Saturday, September 7, 2013

Discuss: The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour



25 comments:

redartz said...

Perfect topic for a Saturday morning! The show was a highlight of Saturdays for years, and made a great comic break from the "adventure" shows. Of course the time-proven quality of the Warner Bros. shorts is well known. One specific element about the BB/RR hour that I recall fondly is the use of bumpers, the new intro segments featuring Bugs, Daffy et al.

Hmmmm, perhaps I'll go grab my Warner Bros. Golden Collection dvd and a bowl of cereal...

Anonymous said...

I would not have known what an anvil was if not for this program..

david_b said...

Agreed with Redartz, A great way to spend Saturday mornings. Sharp, smart humor stylishly done, outstanding quality start to finish.

The Gold Standard for all cartoon shorts.. And intro music you'll never, ever forget

Humanbelly said...

Oh wow, and as I start writing this, it would be the VERY HOUR when the show would have been airing (for, like, the entirety of the 60’s and 70’s in one form or another-!). That program could really spin off into a lot of great side discussions, too.

As redartz suggests, this was always the comfortable, reliable “warm-up” cartoon show that you had your cereal with in your pajamas—before you got into the more serious, must-see cartoon watching that came later in the morning. Ironically, in retrospect, it was also probably the best one. So many of these shorts would elicit an “oh, this is one of my favorites!” response when they started up!

That opening production # w/ Daffy & Bugs is, I am sure, etched (pressure-blasted?) into most of our memories down to almost the genetic level, yes? Good ol’ Mel Blanc doing a duet w/ himself! My only beef with the framing sequence bits was that they were far too few, and became an annoyance w/ their repetition.

I’d stopped watching by then, but am I remembering correctly that in the 80’s and 90’s many of these cartoons were pulled from broadcast entirely (Speedy Gonzales for sure), and many of the ones that remained were edited for violent content? I do seem to remember catching a Road Runner cartoon around then that was about 3 minutes long, and made no linear sense whatsoever--- gags were set-up and then the payoff bits were cut. I will readily concede the unfortunate tendency towards using unattractive cultural and racial stereotypes (Speedy G.; a Native American primitive oil tycoon—“Your Thomas-hawk, Sir!”; Bugs capering around in black-face as a slave, etc)-- but the protecting-our-children-from-dreadful-violence nonsense was just mind-bogglingly stupid. What prevailed was a complete blindness to the fact that the art of slapstick & over-the-top physical comedy has been around since Aristophanes in ancient Greece (likely) and Plautus in ancient Rome (absolutely, definitely, positively), and that civilization somehow managed to continue on apace, and that the vast, vast, VAST majority of children were able to discern the difference between that and what was acceptable in the everyday world. No, much better to hack away indiscriminatingly at these little comic masterpieces that had already withstood the test of 30 or so years of childhood viewing.
One might point out that the more-recent, Christian-themed “Veggie Tales” videos and films are not shy at all in their delightful and masterful use of slapstick physical comedy. If anyone was going to be mindful of what they thought was “damaging” to a child’s psyche’. . .

Carl Stalling’s musical scores are often overlooked gems all their own. There are a few recordings available of his work on these cartoons (The Carl Stallings Project). They’re so ingrained into the memory of the cartoon, that if you listen to a full soundtrack w/ sound effects (but no dialog), the entire cartoon comes to mind. . . and it’s still funny. It wasn’t until FoxKids and Warner Bros revived the genre in the mid-90’s w/ The Animaniacs that someone figured out how important the scoring was for these cartoons, and really set about recapturing a Stallings quality in them.

I, um, I really have too much stored in my head about old cartoons, don’t I? Yeesh—this is a little scary-!


HB

Humanbelly said...

Ooh-- gonna sidetrack on the masthead picture yet again. . .

THERE you have it! 5'-5" tall! Right on the first Romita/Palmer sketch! (I admit, I had to do a bit of looking-up-)

Man, that was an ENDLESS source of debate early in the All New, All Different X-Men. And I seem to remember Len Wein, Claremont, Herb Trimpe, Byrne and about a zillion fans all having different opinions. Someone prominent (Wein?) insisted Logan was 5'-2" tall (which I would love-- I mean, that is indeed a pint-sized powerhouse for folks to look up to, as it were!), and others had him being as tall as 5'-8", which is simply on the shorter side of the "average" scale. 5'-4" seemed to be the number heard the most.

5'-5"? I dunno, almost not short enough to be notable-- I know plenty of guys around that size.

HB again

Anonymous said...

My old man, the original old-school bad-ass type, had no use for T.V. but on the occasional Saturday morning he happened to be home, he would sit and watch these cartoons with me and laugh himself silly. This was circa 1978 or so. Good memories here.

Comicsfan said...

To this day, I still laugh out loud (yes, out loud) at those old cartoons featuring the Road Runner (Disappearialis Quickius) and the Coyote (Overconfidentii Vulgaris). I enjoyed pretty much any cartoon cranked out by Warner Bros., with their outrageous animations and their amazing over-the-top soundtracks. But I lost interest in the Road Runner cartoon when writer/director Chuck Jones was less of a presence in production, and the animation and music became less sophisticated and lost their zing for me.

Karen said...

Like Anonymous (who was that masked man?), I have fond memories of the Warner Brothers cartoons as they were practically the only cartoons my dad would sit down and watch with us kids, and actually enjoy. He really got a kick out of the Road Runner and the Coyote. And this was back in the days before the shows were chopped and cut to pieces, so you saw everything, every anvil dropping on every head -great stuff. We'd watch that show together, and once it was over, the old man (old -hah! he was probably not even in his forties yet) would usually wander off to the garage, to work on a car or motorcycle or something. But it was nice having that time together.

Teresa said...

I am many years older than my youngest brother. I watched BB/RR with him a couple times. Wow, the hatchet was taken to BB/RR mercilessly.
The explosions were gone. You would hear the boom off screen.
You wouldn't see Coyote step off a cliff.
BB cross dressing was removed. etc..etc..
My "baby" brother's reaction? "This is boring." He had no clue what was missing.

Edo Bosnar said...

Like pretty much everyone else here, this show was the centerpiece of my Saturday morning cartoon watching for years. I loved all of them, and even when I pretty much stopped watching Saturday morning cartoons in high school, I still occasionally watched the Bugs Bunny show.
One of my personal favorites is that one with the two groundhogs who speak the Queen's English tracking down and reclaiming their vegetables at the cannery.
And kudos to Comicsfan for recalling those excellent 'Latin' classifications for RR and Wile E.

david_b said...

We're certainly appreciating the 'high brow' of these gem offerings, lest we forget Opera in the highest sense..

Yes, who doesn't long to see..

"Rabbit of Seville"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZfaVoebk-A

Copyrights keeps the actual short off youtube, I guess but you all remember it...

Edo Bosnar said...

O.k., David, I see your "Rabbit of Seville" and raise you a "What's Opera, Doc?" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jDcWAWRRHo&noredirect=1 - just an excerpt)

Graham said...

I would sit down and watch this every Saturday morning if it still came on. Doesn't matter how many times I've seen them, if I run across them somewhere, I sit down and watch them again. These are the only cartoons that I sit down and watch with my kids.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

...nor how to use one.

James Chatterton

Anonymous said...

Damn that Comicsfan. Not only does he know Latin, he apparently knows Warner Brothers Latin. That insufferable...

Anonymous said...

My favorite one was where Sylvester the cat was be-bopping down the street singing "The Charlston" while two dogs were staring at him through a picket fence. That pretty much sums up life as I understand it.

Anonymous said...

Lurker here....
"Shut up shut'n up!" was funny EVERY time.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that one of Mel Blanc's sons said that the voice of Sylvester was actually more or less his dad's real voice, with a slight speech impediment thrown in for effect. Can you imagine hearing THAT voice calling you to breakfast every morning?
I suppose you'd get used to it, but, geez...

Anonymous said...

Ah Bugs and the Road Runner ... now that was classic stuff!


- Mike 'sufferin' succotash!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

Bugs is brilliant! Daffy is delicious!

But I loved Road Runner and Coyote! It's a parable of man in the modern age, pitifully unprepared to control the natural world around him. Coyote is all of us, subject to our passions seeking the very thing nature tells us time and again we shall not have. The Greeks called it hubris, we call it comedy genius!

Rip Off

Humanbelly said...

Well, heck, it's the weekend, so I'm gonna take the risk and jump back up to the masthead yet again. (I can hear the groaning from hear, youse guys--!)

That head-on shot looked dead-familiar to me, and I couldn't quite place why until just a few minutes ago. First page of Hulk 181 (as that was obviously the design here)? No-- yet that was Wolvie's first appeara-- oh wait. The LAST PANEL of HULK 180 was REALLY the first time we ever saw him, aaaaaand a quick search, aaaaand OMG, there he is! And if that figure wasn't indeed drawn&pasted by John R himself, then clearly Herb Trimpe was handed John's sketch and told to copy it exactly. (Poor Herb, I'm thinkin'--)

The sketch actually has a better look to it, though, IMO-- as the blacked areas are more dominant and add a better, sharper contrast in Wolvie's look in that outfit.

HB

david_b said...

Yeah, that initial headpiece really looked lame..

Not a Wolvie fan by any stretch, but even I'd feel sorry for him if it stayed like that. Looks too much 'Claws of the Cat'/Greer Grant to me.

david_b said...

Just found this, for anyone not having the entire collections..:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU1sIxVGR9o

Anonymous said...

Instant Hole.

Tom

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