Wackiki Wabbit

From Loonipedia

File:Wackiki.png
Title Card

Wackiki Wabbit is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, starring Bugs Bunny. It was written by Tedd Pierce and directed by Chuck Jones. Voices were provided by Mel Blanc (Bugs), Tedd Pierce (the tall, thin man), and Michael Maltese (the short, fat man - the two men's appearances are rough caricatures of the actual men). The musical score was conducted by Carl Stalling.

Wackiki Wabbit is notable for its experimental use of strongly graphic, nearly abstract backgrounds. The title is a double play on words, with "Wackiki" suggesting both the island setting (as in "Waikiki") as well as suggesting "wacky" (crazy) along with the usual Elmer Fudd speech pronunciation of "rabbit", although Elmer does not appear in this picture.

This cartoon has fallen to the public domain after United Artists (successor to Associated Artists Productions) failed to renew the copyright on time. The cartoon can be found, uncut and restored, on Disc 1 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The cartoon opens with two castaways adrift on a small raft in the middle of the ocean, underscored with "Asleep in the Deep". Delirious from hunger, they start imagining each other (or even their own limbs) as food. They spot an island in the distance and rush ashore, underscored by "Down Where the Trade Winds Play", a song used several times in the cartoon, where they meet Bugs Bunny. To his friendly, "What's the good word?" they answer "FOOD!" and start after Bugs, who leaps away on a vine with a Tarzan yell.

Chasing Bugs through the jungle, they spy him, semi-disguised as one of the "natives", dancing. Bugs welcomes them with, "Ah! White Men! Welcome to Humuhumunukunukuapua'a'a'a island." He then proceeds to speak in Polynesian-accented nonsense, a long stretch of which is subtitled simply "What's up Doc?" and a very short segment is subtitled, "Now is the time for every good man to come to the aid of his party." The tall and skinny man says, "Well, thanks!" and the short, fat man, actually seeing the peculiar subtitle, "Ofa eno maua te ofe popaa", says, "Gee, did you say that?" The skinny man shrugs.

Bugs tricks them by substituting a skinned chicken for himself in the large cooking pot. He taunts them with the chicken, using it as a marionette, until the strings become tangled and he has to make a quick escape.

As the castaways sob in frustration, they hear a steam whistle from a ship. As the men leap for joy at the prospect of being saved and trot toward the gangplank, Bugs kisses them goodbye and presents them with leis, then pulls his time-honored switcheroo trick and boards the ship himself. The boat pulls out, leaving the two men on the island, still waving goodbye to Bugs. The Skinny Man slaps the Fat Man (off-camera, following the Hays Office rules) for still yelling "Goodbye!" The two once imagine each other as a hotdog and a hamburger, chasing each other into the distance as "Aloha Oe" plays on the underscore, and the cartoon irises out.

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