|Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny series|
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer (uncredited)|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Charles McKimson
|Layouts by||Cornett Wood|
|Backgrounds by||Richard H. Thomas|
|Studio||Warner Bros. Cartoons|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||April 9, 1949|
|Preceded by||Mississippi Hare|
|Followed by||High Diving Hare|
Rebel Rabbit is a 1949 animated short starring Bugs Bunny. It is an anomaly in the Bugs Bunny cartoons — in this one, Bugs is the aggressor, and he ends up losing the fight. Having found out that the bounty for rabbits is only 2 cents, Bugs intends to prove that rabbits are tough — even if he has to be 'more obnoxious than anybody'. Some scenes utilize live action stock footage.
Bugs notices high bounties on various animals. There is a $50 bounty (about $500 today) on foxes, $75 (about $750 today) on bears, but then is offended by the two-cent bounty (about $0.20 today) on rabbits. Bugs has himself mailed to Washington DC, where a supercilious game commissioner explains that the bounty is so low because, while foxes and bears are "obnoxious" animals who damage property, "rabbits are perfectly harmless". Bugs vows to prove that he can do just as bad and storms out, slamming the game commissioner's door so hard that the glass in it shatters.
Bugs begins his campaign by attacking a guard with his own billy club. From there, he pulls stunts like renaming Barney Baruch's private bench as "Bugs Bunny", painting barbershop-pole stripes on the Washington Monument, rewiring the lights in Times Square to read "Bugs Bunny Wuz Here", shutting down Niagara Falls, selling the entire island of Manhattan back to the Native Americans, sawing Florida off from the rest of the country ("South America, take it away!") , swiping all the locks off the Panama Canal, filling in the Grand Canyon, and literally tying up railroad tracks.
An angry Senator Claghorn-esque Congressman demands action against Bugs but is interrupted by Bugs, who emerges from the congressman's hat, slaps him and gives him a mocking kiss. The cartoon then shows live-action footage of the entire War Department mobilising against Bugs. Tanks come rumbling out of their garages, soldiers pour out of barracks, and bugles blow. Bugs, now satisfied with the $1 million bounty (about $9,900,000 today) on his head (although the bounty is for him specifically, not rabbits in general), is snapped out of a Tarzanesque mood by the whole US Army coming after him. Bugs then dives into a fox hole as artillery shells surround the foxhole. The short ends with Bugs musing in a jail cell that he may have "gone too far", which cuts away to reveal him imprisoned on Alcatraz Island.
The uncut short is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 DVD set.
|Bugs Bunny Cartoons
High Diving Hare