Tortoise Wins by a Hare

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Tortoise Wins by a Hare
Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny series
Tortoise Wins by a Hare title card.png
Directed by Robert Clampett
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Warren Foster
Voices by Mel Blanc
Kent Rogers
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Bob McKimson
Rod Scribner
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s)
  • February 20, 1943 (1943-02-20) (U.S.)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes 44 seconds
Language English

Tortoise Wins by a Hare is a Merrie Melodies cartoon released on February 20, 1943 and directed by Bob Clampett. It stars Bugs Bunny and Cecil Turtle. Bob Clampett took Tex Avery's scenario from Tortoise Beats Hare and altered it for this film. The title is an appropriate pun on "hair". This is one of the first shorts to feature Robert McKimson's design of Bugs Bunny. A newspaper's front page (the Chicago Sunday Tribunk) shown in this cartoon accurately predicts Adolf Hitler's suicide two years later.


Two years after the events in Tortoise Beats Hare, Bugs is determined to learn how Cecil managed to win against him after viewing footage of the previous cartoon (which seems to depict Cecil as having won fairly instead of by cheating Bugs with his cousins). Bugs then he goes to the turtle's house disguised as an old man (a parody of Bill Thompson's "Old Timer" character from Fibber McGee and Molly) to ask the about his secret. Cecil is not the least bit fooled by the disguise, but goes along with the gag claiming that his streamlined shell lets him win, and produces a set of blueprints for his "air-flow chassis." He also adds that in contrast, the long ears of a rabbit only serve as "wind resistance", which in turn would slow the rabbit down. The turtle ends the conversation with the comment, "Oh, and another thing... Rabbits aren't very bright, either!" just before slamming the door in the enraged bunny's face. Not getting the hint that the turtle's story is a humbug, Bugs builds a shell of his own and prepares for the new race.

Meanwhile, the bunny mob learns of the upcoming match-up and places all its bets on Bugs, and hint that "the toitle" won't even finish the race. Initially, Bugs takes the easy lead, after dressing up in his new chassis. The rabbit mob sees Bugs and mistakes him for Cecil, attacking him, despite Bugs' insistence that he's the rabbit. Cecil doesn't help Bugs' cause by dressing up in a rabbit suit, with the rabbit mob believing Cecil's the real rabbit and cheers him on, causing Cecil to affirm to the audience, "I told you rabbits aren't very bright." Bugs still manages to regain the lead and nearly wins, until the mob stalls Bugs right before the finish line, while other rabbits rush Cecil to the finish line and victory. Bugs then bursts out crying, ripping off his chassis and revealing that he was the real rabbit. The despaired rabbits realize of their mistake and reply, "Ehhh, now he tells us," before killing themselves with a single bullet going through all their heads.


Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny, Cecil Turtle, Narrators, Mrs. Turtle, Rabbit Bookie and Rabbit Thugs •Kent Rogers as Rabbit with Telescope


This animated short contains wartime references. Bugs displays "A" and "C" ration cards. He claims he has a secret weapon. A Japanese cruiser is mentioned in a newspaper headline. A chorus of turtles sing "He did it before and he can do it again".[1]

Nichola Dobson mentions the short as an example of both Bob Clampett's attention to detail and of the fast pace of his work.[2]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shull, Wilt (2004), p. 159
  2. ^ Dobson (2010), p. 44

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Case of the Missing Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by