Rebel Rabbit

From Loonipedia

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 are live action and recorded.

Plot[edit]

It starts out with Bugs noting that there are high bounties on various animals, such as $50 for a fox and $75 for a bear,  only to be highly offended by the two-cent bounty on rabbits. Bugs has himself mailed to Washington DC ("Foist class, you know," he remarks to the postmaster. "I never travel with common bundles!"), 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," prompting Bugs to remark to the audience, "He don't know me very well, do he?" Bugs vows to prove that "A rabbit can be more obnoxious than anybody!" and storms out, warning "You'll be hearing from me!" and slamming the official'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 (financier and political consultant Bernard Baruch was famous for spending time on park benches in New York and Washington, an exceptionally obscure reference by today's standards) as "Bugs Bunny's", painting barbershop-pole stripes on the Washington Monument, rewiring the lights in Times Square to read "Bugs Bunny Wuz Here" (sic), shutting down Niagara Falls (revealing several barrels behind it in reference to the cliche of "going over Niagara Falls in a barrel"), selling the entire island of Manhattan back to Native Americans ("Dey wouldn't take it til I trew in a set of dishes!"), 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 (who sounds like Foghorn) demands action against Bugs but is interrupted by Bugs himself, who emerges from the congressman's hat and gives him a mocking kiss. The cartoon then shows live-action footage of the entire United States Department of War mobilizing against Bugs. Sherman tanks come rumbling out of their garages, soldiers pour out of barracks, and bugles blow. Bugs, now satisfied with the $1 million bounty (equal to $9,648,951 today) on his head (although it is for him specifically, not rabbits in general), is snapped out of a Tarzan esque mood ("Bugs Bunny, King of the Beasts!" followed by Blanc's exceptional rendition of the "Tarzan yell") by the whole Army coming after him. Bugs then dives into a fox hole as artillery shells surround the foxhole. Bugs then quotes "Could it be that I carried this thing too far" just as the shells explode. It then cuts to Alcatraz Island where Bugs is in a jail cell as he admits "Ehhh, could be."

Censorship[edit]

  • The Fox Network and WB Network airing of this cartoon cut the scene during the montage of Bugs destroying America where Bugs trades Manhattan back to the Native Americans and is shown walking through it wearing a feathered headband and smoking a peace pipe.
  • Cartoon Network did air this cartoon uncut for a time until it aired with the scene where Bugs gives Manhattan back to the Indians cut (and the audio of the guns firing at Bugs after Bugs declares himself king of the beasts muted).

Availability[edit]

The missing scene and the sound effects mentioned above are reinstated on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 DVD set.

See also[edit]

Video[edit]

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Preceded by
Mississippi Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1940-1964
Succeeded by
High Diving Hare