Bunker Hill Bunny

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

As stated elsewhere (supplementary material for High Diving Hare, in vol. 1 of WB’s Golden Collection), director Freleng loved, loved to demonstrate how stripped-down and pure cartoons could be. Here’s the Revolutionary War for instance—or war generally, or strife, or the struggle of the oppressed, or people got the power. And all expressed in just two cannons and two forts.

And two antagonists, of course. And a lot of violence! I remember, for what it’s worth. Not only did I really like this one when I was young. I was really encouraged by it. Could this be why? Here’s Sam, insistent, relentlessly unreasonable, seeking always to impose his irrational and inexplicable will. And there’s Bugs, just trying to mind his own business.

Was it adults and kids? No matter how nice my own parents? Or, given how little and fly-off-the-handle Sam was, was I reacting against my own worst childish impulses?

And how about this. What on earth is a Hessian?! It wasn’t quite curricular, and it needs to be added unto by a much more systematic course of study and application. But this kind of tossed-off reference, and so many different settings, and Carl Stallings’s broadly borrowing musical scores, introduces young viewers—this young viewer, anyway—to so many glimpses of the broad world. What on earth is a Hessian? Gee. I guess I could look that up…

Psychoanalysis and inadvertent pedagogy aside, this is one superior cartoon. Great jokes, beautifully built and distributed. And violence.