Show Biz Bugs

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

The situation here is pretty basic to these characters, and should actually be pretty relevant to and resonant with young viewers. Or men entering their mid-life crises. Or wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy.

Bugs and Daffy are performing together. Daffy is mad because Bugs keeps getting first billing. Why does everyone love this guy so much? Daffy is going to show ’em what’s what, and who’s best. He does not succeed.

This is just a cartoon of course, and just for fun. But there sure is a lot of animus going on! Daffy’s envy is positively green-eyed monstrous, and the cruelties that get visited upon him are really considerable, really remarkable. Let us acknowledge that his Jeepers Creepers number is very good. In response, the imperishable sound of those crickets. (Where that came from!) His pigeons fly right out that window. Bugs really does cut him in half.  Wouldn’t you know that they play “believe me if all those endearing young charms” on the rigged xylophone?  The intertextual reference is clear—it’s really daringly identical to what they did in Ballot Box Bunny. Daffy blows up, of course. There’s a stunning and even slightly topical escalation to the climactic gag. Daffy imbibes an escalating series of inadvisable substances: gas, gunpowder, nitroglycerin, uranium 238. “Shake well,” he says, and swallows a match. Unfortunately, he can only do this one once. Pushing those boundaries!