147. Wackiki Wabbit – Chuck Jones

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SUMMARY: In this visually experimental cartoon, two castaways pursue Bugs Bunny as a potential meal.

WHY IT’S HERE: Chuck Jones’s ‘Wackiki Wabbit’ is a bizarre, brilliant piece of work. The opening sequence instantly indicates that this is quite different territory from the average Chuck Jones short. Two castaways on a raft eye each other as potential sources of food. The cartoon gets even stranger when the raft hits land and we are exposed to the extremely stylised backgrounds of the island. Stylised backgrounds in Warner Bros. shorts sometimes work wonders and sometimes are detrimental. In ‘Wackiki Wabbit’, the stylised backgrounds are the making of the cartoon. They perfectly capture the feel of an exotic island paradise while also reflecting the borderline insanity of the two castaways as they attempt to make a meal out of Bugs. Of course, beautiful backgrounds aren’t enough and fortunately ‘Wackiki Wabbit’ is also blessed with a fantastic script full of great gags. Between the odd characters of the castaways(caricatures of the cartoon’s writers, Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese), the surreal and beautiful backgrounds and the fluid animation style, Bugs barely gets a look in! He’s a secondary player in his own cartoon but, with visuals this sumptuous, that’s hardly an insult. ‘Wackiki Wabbit’ is a feast for the eyes while also managing to be as funny as a straightforward Warner cartoon. Most casual viewers will probably find ‘Wackiki Wabbit’ a little too weird but for animation fans it’s a genuine treat.

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