Tuesday 13 September 2022

Brodie's Hands

Art Davis directed only one Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bowery Bugs (1949) and there are a few interesting things about it.

For one thing, there are a bunch of animation-saving stills for almost the first minute of the cartoon. For another, Lloyd Turner and Bill Scott’s plot involves Bugs being a con-rabbit in New York City. It’s a nice change and a very appropriate setting for him. On top of that, Bugs adversary isn’t a gun-toting danger like Sam or Elmer, but is still a threat and good for one animated short. Billy Bletcher was the best choice for his voice.

Davis’ pacing and timing will never be mistaken for a Freleng or Jones cartoon with Bugs, but seems fine for this short. A few verbal jokes are a little hokey but not treated as punch lines; they’re said without any real emphasis and the music and action carries on.

Emery Hawkins, Basil Davidovich, Bill Melendez and Don Williams are the credited animators. They aren’t as wild as they got in a few other cartoons for Davis, like with Shakespearean dogs or Daffy Duck. Here’s how Steve Brodie goes from one pose to the other. It’s animated on twos. I like the brushwork on the hand outlines.

Don Smith handled layouts with Phil DeGuard painting the backgrounds.

As I have opined before, I wish Davis had directed more Bugs Bunny cartoons but I suspect studio politics got in the way.


  1. POW! "That's you, fathead!"

  2. Just revisited this one. Actually remember seeing it in the theater as a kid (kiddie matinee, feature plus five color cartons!)

  3. Ya snappy swami! I’m gonna mobilize ya! - Please Doc, I’m in a transom

  4. Bill Scott actually insisted in "The Moose That Roared" that he lamentably never wrote a Bugs Bunny cartoon

  5. Davis is an underrated master. "THAT'S YOU, FATHEAD!!!"