Fresh Hare

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Fresh Hare
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Manuel Perez
Uncredited:
Gerry Chiniquy
Richard Bickenbach
Phil Monroe
Ken Champin
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".

Plot[edit]

In this short, the rotund early-1940s version of Elmer Fudd is portrayed as a Mountie, in pursuit of Bugs Bunny, who is wanted for a litany of crimes, as stated by Elmer Fudd. The crimes, here corrected 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 "violating traffic regulations".

As a result of these accusations, Bugs is a wanted rabbit, chased across the snow-packed tundra of Canada by Elmer. Elmer tries to get Bugs out of his burrow, but instead of getting Bugs in the handcuffs, he gets a bomb and frantically searches for his keys. Bugs then looks for the handcuff key while going through keys to "the garage, the car, the front door, Bugs then whistles to the audience "woo woo!", and the back door", and finally has the key, but Elmer blows up off-screen, and as Bugs tells the audience "Oh, well", Elmer finally catches him but Bugs distracts Elmer by wearing his hat and impersonating a Mountie and telling 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 and before he tears Elmer's uniform off.

When Elmer realizes he's been tricked, he gives 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!". When Elmer finds Bugs, Bugs is seen taunting a snowman that looks exactly like him by saying, "So you call yourself a Mountie! Heh heh heh heh! You can't catch me. Why, you couldn't even catch a cold! You know what I'm going to do to you? I'm gonna punch ya right square in the nose!" and punches Elmer right in the nose when Elmer stands right behind Bugs, causing Elmer to crash into a tree behind him and reveal a heart with arrow stuck in it.

After some more hijinks, Bugs offers to be turned in after a weeping Elmer Fudd labels himself as a "disgwace to the wegiment" for failing to catch the resourceful rabbit. Standing before an execution squad, Elmer asks Bugs if he has a last request, which prompts to Bugs break out into "I Wish I Was in Dixie". The scene then transitions into a Minstrel show/blackface gag set down south, where Elmer, Bugs and the mounties performs the chorus of "Camptown Races."

Censorship[edit]

The end of this cartoon has Bugs proclaiming his last wish in a chorus of "I Wish I Were in Dixie", which is followed by Bugs, Elmer Fudd and the Mounties all in blackface singing "Camptown Races". This scene has been edited in many ways on American television:

  • On Cartoon Network, Bugs starts to sing "I Wish I Were in Dixie", and the picture quickly dissolves to the end card.
  • On TNT, it's the same edit as Cartoon Network, only a fake fade-out is used instead of a quick dissolve (plus, the "Dubbed Version" end card isn't used).
    • On some public domain videos (specifically those under the "Cartoon Explosion" brand) and syndication packages that have aired on local networks, the ending is edited in the same manner as TNT.
  • On TBS, the ending is kept in, but rather than show the scene of Bugs, Elmer, and the Mounties as blackfaced minstrels, footage of Bugs dancing to "Dixie" is played in a loop while the cartoon's audio plays as normal.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1942
Succeeded by
The Hare-Brained Hypnotist