The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie ★★★★½

A slice of my childhood that I had almost forgotten about.

There was a list that dearly departed Letterboxd legend and current talent scout for Leicester City Adam Cook did which was about your most watched film. When I posted my answers for that I immediately went for The Goonies, Predator, Aliens and so on - films that I watched when I was a kid over and over and still watch regularly now. Yet there was one that I completely forgot, mainly perhaps because no one really talks about it at all here on Letterboxd. To the point that I don’t think I can remember ever seeing anyone review it on my activity page.

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie was one that I taped off the telly during the summer holidays one year, and the proceeded to watch it about a million times during a holiday that I’m sure was regularly punctuated by my mum bellowing at me, “Why don’t you go outside and get some fresh air?!” Well mum, because it was the holidays and if I wanted some fresh air I would go to the Co-Op to buy some more Square Crisps, that’s why.

The reason I loved this so much was because it was just a nice big collection of Looney Tunes cartoons and clips. Back in those days, Looney Tunes cartoons were not a regular and consistent part of TV schedules. They would be slung on unannounced in the afternoon sometimes and, occasionally, the Radio Times would say there was a “Cartoon” on just before Children’s BBC started. Then the praying would start that it would be Daffy Duck or Foghorn Leghorn and not fucking Mickey Mouse or Betty Boop.

So having a selection of them crammed into just under a couple of hours was perfect. Even more so because the selection within it is more or less absolutely spot on with one glaring and peculiar exception. I am going to review this a bit like an anthology but I just want to say that the link bits are really good as well and some effort has actually gone into putting some background to the cartoons and even some of the people who helped make them. Casting Bugs Bunny as a sort of Hugh Hefner figure works so well too.

Hare-Way To The Stars - A cracking way to start off with a space double-header that introduces us to Marvin The Martian. As a kid I always wondered why he had a brush on his head - and I still do today. The ‘10,000 Instant Martians - Just Add Water’ gag is still one of my favourite things ever, as is how Bugs Bunny deals with the few that are sent after him. Quality. 4 / 5

Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century - I’ve reviewed this before and it’s still absolutely wonderful. 4.5 / 5

Robin Hood Daffy - Another marvellous outing for Daffy Duck, this time as he battles with Porky Pig in his last Chuck Jones cartoon appearance. The ‘duel’ on the bridge is still as funny as hell. For some reason, the traveller and his bouncing horse still amuses me enormously. Splendid. 4 / 5

Duck Amuck - In terms of laughs, perhaps Duck Amuck isn’t necessarily the funniest Looney Tunes cartoon. Then again, it’s still not far off. But in terms of invention, imagination and the way it characterises Daffy Duck, it’s a brilliant piece of work. It’s also still incredibly influential today and a wonderful watch each and every time I see it. 4.5 / 5

Bully For Bugs - One of my favourite cartoons of all time. The great thing about Looney Tunes was although they had this splendid roster of regular characters, they also had the occasional one-off drop by and steal the show. Here it’s the bull that gets increasingly and hilariously angrier as things go on. The slapping scene and the use of music throughout is still bloody hilarious - almost as much as “STOP STEAMIN’ ON MY TAIL!” 4.5 / 5

Ali Baba Bunny - Not quite as good as I remember but still great. I used to say “HASSAN CHOP!” a lot when I was a kid and not necessarily when I was chopping things. 4 / 5

Rabbit Fire - Rightly remembered widely for its “Rabbit season! Duck season!” scenes, it’s generally bogged down by Elmer Fudd being, well, Elmer Fudd. I was never a fan of his, comedy speech impediment or not. But still worth it for some excellent Bugs Bunny vs Daffy Dark sparring. 3.5 / 5

For Scent-imental Reasons - And then there’s this. I have genuinely no idea why they thought it would be a good idea to have a Pepe Le Pew cartoon in a selection of what I presume is supposed to be some of their best cartoons. Nobody likes Pepe Le Pew and not just because he’s an obnoxious sex pest bastard. The panicking French blokes at the start are pretty funny but the rest is a sexual assault case waiting to happen. 2 / 5

Long-Haired Hare - Into a musical double-bill but this one isn’t one of my favourites because it just makes Bugs out to be a bit too twatty. It’s not bad but there are not many laughs here and there’s no real decent antagonist. 3 / 5

What’s Opera, Doc? - This, right here, for me, is why Looney Tunes were so awesome in one cartoon. Humour, romance, melodrama and a genuine affection for what it is lampooning while keeping everyone in character. Just incredible. The enlarging shadow when Bugs is running is a fantastic touch. It’s a stunning cartoon, surely one of the greatest of all time, and every child on the planet should be made to watch it. Twice. 5 / 5

Operation: Rabbit - As good as this one is, it did make me wish there had been more cartoons with Wile E. Coyote where he was paired with someone other than Road Runner. He would have worked well with everyone. I could do with a ‘lump massager’ next time I bump my head on the low arch leading into this room. That happens a lot. 4 / 5

Compilation of Road Runner / Wile E. Coyote clips - I can understand why they did a compilation of these rather than just show one or two cartoons. I love them but their cartoons are all the same, aren’t they? A compilation does the business just fine. I always loved the false Latin names given to them both. The dissipating cloud gag is still brilliant. The obviousness and slowness of the gags, watching Wile E. plunge to his doom, and recall of old traps that don’t work are all parts of why they are so great. The sheer utter stupidity of so much of what happens is great. 4.5 / 5

It’s a superb collection. I do think it’s a bit odd, not just in terms of the oddly out of place Pepe Le Pew cartoon, but in the fact that there’s nothing of Yosemite Sam, Sylvester & Tweety or Foghorn Leghorn. You leave them out and include Pepe Le Pew? What’s that all about?

But there’s no denying that it’s a great film. If anyone ever asks me why I always preferred Looney Tunes a million times over Disney, I tell them to watch this.