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Shishkabugs (Looney Tunes)

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Shishkabugs (Looney Tunes)
Shishkabugs.jpg
"Oooh, that gastronomic, epicure, culinary crepe suzette- I hate him!"
Series: Looney Tunes
Episode Number: 909
Air Date: December 8, 1962
Writer: John Dunn
Director: Friz Freleng
Previous episode: "Good Noose"
Next episode: "Martian Through Georgia"


Shishkabugs is a 1962 Looney Tunes cartoon starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam which was directed by Friz Freleng and written by John Dunn. It is one of the shortest Bugs Bunny cartoons ever made during the Golden Age of Animation clocking around only 5 minutes and 5 seconds (not counting the title card and end credits).

Why It's Shishka-Bad

  1. The entire cartoon is a watered-down version of "Slick Hare" but without the humor and charm from it.
  2. Yosemite Sam is portrayed more as a victim rather than an aggressor since Sam is the chef for a spoiled king who will have him drawn and quartered if he doesn’t prepare hasenpfeffer for him. Consequently, this results into becoming a very cruel Yosemite Sam torture short.
  3. Speaking of the Spoiled King, he is just a pathetic main antagonist and is practically a degraded version of Emperor Nero from "Roman Legion-Hare", a much better Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam cartoon directed by Friz Freleng seven years earlier. As his name implies, all he does is act like a whiny, ungrateful spoiled brat who complains non-stop "Cook! Where's my (food)!" to the point that you can't take him seriously.
    • On top of that, the Spoiled King's non-stop whining and complaining is incredibly annoying and would get on your very last nerve.
  4. Plot hole: Why doesn't Yosemite Sam quit his job as the royal chef if he hates his job of cooking for the Spoiled King?
  5. While nowhere near as bad as the Spoiled King in this cartoon, Bugs Bunny is also unlikable since he comes off as bland on this cartoon and keeps attempting to get Yosemite Sam executed for his failure to cook hasenheffer out of him. In fact, when Bugs first appears in this cartoon, it is revealed that he's practically a moocher who keeps "borrowing" cups of carrots from the kitchen Yosemite Sam works in, which isn't a good first impression for Bugs in this cartoon.
  6. Misleading title: Despite the cartoon's title stating "Shishkabugs" which is a play on shish kebab, as well as a shish kebab depicted on the title card, Yosemite Sam never serves any shish kebab to the Spoiled King at all, nor does he attempt to cook shish kebab out of Bugs at all.
  7. Bad ending where Bugs sends Yosemite Sam to be executed; granted, he was trying to cook him as mentioned before in WIS #5, but still.
  8. Mediocre animation for its time.
  9. While Mel Blanc is great, he (once again) phones it in as Yosemite Sam, as he doesn't raise his voice at all (though it's likely due to the car accident Blanc had in January 1961).
    • Even Mel Blanc's voice performance for Bugs Bunny sounds kind of bored and phoned-in as well.
  10. Due to the cartoon's limited time and ridiculous pacing, the plot goes by too fast.
  11. Despite being the main antagonist, the Spoiled King never receives any comeuppances for all his cruel treatment towards his chef Yosemite Sam.
  12. Most of the jokes are unfunny and predictable.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good voice acting by Mel Blanc, despite him sounding bored and phoning the voice for Yosemite Sam in.
  2. William Lava's music score is rather decent and fits the medieval theme well, marking one of his highest points of composing the music for the series after Milt Franklyn's tragic passing in late-1962.
  3. Pretty cool backgrounds for the cartoon. The statue of the axe-wielding knight seen as Sam is being marched away offers a silent clue about the punishment that might await him.
  4. Despite being unlikable and a Karma Houdini, the Spoiled King has created some very memetic quotes (see "Trivia" below).
  5. The Spoiled King is presented as an effective Charles Laughton caricature.
  6. By the end of the cartoon, the Spoiled King finally shows appreciation for his chef when Bugs Bunny took over the role as the Royal Chef following Yosemite Sam's execution, despite being unaware that the "hasenpfeffer" the rabbit made for him is merely just a giant carrot, though that isn't saying much.

Trivia

  • This king from this cartoon (again, a caricature of Charles Laughton) has spawned some memetic quotes such as "Cook! Where's my lunch? Where's my dinner?" and "Where's my hasenpfeffer?"

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