|Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series|
Title picture to "Fresh Hare"
|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Manuel Perez
|Studio||Leon Schlesinger Productions|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||August 22, 1942|
|Running time||8 min. (one reel)|
Fresh Hare is a Warner Bros. theatrical Merrie Melodies cartoon. It was directed by Isadore "Friz" Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It was released to theatres on August 22, 1942, and is a play on the term "fresh air".
In this short, the rotund early-1940s version of Elmer Fudd is portrayed as a Mountie, in pursuit of Bugs Bunny, who is accused of a litany of crimes, as shown to be stated by Elmer Fudd. The crimes, as corrected here for Elmer's rounded-l-and-r speech, are listed below:
"Resisting an officer, assault and battery, trespassing, disturbing the peace, miscellaneous misdemeanors, public nuisance, traffic violations, going through a boulevard stop, jaywalking, triple parking, conduct unbecoming to a rabbit", and (again) "violating traffic regulations".
As a result of these accusations, Bugs is in big trouble, being chased across the snow-packed tundra of Canada by Elmer; posters throughout the short indicate that Bugs himself is wanted dead or alive (though preferably dead). Elmer tries to get Bugs out of his burrow, but rather than get Bugs in the handcuffs, he gets a bomb instead and frantically searches for his keys. Bugs then looks for the handcuff key while going through keys to "the garage, the car, the front door, Bugs then whistles to the audience "woo woo!", and the back door", and finally has the key, but Elmer blows up with a tremendous explosion off-screen; and as Bugs tells the audience "Oh, well", Elmer finally catches and tells him he's in trouble but Bugs distracts Elmer by wearing his hat and impersonating a Mountie and telling Elmer, "Attention! Why, look at you! You call yourself a Mountie? You're a disgrace to the regiment! I'm gonna drop you out of the service!" as he inspects Elmer before tearing Elmer's uniform off.
When Elmer realizes he's been tricked, he begins to give chase. A chase scene involves a path completely under the snow that ends when Elmer crashes into a pine tree. The impact causes all the snow to fall off the tree, which reveals Christmas decorations, and Elmer emerges from underneath with snow on his face that gives him a Santa Claus appearance. The song Jingle Bells plays in the background, and Bugs says to the astonished Elmer: "Merry Christmas, Santy!". When Elmer finds Bugs, Bugs is seen taunting a snowman that looks exactly like him by saying, "So you call yourself a Mountie! Heh heh heh heh! You can't catch me. Why, you couldn't even catch a cold! You know what I'm going to do to you? I'm gonna punch ya right square in the nose!" and punches Elmer right in the nose when Elmer stands right behind Bugs, causing Elmer to crash into a tree behind him and reveal a heart with arrow stuck in it.
After some more hijinks, a weeping Elmer Fudd gives up and labels himself as a "disgwace to the wegiment" for his failure to catch the resourceful rabbit, at which point Bugs willingly turns himself in. Offscreen, Bugs is sentenced to death by firing squad. As the firing squad lines up to execute Bugs, Elmer tells Bugs that he can make one last wish before he dies, which prompts Bugs to break out into "Dixie". The scene then transitions into a Minstrel show/blackface gag set down south, where Elmer, Bugs and the firing squad perform the chorus of "Camptown Races."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fresh Hare.|
- Fresh Hare at the Internet Movie Database
- Fresh Hare is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Fresh Hare in the Big Cartoon Database
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