Elmer's Pet Rabbit

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Elmer's Pet Rabbit
Elmer's Pet Rabbit.png
Lobby card
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Produced byLeon Schlesinger
Story byRich Hogan
Starring
Music byCarl W. Stalling
Edited byTreg Brown (uncredited)
Animation by
Layouts byJohn McGrew
Backgrounds byPaul Julian
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • January 4, 1941 (1941-01-04)
Running time
7:41
LanguageEnglish

Elmer's Pet Rabbit is a 1941 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.[1] The short was released on January 4, 1941, and features Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny.[2]

This is the first cartoon in which the name Bugs Bunny is given (on a title card, edited onto the end of the opening title following the success of 1940's A Wild Hare), but the rabbit is similar to the one seen and heard in Elmer's Candid Camera (though his voice is different) and other pre-Bugs shorts. This is Chuck Jones' first cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny, and it was written by Rich Hogan. Voices are provided by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger.

Plot[edit]

Bugs Bunny has a chat with Elmer. Animation by Bob Cannon.

Elmer buys Bugs Bunny in a pet shop (for 98¢). When they get home, Elmer builds an enclosure for Bugs, and then serves him dinner (a bowl of vegetables) which Bugs acts angrily towards. Then Bugs is seen grumbling in the night and he eventually takes Elmer's bed as his own. Throughout the short, Bugs irritates Elmer in various ways—from dancing to attempts getting in the shower, etc.—which culminates when Elmer brutally attacks Bugs (in a dark room with humorous fireworks exploding) and sends him out of the house. However, Bugs manages to get back inside and reclaim Elmer's bed.

Evolution of Bugs Bunny[edit]

Bugs Bunny's voice is pitched noticeably lower than in later incarnations of the character. His character is also very different from the more familiar version of Bugs (and even the earlier prototype versions), having a much more aggressive, selfish, arrogant, almost thuggish personality rather than his usual fun loving and comic relief personality. This short is the only one where Bugs has yellow gloves instead of white and no visible front teeth and claims to not eat carrots (yet he eats them and other vegetables while complaining).

The song[edit]

The music in the cartoon includes a variation on "While Strolling Through the Park One Day," arranged by Carl Stalling, performed by Elmer and the rabbit. Elmer, of course, has trouble with many of the words, due to his "rounded L and R" speech impediment.

Analysis[edit]

The rumbling on the other side of Elmer's bedroom was reused in a later cartoon, The Wabbit Who Came to Supper.

Availability[edit]

This short is currently unavailable and unrestored on DVD or Blu-ray until 2020 when HBO Max streaming was released, this cartoon could be available and restored.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 111. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved June 6, 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
A Wild Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1941
Succeeded by
Tortoise Beats Hare