Hare Brush

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Hare Brush
Hare Brush.png
Bugs, wearing what would be Elmer's hunting outfit, hunts Elmer, dressed in a rabbit costume.
Directed byI. Freleng
Produced byEddie Selzer (uncredited)
Story byWarren Foster
StarringMel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
(uncredited)
Music byMilt Franklyn
Animation byTed Bonnicksen
Art Davis
Gerry Chiniquy
Layouts byHawley Pratt
Backgrounds byIrv Wyner
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
May 7, 1955 (USA)
Running time
7 minutes 1 second
LanguageEnglish

Hare Brush is a 1955 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short, featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Hare Brush pokes fun at Freudian psychoanalysis, psychiatric medication, hypnosis, and the cliches of other Bugs Bunny shorts. Along with What's Opera, Doc? and Rabbit Rampage, it is one of the first three cartoons where Elmer Fudd defeats Bugs Bunny.

Plot[edit]

In the boardroom of the Elmer J. Fudd Corporation, the board of directors meets to discuss a serious threat to the company's future. The CEO, Elmer Fudd, is suffering from mental illness and believes himself to be a rabbit (but at least, his speech has improved). The board unanimously agrees to commit Elmer to "Fruitcake Sanitarium" ("It's Full of Nuts").

Elmer, now wearing a rabbit suit, sees Bugs Bunny walking past and lures him to the window with a carrot. Bugs says, "You mean I can have that, and plenty more? And all I have to do is to open the window?" Bugs goes inside while Elmer hops out the window. Bugs lies in Elmer's bed to "keep it warm for him."

Viennese psychiatrist Dr. Oro Myicin[1] arrives to begin treating Elmer's delusion and is stunned to see Bugs instead. He declares Bugs as the worst case of "rabbitschenia" he has ever seen. When Myicin tells Bugs to call himself Elmer Fudd, Bugs shakes hands saying, "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Fudd!"

Dr. Myicin tells Bugs that he is not Elmer J. Fudd, Bugs is Elmer J. Fudd. Thinking that Myicin is a "screwball," Bugs then attempts to psychoanalyze the doctor instead. Irked, Myicin gives Bugs a psychiatric capsule, which makes him very vulnerable to suggestion. Once it takes effect, the doctor forces Bugs to repeat again and again, "I am Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht."

Soon after, Dr. Myicin releases Bugs (now sporting morning dress and a Derby hat) from the sanitarium as "cured" of the belief that he is a rabbit and convinced that he is Elmer Fudd. Upon picking him up, Elmer's chauffeur tells Bugs that since it is Wednesday, he has packed his forest clothes and shotgun. Bugs decides to relax by hunting.

Dressed in Elmer's hunting clothes, Bugs tells the audience, "Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits." He then follows "wabbit twacks" to a rabbit hole. Chomping a carrot, Elmer pops out. Bugs aims his shotgun and says, "Now I've got you, you scwewy wabbit." Elmer leans against the gun barrel and asks, "What's up, Doc?"

Bugs pulls the shotgun away and prepares to shoot Elmer, who causes the weapon to backfire by plugging the barrel with his finger. He then hops off. After a short chase through a stream, which includes Bugs taking an underwater shot, Elmer bounds into a cave. Bugs props the gun against a tree, leans into the cave and declares, "Come out, wabbit, or I'll bwast you out!" Meanwhile, Elmer has exited the cave through an adjacent opening, tossed the shotgun aside and taken its place against the tree. Bugs grabs Elmer, points him into the cave and Elmer says, "Bang, bang!" Bugs is fooled, thinking he has got the rabbit. He ventures into the cave to see.

In the pitch dark, Bugs strikes a match to reveal a huge bear standing beside him. As a scared Bugs flees with the bear chasing him, Elmer calls out the suggestion that Bugs play dead. He does so and the bear buries him under a cliff ledge. Bugs then falls out of the underside into a stream far below.

Returning to his rabbit hole, Elmer is shocked to find Bugs waiting for him. Aiming his shotgun in Elmer's face, Bugs yells, "No wabbit's gonna outsmart Elmer J. Fudd!"

But before he can fire, an IRS agent taps Bugs on the shoulder and asks, "Pardon me, did you say you were Elmer J. Fudd?" Bugs replies, "Yes. I am Elmer J. Fudd, miwwionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht." Bugs is then arrested, for non-payment of $300,000 in back taxes. As the T-man hauls him away, Bugs demands in vain to be released, protesting, "I'm hunting a scwewy wabbit!" This time, the last line belongs to Elmer: "I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!", suggesting that he was just pretending this whole time to avoid getting arrested. The final scene features Elmer dancing the Bunny Hop and hopping away.

Music[edit]

Milt Franklyn's music is characteristically less through-composed than that of Carl Stalling, and consists largely of rising and falling arpeggios, stings, and short motifs. Nevertheless, it also follows the usual pattern of Warner's shorts in quoting snippets of popular music to reflect the development of the plot. Starting as usual with "Merrily We Roll Along," the cartoon sets the scene for the corporate meeting by quoting "42nd Street." To introduce the sanitarium, Franklyn uses the old rhyme "Nuts in May." The hypnotic phrase "I am Elmer J. Fudd," etc., is associated with a driving motif in the bass. "A-Hunting We Will Go" marks the chauffeur's announcement that it is Wednesday, the day on which Fudd customarily goes hunting, and the start of the hunt itself. As noticed above, the final scene of the action ends with Ray Anthony's Bunny Hop, and the short concludes, as usual, with "Merrily We Roll Along" over the "That's All, Folks!" caption.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oromycin" [sic] is a trade name for the antibacterial Erythromycin.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sahara Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1955
Succeeded by
Rabbit Rampage