A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie includes some of the greatest cartoons of all time. Comic animation is matched with unusually literate dialogue. Scored by the great Carl Stalling. One segment features Bugs and Elmer Fudd in a spoof of Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung opera cycle, exposing kids to the potential joys of classical music. Grade-school kids will enjoy the adventures of these popular characters, but some parents may find aspects of the humor questionable, such as the over-the-top violence and some character's greediness and mean-spiritedness. Preteens will get a kick out of this feature compilation. Teens will get a similar kick, and adults will feel warmly nostalgic.
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What's the story?
This Looney Tunes feature begins with Bugs Bunny lounging at home, discussing his career, focusing on his collaborations with cartoon director Chuck Jones. From this point, the movie becomes a compilation of several classic Jones shorts, with introductions provided by Bugs. First off is "Hare-way to the Stars," one of Bugs' many encounters with Marvin the Martian, followed by "Duck Dodgers in the 24th½ Century," in which Daffy also battles the pint-sized alien. In "Long Haired Hare," Bugs has an encounter with a pompous opera singer, and then makes his own opera appearance in the Wagner spoof, "What's Opera Doc?" Some of the other cartoon classics featured here are "Duck Amuck," "Bully for Bugs," and "Rabbit Fire." In "Operation: Rabbit," Bugs meets up with Wile E. Coyote, which leads into a series of highlights from various Road Runner cartoons.
Is it any good?
This is the legendary Chuck Jones at his very best. It's hard to go wrong with titles like "What's Opera Doc?" and "Ali Baba Bunny," with their precise comic timing and surprisingly literate dialogue. THE BUGS BUNNY / ROADRUNNER MOVIE was the first in a series of Warner Bros. cartoon features in which classic theatrical shorts -- many of the most highly regarded in animation history -- were compiled and linked together via newly animated segments. Great moments are abundant: Daffy's growing hysteria as his world is repeatedly obliterated by a malicious animator in "Duck Amuck;" Daffy's greedy meltdown in "Ali Baba Bunny;" Bugs and Elmer's ludicrous love duet in "What's Opera Doc?"
In cramming these shorts into a feature format, however, the opening titles to the cartoons have been eliminated; kids won't mind, but animation buffs will. Even worse, a few of them -- such as "Robin Hood Daffy" and "Long Haired Hare" -- have had major chunks edited out, dulling their impact. The Road Runner sequence is a hodgepodge of highlights from several cartoons, and while definitely entertaining, the material worked better in its original form. Still, many of these cartoons are currently unavailable anywhere but on this collection, and that alone makes The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie worth having.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 1, 1979
- On DVD or streaming: July 25, 2000
- Cast: Arthur Q. Bryan, Mel Blanc
- Directors: Chuck Jones, Phil Monroe
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all audiences
- Last updated: December 2, 2019
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