28 July 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons. Actually appreciate it more now thanks to broader knowledge of directors, studios and animation styles that was not had as much before.
Chuck Jones is one of the greatest geniuses in animation history, or at least to me and many others, he deserves his legendary status and his best cartoons are masterpieces. Even his weakest works generally are watchable. 'Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court' was one of those cartoons done when Looney Tunes were past prime (which generally they were since the mid-60s) and while not among Jones' best work (nowhere near) or the best representations of Looney Tunes it is worth watching.
'Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court' is a long way from perfect. The animation is mostly not very good at all. A good deal of the drawing is rough rather than smooth, the backgrounds sparse in detail and the colours sometimes lack vibrancy, coming over as flat.
Although Mel Blanc was, and still considered as, one of the greatest voice actors ever, that doesn't mean he wasn't immune from sounding off on occasions. Have never really cared for Blanc's voice work for Elmer, a large part of it may be down to being familiar for goodness knows how long by Arthur Q. Bryan and have always found that Blanc doesn't fit anywhere near as well, his voice too deep and abrasive and his speech impediment not as natural.
Some of the material is a bit over-familiar and would have benefitted from more wit and variety.
However, Blanc shows with the other characters that he had definitely not lost it, every ounce of the exuberance is present as is his unmatched ability to give individual identities to multiple characters. While having relatively little to do as Porky, he is especially spot on as Bugs and Yosemite Sam.
They are the two characters that come off best easily, Bugs is charismatic and both arrogant and likeable while Sam is wonderfully hot-headed and temperamental, for a first time attempt for Jones at the character (being a creation and prolific character of Friz Freleng) he does very well. Daffy is as manic and witty as ever and enjoyed everything with Ray Bradbury. Porky is underused but still likeable and Elmer does have funny moments but would have made more of an impression if Blanc's voice work worked. 'Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court' is very amusing on the whole, with some nice dialogue, well-timed gags, a lot of energy and some neat tricks and little things. Things may be predictable but nothing is dull.
Jones's trademark humour and directing style is all over the cartoon, showing that he was still going strong rather than running out of steam. The music was better than expected, it is not discordant from the action and it is nowhere near as cheap-sounding as Bill Lava's later work, while not coming close to Milt Franklyn and especially Carl Stalling.
On the whole, pretty decent but wasn't mind blown by it. 7/10 Bethany Cox