Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Yeggs

Premiered June 28, 1947.

"Every year, I get some dumb bunny to do my work for me."
-The Easter Rabbit (Mel Blanc)

Bugs Bunny (Mel Blanc) is relaxing, reading a book when he hears someone crying.

It's the Easter Rabbit.  He's says he's "supposed to be happy and gay" while delivering eggs, but his feet are killing him.  Bugs is sympathetic and offers to deliver the "technicolor hen fruit" for him.  As Bugs hops away, the Easter Bunny breaks the 4th wall and tells us that every year he gets another rabbit to do his work for him.

Bugs' first stop is the home of a child known as "Dead End Kid".

The child immediately attacks Bugs, when Bugs tries to retaliate, Dead End Kid's family shows up armed to the teeth and turns their guns on Bugs.

Bugs goes back to the Easter Rabbit and tells him he's changed his mind.  The Easter Rabbit convinces Bugs to try again.  The next home he visits is the residence of Elmer Fudd (Arthur Q. Bryan), who says he will turn the Easter Rabbit into "wabbit stew".

Bugs is prepared this time and smashes an egg in Fudd's hands.  They engage in a battle of wits, with Bugs enraging Fudd, causing him to pull a rifle on our hero.

While this is going on, the Easter Rabbit watches and keeps encouraging Bugs to deliver the eggs.  
Will Bugs stick with it?

J.A. Morris says:

I've mentioned in prior reviews that I'm a huge fan of classic Warner Brothers cartoons.  But I have mixed feelings about Easter Yeggs.

It gets off to a good start, with Bugs reading a book called How To Multiply.  And it gives us another great gag, with the classic "Bugs outline" as he runs out the door.

And the animation is great as usual.

The portrayal of the Easter Bunny as lazy was certainly cynical.  It was also somewhat refreshing compared to other holiday cartoons.  But the same cynicism and the presence of more guns than usual means it probably shouldn't be shown to very young children  Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan are good as always.

Lobby card for Easter Yeggs.
But I have one big problem with Easter Yeggs.  Bugs Bunny should NEVER lose a fight to a little boy (even one who sucks on a gun!).  And if he does, he should go back to the house and triumph in the end.  I'm aware that Robert McKimson specialized in "unconventional" Bugs shorts (his Rebel Rabbit is one of my favorites), but this cartoon goes too far.

Easter Yeggs has been released on DVD.  It can be found on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3

If you want a dash of cynicism in your Easter programming, check out this short.  But Bugs' defeat by Dead End Kid costs it an egg.

J.A. Morris' rating:

2 and a half Easter Eggs.

RigbyMel says:

There is lots of anarchic fun to be had in this Warner Brothers short and as J.A. Morris says, the lazy, cynical Easter Rabbit's conning of Bugs is an interesting deviation in tone from the typical holiday cartoon.

That being said,  I cannot get behind the Dead End Kid being shown sucking on a gun like a bottle.   It's a gag that just doesn't play well to my mind.    Like J.A. Morris, I was also disappointed that Bugs didn't get to give the Dead End Kid (or at least his family) some kind of comeuppance.  Maybe Warner Brothers was hesitant to have Bugs Bunny wreck havoc on a child?

 I did not see this short when I was a child, but if I had, I think I might also have been a bit upset by the notion of Elmer Fudd wanting to shoot the Easter Bunny!  So this is not a Looney Toons short that I would recommend for very young children.

Bugs turns Fudd into an Easter Egg!
That being said, there are enough silly gags and Easter anarchy to make this worthwhile for older children and for adult cartoon connoisseurs.

RigbyMel's rating:

2 and a half Easter Eggs.

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