DirectorFriz Freleng Music directorCarl Stalling Duration
WriterMichael Maltese (story) Release dateAugust 22, 1942 CastMel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan Similar moviesMerrie Melodies movies
Bugs bunny cartoon movie merry melodies fresh hare
Fresh Hare is a Warner Bros. theatrical Merrie Melodies cartoon. It was directed by Isadore "Friz" Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It was released to theatres on August 22, 1942, and is a play on the term "fresh air".
In this short, the rotund early-1940s version of Elmer Fudd is portrayed as a Mountie, in pursuit of Bugs Bunny, who is wanted dead or alive (though preferably dead). After following rabbit tracks to a burrow, Elmer tries to lure Bugs out but instead of getting Bugs in the handcuffs, he gets a bomb and frantically searches for his lost keys. Bugs then looks for the handcuff key while going through keys to "the garage, the car, the front door"--Bugs then whistles to the audience ("woo woo!")--"and the back door," and finally has the key, but then a tremendous explosion is heard off-screen; and as Bugs tells the audience "Oh, well," Elmer finally catches and tells him he's in under arrest for a litany crimes, as shown to be stated by Elmer Fudd. The crimes, as corrected here for Elmer's rounded-l-and-r speech, are listed below:
"Resisting an officer, assault and battery, trespassing, disturbing the peace, miscellaneous misdemeanors, public nuisance, traffic violations, going through a boulevard stop, jaywalking, triple parking, conduct unbecoming to a rabbit", and (again) "violating traffic regulations." While Elmer reads, Bugs puts his hat on and impersonates another Mountie and says to Elmer "Attention! Why, look at you! You call yourself a Mountie? You're a disgrace to the regiment! I'm gonna drop you out of the service!" as he inspects Elmer before tearing Elmer's uniform off.
When Elmer realizes he's been tricked, he begins to give chase. A chase scene involves a path completely under the snow that ends when Elmer crashes into a pine tree. The impact causes all the snow to fall off the tree, which reveals Christmas decorations, and Elmer emerges from underneath with snow on his face that gives him a Santa Claus appearance. The song Jingle Bells plays in the background, and Bugs says to the astonished Elmer: "Merry Christmas, Santy!". When Elmer finds Bugs, Bugs is seen taunting a snowman that looks exactly like him by saying, "So you call yourself a Mountie! Heh heh heh heh! You can't catch me. Why, you couldn't even catch a cold! You know what I'm going to do to you? I'm gonna punch ya right square in the nose!" and punches Elmer right in the nose when Elmer stands right behind Bugs, causing Elmer to crash into a tree behind him and reveal a heart with arrow stuck in it.
After some more hijinks, a weeping Elmer Fudd gives up and labels himself as a "disgwace to the wegiment" for his failure to catch the rabbit, at which point Bugs willingly turns himself in. At headquarters, Bugs is blindfolded and sentenced to death by firing squad. As the firing squad lines up to execute Bugs, Elmer tells Bugs that he can make one last wish before he dies, which prompts Bugs to break out into "Dixie". The scene then transitions into a Minstrel show/blackface gag set down south (a commonly censored scene on televised airings of this short), where Elmer, Bugs and the firing squad perform the chorus of "Camptown Races."
Because of its public domain status, Fresh Hare has been widely available on numerous low-cost, unauthorized public domain VHS tapes and DVDs, and on internet streamings, usually in very poor quality.
This short is available as a bonus feature of the Captains of the Clouds DVD release.