Tortoise Beats Hare

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 13, 2015

Bugs reads the titles, then tears them apart. He starts huffing and puffing—“sorry.  Wrong story.” Disney plays it straight or crooked, depending on the franchise. The WB’s are always fracturing, from the very first. The tortoise start is funny. They cheat by means of a kind of species party line. There’s some factional insight here, plus the fairy tale fact that the weak have to be crafty. The way in which they illustrate this idea is not quite “slow and steady win the race,” but in the end Tortoise Beast Hare is still a faithful adaptation.

There’s some terrific use of off-screen space here. “We do this kind of stuff to him all through the picture.” No question about who directed this one! The idea of the omni-turtle prefigures Avery’s Droopy Dog. That is some canyon! The turtle kiss suggests that Bugs has really met his match, and further that his match has actually adopted Bugs’ tactics. No wonder he is perplexed.

Bugs’ speed montage! Lots of variety and imagination, all over the place. Avery is really tremendous with the gags and the general animated craft. However, you might not go to him for your more human or emotional needs.