The Heckling Hare
Posted: October 08, 2004
The Heckling Hare
This is the follow-up cartoon to A Wild Hare, even though there were Bugs cartoons made prior to this one. However, upon the success of A Wild Hare, Leon Sleischinger burst into the studio and demaned that they produce as many Bugs cartoons as possible. But, the problem was, noone really knew what made A Wild Hare so great, including Tex. So, the films that followed seemed to flounder in confusion. In fact, Chuck Jones' attempt Elmer's Pet Rabbit is so off the mark that it's not even considered a Bugs Bunny cartoon (even though this did mark the first time that Bugs would recline on his name at the beginning). The title of Tex's next Bugs, Tortoise Beats Hare, pretty much sums up what Tex didn't know about Bugs at the time. Here he has Bugs BEING outsmarted by Cecil Turtle. Friz' attempt was a step in the right direction. However, Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt is considered to be off as far as Bugs' persona goes. Maybe it's because Bugs seems much too cocky in this one. Cocky enough so that people might hate him rather than root for him.
However, all was forgiven with The Heckling Hare. Tex finally got it right and portrayed Bugs in a way that not only found more humour in Bugs persona but showed others how to find even more. Here we have Bugs out-witting a dog named Willoughby with ease acting as though his opponent is barely a threat.
But, this cartoon is significant for another reason. Leon didn't like the last few seconds of this cartoon so he had it sliced off haphazzardly without consulting Tex. Needless to say, Tex was furious with Leon and quit. He would go on to MGM where he made some of his best work, leaving Bugs without his care or guidance. Not to worry, Bugs was in good hands.
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