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A Hare Grows in Manhattan

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A Hare Grows in Manhattan
A Hare Grows in Manhattan
Directed By: I. Freleng
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: May 23, 1947
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Michael Maltese
Tedd Pierce
Animation: Virgil Ross
Gerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Layouts: Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Bea Benaderet (uncredited)
Tedd Pierce (uncredited)
Michael Maltese (uncredited)
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Spike
Dogs
Lola Beverly
Preceded By: Scent-imental Over You
Succeeded By: Birth of a Notion

A Hare Grows in Manhattan is a 1947 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng and starring Bugs Bunny and a pack a of bulldogs (one resembles Hector). Unlike many cases where "hare" is a pun on "hair", the title here is a pun on a then-recent book which figures into the climax of the cartoon (however, it does also contain a punning reference to what hair does: grow).

Plot synopsis

The cartoon begins with the voice of an apparent Hollywood gossip queen named "Lola Beverly" (patterned after famous newspaper and radio columnist Louella Parsons, infrequently known as "Lolly"; note the next sentence) talking behind the camera as it pans across Beverly Hills, settling in on Bugs Bunny's "mansion", which is actually a rabbit hole with fancy trimmings such as columns and a swimming pool. Lola (or "Lolly" as Bugs calls her familiarly, also effecting her hoity-toity manner of speech) coaxes a biographical story out of Bugs, and he talks about growing up on the Lower East Si of Manhattan (presumably accounting for his accent). He is seen tap-dancing down the streets of the Big Apple and singing "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" (a song written in 1917 by Walter Donalds and Monty C. Brice).

Most of the story involves Bugs being repeatedly assaulted by a "street gang" consisting of a pack of stray dogs, led by a tough-talking but none-too-bright bulldog who wears a bowler hat and turtleneck sweater (and also resembles Hector, a bulldog which appeared in a number of Sylvester/Tweety cartoons starting in 1948). There are at least two references to real-life New York City landmarks. In one scene, Bugs smacks the bulldog with pieces of pie purchased at the Automat; in another, he tries to escape through the Stork Club (spelled here "Stork Klub," wherein real storks are the patrons). Bugs then tries to hide in a rooftop billboard for "Egyptian" cigarettes, a play on animated billboards in Times Square. At one point, the bulldog finds himself hanging by one "hand" from a clothesline. Bugs, on an adjacent line, plays Tweety's time-honored "this little piddy" game (even talking in something close to Tweety's voice), peeling the clumsy canine's "piddies" from the line one by one. When he "runs out of piddies" and he dog falls, Bugs reverts to his normal voice, and his famous aside to the audience, "Gosh, ain't I a stinker?"

Bugs thinks he has dispatched the dogs, saying "that's '-30-' for today!" He goes back to his tap-dancing and singing, and suddenly finds himself in a blind alley next to a newsstand. The gang of dogs reappears and marches in on Bugs menacingly. Bugs grabs a book and threatens to hit them with it in his "last stand". The dogs' eyes open wide when they see the book, and they turn around and race to, and across, the Brooklyn Bridge. The puzzled Bugs looks at the book and sees that it is the then-recent and famous novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which was obviously the inspiration for the cartoon's title.

A Hare Grows In Manhattan 1

Bugs says to himself and the audience, in a rare quiet and reflective moment, "Ya know, maybe I oughta read dis t'ing!" As the underscore reprises an instrumental bar of "Rosie O'Grady", Bugs is seen walking away from the camera and toward the city's skyscrapers, while reading the book and humming along until iris out.

Development

The short was originally based on a short autobiographical piece of the same name that was published in the December issue of Coronet magazine in 1945. In the autobiography, Bugs recounts his rise to fame and only briefly mentions his days on the streets of Manhattan which he describes as "simple and carefree". He would spend his days throwing rocks at his pals, stealing carrots from local pushcarts, and dealing with thugs using his "rabbit punch" technique.

The story continues in which Bugs reveals that his name was given to him by his family for his funny antics. In time he would land a job at a place called the Palace where he would serve as the rabbit in the hat of the magician the Great Presto. Eventually he would leave for Hollywood, much to the sadness of his parents, to become a star. Which he boasted that he "arrived just in time to save the movies from the hams who was overrunning it".

Censorship

When this cartoon aired on the WB network, the following scenes were edited:

  • Lola Beverly's opening narration of Bugs' Hollywood home was shortened (the edited version only has her mention his swimming pool).
  • The scene in which Bugs becomes part of the Egyptian cigarette billboard to escape the pitbull chasing him was cut to remove one Egyptian giving another a hot-foot (read: lighting a match under his foot; a common prank seen both in the Looney Tunes cartoons and done by the animators and directors at Termite Terrace), another Egyptian pointing to a cigarette butt at his feet, and to crop the shot so that way the word "CIGARETTES" is not shown.
A Hare Grows in Manhattan Coronet

Availability

External Links

A Hare Grows In Manhattan at SuperCartoons.net

A Hare Grows In Manhattan at B99.TV

Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1938 Porky's Hare Hunt
1939 Prest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild Hare
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperThe Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing Hare
1943 Tortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling Hare
1944 Little Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door Cartoon
1945 Herr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare Tonic
1946 Baseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody Rabbit
1947 Rabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick Hare
1948 Gorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies Over The Sea
1949 Hare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950 Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of Seville
1951 Hare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair-Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare-Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top Bunny
1952 Operation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare Lift
1953 Forward March HareUp-Swept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully For BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Captain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy Bunny
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is A Life?Hyde and HareKnight-Mare HareRoman Legion-Hare
1956 Bugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is Human
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBedevilled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit Romeo
1958 Hare-less WolfHare-Way To The StarsNow Hare ThisKnightly Knight BugsPre-Hysterical Hare
1959 Baton BunnyHare-Abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960 Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than Hare
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince Violent
1962 Wet HareBill of HareShishkabugs
1963 Devil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000
1964 Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolThe Fright Before Christmas
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion Of The Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 From Hare To Eternity
2004 Daffy Duck for PresidentHare and Loathing In Las Vegas

also see the List of Bugs Bunny cartoons

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