Elmer's Candid Camera
Elmer's Candid Camera is a 1940 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, and first released on March 1, 1940 by Warner Bros.. It marks the first appearance of Elmer Fudd (voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan), who had evolved from Tex Avery's Egghead, and the very last appearance (other than a cameo in Patient Porky) of Happy Rabbit (voiced by Mel Blanc), who would become Bugs Bunny a few months later.
Elmer has come to the country to photograph the landscape. Happy finds him
a convenient victim to harass, just for the fun of it, especially after Elmer rejects the rabbit's seemingly friendly nature. This tormenting eventually drives Elmer insane, causing him to jump into a lake and nearly drown. Happy saves him, ensures that Elmer is all right now - and then kicks him straight back into the lake.
Evolution of the characters
- Happy Rabbit is more like Bugs Bunny in this short, except he has apricot-colored gloves and mouth, furrier tail, black nose, black-tipped ears, and a different voice. Happy's voice sounds "rural", and at times sounds rather like Daffy Duck's early voice. The laugh at the end of the cartoon, "Heh-heh-heh-HEH-heh!", is similar to that of another Blanc character, the early version of Woody Woodpecker, which would debut later in the year.
- Elmer's voice is fully developed, and his appearance is similar to that in later cartoons, except for having shiny cheeks and nose. When in a mild-mannered mood, he is very much like the familiar Elmer. When enraged, as shown in the frame here, his appearance is decidedly uncharacteristic, nearly maniacal.