Hare Trigger

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Hare Trigger
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series
HareTrigger Lobby Card.png
Lobby card
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Gerry Chiniquy
Additional animation:
Jack Bradbury (unc.)
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Paul Julian
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) May 5, 1945 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8:00
Language English

Hare Trigger is a 1945 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon short starring Bugs Bunny directed by Friz Freleng. It marks the first appearance of Yosemite Sam, who appears as a train robber. Mel Blanc does both characters' voices.

The title is a play on "hair trigger", referring to any weapon or other device with a sensitive trigger.

This is the first cartoon with a shorter version of the Merrily We Roll Along music.

This is also the first cartoon to credit all of the animators and use a "Direction" credit.

Plot[edit]

After opening credits underscored by a lively instrumental of "Cheyenne", an old-fashioned train is seen rolling along through the desert. It passes another train going around a utility pole, and voices are heard repeating "Bread and Butter".

Bugs is riding in the mail car of a train, singing a nonsense song called "Go Get the Axe", when a pint-sized bandit attempts to rob the train (with the underscore playing stereotypical "villain music"), only to have it pass clear over his head. He then calls for his horse, which he needs a rolling step-stair to mount. He catches up and boards the train and begins to rob it while the mail clerk wraps himself in a package marked DON'T OPEN 'TIL XMAS. The bandit accidentally throws Bugs Bunny in his sack. Bugs assumes he's Jesse James. The bandit scoffs and tells him (and the audience), "I'm Yosemite Sam, the meanest, toughest, rip-roarin'-est, Edward Everett Horton-est hombre what ever packed a six-shooter!" (This pattern of Sam introducing himself to Bugs and the audience continued in other cartoons.) Bugs tells Sam that there is another tough guy in the train packing a "seven-shooter", and Sam goes looking for him – and it's Bugs in disguise.

Various fights ensue, as each character temporarily gets the upper hand for a while. In one scene Bugs dumps red ink on Sam, compelling him to think he's been shot; he collapses but eventually gets the joke. Sam then pushed his face furiously into Bugs', then pulls back and with a quiet, offended tone asks, "Why did you pour ink on mah haid?" After another skirmish, Bugs tricks Sam into dashing into a lounge car in which a horrific fight is occurring. Stock film footage of a stereotypical western saloon fight, taken from the Warner Brothers western Dodge City, was used for this. With the sounds of crashes and bangs in the background, Bugs calmly sings "Sweet Georgia Brown" to himself. Sam emerges tottering, banged and bruised, to a comical instrumental of "Rally 'Round the Flag", and a race-based gag occurs that is subtle enough it is usually left intact in network showings: Bugs affects the stereotyped voice of an African-American train porter, and has the dazed Sam convinced he's supposed to disembark the train, piling him up with luggage; Sam even hands Bugs a silver coin as a tip, and Bugs says, "Thank you, suh!" As Sam steps off the moving train, the mail-drop hook grabs him and temporarily whisks him off the train. Bugs thinks he has vanquished Sam, and yells, "So long, screwy, see ya in Saint Louie!" a line that will be echoed in Wild and Woolly Hare and A Feather in His Hare. But Sam gets back on board somehow. Bugs and Sam start a fight on top of the passenger train.

Finally, Sam has Bugs tied up, dangling from a rope, weighted down by an anvil, and fiendishly cutting through the rope, while the train is passing over a gorge. ("Now, ya lop-eared polecat, try and get out of this one!") The screen fills with the words the narrator (Mel Blanc, in close to his natural voice) is saying, "Is this the end of Bugs Bunny? Will our hero be dashed to bits on the jagged rocks below?" and so on. Then Bugs walks across the screen, dressed in top hat and tails, carrying a bag full of gold (reward money), and dragging the tied-up villain behind him, mocking the on-screen words ("Is he to be doomed to utter destruction? Will he be rendered non compos mentis?"). Bugs closes by turning to the audience and repeating a popular radio catch-phrase from Red Skelton's "Mean Widdle Kid": "He don't know me vewy well, do he?" as a bar of Kingdom Coming plays on the track at iris-out.

Cast[edit]

Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Narrator

Trivia[edit]

The engines on both trains are 4-4-0s or American type locomotives, which were the most common wheel arrangements for locomotives, during the 1800s on American railroads, despite the engine being a 2-4-0, converted to a 2-4-0.

Availability[edit]

  • VHS - Bugs Bunny Classics: Special Collectors Edition
  • VHS - Bugs Bunny's Zaniest Toons
  • VHS - The Golden Age Of Looney Tunes Vol 6: Friz Freleng
  • Laserdisc - Bugs Bunny Classics: Special Collectors Edition
  • Laserdisc - The Golden Age Of Looney Tunes Volume 1
  • DVD- Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Unruly Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1945
Succeeded by
Hare Conditioned