Hyde and Hare

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Hyde and Hare
Directed byI. Freleng
Produced byEdward Selzer
Story byWarren Foster
StarringMel Blanc
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byGerry Chiniquy
Arthur Davis
Virgil Ross
Ted Bonnicksen
Layouts byHawley Pratt
Backgrounds byIrv Wyner
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
August 27, 1955 (USA)
Running time
7 minutes
LanguageEnglish

Hyde and Hare is a 1955 Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny cartoon, directed by Friz Freleng. The cartoon pits Bugs against Dr. Jekyll, who continues to turn into Mr. Hyde. The title is a play on the expression "neither hide nor hair."

Plot[edit]

Bugs comes out of his rabbit hole in a city park every morning because a kind gentleman keeps coming to feed him a carrot ("Well, here I go again with the 'timid little rabbit' routine. It's shameful, but - eh, it's a living!"). At first feigning the on-all-fours posture of a real rabbit, Bugs eventually stands up and confides that he would rather simply go home with the gentleman as a "pet", since it would be easier for both of them. As the gentleman brings Bugs home, he remarks that it is strange that Bugs calls him "Doc" because, "I happen to be a doctor." The camera then pans up to show that the name above the apartment is none other than Dr. Jekyll.

Inside the house, Bugs gets used to his new surroundings. Going into a room with a door marked "laboratory" in search of a carrot for Bugs, Dr. Jekyll sees the fizzing, red potion that he knows he should not drink, but he gives in and drinks the potion anyway ("Oh, I'm so ashamed!!"). He then transforms into Mr. Hyde, with a monstrous green face and glowing red eyes. When Bugs sees him, he initially thinks he is a sick person who needs to see the doctor, he sits Hyde in a chair, but as he goes to get the doctor, Hyde swings an axe at Bugs, chopping a lamp in half. Bugs quickly realizes that this cackling, knuckle-dragging, axe-swinging monster is not something to be heckled. Bugs runs away, calling out for the doctor. Soon the monster reverts to Dr. Jekyll. Bugs, still thinking that Hyde might benefit from seeing a doctor, tries leading Jekyll to the patient. On the way, the doctor changes into Hyde. After yelling for Jekyll again, then seeing that suddenly Hyde is gone and the doctor is back, Bugs decides they should hide in a storage room. Once more, Dr. Jekyll transforms into Mr. Hyde and Bugs, having reinforced the door, tears it open and escapes. Bugs heads for a closet and, seeing the doctor in the hallway, waves him inside and shuts the door. In the dark, another change occurs and Bugs flees, running into the laboratory.

At this point, once he is the doctor again, Jekyll decides that he's going to pour the rest of the formula down the drain. He goes into his laboratory, but finds the beaker empty. He asks Bugs if he drank the potion; Bugs acts insulted at the idea and leaves ("I am going back to the park! There is no question of my integrity there.....").

Walking back to his park, Bugs transforms into a monstrous green rabbit, confirming Jekyll's suspicion that Bugs did drink the potion. The people at the park who are busy feeding the pigeons see the transformed Bugs and run away screaming. Bugs (who, unlike Dr. Jekyll, retained his usual personality and is unaware of the change in his appearance) wonders aloud, "Now what's eating THEM? Hmph! You'd think they never saw a rabbit before!" He chews on his carrot as the cartoon irises out.

Allusions[edit]

  • In the cartoon, Bugs sits down at a piano, places a candelabra upon it, and utters the phrase, "I wish my brother George was here". The reference was to Liberace, who had a brother named George that was also his conductor on TV. It also references Liberace's personal appearances during the 1950s. Liberace's feature film debut Sincerely Yours, also produced by Warner Bros., was released around the same time as this cartoon.
  • The piano piece that Bugs plays is the Minute Waltz (Bugs pronounces "minute" as if to mean tiny) by Chopin, or as Bugs calls him "Choppin'."
  • When Bugs first sees Mr. Hyde, he says Ralph Kramden's line to him, "You...are a mental case!"

Appearances[edit]

The cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD box set. You can play Hyde Bugs in the Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal video game.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
This is a Life?
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1955
Succeeded by
Knight-mare Hare