Fresh Hare

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Fresh Hare
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
Fresh Hare title.JPG
Title picture to "Fresh Hare"
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
(both uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Manuel Perez
Additional animation:
Gerry Chiniquy
Richard Bickenbach
Phil Monroe
Gil Turner
(all uncredited)
Studio Leon Schlesinger Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) August 22, 1942
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 min. (one reel)
Language English

Fresh Hare is a Warner Bros. theatrical Merrie Melodies cartoon. It was directed by Isadore "Friz" Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It was released to theatres on August 22, 1942, and is a play on the term "fresh air"[citation needed].

Plot

In this short, the rotund early-1940s version of Elmer Fudd is portrayed as a Mountie, in pursuit of Bugs Bunny, who is wanted dead or alive (though preferably dead). After following rabbit tracks to a burrow, Elmer tries to lure Bugs out; he initially succeeds in getting Bugs handcuffed, but somehow Bugs worms his arm out of the cuffs and attaches a bomb in its place. A panicked Elmer, chained to the bomb and stuck in the snow, searches frantically for the keys to the cuffs, only to find that Bugs has stolen them; Bugs deliberately takes his time going through each and every key before finding it just as the bomb explodes offscreen. Elmer, unharmed by the bomb, tells Bugs that he's in under arrest for a litany of crimes. The crimes, as corrected here for Elmer's rounded-l-and-r speech, are listed below:

"Resisting an officer, assault and battery, trespassing, disturbing the peace, miscellaneous misdemeanors, public nuisance, traffic violations, going through a boulevard stop, jaywalking, triple parking, conduct unbecoming to a rabbit", and (again) "violating traffic regulations." While Elmer reads, Bugs puts his hat on and impersonates another Mountie and says to Elmer "Attention! Why, look at you! You call yourself a Mountie? You're a disgrace to the regiment! I'm gonna drop you out of the service!" as he inspects Elmer before tearing Elmer's uniform off.

When Elmer realizes he's been tricked, he begins to give chase. A chase scene involves a path completely under the snow that ends when Elmer crashes into a pine tree. The impact causes all the snow to fall off the tree, which reveals Christmas decorations, and Elmer emerges from underneath with snow on his face that gives him a Santa Claus appearance. The song Jingle Bells plays in the background, and Bugs says to the astonished Elmer: "Merry Christmas, Santy!". Bugs burrows his way out of Elmer's path.

Elmer rediscovers Bugs's footprints and follows them; he finds Bugs taunting a snow effigy of Elmer, taunting the snow mountie and threatening to punch it square in the nose. As Elmer sneaks up behind him hoping to catch him by surprise, Bugs instead turns around at the last moment and hits the real Elmer square in the nose, propelling him backward.

After some more hijinks, a weeping Elmer Fudd gives up and labels himself as a "disgwace to the wegiment" for his failure to catch the rabbit, at which point Bugs willingly turns himself in. At headquarters, Bugs is blindfolded and sentenced to death by firing squad. As the firing squad lines up to execute Bugs, Elmer tells Bugs that he can make one last wish before he dies, which prompts Bugs to break out into "Dixie". The scene then, in a non sequitur, transitions into a minstrel show (a commonly censored scene on televised airings of this short), where Elmer, Bugs and the firing squad, now all in blackface, perform the chorus of "Camptown Races."

Availability

  • Because of its public domain status, Fresh Hare has been widely available on numerous low-cost, unauthorized public domain VHS tapes and DVDs, and on internet streamings, usually in very poor quality.
  • This short is available as a bonus feature of the Captains of the Clouds DVD release.

[1] [2] [3]

References

  1. ^ "The CENSORED Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Guide". The Ultimate Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Website. Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Useful Notes: Looney Tunes in the Forties". TV Tropes. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Censored Eleven". MetaFilter Community Weblog. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 

External links

  • Fresh Hare on IMDb
  • Fresh Hare is available for free download at the Internet Archive
  • Fresh Hare in the Big Cartoon Database
  • Fresh Hare on the Internet Archive
Preceded by
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1942
Succeeded by
The Hare-Brained Hypnotist
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