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Backwoods Bunny is a Merrie Melodies cartoon short, released in 1959, which was written and directed by Robert McKimson. While Bugs Bunny takes a vacation in the Ozarks he is pursued by some famished buzzards named Pappy and Elvis. This is one of two cartoons featuring Pappy and Elvis, the other being the Foghorn Leghorn cartoon, "The Dixie Fryer."
The cartoon opens as Bugs is traveling his usual way, underground, and he runs into a tree. When he pokes his head out of the dirt, he wonders where he is, and looks over at a sign that says, "Y'all's are in the Ozarks". As he decides to stay where he is and clean out his hole, the scene turns to a small cottage placed atop a tall bare tree occupied by a father buzzard named Pappy and his son Elvis.
The impression we get is that Pappy and his son are dirt poor, because flies are buzzing around him and the shack they're living in is apparently run-down. Pappy smells something unusual and calls for Elvis to bring his "long distance seein' glasses". He says, "My nose is twichin' like there's eatin' vittles a'movin' down thar." As Elvis brings the binoculars, Pappy tells him to look through them, and as Elvis goes out onto the porch and looks around, he spots bugs cleaning out his hole. Elvis plans to catch bugs by luring him with a carrot. Bugs spots Elvis and says, "Uh oh, looks like I got company". Elvis places the carrot by the entrance to his hole, and Bugs says, "Well, here we go with the carrot bit."
Bugs puts his hand out to feel the carrot long enough to lure Elvis to the hole entrance, and Elvis tries to catch him but misses. We see Bug's arm come out of the hole again and Elvis grabs it and takes off toward the tree. We now see that the 'arm' is a long hose (ironically in the same colour as Bugs's fur, with a white glove on the end of it). Bugs attaches the other end of the hose to a water tap and turns on the water. The force of the water exiting the hose is strong enough to knock Elvis off of his feet and knocks him back and forth between two trees. Bugs turns off the water and Elvis falls to the ground. Bugs walks over chewing a carrot, and asks Elvis, "What are you gonna do with that snake, Doc?". Elvis panics and yells, "Snake?? Get 'im off me boy! Get 'im offa me! Here, y'all hold on to 'im and I'll fetch me shootin' iron and help you kill it," and flies off toward the cottage. Bugs says, "Hmph. He may be a buzzard to his pappy, but to me he's a foist class pigeon."
Elvis re-appears, shootin' iron in hand looking for the snake, and Bugs says there aren't any snakes around. "Now, if you're hunting snakes --". Elvis interrupts and remembers that he's hunting a rabbit and realizes that Bugs is that very rabbit he's been hunting, and points the gun right at Bug's nose. "I'm goin' fix you good, that's what I'm gonna do!" he threatens. Bugs takes the end of the rifle barrel and moves it onto the top of his head. As Elvis shoots, the barrel is aiming too high and misses Bugs entirely. Bugs tells Elvis, "Ooops, you missed me Doc, I better get a little closer." Bugs inches closer and Elvis backs off and tells Bugs to stop that, and as Bugs inches closer the end of the barrel edges further away. Inching further, he backs Elvis up toward a cliff. Soon Elvis is forced off the edge of the cliff and falls to the ground. Bugs says, "Now that's what I call making a good impression!"
Back in the tree top cottage, Pappy asks Elvis if he caught the "eatin' rabbit" yet. At the bottom of the tree, Elvis states, "I almost got 'im Pappy!" We hear a feminine voice coming from off-screen that says, "Hello there, y'all!" Elvis's tongue hangs out of his mouth as he goes nuts for Bugs, who is dressed in a hillbilly woman's dress with his ears pulled back like long hair, swishing his hips to appear more provocative. "Be ya'all lookin' for someone, Sugar?", he asks. Elvis pants and howls like a dog at the strange girl's beauty. She asks, "Who y'all lookin' for, honey?" Elvis says, "Du-uh, y'all" as he removes his hat and appears smitten toward the girl. As he's telling Bugs that he is purdy, and has pretty eyes and a real purdy dress, then realizes that it's Bugs, the rabbit he's been fixin' to shoot. "And now I'm aimin' to do it, you purdy little thing!" He raises his gun and Bugs takes off for the safety of his hole, where upon entering, jumps up in the air, leaving his hillbilly girl costume floating in the breeze as we see buckshot penetrate the material.
Elvis points his musket into the hole and demands, "All right now, come on outta there, hear?". From the safety of his hole, Bugs says, "Naw, naw, that's not the way it's done, Doc! You gotta say 'If you're not outta there by the time I count to four, I'm gonna shoot ya!' Get it?" (Classically, this is what Elmer Fudd would say in the same situation, but Elmer is not in this picture.) Elvis replies, "I sho-nuff do. I'll counts to four and then I'll shoot you." As he starts counting, he has some difficulty with the numbers which gives Bugs ample time to attach some pipes to the end of Elvis's musket that lead all the way to where Pappy is lounging in his tree-top cottage. Pappy takes no notice of the pipe coming up through the floor, the end of which leads directly in front of him.
Elvis gets to 'three' with some help from Bugs, but can't remember what comes after that. He yells up to Pappy, "What come after three in countin' Pappy?" Pappy replies, "Four, Elvis". "What'd y'all say?" asks Elvis. Pappy repeats, "I said, four!" A soon as Elivs hears the number four, he shoots the gun and we see a blast come out the end of the pipe, shooting Pappy in the face. Excitedly, Elvis thinks he plugged the rabbit. Pappy corrects Elvis and says, "Elvis, boy, y'all didn't plug no rabbit critter, y'all plugged your pappy! Now what'd y'all wanna do that FOR?" Elvis hears the word "FOUR" again and shoots, sending another blast of bullets up the pipe, which plug Pappy a second time. Pappy, face full of holes from the blasts yells down to the ground, "Now Elvis, ya've gone too FAR" (but it comes out sounding more like the word "four"). Yet another blast comes from the end of the pipe. Pappy yells, "I said FAR, not FOUR", and another blast blows more holes into Pappy. "Now you done it, Elvis! Just wait till I get my two-by-FOUR!" Another blast shoots holes into Pappy's face.
Bugs is seen in the next frame wearing a golfing outfit and acts as if he's ready to hit an imaginary golf ball with a driver. Just as he's just about to yell "FORE", he says, "Nahhh, why should I get in the act?" He turns and starts walking away, singing, "I'm lookin' over, a FOUR leafed clover, that I over looked beFORE! Be-FORE! Be-FORE! Be-FORE!" With each mention of the word FOUR, we hear a subsequent gun blast coming from off-screen and the cartoon comes to a close.
- "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover", (uncredited). Music by Harry M. Woods, Lyrics by Mort Dixon
- "Arkansas Traveler", (uncredited). Music by Sanford Faulkner
- "Oh, You Beautiful Doll", (uncredited). Music by Nat Ayer
Apes of Wrath
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Wild and Woolly Hare