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|Directed by||Bob Clampett |
(credited as Wobert Cwampett and for Superwision)
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Dave Monahan |
(credited for Stowy)
|Starring||Mel Blanc (unc.) |
Arthur Q. Bryan (unc.)
|Music by||Carl Stalling |
(credited as Cawl W. Stawwing and for Musical Diwection)
|Animation by||Sid Sutherland (credited as Sid Suthewand) |
Virgil Ross (unc.)
Rod Scribner (unc.)
Robert McKimson (unc.)
|Backgrounds by||John Didrik Johnsen (unc.)|
Leon Schlesinger Productions
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|December 20, 1941|
|8:22 (1 reel)|
Wabbit Twouble ("Rabbit Trouble" in Elmer Fudd's speech impediment) is a Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Bugs Bunny, produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions and released on December 20, 1941 by Warner Bros. Pictures. This is the first time one of several Bugs Bunny cartoon titles refers to Elmer Fudd's speech impediment, making the names of Robert Clampett, Sid Sutherland, and Carl Stalling as well as the roles of Story, Supervision, and Musical Direction intentionally misspelled in the credits to receive the perfect match for Elmer's speech impediment.
In the cartoon, Elmer expects to find rest and relaxation at Jellostone National Park, but he mistakenly sets camp in the neighborhood of Bugs' rabbit hole, and Bugs (and a neighboring bear) don't have much leisure in mind. It was the first Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd cartoon directed by Robert Clampett, with a story by Dave Monahan and musical direction by Carl Stalling. Sid Sutherland is the only credited animator, although Virgil Ross, Rod Scribner, and Robert McKimson also animated the short. Mel Blanc provided the voices for Bugs and the bear, and Arthur Q. Bryan provided the voice for Elmer.
Elmer, driving his Ford Model T jalopy to a Conga beat, makes his way to Jellostone National Park (a pun on Yellowstone National Park) while looking forward to rest and relaxation. Elmer sets up his campsite by setting a fire to cook with, hanging a mirror on a tree and, beneath it, situating a wash basin on a table, hanging a hammock and, lastly, pitching his tent. The tent is positioned directly over Bugs Bunny's rabbit hole (just as Elmer had arrived, Bugs had posted a sign next to his hole saying 'Camp Here', then had retreated into the lair, covering it with grass as he went). From down there, Bugs unpitches and drags the tent inside. Elmer reaches in and, in spite of resistance from below, retrieves the tent although it is tied in knots. Bugs pops up, welcomes Elmer to Jellostone ("a restful retreat. Oh brudda!") and pulls Elmer's hat over his eyes. Elmer reaches in again and tries to yank Bugs out; after several attempts, Elmer pulls his hands out to find that his fingers are tied together. He nails a board over the hole ("that'll hold him awite, heh heh heh"). However, Bugs simply pushes it open, steps out and mimics Elmer by ballooning up to Elmer's weight and repeating what Elmer had said, labeling it "phooey". Elmer has settled into his hammock and quickly falls fast asleep, muttering to himself.
Bugs places a pair of glasses on Elmer's face, paints the lenses black and sets the alarm clock to go off at twelve o'clock. When it wakes Elmer, he thinks it is night, since everything seems dark. He goes to his tent, takes off his day clothes to reveal night clothes underneath, and goes to sleep in bed. Bugs then removes the glasses from Elmer and crows like a rooster, awakening Elmer who now believes it is the next morning.
Elmer washes his face but cannot reach his towel because it is hanging on a branch which Bugs keeps at a steady, short distance from him. Elmer blindly follows the towel ("I do this kind of stuff to him all through the picture", Bugs confides to the audience). He causes Elmer to step off a cliff edge. Elmer looks at the miraculous view of the Grand Canyon, but suddenly realizes he is in midair. He runs back to safety and holds on to Bugs for dear life. Bugs then admits he is the one pulling these gags and runs off, with a furious Elmer giving chase after retrieving a gun from his tent. However, he runs into a black bear. The bear starts growling, and so Elmer turns to a wildlife handbook for advice, which directs him to play dead.
The bear soon gives up (after sniffing Elmer's "B.O." – his feet), but Bugs climbs onto Elmer and starts growling exactly like the bear. He misbehaves in various ways to keep Elmer on the ground with his eyes shut, but just as he starts biting Elmer's foot, Elmer sees what is going on and grabs his rifle. The bear returns and Bugs runs away just as Elmer swings the gun, clobbering the bear rather than the rabbit. A chase ensues with Elmer and the bear running through the trees to the tune of the "William Tell Overture." Finally, the bear freaks Elmer out by riding on top of him.
When the bear is knocked off him after hitting a tree branch, Elmer gives up and packs everything into his car (almost including a huge tree). He passes the welcome sign at the gate on his way out, backs up and reads it again. He declares its promise of "a restful retreat" to be "bawogney!" and, to teach the park not to give false advertisement, he chops the sign to bits with an ax and stomps on the pieces while calling the park's "peace and wewaxation" promises "wubbish!" A ranger (along with Bugs) appears, and has an angry expression on his face. Elmer is arrested for the destruction of government property, and from his jail cell window he tells us that "anyway" he is "wid of that gwizzwy bear and scwewy wabbit! West and wewaxation at wast!" Unfortunately, however, he turns to find out that somehow he is sharing his cell with both Bugs and the black bear. Both of them ask how long he is in jail for ("Pardon me but, how long ya in for, doc?") they ask.
For the cartoon, Elmer was redesigned as a fat man (based on voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan's own physique) in an attempt to make him funnier. The "fat Elmer" would only make three more appearances in the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies canon – The Wabbit Who Came to Supper, The Wacky Wabbit and Fresh Hare, in addition to a cameo appearance in the non-canon war bond advertisement Any Bonds Today? – before returning to the slimmer form by which he is better known, for The Hare-Brained Hypnotist. This cartoon was the only time, though, that the Fat Elmer also had a red nose. This is the only cartoon with the "fat" version of Elmer to remain under copyright; the other "fat Elmer" cartoons are in the public domain.
Bugs would show up in a prison two more times: in Rebel Rabbit (1949) and Big House Bunny (1950). At the ends of Rabbit Transit (1947) and Hare Brush (1955) he is arrested, but not actually shown in prison therein.
The lobby card where Bugs paints Elmer's glasses black is also done in the film.
A still from the short depicting Bugs mocking Elmer by imitating his weight became a meme in December 2018. The still, nicknamed "Big Chungus" and often associated with a fictional video game series of the same name, spread on several social media platforms, particularly YouTube and Reddit, after a GameStop employee made a Facebook post about a mother who had attempted to buy a Big Chungus game for her son.
- Taggart, Caroline (July 26, 2011). Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods?: Answers to Rhetorical Questions. Penguin Group US. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-101-53999-6.
- Sommer, Liz (21 December 2018). "Big Chungus Memes". StayHipp. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Wabbit Twouble on IMDb
- Wabbit Twouble at The Big Cartoon DataBase
- Wabbit Twouble on the Internet Archive
All This and Rabbit Stew
| Bugs Bunny Cartoons
The Wabbit Who Came to Supper