High Diving Hare

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High Diving Hare
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) series
High Diving Hare.PNG
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer (uncredited)
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Gerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Pete Burness
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Paul Julian
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) April 30, 1949 (1949-04-30)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:30
Language English

High Diving Hare is a 1948-produced Warner Brothers Looney Tunes (reissued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie in the beginning, with the original Looney Tunes ending title sequence.) theatrical cartoon short starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Released to theaters on April 30, 1949, the short is an expansion of a gag from Stage Door Cartoon, which was also directed by Friz Freleng. High Diving Hare can be seen in the third act of The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.


Bugs Bunny is drumming up business for a vaudeville show in a remote western town (notably one of the posters in the background is for "Frizby the Magician", a reference to director Friz Freleng). One of the main attractions is "Fearless Freep" and his high-dive act. As soon as Yosemite Sam hears the name "Fearless Freep", he goes into a frenzy, buying as many tickets as he can. ("I'm a-splurgin'!")

During the show, as Bugs is about to introduce Freep, he gets a telegram informing him that Freep is delayed by a storm and won't be able to appear until tomorrow. An angered Sam insists on seeing the high-diving act and forces Bugs at gunpoint to the top of a high-dive platform. But Bugs manages to pull out all his tricks and stops, and it is Sam who does all the diving, in a different comical setting nine separate times (in a variant of the diving act from "Stage Door Cartoon").

1: Sam pushes Bugs to the edge of the platform (and for the only time we see Bugs bare his claws to secure himself to the edge of the board). Bugs dupes Sam into covering his eyes while he puts on his bathing suit, and then proceeds to spin the board around so that Sam is at the diving edge. Bugs makes it look like he's taken the dive (accompanied with an audible "SPLASH"), but Sam turns around and starts to walk off, right off the edge and into the tank, which falls apart with the water still intact after the straps broke off the tank when he crashed in.

2: Bugs springs on the board so hard that he sends Sam up, over and down (separating Sam from his pistols in the process). Bugs then realizes that he forgot to fill the tank with water, so he grabs a bucket of water from off-camera and throws it down from the diving board past Sam. The water makes it into the tank, but Sam misses the tank altogether, smashing through the stage into the basement.

3: Sam walks to the end of the board and finds Bugs standing under the board upside-down ("Great horny toads! What are ya doin' down there upside-downy?"). But it is Sam who is upside-down ("I'm not upside down, doc. You are! Look!"). Sam looks "up", then sees the tank, and falls "up" into it.

4: Having been verbally hit with "fightin' words", Bugs dares Sam to "step over a line" (in a gag similar to one from Bugs Bunny Rides Again), sending Sam down for the splash again (but not before springing back up briefly to declare: "I hate you!")

5: Sam is stopped by a door, and yells "Open up that door!" then turns to the audience and says: "You notice I didn't say Richard?". He backs up and charges towards the door, which Bugs opens at the last microsecond, leading Sam to another splash, this time assisted by an anvil given to him by Bugs.

6: Bugs, dressed as an Indian, points Sam to a "short-cut" in a desert-like setting ("Quick! Him go that way! You take-em short cut! Head him off at pass!"). Sam thanks the "Indian" and takes the route leading to yet another dive.

After two more dives in which the setups are unseen, Sam finally has Bugs tied and standing on the edge of the platform, with Sam sawing away at the board, gloating: "Now ya smarty-pants, let's see ya get out-in this one! This time, you're a-diving!" However, as soon as Sam cuts through the board, it's the ladder and platform that falls, leaving the cut plank suspended in mid-air. Bugs turns to the camera and cracks: "I know this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never "studied" law!"

Critical reception[edit]

In a commentary by Greg Ford, it is described as "arguable the best of all" Bugs and Sam confrontations. Ford also refers to the ways Bugs tricks Sam as "almost idiotically simple".[1]

Edited versions[edit]

When the short aired on ABC, the network had aired two edited different versions of it—one for The Bugs Bunny Show and another for The Bugs & Tweety Show

  • The version that aired on The Bugs Bunny Show shortened Bugs Bunny's carnival barking and cut Yosemite Sam's line as he enters the platform: "Ya notice I didn't say a-Richard?".
  • The version that aired on The Bugs & Tweety Show left in the scenes that were cut on The Bugs Bunny Show, but cut scene 6 above, along with the scene where Sam strangles Bugs, and then Bugs tells Sam that he doesn't want to do it because he gets "goosebumps on his goosebumps", and Sam forces him to do so by shooting at his feet.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greg Ford (filmmaker). High Diving Hare (commentary) (DVD). Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 1 (disc 1). 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rebel Rabbit
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Bowery Bugs