Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
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|Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers|
|Produced by||Greg Ford|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|August 25, 1992 (USA)|
Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers is a Bugs Bunny short subject directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon and released in 1992. The cartoon was intended for theatrical release but eventually aired as part of the television special Bugs Bunny's Creature Features. Its premise is modeled after Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and it is considered subversive, critical of the greed of its production studio Warner Bros., and a lampoon of cheaply-drawn animation.
As a flock of unusual-looking carrots fly through space, Bugs Bunny begins telling a story of how the carrots landed on Earth and wrought havoc.
In flashback, Bugs is seen in a typical day on the job filming shorts with Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam (whom he dares to walk across a series of lines in the sand leading off a cliff), and Daffy Duck (a "Duck Season"/"Rabbit Season" short), commuting to each set (the forest, desert and jungle respectively). The peculiar carrots appear at each site, but Bugs initially ignores them and returns home to bed.
The next day, Bugs goes through the same routine, but finds each character is now styled in choppy, limited animation (Daffy in particular is animated poorly, with missing frames and at one point animated with Syncro-Vox) reminiscent of 1960s television animation. Each doppelgänger is a pale (both literally and figuratively) imitation, spouting their characters' catchphrases and otherwise behaving in a suspiciously friendly manner (Sam, for example, now wears a smiley button). They willingly partake in their defeats and pressure Bugs into eating the now-glowing carrots; irritated, Bugs agrees to take one home for later.
That night, Bugs is unable to sleep, his internal sense of danger keeping him awake. The carrot breaks open, revealing a white ooze, from which a limited-animation Bugs emerges. The fake Bugs grabs an ax from Bugs's mantle and tries to kill Bugs, but Bugs catches his impostor in the act and runs in terror (flashing forward to the present, Bugs notes that this is the scariest part of the film). The "That's All Folks!" end card and music appear, but an irritated present-day Bugs protests that there is no way he's allowing the story to end on that note, claiming he must get to the bottom of the situation.
Bugs runs to each work site, and each of the doppelgängers is now malfunctioning, repeating short lines like broken records. Inspecting each, he discovers all of them are made on planet Nudnik (a Yiddish word for "tedious") and reasons it is a hostile corporate takeover. Bugs decides that if he gets rid of the clones, the original characters will return. He rounds up each of the clones in a bag of "pale stereotypes," ties the bag to a rocket, lights the rocket into space (where E.T. makes a cameo) and sends the clones careening toward a black hole, which swallows the bag and rocket whole.
The real Elmer, Sam and Daffy reappear the next day, and present-day Bugs muses that there is something charming about having friends that care about you so much that they want to kill you every day.
A full credit roll ends the short, followed by another "That's All Folks!" card with a fake Porky. Realizing he missed one, Bugs rips it out of the drum and replaces it with the real Porky, who delivers his line.
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The cartoon was released as a part of the Bugs Bunny Halloween Hijinks VHS special. It was later released, albeit in edited form on the Space Jam Two-Disc Special Edition DVD as a special feature. In the Space Jam version Yosemite Sam's scenes have been removed. They were taken out by Warner Bros. due to "time allotment". Sam can still be heard in the edited version when all of the Looney Tune "pods" are about to be launched into space. The uncut version was later released as part of The Essential Bugs Bunny DVD set.