Title card for French Rarebit
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer|
|Story by||Tedd Pierce|
|Music by||Eugene Poddany|
|Animation by||Phil DeLara|
|Backgrounds by||Richard H. Thomas|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|June 30, 1951|
|7 minutes (one reel)|
French Rarebit is a 1951 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies (Blue Ribbon reissued in 1960 with the original ending) animated short, directed by Robert McKimson and written by Tedd Pierce. The title is a takeoff on "Welsh rarebit", which is also known as "Welsh rabbit".
In Paris, France, a delivery truck carrying a crate marked "Carrots from U.S.A." accidentally loses the crate, along with Bugs Bunny, after driving on a bumpy road. As Bugs is trying to figure out where he is, he looks at the Rue de la Paix, the Champs-Élysées, and the Eiffel Tower, he realizes where he is, and decides to "stroll down this boulevard and look over the monsewers and mademoysels" where two French chefs, Louis and François, both want to cook him as a dinner special for their restaurants, and both their dishes involve rabbits. They both spot Bugs and, after secretly measuring him while Bugs is not looking, attempt to catch him. But Bugs is already on to them, and is not caught. He asks François what he has in the tureen, to which François says he has a rabbit. Bugs asks if he could see the "rabbit" and François agrees, but after that, Bugs comments, "Hmm...sort of a short-eared critter, ain't he, doc?" That makes François realize in shock that he has entrapped Louis instead of Bugs and accuses Louis of stealing his rabbit, to which Louis replies that the rabbit is his, to which François points out that the rabbit is his and NOT Louis.
That gives Bugs the perfect idea to trick the two chefs into fighting over who gets to cook him, to which Bugs whispers to the audience, "What a revolting display of temper," until François comes out on top. Bugs tricks François into believing he has a recipe for "a good old Louisiana Back-bay Bayou Bunny Bordelaise, a la Antoine" from the famed Antoine's of New Orleans. François asks for the recipe, which Bugs refuses, but when François "een-seests," Bugs decides to demonstrate it on him. So he disguises François as a rabbit, dips him in wine, pickles him, and stuffs him full of every spicy ingredient in the kitchen before placing him in flour and into a bowl of vegetables.
Louis comes in and demands that Bugs, who Louis obviously mistakes to be François, that he get the rabbit back until François whacks him on the head with a mallet, making Louis notice François, who asks if he was expecting Humphrey Bogart, in the rabbit's place. Louis asks, "Monsieur François! Wha' Happa'?!" To this, François tells him that Bugs knows the recipe from the famed Antoine, forcing Louis to demand that Bugs now show him the recipe. Bugs agrees and does the same routine to him then places them into an oven (identified on the door as La Oven) with a carrot, which also has a stick of dynamite in it.
After the dynamite explodes, the two goofy chefs, having survived the blast, jauntily sing Alouette, adding, with a cheer, "Vive Antoine!" To this, Bugs remarks as the cartoon closes, "Poi-sonally, I prefer hamboigah."
The short can be found (uncut) on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2.
| Bugs Bunny Cartoons
His Hare-Raising Tale