Direction by Robert Clampett; Animation by Robert McKimson; Story by Michael Sasanoff; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1944
Here’s your final entry of 2016. Everyone has already said that this year sucked. They’re right. I’d go more into it, but this blog is for Looney Tunes and Looney Tunes related things. So, let’s just agree that the year was crap, we’ll hope the next will be better and around this time next year, we’ll be saying the exact same things. Now then, with time constantly moving on, why not talk about a short that shows just that?
Elmer is crying. It’s only been four years since he started, but he’s already given up hope ever succeeding in getting Bugs. A voice tells him to keep trying. It’s never explicitly stated, but it’s kinda obvious that it’s God. (And he’s voiced by Mel. Don’t you think it would have been a bit more clever if he was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan?) Elmer agrees that he should keep trying, but how long will it take? So God allows Elmer to look into the future to see how things will turn out. This means one of two things: either he’ll succeed, or die trying. It seems that things will come to an end in 2000 A.D. (Which is odd, I was alive by that point and I don’t recall any of this. But then, I had just discovered Cable T.V. and it was hard to pry me away.) A lot has changed. (And I don’t just mean appearance wise) The horse Bing Crosby bet on still hasn’t come in, and Smellivision replaced Television. (The paper that Fudd is reading says that Carl Stalling doesn’t think it will catch on. Guess he was right) And Elmer is now toting a “Buck Wogers Wightning Qwick Wabbit Kiwwer.” There’s no way he can lose! All we need now is Bugs. Luckily, he pops up not too long afterwards. He’s looking pretty good for being 54 years older. (All that time has passed and I only can see one grey hare.) Sure he’s aged somewhat, (less teeth, glasses, and a beard) but he still has enough strength to strangle Elmer before hobbling away. (Seems like he’s got lumbago too) Elmer fires his new weapon, and wouldn’t you know it: he shoots Bugs. He can’t believe it either. He begins reminiscing and gives Fudd a present. A photo album! It shows all their good times together, including the first time they ever met. That happened when they were babies. Even though Fudd’s picture is labeled with him being “only 3 and a 1/2 years old.” (They just couldn’t resist making that joke again. It really should say “seconds” instead of years. Wouldn’t it be funnier to think that the very first thing Elmer did after being born was go hunting?) Either way, we see this flashback. Elmer is crawling along with a pop gun and looks into a small rabbit hole. Bug’s pops up and babbles some baby talk while drinking carrot juice. (Luckily there is a subtitle for those of us older than the age of 1. But then they both start talking in English. I guess we’re just seeing things from their point of view?) They begin their first chase of many. (They stop briefly to take a nap) When they resume, Bugs is able to get away. (This proves that no matter how many times Bugs is called a “rabbit” he is really a hare, as young rabbits are born naked and helpless, whereas hares are not.) Needing to match his prey’s speed, Elmer gets a stroller and drives after the leveret. (That’s the term for a baby hare, folks.) Miming a cop, (that includes miming a motorcycle too. Something proto-Bugs did once. Leading me to believe he is Bug’s father) he pulls Fudd over and berates him for speeding. After he leaves Fudd crying in his carriage, (I think that’s a real baby cry too. Way to be authentic, Bob.) the flashback ends and we go back to the two seniors. (This is the only Bugs Bunny short where Bugs doesn’t appear once as his modern self) Elmer is devastated that he has killed his oldest and dearest friend, while Bugs starts digging his own grave. He tells Elmer to smile while he does it. (Doesn’t every dying person say that? And wouldn’t they be offended if the person they were talking to actually did?) Elmer is so distraught that he doesn’t notice Bugs switching places with him, until the rabbit (I mean hare) buries him alive. (So there’s God’s answer: Elmer is never going to win.) Elmer is unhappy, but he takes some solace in the fact that he is rid of Bugs forever. Bugs comes back to give him some parting gifts: a goodbye kiss, and a lit firecracker. (Don’t worry. Bob may use actual crying of children for sound effects, but he draws the line at blowing up the elderly. But that doesn’t stop it from rattling the “That’s All Folks!” end card once it does blow.)
Personal Rating: 4