The Big Snooze

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The Big Snooze
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) series
Directed by Bob Clampett (uncredited)
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Warren Foster (uncredited)
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan (uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Rod Scribner
I. Ellis
Manny Gould
J.C. Melendez
Layouts by Thomas McKimson
Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) October 5, 1946 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

The Big Snooze is a 1946 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by an uncredited Bob Clampett, his final theatrical cartoon for Warner[1] and completed it after he left the Warner cartoon studio. Its title was inspired by the 1939 book The Big Sleep, and its 1946 film adaptation, also a Warner release. This is the third Bugs Bunny cartoon where the title does not refer to "hare", "rabbit", or "bunny".The Big Snooze features Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, voiced as usual by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan.[1]

Plot[edit]

In this cartoon-within-a-cartoon, Bugs and Elmer are in the midst of their usual hunting-chasing scenario. After Bugs tricks Elmer into running through a hollow log and off a cliff three times (a comic triple of sorts originally used in Avery's All this and Rabbit Stew), Elmer becomes enraged and frustrated that the writers never let him catch the rabbit in the pictures they both appear in. He tears up his Warner Bros. cartoon contract and walks off the set to devote his life to fishing, stunning Bugs, who piteously protests and effortlessly tries to ask him to reconsider. During a relaxing fishing trip, Elmer falls asleep.

Bugs observes Elmer's nap and takes sleeping pills in order to rock Elmer's "dreamboat" by "invading" his dream and continuing to drive Elmer crazy when Bugs uses the "Nightmare Paint". Symbolic of his dreamland plight, Elmer appears nearly nude, wearing only his derby hat and a strategically placed "loincloth" consisting of a laurel wreath. The two resume their chase through a surreal landscape.

Elmer talks to the audience in "The Big Snooze"

Elmer's anger at a failed pursuit through the surreal landscape, down connected rabbit holes, is promptly used against him by Bugs who inquires "What's the matter doc, ya cold? Here, I'll fix dat". Before Elmer can protest, Bugs dresses him like a woman by wrapping his body with green material from the right, slapping a wig on him, and applying lipstick. Bugs inspects his handiwork, then lifts the backdrop to reveal a trio of literal wolves, lounging by the sign at Hollywood and Vine. When the trio notice Elmer, one wolf hollers "Hooooow old is she?!", right before another wolf begins flirting with Elmer. Bugs enjoys watching the male wolves hit on Elmer, making the hunter now the hunted in a new way. Elmer grabs the hem of his gown and flees from the wolves, who give chase, briefly stopping to ask the audience "Have any of you giwls evew had an expewience wike this?".

In an attempt to "help", Bugs persuades Elmer to follow a mad dash towards stage right, as Bugs plays the old gag "run 'this way'!", putting Elmer through a bizarre series of steps which include running on his feet, flipping upside down to run on his hair, hopping like a frog, as well as Russian folk dancing.

As Bugs and Elmer dive off a cliff, Bugs drinks some "Hare Tonic (Stops Falling Hare)" and screeches to a halt in mid-air, while the dream Elmer continues to careen toward earth, finally crash-landing into the real Elmer's snoozing body as he wakes up with a start, exclaming "Ooh, what a howwible nightmare!".

Elmer dashes back to the cartoon's original set, pieces his Warner contract back together, and agrees to finish what he started. The chase through the log begins anew. Bugs faces the audience in a closeup, closing with the catchphrase from the "Beulah" character on the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly,[2] "Ah love dat man!"

Edited versions[edit]

  • Network syndication versions (and some versions of the cartoon that aired on the Ted Turner-owned superstations TBS and TNT) edit the scene of Bugs Bunny using sleeping pills (from a bottle labeled, "Sleeping Pills: Take Deze and Doze") to get into Elmer's dream, making it seem as if Bugs fell asleep on his own (albeit with a fake black-out or dissolve to the next scene).
  • Cartoon Network had this cartoon edited the same way as syndication, TBS, and TNT used to air it, until the cartoon short aired on The Bob Clampett Show (which became known for airing cartoons by Bob Clampett that either would be shown edited or not shown at all), where the sleeping pill scene was left intact. As of 2011, this short is being shown uncut on Cartoon Network (although it doesn't have the opening sequence and the "Dubbed Version © 1995 Turner Entertainment Co." end card is not used).

Availability[edit]

The Big Snooze is available in a restored, uncensored version on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set, and as part of the compilation What's Up, Doc? A Salute to Bugs Bunny on Volume 3.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Big Snooze at the Big Cartoon DataBase bcdb.com May 9, 2011
  2. ^ Billy Ingram. "The Beulah Show". Retrieved 2006-09-15. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Racketeer Rabbit
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1946
Succeeded by
Rhapsody Rabbit