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Elmer's Pet Rabbit (Looney Tunes)

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Elmer's Pet Rabbit (Looney Tunes)
Updated Elmer's Pet Rabbit title card.jpeg
Not a good way to start a beloved director's career with a beloved cartoon character.
Series: Merrie Melodies
Episode Number: 311
Air Date: January 4, 1941
Writer: Rich Hogan
Director: Chuck Jones
Previous episode: "Shop, Look and Listen"
Next episode: "Porky's Snooze Reel"


Elmer's Pet Rabbit is a 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd as well as the first Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. Elmer Fudd adopts Bugs Bunny as his very own pet, though Bugs doesn’t take it too well.

Bad Qualities

  1. Bugs Bunny is extremely unlikable in this cartoon and acts much more different here than he did in "A Wild Hare".
    • Despite voiced by Mel Blanc, his’ voice doesn’t sound like he usually does, instead sounding more like an old man (even though Bugs' voice in this cartoon is said to be an imitation of Jimmy Stewart's voice).
    • His' design looks a little off compared to the other cartoons of the time, since his design here clearly lacked his signature buck teeth and has yellow gloves instead of white gloves due to Chuck Jones disliked buck-toothed characters at the time.
  2. The entire cartoon is an Elmer torture episode due to Elmer Fudd not doing anything wrong to Bugs since he just bought him to keep him as his pet, and Bugs is just being an ungrateful brat towards Elmer even though Elmer wasn't even abusing him at all, like how Bugs hated the hutch Elmer made for him claiming that it stinks and even complained on Elmer feeding him vegetables.
  3. Plot holes:
    • Bugs states that he doesn’t like carrots even though he was seen eating carrots in several cartoons before and after.
    • Later at night, Bugs complains about living in the freezing cold outside after finishing his vegetable dinner which he disliked. Why? There is a hut located at the other end of Bugs' outdoor hutch, so why couldn't Bugs just enter inside the hut in his hutch to keep himself warm?
  4. Most of the jokes are very weak and lackluster, such as Bugs' sarcastic complaining on how he hates carrots and other vegetables and how he'd rather starve, and yet he still eats them anyway.
  5. The ending is kinda weird, since even though it seems that Elmer had finally chased Bugs out of the house, it turns out that Bugs is back in Elmer's bedroom when Elmer turned on the lights, which is followed by Bugs yelling "TURN OFF THAT LIGHT!" for the second time, and then the screen cuts to black and ends off rather abruptly with Bugs and Elmer's fates remain unknown.
  6. Bugs never gets punished for how he treated Elmer Fudd through out the entire cartoon at the end.
  7. This cartoon was not a good way for Jones to begin his career with Bugs Bunny.

Good Qualities

  1. Good animation for its time.
  2. Like most Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1940's, the music by Carl Stalling is good.
  3. Elmer Fudd is likable in this cartoon.
  4. Chuck Jones eventually learned his mistake from this cartoon and started to portray Bugs Bunny as a more likable protagonist in later cartoons that he directed beginning with "Hold the Lion, Please!" despite that Jones made him being more calmer and reserved.
  5. "TURN OFF THAT LIGHT!"

Reception

Despite this, It's received 6.8/10 in IMDb (which is widely considered to be one of the more passable cartoons of the early works of Chuck Jones).

Trivia

  • It is the first cartoon in which Bugs is given his name (on a title card).
  • The music in the cartoon includes a variation on "While Strolling Through the Park One Day" (Ed Haley), arranged by Carl W. Stalling, performed by Elmer and Bugs. Elmer, of course, has trouble with many of the words, due to his "rounded L and R" speech impediment.
  • Bugs Bunny wears yellow gloves, has a deep voice, and has no buck teeth (except on the "Featuring BUGS BUNNY" screen). Though this cartoon was released after "A Wild Hare" in which Bugs' recognizable "Bronx/Brooklyn" voice characterization appears for the first time, Mel Blanc used the voice from "Elmer's Candid Camera" in this short.
    • While most of these aspects would not return again in the franchise, Bugs' gloves are yellow in the HBO Max series Looney Tunes Cartoons.
  • This was the second cartoon for Bugs and the 23rd cartoon that Chuck Jones directed.
  • In this cartoon, Bugs' personality is radically different from his other incarnations; as opposed to his usual fun-loving and comic relief personality, he has a much more aggressive, selfish, arrogant, disrespectful, almost thuggish personality. Also, he is more sarcastic than wisecracking.
  • This is the only cartoon where Bugs claims to not eat carrots (although he eats them and other vegetables while complaining).

Videos

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