Monday, 22 July 2019

The Fudd Turnaround

For a rotund guy (for a while), Elmer Fudd could sure move.

Look at the speed lines in The Wacky Wabbit, a 1942 cartoon from the Bob Clampett unit. Clampett and his animators do something that Warners wouldn’t try years later. Elmer grabs his shotgun, then makes a stumbling, clockwise, 360-degree turn. Bugs then grabs Elmer and turns him around another 180 degrees and points with one hand, then another. It’d be considered a waste of animation by 1960 (think of the static Bob McKimson cartoons or Chuck Jones’ characters, inert except for a twitch).

I love this joyous drawing.

Sid Sutherland is the credited animator, while Virgil Ross, Rod Scribner and Bob McKimson likely animated this short as well.


  1. The early Elmer almost seemed like he was patterned after Arthur Q. Bryan.

  2. Both Clampett and Freleng had Elmer moving pretty quickly for such an obese guy in at least one point in all four of the cartoons. Even though the extra weight didn't affect his speed, Bugs picking on an Elmer who was both fat and dumb may have seemed like overkill, and justified taking the weight off again.

    1. I guess, JL, the reason is lost to time.
      He sure does look like Bryan, doesn't he?

  3. Fat Elmer was a great character design. Skinny Elmer was even better (and probably a lot more versatile to work with.)