All This and Rabbit Stew

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All This and Rabbit Stew
Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny series
All this and Rabbit Stew.JPG
Title card.
Directed by Tex Avery (unc.)
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Dave Monahan
Voices by Mel Blanc (unc.)
Danny Webb (unc.)
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Virgil Ross
Robert McKimson (unc.)
Rod Scribner (unc.)
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Vitaphone
Release date(s) September 20, 1941 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6:39
Country United States
Language English

All This and Rabbit Stew is a one-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Merrie Melodies series, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on September 20, 1941 by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger and directed by an uncredited Tex Avery, with musical supervision by Carl W. Stalling and voices by Mel Blanc.

The cartoon was the final Avery-directed Bugs Bunny short to be released. Although it was produced before The Heckling Hare (after the production of which Avery was suspended from the Schlesinger studio and defected to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), it was released afterwards. The title is a parody of that of All This and Heaven Too. Because the cartoon was released after Avery left Warner Bros., Avery's name does not appear in the credits.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

After copyright on All This and Rabbit Stew expired in 1969, the film fell into the public domain. The cartoon has been considered highly controversial due to racial stereotyping, which prompted United Artists to withhold this cartoon from syndication a year before it entered the public domain, making it one of the infamous Censored Eleven. The plot has Bugs Bunny hunted by a slow-witted African American hunter who sounds and looks like Stepin Fetchit.

Synopsis[edit]

An African American hunter walks over to a rabbit hole where Bugs is eating his carrots. Bugs is led to a trunk where he tricks the hunter into destroying the tree. Bugs distracts the hunter after introducing himself, and digs underground and when the hunter realizes that Bugs has his gun. Bugs has the hunter run far enough so he can go down the rabbit hole. Realizing that he has been had, the hunter uses a toilet plunger to catch Bugs. However, Bugs scratches the hunter and flees into another rabbit hole. The hunter grabs the plunger, only to find a skunk under him. Next, Bugs lures the hunter into a cave, where they encounter a black bear. All three of them run into the rabbit hole and when Bugs and the hunter realize the bear is in the hole, they run off in fright.

Realizing that Bugs is on the hunter while walking, the hunter fires off a group of bullets. Bugs chases the bullets into a golf hole and tricks them into entering the cave, where the skunk is at. Bugs then lures the hunter into a log, where he runs numerous times until he falls to the ground. Bugs is confronted by the angered hunter and the two decide to play a dice game. Bugs walks off wearing the hunter's clothes, leaving the man with a leaf covering his crotch. Bugs grabs the leaf during the "iris out".

Analysis[edit]

This was one of four Bugs Bunny short films of 1941 which have him facing a hunter. The others were Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt, The Heckling Hare, and Wabbit Twouble. [6]

The film contains a reference to World War II, when the hunter threatens to Blitzkrieg Bugs.[6]

The hunter is identified in his model sheet as "Tex's Coon". [7] The hunter fills the role usually associated with Elmer Fudd. He is described as a "shufflin', big lipped, sleepy-eyed country coon". He can not resist a game of craps. [8] The Stepin Fetchit-like character has his shuffling and mumbling exaggerated for comic effect. The caricature is treated with contempt. It was clearly not a criticism of Fetchit and his stereotypical mannerisms.[7]

The hunter is dressed in a hat, a short-sleeved shirt, overalls and oversized shoes. A character with the same attire and demeanor would later be used Angel Puss (1944). He is the Sambo of the film. [9]

Censorship and bans[edit]

Due to the film's racial stereotyping, All This and Rabbit Stew has not been seen on television since 1968, and was put under the "Censored Eleven" group of banned Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts. It was one of the 12 cartoons to be pulled from Cartoon Network's "June Bugs" 2001 marathon by order of AOL Time Warner due to its "offensive" to African-Americans.

It is also the only Bugs Bunny cartoon in the Censored Eleven. Due to its public domain status, it is not as scarce as most of the others. It can be seen on the internet and on low-budget video releases of public domain cartoons, in all cases as very worn-out and faded prints (neither UA nor Associated Artists Productions [a.a.p.] – from which UA had acquired the cartoons – had access to the original Technicolor negatives, which were being stored at the WB studios).

Availability[edit]

  • VHS/DVD - The Censored Eleven
  • VHS - Bugs Bunny And Friends
  • DVD - Cartoon Craze: Bugs Bunny Falling Hare

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "All This and Rabbit Stew". youtube.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "All This and Rabbit Stew". imdb.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bugs Bunny: All This and Rabbit Stew". amazon.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "All This and Rabbit Stew (1941)". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "All This and Rabbit Stew". mubi.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Shull, Wilt (2004), p. 100
  7. ^ a b Barrier (2003), p. 439
  8. ^ Stausbauch (2007), unnumbered pages
  9. ^ Lehman (2007), p. 58-59

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Heckling Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1941
Succeeded by
Wabbit Twouble