224. Bugs Bunny Rides Again – Friz Freleng

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SUMMARY: In a sequel to ‘Hare Trigger’, Bugs Bunny once again takes on Yosemite Sam in a rip-snorting, action-packed Western.

WHY IT’S HERE: Friz Freleng’s ‘Bugs Bunny Rides Again’ is a sequel to Bugs’ first Western battle with Yosemite Sam in ‘Hare Trigger’. Cautiously breaking Sam in as a character by opting for another Wild West setting, Freleng was also risking just retreading old ground. Fortunately, ‘Bugs Bunny Rides Again’ is a magnificent cartoon in all respects. Extremely handsome to look at, it also benefits enormously from one of the great scripts by Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese. Shoot-outs, horse chases, dance routines and a hilarious card game are all crammed into this very fast paced short. Notable amongst the many great gags is the scene in which Bugs and Sam persistently one up each other with bigger and bigger guns which may well have inspired Chuck Jones to take this gag to the next step two years later in the famous scene from ‘Rabbit of Seville’. For all those people who accuse Friz Freleng of being a boring director, ‘Bugs Bunny Rides Again’ is ample retort. Packed with incident and perfectly timed jokes, it not only proved that Yosemite Sam worked as a character but also ensured that his rivalry with Bugs would become a constant.

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