Bully for Bugs

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

Here is absurdism’s, or T.S. Eliot’s objective correlative. Man faces an implacable foe in a preposterous, cruel, intractable setting/circumstance. Man loses, or worse. Man can never win! Beckett. Ionesco. Genet.

Not Chuck Jones though. In this preposterous setting and circumstance the man prevails, or at least this protean, omni-capable rabbit does. Let’s say it’s absurdism for kids, which may actually approach the profound. It certainly echoes the folk or fairy tale. Trouble abounding, but hope abundant. Very healthy!

Very, as in extremely funny too. Great musical score! In this one Bugs actually pays the price a time or two, because fair is fair. I would like to pay tribute to that final gag. Which is actually a compound gag, and as successful and escalating a compound gag as you could ever hope to see. It’s funny, but it’s also, somehow, as reassuring as a triangular composition by Raphael. Things’ll work out! It gives me pleasure to set it out, in sequence: the axle grease, the glue, some sand paper, the match and the fuse, the TNT, the wall—and bang. Now that we’ve put it that way, this isn’t just the victory of the humble youngest son. It’s out-and-out David Macaulay. Look at that: the Way Things Work.