Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt
|Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt|
|Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny series|
|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Gil Turner
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||June 7, 1941|
|Running time||7:30 (one reel)|
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt is a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, starring Bugs Bunny and Hiawatha, first released on June 7, 1941. The short makes several direct references to The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The short was directed by Friz Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, animated by Gil Turner, and the musical director was Carl Stalling.
The voices of Bugs Bunny and Hiawatha were both provided by Mel Blanc.
Bugs is reading The Song of Hiawatha out loud to himself and the saga turns real as a pint-sized, Elmer Fudd-like Hiawatha (minus the speech impediment) turns up, paddling his canoe. Hiawatha is looking for a rabbit for his dinner. Hiawatha manages to trick Bugs into thinking he is preparing a hot bath for him. It is actually a cooking pot, which Bugs quickly vacates once Hiawatha casually mentions that he is having rabbit stew for supper.
As with Elmer, Bugs spends the rest of the cartoon tormenting his would-be devourer, who finally breaks his arrows in anger and disgust, and paddles his canoe away while Bugsy finishes his reading of the poem. However, in the closing gag, the miffed-looking Hiawatha suddenly returns to the foreground where Bugs is reading the narrative, and after a second of wordless staring at each other, Hiawatha gives Bugs the "insulting kiss" that the Bunny usually bestows on others. Hiawatha then paddles away again, as Bugs "spits out" the kiss.
- This film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (cartoons).
- This was the first Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Friz Freleng.
- This was Bugs' first encounter with a Native American.
- This is a parody of the Silly Symphonies cartoon Little Hiawatha. In fact, the character is a parody of the legendary Disney animator, Ward Kimball.
- The cooking-pot sequence from this cartoon would be directly incorporated three years later in the 1944 Bugs Bunny cartoon What's Cookin' Doc?, although Bugs' facial appearance had subtly changed in the interim. The central joke in that film is Bugs losing the Oscar to fellow Warner actor James Cagney. Showing clips specifically from Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt provides some context to that storyline.
- The Blue Ribbon shown below
- This cartoon was one of the 12 Bugs cartoons pulled out of the Cartoon Network June Bugs marathon in 2001 because of ethnic stereotypes (in this case, the Native American hunter), even though this cartoon has aired on Cartoon Network's show The Acme Hour during Thanksgiving (and the latter cartoon What's Cookin' Doc?, which features a clip of this cartoon, has aired a few times with the scene from Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt intact.)
- VHS - Bugs Bunny Cartoon Festival Featuring "Little Red Riding Rabbit" 
- DVD - Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection.
- Blu-ray - Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 3.
- Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt at the Internet Movie Database
- Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt at the Big Cartoon DataBase
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