A Mutt in a Rut

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A Mutt in a Rut
Looney Tunes (Elmer Fudd) series
A Mutt in a Rut.jpg
Title screen featuring "Wover"
Directed by Robert McKimson
Produced by John Burton, Sr.
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
Music by Milt Franklyn
Animation by Warren Batchelder
Ted Bonnicksen
George Grandpré
Tom Ray
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds by William Butler
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) May 23, 1959 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6 minutes
Language English

A Mutt in a Rut is a 1959 Looney Tunes animated short starring Elmer Fudd. The story revolves around Elmer's dog, "Wover", who after watching a television show about dogs, is determined to protest how he is treated, but after going hunting, every intention to hurt or kill Elmer backfires on him...in a good way.


While Elmer goes to work for half a day one Saturday morning, Wover turns on his favorite TV show, "The Dog Lovers Hour". The subject matter of the day deals with the relationship between dog and master, with host Carlton Canine asking Wover (rhetorically) whether he was one of those dogs who is forced to sleep in a cold doghouse while his master sleeps in his warm bed. Also pointing out that after a dog has worn out his usefulness, often when he and his master go out hunting, "two go out...but only one comes back". Plenty enraged by these notions, Wover throws Elmer's framed picture on the floor and stomps on it. Then he boots Elmer in the backside when he comes home, "brings" him his slippers, deposits them in a trash can and spits on them afterwards, and then jumps up on the bed in defiance, growling at Elmer when confronted about it. Elmer kicks him out of the house as punishment.

After some thought, Elmer concludes that Wover's erratic behavior is due to the fact that he hasn't taken him anywhere for a long time and decides he and Wover are going to go hunting. However, Wover is afraid to go ahead of Elmer to kick up some game, because of his fear of Canine's earlier "two go out, but only one comes back" statement he expressed on television earlier. Despite this, Wover becomes determined to be "the one who comes back", through a series of mishaps he engineers to harm his master and guarantee his own safety.

First Wover disappears, and when Elmer wanders around looking for him, he grabs Elmer's rifle and tries to shoot him, but ends up killing a bear in a cave Elmer crosses the entrance of, prompting him to think Wover saved his life, but is unable to find him to praise him. Wover then tries to have a mail-order animal, the "Acme Wild Cat", attack Elmer, but Wover gets attacked instead. (This is one of the two Looney Tunes shorts with the wild cat in it who attacks the person who freed him rather than its intended target.) The hapless and naive Elmer sees the injured Wover and praises him for being heroic on both accounts, but Wover still isn't buying it.

In a last ditch effort, Wover plants dynamite in the ground, but it fails to detonate when he triggers it, so he pushes Elmer out of the way, then finds the loose wires, connects them, and it blows up on him. Elmer praises him again for saving him, telling him he'll see that he gets a medal for his heroism. Finally won over, Wover feels like a heel and stops the attempts on his master's life.

After they go home, Elmer makes the injured pet comfortable on the couch, turns on the TV and goes to get him some milk. "The Dog Lovers Hour" comes on again, and Wover, incensed by the events of the day, further fueled by Canine's propagandism, gets off the couch and limps to the studio (as he has one hind leg in a cast).

Elmer arrives back in the living room just in time to witness Wover attacking Canine on television, as the short ends.


A Mutt in a Rut is available on the 2010 DVD Looney Tunes Super Stars' Foghorn Leghorn & Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth.

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