The Heckling Hare

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

This is the former, earlier, more insufferable Bugs, through and through. He’s torturing the dog that’s chasing him. “Let’s see,” he says.“What can I do to this guy now?” Director Tex Avery’s high spirits are precious, but he can, he does tease unto sadism. (This is the last time those high spirits would be put in the service of a Warner Brothers cartoon. After this one, or more specifically as a result of its preposterously distended conclusion, he you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit the organization.) A la Avery’s later creation Screwball Squirrel, this Bugs’ objectives are not very appealing, and neither, finally is his character.

Given that, The Heckling Hare is a pretty effective cartoon! Note the music during those palm pokes. The tomato’d conclusion to this exchange is, as usual, gratuitous. “I done a bad thing.” There’s some crazy proto-Roadrunner topography here, as we move toward the conclusion. The final double fall through the sky is really amazing. They howl, and drop endlessly. The hyperbole really is quite mad. This is not just comic chaos—such nerve, such confidence—it actually carries a tinge of terror. Alas. If only we had the original ending …