Bugs and Thugs

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Bugs and Thugs
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny/Rocky and Mugsy) series
BugsandThugs Lobby Card.png
Lobby card
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Warren Foster
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Milt Franklyn
Animation by Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Arthur Davis
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Irv Wyner
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) March 13, 1954 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

Bugs and Thugs is a 1954 animated short film in the Looney Tunes series produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. It features Bugs Bunny with Rocky and Mugsy. The film is a semi-remake of Racketeer Rabbit and was directed by Friz Freleng.


It begins with Bugs emerging from his hole in a city park, reading the newspaper on his way to the nearest bank, for a withdrawal from his personal depository of carrots. He reads that "Rabbit Season Opens Today" and comments on his pleasure of living in a "more secure" urban environment (all while miraculously avoiding heavy traffic crossing the street while reading the paper).

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Bugs, Mugsy drives up to the bank, which Rocky invades and robs of an undisclosed sum. Bugs accidentally walks into Rocky and Mugsy's getaway car – mistaking it for a taxi and the giant bags of cash for laundry. Rocky asks Bugs, "How much do ya know?" Bugs fails to realize that he is in the same vehicle as a robber who is asking him what he knows about the hold-up ("Who, me? Oh, I know a lots of things. Two and two is four, Carson City is de capital of Nevada, uh, George Washington was de foist President." Rocky responds, "Cut it. Dis guy knows too much, Mugsy. We'll take him for a ride") When Bugs becomes too gabby during the ride, Rocky points his gun at him and tells him to shut up. Bugs does not stop, so Rocky tells him to "shaddap shaddin' up".

Bugs then asks Mugsy to stop at a "nice, clean gas station". Bugs gets out of the car and receives a nickel from the easily fooled Mugsy so he can use the pay telephone to call the police to report Rocky and Mugsy ("Hello, Police Department? I've got the bank robbers. We're on Highway 55, headed west. We're driving a '52 Acme - straight 8 - overhead valves - with California license plates!"), but gets pulled out of the telephone booth and they escape. The gag is that Bugs still holding on to the telephone – and a policeman with a thick Irish accent is pulled out of the telephone wire onto the road ("Operator – we've been disconnected...").

Soon, Rocky and Mugsy's car stops in front of a railroad grade crossing protected by a swinging "wigwag" signal warning of the approach of a train. Rocky tells Bugs to let them know when it is clear; Bugs morphs into Mugsy's profile and voice to tell Rocky "Okay, Boss!" Bugs tells them to go ahead and the oncoming train proceeds to smash into the car with Rocky and Mugsy still inside.

Bugs is soon forced to fix the car at gunpoint by Rocky. Mugsy is told to button his lip, so Mugsy literally buttons his lip. Bugs repairs everything except one tire and says that they are stuck. Rocky tells Bugs that he is the only one stuck and forces Bugs at gunpoint to run alongside the car while holding the right front axle (Rocky tells Mugsy to take the "scenic route"). Soon, they arrive at their cliff house hideout. When Rocky tells Mugsy to take him into the back room and "let 'im have it", Bugs easily convinces Mugsy that Rocky meant for him to give Bugs the gun ("Okay Mugsy, let me have it. Come, come, you heard what the boss said: 'Let me have it'!"). When Mugsy relents, he gets shot by Bugs (off-screen), stumbles back into the front room and tells Rocky "I let 'im have it boss, just like you said. Ooohhhhh," and passes out on top of Rocky, who quickly punches him off.

Rocky heads for the back room to really "let 'im have it", but Bugs imitates a police siren and says that the police have arrived and surrounded the house. Bugs hides Rocky and Mugsy in the stove when they fall for Bugs' fake alarm. Bugs pretends to be both the policeman with an Irish accent and himself trying to hide Rocky and Mugsy. While "interrogating" himself, Bugs denies hiding them in the stove, turning on the gas heat of the stove and throwing a lighted match in the stove to prove his innocence. The stove explodes, and the "policeman", convinced, leaves. Rocky and Mugsy crawl out of the stove, somewhat scorched. Not five seconds after emerging, the real policemen come and, in an almost exact match of Bugs' previous ruse, one of them (with an Irish accent) asks where Rocky and Mugsy are. When Bugs is about to throw another lighted match into the stove, Rocky and Mugsy quickly run out of the stove and piteously beg the policeman to arrest them. The next day, Bugs becomes a criminal-catching detective talking on the phone, as a member of Detectives Guild: Local 839 (a pun on the cartoonists' union), styling himself as "Bugs Bunny, Private Eyeball – Thugs Thwarted, Arsonists Arrested, Bandits Booked, Counterfeiters Caught, Forgers Found and Chiselers Chiseled."


Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny, Rocky, Mugsy and Police Officers

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Preceded by
Captain Hareblower
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
No Parking Hare