Box-Office Bunny

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Box Office Bunny
Box Office Bunny title card.png
Title card
Directed by Darrell Van Citters
Produced by Kathleen Helppie-Shipley
Written by Charles Carney
Starring Jeff Bergman
Music by Hummie Mann
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates January 3, 1990
Country USA

Box-Office Bunny, released in 1990, is a 4-minute Looney Tunes short starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. It was shown in theaters with The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. This was Warner Brother's first Bugs Bunny theatrical release since 1964.[1] It was issued to commemorate Bugs' 50th anniversary. It is included as a special feature on the DVD for The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.

Jeff Bergman voiced the three main characters, thus becoming the first person besides Mel Blanc, who had died a year before the cartoon was released, to have the honor of providing Bugs' and Daffy's voices.

The short was directed by Darrell Van Citters, who went on to direct the first two "Hare Jordan" Bugs Bunny/Michael Jordan commercials for Nike.

Background[edit]

In the late 1980s, Warner Bros. Animation started producing new theatrical animated shorts, featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The Duxorcist (1987) and The Night of the Living Duck (1988) were well-received individually. Both were then incorporated to the compilation film Daffy Duck's Quackbusters (1988).[1] They marked a return to prominence for fictional character Daffy Duck.[1] They were followed by Box-Office Bunny, the first theatrical short featuring Bugs Bunny since 1964.[1]

According to director Darrell Van Citters, Warner Bros. studio was uncertain what to do with the film. It was reportedly completed six to nine months before its actual release. Its release was delayed because the studio wanted to release it alongside one of their feature films, but could not decide which could best serve to spotlight it. It was finally released alongside The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990). The under-performance of the feature film at the box-office is thought to have negatively affected the fate of the short.[1]

Kevin Sandler believes the short set an unfortunate pattern for subsequent releases. Later Looney Tunes shorts were similarly attached to children's films which under-performed. In each case dragging the short film with them to relative obscurity. He offers the examples of Chariots of Fur and Richie Rich (1994), Carrotblanca and The Amazing Panda Adventure (1995), Superior Duck to Carpool (1996), and Pullet Surprise to Cats Don't Dance (1997).[1] Staffers involved in the production of several of these shorts reportedly suspected that the studio already knew that these feature films were "hard-to-market" films. From a marketing perspective, the shorts could then be used to attract additional viewers to the cinema. Sandler himself, however, suspected that Warner Bros. was simply not particularly interested in generating publicity for the animated shorts.[1]

Plot[edit]

Daffy, Elmer and Bugs dance to a techno song with the aid of sticky bubble gum.

The action takes place in a massive movie theater, called "Cineminium". It is a 100-screen multiplex, constructed right above Bugs' rabbit hole.[2] When Bugs surfaces within the theater, usher Elmer Fudd attempts to drive him away. Meanwhile, Daffy finds the admission fee of the multiplex to be too high for his tastes. He instead uses his library card to force open a door and sneak inside.[2][3]

The would-be free rider stumbles on the usher, Elmer. To divert attention from his own illegal entry, Daffy drives Elmer to further focus on Bugs. He also join forces with him against Bugs.[2][3] Following a chase through the movie theater, Bugs manages to trap his opponents within a projection screen and within the film depicted on it. Said film is apparently part of the slasher film subgenre and the trapped duo are confronted by a "hockey-mask wearing, chainsaw-wielding maniac". During the "That's all, folks!" sequence in the end title card, Daffy and Elmer break through the ending card in their attempt to escape.[3]

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

In his review of the film, Charles Solomon praised the film as "funny, fast-paced, brightly colored" and managing to capture the essence of the Bugs-Elmer-Daffy films by Chuck Jones without directly copying them. He found fault, however, with the concept of ending the film "at just over five minutes". In result, all the action and gags have to be contained in too short a space. There is no real resolution.[2]

Censorship[edit]

When this cartoon aired on ABC as part of The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, the ending where Daffy and Elmer run screaming through the "That's All Folks" card and Bugs closing the cartoon with "And that's it, folks" was cut (as ABC did not allow opening or closing cards), making the cartoon end after Bugs' line, "It takes a miracle to get into the movies, now these two jokers [Elmer and Daffy] want to get out," after Elmer and Daffy get trapped in a Friday the 13th–style slasher flick.[4][5]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sandler (1998), pp. 21–22
  2. ^ a b c d Charles Solomon (February 11, 1991). "CARTOON REVIEW : 'Box Office Bunny': An Echo of the '50s". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Coyote" (June 2, 2007). "Daffy:1990". The Acme Factory. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/b/
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20000614210329/http://www.megalink.net/~cooke/looney/ltcutsb.html

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Spaced Out Bunny
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1990
Succeeded by
Carrotblanca