Bugs and Thugs
Bugs and Thugs is a 1953 animated short film in the Looney Tunes series produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc and released in early 1954.
It features Bugs Bunny with Rocky and Mugsy. This is the first cartoon with Mugsy in present-day form. The film is a semi-remake of Racketeer Rabbit, with a similar oven gag. It was directed by the creator of Bugs' antagonists, Friz Freleng. As in Racketeer Rabbit the running gag of Bugs placing a villain in a "hiding place" which results in the villain getting the worst of it is repeated in 2006's Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas wherein the villain is greedy Daffy Duck.
It begins with Bugs emerging from his hole in a city park, reading the newspaper on his way to the nearest bank, for a withdrawal from his personal depository of carrots. He reads that "Rabbit Season Opens Today" and comments on his pleasure of living in a “more secure” urban environment.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Bugs, Mugsy drives up to the bank, which Rocky invades and robs of an undisclosed sum. When Bugs accidentally walks into Rocky and Mugsy's getaway car – mistaking it for a taxi – and also mistaking the giant bags of cash for laundry, Rocky asks Bugs "How much do ya know?" Failing to realize that he is in the same vehicle as a robber who is asking him what he knows about the hold-up, Bugs responds "Who, me? Oh, I know a lots of things. Two and two is four, Carson City is the capital of Nevada, uh, George Washington was the first President." Rocky responds, "This guy knows too much, Mugsy. We'll take him for a ride." Rocky keeps telling Bugs to be shut up or he will get shot. Bugs then asks Mugsy to stop at a nice, clean gas station. Bugs gets out of the car and receives a nickel from the easily fooled Mugsy so he can use the pay telephone. Bugs pushes in the nickel and calls the police to report Rocky and Mugsy, but Mugsy grabs Bugs out of the telephone booth and they escape. The gag is Bugs still holding on to the telephone – and a cartoon policeman is pulled out of the telephone wire onto the road ("Operator – we've been disconnected!").
Soon, Rocky and Mugsy's car stops in front of a railroad track. Rocky tells Bugs to let them know when it's clear. Bugs tells them to go and the oncoming train proceeds to smash into the car with Rocky and Mugsy still inside.
Bugs is soon forced to fix the car at gunpoint by Rocky. Bugs repairs everything except the tire and says that they're stuck. Rocky tells Bugs that he is the only one stuck and forces Bugs at gunpoint to run alongside the car while holding the right front axle (Rocky tells Mugsy to take the "scenic route"). Soon, they arrive at their cliff house, and then Rocky tells Mugsy to let Bugs have it. Mugsy is about to kill Bugs but then Bugs makes Mugsy think the idea is to let Bugs have the gun. Bugs then shoots Mugsy, who stumbles into the room where Rocky is and says "I let him have it boss, just like you said," and faints landing on top of Rocky, who punches him to get him off.
Soon, Rocky decides to really let Bugs have "it," but Bugs yells out a fake alarm scream that the police have arrived and surround the house. Bugs hides Rocky and Mugsy in the stove when they fall for Bugs' fake alarm. Bugs pretends to be a policeman and be himself trying to hide Rocky and Mugsy. Bugs turns on the heat of the stove and throws a "lighted" match in the oven. Then, the real policemen come and, in an exact match of Bugs' previous ruse, asks where Rocky and Mugsy are. When Bugs is about to throw another "lighted" match into the oven, Rocky and Mugsy quickly run out of the stove and piteously beg the policeman to arrest them, unwilling to deal with one more minute with Bugs. The next day, Bugs becomes a criminal-catching detective talking on the phone, styling himself as "Bugs Bunny, Private Eyeball – Thugs Thwarted, Arsonists Arrested, Bandits Booked, Forgers Found, Counterfeiters Caught, and Chiselers Chiseled."