286. Rabbit’s Kin – Robert McKimson

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: Bugs Bunny and hs nephew take on the bizarre, obsessive Pete Puma.

WHY IT’S HERE:Robert McKimson’s ‘Rabbit’s Kin’ is an extremely memorable cartoon entirely because of the villain, Pete Puma. A popular character despite the fact that he only appeared in this cartoon (he was later revived as the Looniversity janitor on ‘Tiny Toon Adventures’), Pete Puma is hilariously voiced by Stan Freberg. Freberg’s unique voice characterisation is at once hysterically funny and somewhat disturbing. Pete Puma sounds like a desperate junkie searching for his next fix. Bugs’ heckling in this cartoon is distinctly underwhelming, based entirely around the old “How many lumps do you want?” gag but this marginalisation of Bugs seems to be entirely intentional in order to throw the spotlight more prominently on the frighteningly odd antics of Pete Puma. Once experienced, Stan Freberg’s unique vocal performance will be with you forever. Just witness the horrendously troubling drag scene for proof! All in all, ‘Rabbit’s Kin’ could have been a dull cartoon if it weren’t for its bizarre one shot villain. As a script, it would read as lacklustre. As a performance piece, its fantastic.

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