The Million Hare

“He probably thinkth he’s miles ahead of me.”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Dave Detiege; Animation by Ted Bonnicksen, Warren Batchelder, George Grandpre, and Keith Darling; Layouts and Backgrounds by Robert Gribbroek; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on April 6, 1963.

Bugs was quite the wealthy actor, back in the day. Just look at the setup on his TV antennae! Probably has ever channel available at the time. When he invites Daffy over for a vacation, all the duck wants to do is vegetate in front of the tube. That’s sorta like I was as a kid. Just replace ‘watch TV’ with ‘read all their books.’ Don’t look at me that way! They had more “Calvin and Hobbes” collections than I knew existed! Bugs is kinda against brain atrophy, but Daffy isn’t budging, so Bugs just joins in.

The program airing at the moment is called “Beat Your Buddy.” Don’t worry! It’s only as violent as one makes it. It goes like this: the host reaches into what is called a buddy barrel and pulls out D̶i̶d̶d̶y̶ K̶o̶n̶g̶  two names. The two mentioned on those scraps of paper must then race each other to the studio to claim their prize. Beautifully showing off the follies of man and how any one of us would probably kill our best pal for financial security. If networks could afford a show that would get sued every week, there’d be new episodes to this day.

Surprise, surprise! The two names drawn are Bugs and Daffy. And Daffy wastes no time getting started. He’s been preparing for this day all season. Bugs is slower, more amused than anything that the two were picked. And maybe confused? How are they getting the names? Just pushing a phone book through a deli slicer? What if you weren’t aware your name was called? Do they have cameramen that could fill you in? What if you really didn’t want to compete? What if one of the names drawn belonged to someone who was working on the show? What if I continued with the plot?

First obstacle is a lake. Daffy takes a motor boat, and when Bugs arrives he reattaches the rope tied to it to the pier. Maybe sabotaging Daffy intentionally, or not. Daffy and the motor rip through the boat, and go along under the water and ground before blasting into the air. Trying to work with this, Daffy tries to go forward, and immediately crashes into a tree. (Great timing.) By this time, Bugs has crossed the lake as well and hops along with springs on his feet. Does that count as cheating? Can you cheat at all if you started from the same place? Well, almost the same. Daffy was slightly farther from the finish then Bugs was.

Daffy takes a shortcut, which probably also isn’t cheating. And neither is trying to sabotage the other racer. Boosts those ratings. I do like how there’s just a key stone to remove in case you need to start an avalanche. You know, to make sure the rocks don’t fall on anybody? Except yourself, of course. Whoever thought this brilliant idea up, made sure the rocks would fall on top of the key stone puller. Bugs is ahead again. Daffy tries to use a tree to sling himself farther, which works for about all of two seconds before he crashes into a cliff face, and Bugs catches up again. Daffy is still able to run ahead, but because he doesn’t take his eyes off Bugs, he runs off the road. Bugs addresses the question I was asking the first time I viewed this: why doesn’t Daffy fly? (He’s forgotten he can.)

Bugs manages to get to the building the studio is in first. Just needs to make it to the top floor. Daffy plans to use a jet pack to get him up there first, but I think they still made it roughly the same time, as when Daffy flies back out, he’s got Bugs in his clutches. They fly through a china shop, hilariously breaking nothing, before they turn right around and do it properly. Emergency hos-pit stop…al. (Almost was clever.) Hey, I just thought of another question about this show! Does it have a time limit? I mean, I don’t know how long it would take to dress their injuries, but Daffy has a cast and cane, and Bugs is now in a wheelchair. Were viewers at home still enthralled?

It’s a good thing the studio building has elevators, so Bugs still has a chance. It’s a close call photo finish, but, yes, Daffy wins! He actually won! Actually… Bugs doesn’t really have a good “track record” for races, does he? Daffy asks for his prize and he gets it: it’s called a ‘million box.’ It’s called that because it has 1,000,000 little boxes inside! (Although, I did some multiplication and estimating, and have concluded that there’s really only a little more than 7,000 in there. Better get your lawsuit on.) Daffy proves what a good friend he is by opting to donate his prize to Bugs. That’s the sign of a real, honest and true buddy, seeing as each of the little boxes had a dollar inside. When asked to say more, Daffy can only bray. Looks like Bugs can upgrade his television again!

Favorite Part: Listen closely to the host when he explains what little rules this show has. I purposefully didn’t mention it earlier, but he really does say you stand to win “the million box.” It’s not his fault Daffy misheard.

Personal Rating: 3

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