A small western town has just had its victory garden robbed by the Masked Marauder (Bugs Bunny), whom Brooklyn's "Red Hot Ryder" (a parody of Red Ryder) must bring to justice. The cartoon portrays Red Hot Ryder as a dimwit who cannot distinguish Bugs Bunny from the Masked Marauder, and his good-natured slowness is consistently mocked: When Bugs Bunny as the Masked Marauder threatens to shoot Red Hot Ryder, saying, "Stick 'em up, or I'll blow your brains out," the latter treats it like a choice, replying, "Well, now, that's mighty neighborly of you." In the end, Red Hot Ryder catches on, but is unable to catch the Masked Marauder, in the end he tricks him into jumping into the Grand Canyon, when underground Red Hot Ryder finally figures out that Bugs is the Masked Marauder. Bugs pops up from beneath the ground with a lit candle and says "That's right! That's right! You win the 64 dollar question!" (a reference to the "big prize" on the famous radio quiz show, Take It or Leave It). He then kisses him and blows out the candle.
Some syndicated versions of this cartoon (particularly one version shown on a TBS station in Illinois) cuts the scene of Red Hot Ryder being shown naked from the waist down (with only a fig leaf covering him) after the Masked Marauder has his belt and diaper pin taken off by a magnet. It should be noted that other Ted Turner networks, such as TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang have aired this scene uncut.
While only Manny Gould was credited as an animator, Robert McKimson, Rod Scribner, and Jack Bradbury also aided in the process. Other uncredited 'staff' includes the composers of several uncredited bits of non-original music--Sanford Faulkner ('Arkansas Traveller'), M.K. Jerome ('My Little Buckaroo', where the title ostensibly takes its name), Gioacchino Rossini ('William Tell Overture'), Franz Schubert ('Der Erlkönig'), and J.S. Zamecnik ('In the Stirrups').
This was Bugs Bunny's second appearance in the Looney Tunes series. His first was a short cameo in "Porky Pig's Feat", but was not a starring role, therefore making "Buckaroo Bugs" Bugs' first starring role in a Looney Tunes short.
This is the only short in which Bugs Bunny served as a bona fide villain; while his shorts often portray him as mischievous and violent, he is never actually malicious and is, for the most part, acting as such in self-defense against an aggressor.
This was the last cartoon release to bear Leon Schlesinger's name, as he sold his cartoon studio to Warner Bros. around the time of its release.
The copyright was renewed on 1972.
The older version of Bugs Bunny would be used again in the next Bugs short, "The Old Grey Hare".
"Red Hot Ryder" serves as a spoof of Red Ryder, borrowing the image of the popular Western serial's cowboy hero Don Berry.
This and "The Old Grey Hare" use the same fonts for the opening credits.
Victory gardens were a wartime civilian resource initiative, whereby civilians were encouraged to plant food crops in their gardens to supplement scarce wartime food resources. That Bugs was stealing carrots from a victory garden would have added to his villainy in this cartoon.
Bugs' final line of the cartoon "Goodnight, sweet prince" is a quote from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Twice, Bugs uses a magnet to strip Red Hot Ryder of every metal object on his person. This includes objects made of metals that don't conduct electromagnetism (gold tooth fillings, cartridges with brass cases and lead bullets, coins made from various precious metals). In addition, when Red Hot Ryder has been pantsed three times by Bugs in this cartoon, the first and third time revealed a pair of boxer shorts inside Red's pants, while the second time revealed a diaper inside Red's pants.
During the third time Red Hot Ryder was pantsed by Bugs, the desert background changes abruptly.