Duck! Rabbit, Duck!

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Duck! Rabbit, Duck!
Duck-rabbit-duck.jpg
Daffy Duck thinks he is writing a fricasseing rabbit license, but Bugs spells "F-R-I-C-A-S-S-E-E-I-N-G D-U-C-K" instead.
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Produced byEdward Selzer
(uncredited)
Story byMichael Maltese
StarringMel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
(uncredited)
Music byCarl Stalling (Direction)
Milt Franklyn (Orchestration)(uncredited)
Animation byKen Harris
Abe Levitow
Richard Thompson
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts byMaurice Noble
Backgrounds byPhilip De Guard
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
October 3, 1953 (USA)
Running time
6:49
LanguageEnglish

Duck! Rabbit, Duck! is a 1953 Merrie Melodies comedy cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones, and starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. It is the sequel to Rabbit Seasoning, and the third (along with Rabbit Fire) and final entry in Jones' "hunting trilogy" (the only major difference in format between this film and the others is that it takes place during the middle of winter). Produced by Eddie Selzer for Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc., the short was released to theaters in 1953 by Warner Bros. Pictures. This is the only film in the trilogy where Bugs does not crossdress.

Overview[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

The cartoon, set in winter, finds Daffy Duck removing and burning every "Duck Season Open" sign he finds in order to warm himself in the winter, and prevent himself from being hunted. Elmer is out hunting and Daffy uses several signs to convince Elmer that it is rabbit season, making Elmer excited about "Fwesh wabbit stew!" just before Elmer follows the yellow trail to Bugs' rabbit hole. Daffy lures Bugs Bunny out by asking for a cup of blackstrap molasses. Just as Bugs Bunny comes out of his rabbit hole, Elmer points the gun at him and declares that he got his "wabbit stew". However, Bugs is already prepared for Daffy's trick and attempts to convince Elmer not to shoot him because he is obviously an endangered species-a fricasseeing rabbit (the irony being that fricassee is actually a type of stew) and that Elmer does not have a license to shoot fricasseeing rabbits.

This enrages Daffy, who attempts to convince Elmer Fudd that Bugs Bunny is actually trying to fool Elmer and orders Elmer to shoot Bugs, prompting Elmer to regretfully point out that he does not have the proper license. Exasperated, Daffy writes out the proper hunting license but has to ask Bugs how to spell "fricasseeing". Bugs tells him, "F-R-I-C-A-S-S-E-E-I-N-G", adding "D-U-C-K". Oblivious to the trick, Daffy gives Elmer the license ("Hurry up! Hurry up! The fine print doesn't mean a thing!") and Elmer obediently blasts Daffy. This leads into an extended routine in this short that has Bugs holding up various "animal season" signs to correspond with every figurative expression involving an animal that Daffy is called, either by himself, or by Bugs in response (including "goat", "dirty skunk", "pigeon" and "mongoose"). Each presentation of the sign is accompanied by a brass fanfare of a fox hunting call, and is, of course, followed by a gunshot; after each shot, irritated Daffy is forced to put his beak back in place.

At one point, Bugs builds a snow-rabbit image of himself and when Elmer blasts it, Bugs Bunny appears disguised as an angel (which Elmer believes, to Daffy's total disgust).

Bugs then puts on a duck disguise. Daffy (who has been instructing Elmer not to pay attention to the signs, but to only do what he tells Elmer to do) sees him and shouts "Shoot the duck! Shoot the duck!" to which Elmer obliges by shooting the nearest duck — Daffy. Daffy finally goes completely insane, demanding "Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers and gunpowder and cordite!" then holding up his fingers at the top of his head like the antlers of an elk and scuttling around sideways like a crab, shrieking that it's elk and fiddler crab season, respectively, and that Elmer should shoot him. The antics become truly confusing at the end when the now-totally bewildered Elmer encounters Bugs disguised as a game warden and begs him to tell Elmer what hunting season it really is, to which Bugs tells Elmer that it is baseball season.

On hearing this, Elmer, too, then completely loses his sanity and starts shooting at a baseball that Bugs throws out a little bit in front of him as he goes off into the distance. When he is gone, Bugs asks Daffy what hunting season it really is. Daffy casually answers that it is duck season and ends up getting blasted by several hunters hiding behind rocks. Daffy crawls back, seething and smoldering from being shot, and tells Bugs "You're despicable!".

Cast[edit]

Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck

Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer Fudd (uncredited)

Critical reception[edit]

In a commentary by Eric Goldberg, he cites the short as his favorite in the hunting trilogy. Goldberg praises the setting, describing it as "Maurice Noble's beautiful snowscape", reasoning "it makes the action read that much cleaner".[1] When discussing the whole hunting trilogy, Forrest Wickman at Slate states "The formula is simple, but what makes the cartoons classics are the small variations in execution." Wickman praises the various ways Daffy is shot.[2]

Usage in other media[edit]

A small clip from this cartoon (particularly the scene where an insane Daffy shouts at Elmer, "I'M AN ELK! SHOOT ME!") is briefly seen in the movie Space Jam, right after the camera moves away from the clip from Muzzle Tough.

Availability[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Goldberg (animator). Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (commentary). Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3 (disc 1).
  2. ^ "Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes "Hunting Trilogy": See Every Time Daffy Gets Shot in the Face". Slate Magazine. Retrieved April 1, 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lumber Jack-Rabbit
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1953
Succeeded by
Robot Rabbit
Preceded by
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
Daffy Duck Cartoons
1953
Succeeded by
Design for Leaving
Preceded by
Rabbit of Seville
Elmer Fudd cartoons
1953
Succeeded by
Robot Rabbit