was posted on-line. I can’t find it now. But here’s another one conducted 22 years ago. And watch some highlights from his Warners cartoon below.