Friday 26 October 2012

Hound Fights Fox

The best part of the 1937 Harman-Ising cartoon “The Hound and the Rabbit” is something the audience never really got to see. There are some great individual abstract drawings during the climax when the hound beats up a bunny-stealing fox (played by Billy Bletcher).

Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising are the only ones who were credited on the cartoon. The animators remain anonymous. Interestingly, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera had the same kind of scene more than 20 years later in the Yogi Bear cartoon “Bear on a Picnic,” including characters trying to get away only to be pulled back into the fight. Hanna was at Harman-Ising at the time this short was made.

The cartoon’s another example of the H-I studio’s Disney-obsession. It features:

● Cute fuzzy bunnies.
● A Goofy-like comic relief character (who even sounds like Pinto Colvig).
● Pluto-like pantomime involving an object (Speedy the bunny almost loses his hat, hat gets stuck on branch, hat gets stuck on head, hat still stuck on head).

I’d mention the Seven Dwarf-like names of the bunnies but “Snow White” hadn’t been released yet.

Boxoffice magazine praised the cartoon for its “bright coloring and roguish characters.” Unfortunately, the home video release of this one is larded with DNVR on the roguish characters.

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