Monday 23 November 2020

Dealing With a Masher

Art Davis’ only Bugs Bunny cartoon has some fine animation. Watch for how the animators move Bugs’ fingers in some of the scenes.

The extremes are good, too. Here’s an example from a scene animated by Don Williams where Bugs pulls his drag act to fool Steve Brody (voiced by Billy Bletcher). These are five consecutive drawings.

Here are some drawings showing three open-mouth extremes and how Bugs gets there from various positions.

Basil Davidovich, Emery Hawkins and Bill Melendez are also credited with animation. Bill Scott and Lloyd Turner get the story credit on Bowery Bugs. This one doesn’t have the slam-bang action of a Freleng cartoon, nor the sly poses of a Jones cartoon, nor the small-eyed, large-mouthed characters of an early McKimson cartoon. It would have been interesting to see how Davis could have developed Bugs, but he never got a chance.


  1. There is a Clampett-ian brashness to Bugs here that McKimson still used a little bit ("Rebel Rabbit") but that Freleng and Jones had stepped away from, in that, as others have noted, Bugs goes through a record number of disguises here to harass Brody into jumping off the bridge in 1886, while 1949 Bugs is trying to scam the codger out of his cash (while making a visual joke of the old line about buying the Brooklyn Bridge for the iris out). Had they kept Artie's unit, it would have been interesting to see if this style of story could have survived into the more sedate animation of the 1950s.

  2. These stills also demonstrate how much Don Williams was dependent on the ink and paint department to do the drybrush effects that gave the appearance of speedy action to his scenes. We don't know the names of the women who did this great work.

  3. Davis's era of Looney Tunes was painfully brief.