Wackiki Wabbit

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Wackiki Wabbit
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
Wackiki wabbit title.JPG
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Michael Maltese (uncredited)
Tedd Pierce (uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Ken Harris
Layouts by Bernyce Polifka
Backgrounds by Gene Fleury
Studio Leon Schlesinger Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) July 3, 1943
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:00
Language English

Wackiki Wabbit is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, starring Bugs Bunny. It was written by Tedd Pierce and directed by Chuck Jones. Voices were provided by Mel Blanc (Bugs), Tedd Pierce (the tall, thin man), and Michael Maltese (the short, fat man - the two men's appearances are rough caricatures of the actual men). The musical score was conducted by Carl Stalling.

Wackiki Wabbit is notable for its experimental use of strongly graphic, nearly abstract backgrounds. The title is a double play on words, with "Wackiki" suggesting both the island setting (as in "Waikiki") as well as suggesting "wacky" (crazy) along with the usual Elmer Fudd speech pronunciation of "rabbit", although Elmer refuses to appear in this picture.

This cartoon has fallen to the public domain after United Artists (successor to Associated Artists Productions) failed to renew the copyright on time. The cartoon can be found, restored, on Disc 1 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3.

Plot[edit]

The cartoon opens with two castaways adrift on a small raft in the middle of the ocean, underscored with "Asleep in the Deep". Delirious from hunger, they start imagining each other (or even their own limbs) as food. They spot an island in the distance and rush ashore, underscored by "Down Where the Trade Winds Play", a song used several times in the cartoon (and in others, such as Gorilla My Dreams), where they meet Bugs Bunny, who is munching on his carrot as usual. To his friendly, "What's the good word, strangers?" they answer "FOOD!" and start after Bugs, who leaps away on a vine with a Tarzan yell.

Chasing Bugs through the jungle, they spy him, semi-disguised as one of the "natives", dancing. Bugs welcomes them with, "Ah! White Men! Welcome to Humuhumunukunukuapua'a'a'a island." He then proceeds to speak in Polynesian-accented nonsense, a long stretch of which is subtitled simply "What's up Doc?" and a very short segment is subtitled, "Now is the time for every good man to come to the aid of his party." The tall and skinny man says, "Well, thanks!" and the short, fat man, actually seeing the peculiar subtitle, "Ofa eno maua te ofe popaa", says, "Gee, did you say that?" The skinny man shrugs. Bugs and the two men prepare the feast as they sing "We're gonna have roast rabbit" and Bugs realizes he's the roast rabbit and climbs back up his tree and then Bugs tricks them by substituting a skinned chicken for himself in the large cooking pot. He taunts them with the chicken, using it as a marionette in order to make the two men think the chicken is possessed by a Ghost, until the strings become tangled and he has to make a quick escape.

As the castaways sob in frustration, they hear a steam whistle from a ship. As the men leap for joy at the prospect of being saved and trot toward the gangplank, Bugs kisses them goodbye and presents them with leis, then pulls his time-honored switcheroo trick and boards the ship himself. The boat pulls out, leaving the two men on the island, still waving goodbye to Bugs. The Skinny Man slaps the Fat Man (off-camera, following the Hays Office rules) for still yelling "Goodbye!" The two at once imagine each other as a frankfurter and a hamburger, chasing each other into the distance as "Aloha Oe" plays on the underscore, and the cartoon irises out.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1943
Succeeded by
A Corny Concerto (not part of Bugs Bunny cartoons, but it is a one-shot)