Bonanza Bunny

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Bonanza Bunny
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
Directed by Robert McKimson
Produced by John Burton, Sr.
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Milt Franklyn
Animation by Tom Ray
George Grandpre'
Ted Bonnicksen
Warren Batchelder
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek[1]
Backgrounds by William Butler[1]
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) September 5, 1959 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6:30
Language English

Bonanza Bunny is a 1959 Bugs Bunny cartoon featuring French Canadian claim jumper Blacque Jacque Shellacque.


Set in 1896 Dawson City, Yukon, a snow-covered Bugs Bunny walks into the saloon with a bag full of gold nuggets. Bugs has no use for these yellow rocks, admitting that he confused "carats" with the vegetable when he traveled to the area (having actually heard about the Klondike Gold Rush). The men in the saloon look suspiciously at Bugs, who requests a glass of carrot juice, to which an eager bartender give Bugs his best serving of carrot juice (90° proof, accompanied by How Dry I Am) then comments that Bugs' rock "is pretty", to which Bugs pays the man while naively saying: "You like it? Keep it! I'm gonna keep the rest of them for souvenirs." Nonetheless, Bugs is shot at by a man who identifies himself as Blacque Jacque Shellacque - "Wanted" for claim-jumping, pogo-sticking, and square-dance calling. The shot breaks Bugs' glass of carrot juice and Bugs confronts Jacque about how rude he is.

Jacque thinks that Bugs is out to get rich and demands the bag of gold. When Bugs refuses to cooperate, Jacque engages in a series of tricks to seize the gold. One of the gags is Bugs' and Jacque's blackjack game, to which Bugs innocently says that he does not know the rules of blackjack and that "I've played Old Maid a couple of times, just for matches". Bugs requests to stand on one card, to which a confused Jacque says "One ... card? Oh sure, sure!", clearly thinking this will be to his advantage to allow the supposedly gullible Bugs this irregular hand. Regardless, Jacque cheats by drawing from the bottom of the deck; he deals for himself two "10 of spades" cards for a total of 20 and challenges Bugs to "Beat that! HAR HAR HAR!". Bugs obliges by exposing his lone card, the "21 of hearts" ("HAR HAR, HARDY HAR HAR!!"). Bugs, seemingly unaware of the danger he is in, recovers his wagered bag of gold and calmly says: "Well, that's the way the ball bounces. Somebody's gotta lose, somebody's gotta win", to which an enraged Jacque roars: "Oooooh! Nobody wins from Blacque Jacque Shellacque!"

Right after Jacque openly states how dangerous he is, Bugs convinces Jacque that there's a man in the rumpus room who claims to be twice as dangerous. As Jacque goes into confront this stranger, whom we see is Bugs in disguise, he sees Bugs pull out a popgun. Just as Jacque jokingly pulls out the cork, the gun blasts him in the face. In a classic Bugs Bunny trick, Bugs pretends to have a phone call for Jacque from "Fifi from Montreal" - with the receiver being a lighted stick of dynamite. Jacque takes the bait and the dynamite explodes, swooning "Ohh ... that Fifi ... she's a blast."

In the final scene, Jacque corners Bugs in a back storeroom and in a form of armed robbery, holds a pistol to Bugs Bunny and demands the gold. Bugs then pretends to cower and "surrenders" the gold, actually handing him a bag filled with gunpowder, but not before cutting a hole in the bag and causing it to leak. The powder leaves a trail behind Jacque, who gloats at his "victory", and proceeds to run off into the mountains shouting: "I'm rich! I'm rich! 90% bracket!", without even bothering to check the contents of his ill-gotten bag. Bugs lights the trail, which makes a gigantic and colorful explosion, aborting Jacque's celebration. "Gee, those Northern Lights are pretty this time of year", Bugs remarks as he witnesses the explosion. Furthermore, as he departs, Bugs notes what people will do for a bunch of gold-painted rocks which was the real nature of the "gold" he had. Bugs then hops onto a dogsled and calls out to the sled dog, named Oatmeal (a puppy), to mush and rides off into the horizon.


This short marks the first appearance of Blacque Jacque Shellacque.[1] Animation is reused from "Bunker Hill Bunny" (1950), "Bugs Bunny Rides Again" (1948), and "Drip-Along Daffy" (1951).[1]

Edited versions[edit]

When this cartoon aired on ABC, everything between Blacque Jacque's loss to Bugs at card game 21 and Bugs running into a storage room, including the cork-pulling gag in the rumpus room and the dynamite telephone, was deemed too violent and removed from this cartoon. In earlier airings, to deal with time constraints sometimes the final line of Bugs having painted rocks was cut (but all other scenes kept), with the final edited line being about "the Northern Lights being pretty this time of year". This edit often gave the impression that Bugs had real gold in his possession.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bonanza Bunny". Big Cartoon DataBase, June 3, 2016

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Wild and Woolly Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
A Witch's Tangled Hare