Southern Fried Rabbit
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|Southern Fried Rabbit|
|Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) series|
|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Animation by||Ken Champin
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Irv Wyner|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 2, 1953 (USA premiere)|
|Running time||6 min. 45 sec.(one reel)|
A severe drought has ruined the carrot crop in Bugs Bunny's northern home. Upon learning of a boom crop in Alabama, Bugs decides to make the trip to the fertile soils (later exhaustedly asking, "I wonder why they put the South so far south?"). As soon as he crosses the Mason-Dixon Line, he is shot at by "Colonel" Sam, who chases him but then quickly realizes that he crossed the Mason-Dixon Line and runs back, saying he has to burn the boots as they "touched Yankee soil!". Bugs asked Sam what the deal is, only to hear that Sam believes he is a soldier of the Confederate States of America and has received orders from General Robert E. Lee to guard the borders between the Confederate States and the United States. When an annoyed Bugs points out that the "War Between the States" ended nearly 90 years ago, Sam says that "I ain't no clock watcher!" and shoots Bugs away, prompting the rabbit to make several attempts to shake his antagonist.
First, Bugs disguises himself as a banjo-playing slave, singing "My Old Kentucky Home." When Sam asks for something "more peppy", Bugs promptly sings "Yankee Doodle," leading Sam to call Bugs a traitor. Bugs then begs Sam not to beat him, pulls out a whip (disguised as a banjo string), and forces it into Sam's hands, making Sam look guilty. After fleeing, the rabbit immediately comes in disguised as Abraham Lincoln, scolding Sam for "whipping slaves". Sam tries to protest with repeated "buts" but Bugs in response hands him a card to "look me up at my Gettysburg Address". Bugs' cover is blown, however, when his cotton tail shows through Abe's trenchcoat, prompting an infuriated Sam to chase Bugs into a tree. Bugs twice blows out Sam's match as he's trying to light a cannonball (the second time with an extended pipe), but the third time (even though Sam takes the precaution of going even further away from the tree than the second attempt) results in Sam taking an explosion.
Bugs then disguises himself as Stonewall Jackson (here as "General Brickwall Jackson"), fooling Sam into marching into a well. Later, Bugs flees into a mansion, where he disguises himself as Scarlett O'Hara (from Gone with the Wind), and when Sam searches the mansion for Yankees, he takes a cannon explosion looking inside a closet.
Bugs at last succeeds in getting Sam when, disguised as an injured Confederate soldier, he informs him that "the Yankees are in Chattanooga" in Tennessee. Sam marches to "Chattanoogee", and the finale has him using a shotgun to threaten the New York Yankees, preventing them from competing in an exhibition baseball game against the Chattanooga Lookouts: "The first dang Yankee to step out of that dugout gets his head blasted off!!!".
- On Cartoon Network, WB!, ABC, and the syndicated version of "The Merrie Melodies Show", the entire scene where Bugs impersonates a black slave to get past the Mason-Dixon line, blows his cover by playing "Yankee Doodle", places a whip in Yosemite Sam's hand and begs Sam not to beat him, then comes in as Abraham Lincoln reprimanding Sam for what he had supposedly done ("What's this I hear about you whipping slaves?"), is cut. While ABC, Cartoon Network, and WB showings deleted the entire part after Sam shoots at Bugs (fading out after that point and falsely fading in to the part where Bugs runs to hide in a tree), the syndicated "Merrie Melodies Show" showed Bugs crossing the Mason-Dixon line as a slave and singing "Yankee Doodle" before Sam catches him, but cut the part where Bugs places a whip in Sam's hand, begs Sam not to beat him, then comes in as Abraham Lincoln to reprimand him.
- "The Merrie Melodies Show" also replaced the shot of Sam being blasted by a cannon with a shot of Bugs (dressed as Scarlett O'Hara) backed up against a door.
- The Cartoon Network and WB! version also cuts the brief introductory shot of Colonel Sam yelling: "Charge!" as he jumps out of a trench due to the presence of the Confederate flag.
- Southern Fried Rabbit is available (uncut and restored) on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4, Disc 1. It was omitted from the Region 2 United Kingdom release for unknown reasons, most likely due to the racist imagery.
|Bugs Bunny Cartoons