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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Race, page 18 of 25


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Race, Page 248

In Rabbit Punch (1948) Bugs Bunny intentionally destroys the film he occupies. Even though many cartoon characters insist on their ontological status as a real objects, they are produced and restrained by the animator's hand.

This Bugs Bunny short features the waskally wabbit boxing a palooka who is clearly the better man. Eventually, Bugs turns to animation's play with the boundaries between the drawn and the real world, actually deforming and destroying the film on which he is being beaten. This impossible strategy marks an important difference between early and later animation. Where early characters might have actually attempted to leave the frame for the live cinematic or real worlds, with the coming of sound and the enclosure of cinematic space, 'toons were trapped in the frame could only refer to that rebellion.
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