208. Acrobatty Bunny – Robert McKimson

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SUMMARY: Bugs Bunny takes on a circus lion.

WHY IT’S HERE: Robert McKimson’s ‘Acrobatty Bunny’ is one of the director’s finest shorts. Although the circus-based setting may evoke hideous memories of McKimson’s dreadful ‘Big Top Bunny’, ‘Acrobatty Bunny’ is in fact nowhere near as dull as that travesty. Pitting Bugs Bunny against a ferocious lion, ‘Acrobatty Bunny’ is fresh and funny from the outset, not to mention extremely attractive to look at. There’s a classic scene in which Bugs takes a strangled elevator ride out of his hole only to emerge directly into the jaws of the lion. In a brilliant Disney parody, he hollers “Pinocchio” down the lion’s throat! This brilliant opening is a sign of things to come. There are some expertly choreographed antics in and around the lion’s cage to begin with, followed by a hilariously grotesque and irritating rendition of ‘Laugh Clown Laugh’ which, as a child, I used to impersonate regularly! All this culminates in a short acrobatic sequence which gives the cartoon its name. I’ve never been fond of the circus as a setting for cartoons and find it usually makes for a dull and predictable set of gags but ‘Acrobatty Bunny’ breaks from the mould and the result is an exhilaratingly funny short which stands amongst McKimson’s best.

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