Baby Buggy Bunny

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Baby Buggy Bunny
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
Baby Buggy Bunny title card.png
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Milt Franklyn
Animation by Ken Harris
Abe Levitow
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts by Ernest Nordli
Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) December 18, 1954 (USA premiere)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:05
Language English

Baby Buggy Bunny is a Merrie Melodies animated short film directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese in 1954. The story is about a dwarf gangster named "Babyface" Finster (a play on words on Baby Face Nelson) who, after a clever bank robbery, loses his ill-gotten gains down Bugs Bunny's rabbit hole, forcing him to don the disguise of an orphan baby to get it back.

Plot[edit]

Finster (AKA Ant Hill Harry), a 35-year-old man who resembles a baby, makes a successful robbery of the Last National Bank by the swift use of stilts, dark clothes, a pram and baby clothing. With him dressed in baby attire, he easily evades the arriving police.

Unfortunately for Finster, he loses his money down Bugs' rabbit hole (the pram rolls down a hill and hits a rock) and he gets himself unofficially adopted in order to gain it back. Multiple attempts to grab it (in one instance Finster whacks Bugs with the bag of money) are interpreted as a baby's typical grabbiness. Finster even points a revolver ("toy pistol", Bugs calls it) at Bugs and shoots him but this still does not fully register with Bugs. Just as Bugs is putting the 'baby' to bed, Finster hits Bugs with a baseball bat and the words Bok, Pow, Bang and Boing appear; he assumes the baby is having a nightmare. A supposedly remorseful Finster grabs Bugs and hugs him saying: "dada!"

"Have you seen this man? He is Ant Hill Harry, alias Baby-Face Finster. Notorious bank robber believed to have perpetrated the daring Last National Bank holdup this morning. He is 35 years old, stands --"

Later, Bugs is trying to watch TV, but gets static interference on the screen instead. Hearing a buzzing noise in the bathroom. Bugs peeks inside, and finds Finster is in the bathroom shaving himself, smoking a cigar, and wearing a tattoo (labeled Maisie, Singapore, 1932), something which starts to disturb Bugs. All of a sudden, the TV connection comes back on, and a brief news clip about the bank robbery and an APB for the robber is shown on screen, all this finally makes Bugs realize what's really going on. (It is interesting to note that if the story is assumed to take place in 1954, the date of the cartoon's release, Ant Hill Harry would have been 13 years old when he got the tattoo). Bugs turns off the TV with an angry expression on his face and turns his eyes toward the living room, where he finds Finster going after the money again.

He starts to play rough with Finster first by putting the bank robber in a washing machine and when Finster is washed up, Bugs takes him out and throws him up to the ceiling. Finster hits the ceiling and falls to the floor, and Bugs picks him up. At one point, Finster tries to stab Bugs but stabs himself in the rear. But rather than crying over his pain, Finster instead murmurs inaudible obscenities over it, causing Bugs to spank him, removing the weapons he has with each blow these are Shotgun shells, a Hand Grenade, a Brass knuckle and a Cleaver. Bugs trusses Finster up in a basket like a baby and leaves him and the money at the police station. Finster does not take it well, throwing a wild temper tantrum while being locked up in a baby sized playpen in the State Prison, and angrily claiming his innocence and that he has been framed. Bugs ends the cartoon, telling the angry bank robber: "Don't be such a crybaby. After all, 99 years isn't forever."

Censorship[edit]

Finster points a gun at an unsuspecting Bugs in an oft-censored scene.

The following scenes were edited in the past years:[1]

  • ABC: The scene wherein Bugs puts Baby Face Finster in the washing machine after Finster has played with the "dirty money" was removed from this cartoon. Also gone was Bugs throwing Finster up in the air, saying, "Oh dear, I do believe I have forgotten my fudge," walking away, and letting Finster land flat on his face; the cut was done so that it appeared that Finster fell from atop a bookshelf. Deleted too was Bugs learning painfully the truth about Finster's "toy" gun. "Yeesh, some toy!"
  • CN/Merrie Melodies: The aforementioned scene with Finster's gun is dropped.
  • Syndication: Trimming was done at the point that Bugs shakes Finster violently while saying, "How many times have I told you not to play with the dirty money?"

Reception[edit]

The plot of the 2006 comedy film Little Man was similar enough to Baby Buggy Bunny to earn a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Rip-off.[2] Animation blog Cartoon Brew noted at least three jokes from Baby Buggy Bunny used in Little Man.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/b/
  2. ^ "27th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award “Winners”". Razzies.com. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  3. ^ Beck, Jerry (2006-07-16). "Little Man = Baby Buggy Bunny". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Yankee Doodle Bugs
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1954
Succeeded by
Beanstalk Bunny