The Unruly Hare
The Unruly Hare is a 1945 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series directed by Frank Tashlin (and the only Bugs Bunny cartoon on which Tashlin receives credit). It stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (voiced by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, respectively). One of the railroad workers at the beginning was voiced by Tedd Pierce.
The title is a play on "unruly hair", a synonym for "wild hair", which was the pun on the first Bugs Bunny picture, A Wild Hare.
Elmer is a surveyor for a railroad company, and disturbs Bugs' rest by singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad|I've Been Wohking on the Wailwoad" a little too loudly, "an unreasonable facsimile" of Frank Sinatra. Bugs proceeds to harass the hapless Elmer all through the picture, although Elmer's rifle-blasting overreaction to Bugs' first prank prevents the audience from seeing Bugs' actions as too unprovoked.
At one point, Elmer has Bugs at gunpoint, the barrel of the shotgun poking his chest. Bugs says, "Only a rat would shoot a guy... (turns around) ...in the back!" After some more taunting, Elmer fires at point blank range, obscuring Bugs in a cloud of gunsmoke. Elmer turns to the camera and says, "So I'm a big fat wat!" Bugs suddenly appears through the cloud, unharmed, and effects a Jerry Colonna-like schtick: "Aaah! Have some cheese, rrrat!" and stuffs a large wad of cheese into Elmer's mouth before scampering off.
At the climax, their antics manage to set off trinitrotoluene in the supply store, and the explosion miraculously lays the ties and the track, followed immediately by an engine in full steam.
Bugs is riding away from Elmer at the back of the train, waving goodbye. He turns to the audience with a suddenly startled look, and leaps from the train, crashing and screeching to a halt. He then stands up, brushes himself off, and in a stark reminder of the still-raging World War II (the cartoon was released in February, a couple of weeks before Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, tells the audience, "None of us civilians should be doing any unnecessary traveling these days!" He then walks off down the tracks with a pole and a knapsack over his shoulder, into the moonlight, accompanied by an instrumental bar of "Kingdom Coming".
- On the WB, the part where Elmer has his rifle pointed at Bugs and Bugs tricks him into shooting him with, "Only a rat should shoot a guy in the back" was cut.
- Some local stations (and televised prints from the early 1960s) edit out the part where Elmer is looking through his telescope and Bugs puts a pin-up magazine in front of the telescope.