GenreFamily, Animation, Short Film seriesMerrie Melodies LanguageEnglish
CastMel Blanc Release dateOctober 1, 1955 (USA premiere) Similar moviesPaperman, Pacific Rim, Get a Horse!, Elmer Elephant, Three Little Pigs, Mickey and the Beanstalk
Knight-mare Hare is a 1955 animated cartoon short released by Warner Bros. Cartoons in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. The cartoon stars Bugs Bunny in medieval times. It was released theatrically on October 1, 1955.
The cartoon, loosely based on Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, begins with Bugs Bunny, who is reading a book on the Knights of the Round Table under a hairdryer. While reading, an apple falls and hits his head and he is somehow transported to the time of King Arthur. When he wakes up, he finds himself at the pointy end of a knight's lance. Bugs asks him: "What's up, Duke?" and the knight commands Bugs to surrender as prisoner of his lance. The knight identifies himself as "Sir O of Kay, Earl of Watercress, Sir Osis of The Liver, Knight of the Garter, and Baron of Wooster-cester-shister-shyster-schuster-shister-sister-shire...sher." Ready to take Bugs' challenge to tilt with him for the insult of Bugs' friends Duke of Ellington, Count of Basie, Earl of Hines, Cab of Calloway and Satchmo of Armstrong who the knight never heard of and called them "upstarts and rogues", the knight offers Bugs a too heavy sword, then begins to charge at him, during several comedic attempts by Bugs to get the sword off the ground. At the last second, Bugs puts his leg out tripping the knight's horse. The horse falls and the knight pole vaults on his lance over the castle wall and into a high window of a castle tower, falling loudly to the bottom inside the tower.
Bugs is later chased by a fire-breathing dinosaur-type dragon. He manages to defeat him by spraying seltzer into his mouth. With his fire lost, the powerless dragon whimpers and flees.
Bugs later goes to another castle, the residence of a warlock (or wizard) named Merlin of Monroe. Merlin changes Bugs into a pig with some "magic powder", but as Merlin laughs, Bugs simply unzips the "costume" into his normal self. He later tricks the warlock (or wizard) into becoming a horse. Merlin tries hard to change himself back to normal by also "unzipping", but only ends up with the same horse appearance, and continues to unzip the same costume no matter how many times he unzips the costume, until he fails. To try to return to the present, Bugs Bunny throws an apple in the air to hit him on the head ("Well, why not? After all, they've laughed at the man when he discovered penicillin"); he is successful in this attempt. Walking down the country road, he approaches a farmer tending to a horse who looks exactly like the one he turned Merlin into. He walks on by, convincing himself that it's not the same horse and his whole adventure was just a dream...then expresses total shock upon hearing the farmer call his horse "Merlin".
The cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 4 DVD box set.