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TV & Film

Baseball Bugs

Ellen Adair January 20, 2021

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1946 Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny cartoon, “Baseball Bugs.” They introduce the cartoon (1:20), with an overview of the story, cast, director and writer, and discussion of the title’s play on words. A Legal Disclaimer (6:55) clarifies that this review establishes no precedent for the cartoon to be viewed as a “film,” w/r/t the dispute of Alan Sepinwall v. Joe Posnanski / Mike Schur. They review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film (9:01), with an apropos metaphor. Amount of Baseball (12:17) begins joyously, considering the density of baseball content, and at attempt at a player comp. Baseball Accuracy (14:43) opens with a consideration of judging cartoon baseball accuracy, and the ramifications of Bugs playing multiple positions, including his sprint speed, with reference to Roman Quinn and Tim Locastro. The Gas House Gorillas appear to flout roster-size regulations, both at bat and in the field. A Dylan Bundy outing is remembered. They discuss the inconsistency of who is the home team, background on the Gashouse Gang Cardinals, Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, the Polo Grounds, and how many players are on the Tea Totallers. Some issues: Bugs’ final out, with reference to Duaner Sanchez, Clayton Kershaw and Marcell Ozuna, and his super-immaculate inning (or is it?). That is not a regulation bat. That IS a balk. Where is the pitching rubber? Storytelling (38:46) discusses the evolution of Bugs Bunny, and this cartoon as ultimate wish fulfillment, the Tea Totallers, the Bat Boy, and the screaming liner. Rating the Score (46:57) praises the iconic Looney Tunes music, the genius and career of Carl Stalling, the benefits of a full studio orchestra. Musical puns bring reference to the Atlanta Braves’ organist. Acting (51:09) revels in Mel Blanc’s virtuosity, even if this is not the most prime vehicle. They contemplate how writing creates a ceiling for acting; roles, not actors, are Oscar-caliber. Delightfulness of Catcher (54:58) weighs Bugs vs. the Gas House Gorillas’ catcher, who clearly deserves a suspension. Delightfulness of Announcer (58:35) wonders: does the barbershop quartet count? Is the announcer visiting, or a Gorillas’ partisan? Lack of Misogyny (1:02:35) considers the problem of the only female forms being literal objects. No spoilers on the following segments, although there is one moment when Ellen Completely Loses It: Yes or No (1:04:59), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:07:40), Favorite Moment (1:08:59) Least Favorite Moment (1:11:50), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:12:25), Dreamiest Player (1:13:53), Favorite Performance (1:15:38), Next Time (1:15:54), and Review Thank You (1:17:59).


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