Bugs Bunny Film Festival Supplemental Reading

In preparation for our 21st Annual Bugs Bunny Film Festival, we’ve compiled a list of reviews and articles on the Looney Tunes and one of our favorite cartoon rabbits.

In his discussion of some of Looney Tunes’ most well known shorts, Roger Ebert goes over the origins and patterns of the cartoons’ titles, the use of music and particularly orchestra as standalone characters. He identifies political subtexts for these shorts, although some of them are more obvious than others, and the usage of the fourth wall between Bugs and his audience.

NY TimesBrooks Barnes discusses the downfall of children’s familiarity with Looney Tunes characters in wake of newer programming. Barnes goes over Warner Brother’s attempts to make Looney Tunes a relevant mark in television, film, and popular children’s programming in the wake of this cultural change.

Indiewire’s Jerry Beck makes a visual and thematic comparison between Oscar winning film BIRDMAN and the Looney Tunes short ‘Show Biz Bugs.’ Similarities include plot points, the appearance of a superhero in and out of costume, and the act of committing suicide on stage only to be otherwise reanimated.

A panel of AV Club’s writers discuss five classic Looney Tunes episodes and how they operate thematically, under a lens of outdated violence not digested the same way in animation today, and the power of “cartoon chaos.”

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern points out the amount of suicidal imagery, violent clips, and animated body horror strewn throughout the history of Looney Tunes shorts. He compares the public’s reaction these images then and now, and how silliness has been reevaluated into the macabre with contemporary audiences.

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