My girlfriend recently showed me some Russian cartoons she grew up with, and I soon wanted to share with her my favorite childhood cartoon: ” Rabbit Seasoning“, where Bugs Bunny repeatedly tricks Daffy Duck into being shot by Elmer Fudd.
While she marveled at the gun violence, I couldn’t help noticing the score makes productive study for film composers. The Looney Tunes cartoon musical style is very familiar: every action on the screen is extravagantly cued, down to the last footstep and blink. Popular songs are quoted for Paul-Schaffer-style musical puns (such as H.R. Bishop’s “Home Sweet Home” accompanying Elmer and Daffy’s arm-in-arm stroll to a mountain cabin – where Daffy is promptly shot).
Composer Carl Stalling’s style may seem overly literal and hyperactive today, but it’s extremely clever and the orchestration is rich. And the music moves so quickly, it’s like studying a score on fast forward. 6 minutes and you’ve covered a hundred bases – fanfare, confusion, intimidation, flirting, rage, the list goes on…
Of course the music is only there to serve the dialogue:
Shoot him now! Shoot him now!BUGS
You keep out of this. He doesn’t have to shoot you now.
He does SO have to shoot me now! I DEMAND that you shoot me now!
My favorite musical bit is the little flute trill when Daffy pulses his eyeballs as he’s up in Elmer Fudd’s face…
AOL has the legal version of it freely available online, albeit with a preroll ad. But it’s worth it: