For some reason, I'm really forcing myself to review this one. Of course, I suppose just about any Looney Tunes cartoon would seem like a letdown after Wabbit Twouble, and an improvement after Big House Bunny. But it's typical Freleng for you. Somehow the plots of his cartoons are more cartoon-y than the actual animation. And, in terms of recycling familiar plot elements, he's a very conscientious storyteller indeed. Unfortunately for the viewer, not always a good thing. Also, it took me forever to come up with a decent banner headline... and it still sucks! Sorry 'bout that.
As often happens when Bugs and Yosemite Sam go head to head, it's a battle of turf. In Buccaneer Bunny, Sea-Goin' Sam tries burying a chest of treasure, but a few seconds after Sam dumps it into the hole in the ground, Bugs emerges from the hole, covered in bejeweled swag. And yes, I use the word "bejeweled" in order to confuse Yahoo's internet spiders, and send people here thinking they're getting information on their favourite item-swapping video game. It's the opposite of Candy Crush, as "Bejeweled" kicks you out right away if you're not a fast jewel swapper!
But I digress yet again. This time, Sam's making a stump speech from a podium over Bugs' rabbit hole. Bugs is actually going along with it... until we get to one particular campaign promise that Bugs simply cannot abide. That's the part where Sam promises the people to get rid of every last rabbit. Bugs spits out the carrot juice that he's drinking... more or less. Sloppy lack of animation, guys, sloppy lack of animation. But Freleng apparently took pity upon poor ol' Mel Blanc; they say that Mel was actually allergic to carrots, so whenever he would chew on one during recording sessions, he'd of course have to spit it out immediately.
And so, as with A Gruesome Twosome, it's time for "stragedy." Fade to black, then fade back in on Sam's stump speech... kinda weird! Bugs' offensive begins in earnest, starting with a one-rabbit marching band. He does that a lot, doesn't he? Same thing happened... okay, a similar thing happened in What's Cookin' Doc?, the Clampett classic where Bugs lobbies hard for an Oscar.... incidentally, it uses a huge chunk of Freleng's Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt to make the case. Freleng eventually won for Knighty Knight Bugs. Love that one. Bugs got a carrot, of course...
And so, with Bugs' instruments deflated by Sam's bullets, it's time to fight podium with podium.
...I'm out of time. So, to just focus on the highlights, one of my favourite moments is where Sam copies Bugs' impression of Theodore Roosevelt, screaming "I speak LOUUUDDD!!! And I carry a BIGGER stick!" That may be the highest note I've ever heard Mel B... I mean, Yosemite Sam, hit. And once again, as with the last outing with Bugs and Sam, Bugs gets injured, so when Bugs pulls the baby prank on Sam, we're pulling for the angry housewives. Ah, reminds me of that time those ladies were beating the crap out of a mugger with a Bible, and that one dude was laughing about it...
What else? Sam uses some ants to sabotage a picnic that Bugs is trying to set up. The ants are less orderly than the ones in Tom and Jerry, but they get the job done. They make off with not just one, but TWO jars of mustard! Bugs puts a stick of dynamite into a watermelon. We see Sam gathering up all the food into a bag, and then he goes around the corner and... you know, I think I just don't like to admit that I like this one! I'll give it three and a half stars, I guess. Well, it's no Buccaneer Bunny, that's my only point.
Speaking of explosions, seems like all these gags end in an explosion! The only time that Sam isn't blown up is with the cigar gag. The guy that Sam gives a cigar to gets blowed up real good, comes to and says "Oh! A wiseguy, eh?" I thought I was watching a Stooge film there for a second. Also, there's the old piano gag involving the song "Those Endearing Young Charms." Boy, I tell you, there's nothing in this world more irritating than a guy you want to blow up with a piano who plays the song wrong.
Now, I hate to spoil the surprise ending... and it is a surprise, isn't it? Of course, with the two main candidates constantly attacking each other, causing explosion after explosion, scaring the town half to death... a third party's bound to emerge as the winner. One for Martin, two for Martin!... something like that. Of course, politics being the blood sport that it is, Bugs decides to shoot himself in the head. Yes, that's right, the loss of the election was just that devastating. All those campaign donors disappointed, nowhere to turn... of course, Bugs misses and hits Sam instead. God bless cartoon violence.
Good double bill with: ...what else? Buccaneer Bunny... or maybe Bob Roberts for the feature.
-so sayeth The Movie