Elmer's Pet Rabbit (1941)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Elmer's Pet Rabbit is an animated short from renowned director Chuck Jones, one of his first cartoons to feature the pairing of Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. Indeed, this particular Merrie Melodies cartoon is perhaps most interesting for a glimpse at the earlier, surprisingly different interpretations of the famous characters, who had yet to evolve into their current, hunter-and-hunted roles. Elmer Fudd's speech impediment is already there, but he is introduced as an altogether more sympathetic character, not a hunter but a happy-go-lucky gentleman singing "In the Merry, Merry Month of May" as he strolls down the street. When he spots a store window advertising rabbits for sale, he decides to purchase a new pet. This is, of course, Bugs Bunny; however, the Bugs on display here is a rather more squat creature, with a lower voice and without his trademark accent (though he does get to say "of course, you know this means war.") The prototypical Bugs also comes off as rather more obnoxious, spending the whole cartoon trying to escape his cage in the backyard and worm his way into the house (and a comfortable bed), tormenting a beleaguered, undeserving Elmer along the way.

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