29 December 2014 | utgard14
"Ok, rabbit. Ya forced me to use force."
This is the only Bugs Bunny cartoon to win an Academy Award. This may seem strange to a lot of people because there were so many better Bugs shorts that weren't even nominated for Oscars, let alone won. But we have to keep in mind this was only up against the rest of the animated shorts from 1958 and the competition that year might have been pretty slim pickings. As a matter of fact there were only three nominees that year instead of the usual four so it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case. I've seen all three nominees and I can say, for my money, this is the best of the three. I can't readily think of another 1958 cartoon but I do know that the quality of animation across the board was declining by the late '50s. There would still be some great stuff to come but the best days of WB, MGM, and even Disney shorts were behind them by this point.
Oscar talk aside, this is a very good Bugs Bunny cartoon. It takes place in the time of King Arthur, here represented as a silly old man. Arthur asks for a volunteer among his knights to retrieve the Singing Sword from the evil Black Knight (Yosemite Sam) and his fire-breathing dragon. All of the knights are chicken so King Arthur orders court jester Bugs to retrieve the sword. If he refuses, he'll be tortured and beheaded! Bugs goes to the Black Knight's castle to complete his task and Sam obviously tries to stop him. Now, reading back over what I just wrote, this sure doesn't sound like a funny cartoon, does it? It actually has a lot of clever bits and great gags. The idea of Arthur and his knights being cowardly is pretty funny, I thought. But the short's strength lies in the Bugs vs Sam stuff. If you've ever seen a Bugs/Sam cartoon before (and I'm sure you have), then you know how much fun these two going toe-to-toe can be. It's very funny with good animation, lively music, and solid voicework from the always reliable Mel Blanc. The scenes of Black Knight Sam trying to get back into the castle are hilarious. Funny stuff with the dragon, too ("Dragons is so stupid!").