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Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips
Directed By: Friz Freleng
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: April 22, 1944
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Tedd Pierce
Animation: Gerry Chiniquy
Richard Bickenbach (uncredited)
Manuel Perez (uncredited)
Virgil Ross (uncredited)
Ken Champin (uncredited)
Layouts: Owen Fitzgerald (uncredited)
Backgrounds: Lenard Kester (uncredited)
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Bea Benaderet (uncredited)
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Japanese Soldiers
Sumo Wrestler
Girl Rabbit
Preceded By: Tick Tock Tuckered
Succeeded By: Swooner Crooner

Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips is a 1944 World War II-era cartoon directed by Friz Freleng.


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Bugs Bunny battles highly racially stereotyped Japanese soldiers.

Home Video Releases and Controversy

  • The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 1, Side 7, Bugs Bunny by Each Director (LaserDisc, MGM/UA)
  • The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vol. 7: Bugs Bunny by Each Director (VHS, MGM/UA)

The release of this cartoon on the VHS caused a controversy. The Japanese American Citizens League protested the short's inclusion on the Bugs Bunny by Each Director tape. They felt it was inappropriate to market it among the more standard, family-friendly tapes. While MGM/UA initially defended their decision, they later voluntarily pulled the tape and the box set containing it from distribution. Later printings of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 1 LaserDisc set replaced the short with "Racketeer Rabbit".

As fans eagerly awaited new video releases, in early February 1995 an older title made headlines across the country. The Japanese American Citizens League was taking MGM/UA Home Video to task over its two-year-old video cassette The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 7: Bugs Bunny by Each Director for its inclusion of the wartime Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.

"It hurts because a large corporation is so insensitive to rerelease this type of video to children," explained JACL spokesperson Lori Fujimoto in a television interview. Though nothing was said of the larger laserdisc boxed set that originally featured the cartoon, members of the organization felt it was inappropriate to market the stand-alone cassette alongside other family-friendly Looney Tunes releases.

MGM/UA was sympathetic but nevertheless stuck to their guns on the philosophy of the Golden Age of Looney Tunes series. In a statement to the press, spokesperson Anne Corley said, "When we were compiling the video, we were putting together a history of animation. As much as it is distasteful, it was part of history at the time and reflected Hollywood's part in the war effort." Among the reported eight thousand copies of the video that had been sold, MGM/UA claimed they had only received one complaint. [1]

Although the collection had been out since 1993, the controversy over it erupted only late last month, when a Sacramento resident who watched the Bugs Bunny tape with his grandson notified the local Japanese American Citizens League.

"It was pretty bad, very offensive," Michael Sawamura, the league chapter's civil rights vice president, says of "Bugs Nips the Nips," which was made in 1944. "The title itself should have been a red flag to someone."

In that selection, one of about a dozen Bugs Bunny episodes that make up the Looney Tunes set's seventh volume, the wisecracking rabbit is shipwrecked on an island with Japanese soldiers, Sawamura says. His characteristically "hare-raising" antics include giving the caricatured soldiers hand grenades disguised as ice cream cones.

"He is in his truck and as he is passing the ice cream out, Bugs Bunny says, Here, Jap. Here, monkey face. Here, slant-eyes,' " Sawamura said. "He also uses the term bow-legged." [2]


As a result of the LaserDisc withdrawal, Turner Entertainment banned the cartoon from television syndication in 1993 and is still banned to this day (even plans to have it air on the 2001 June Bugs that was supposed to have every Bugs Bunny cartoon ever made fell through when AOL Time Warner announced that 12 Bugs Bunny cartoons featuring racial stereotypes were going to be shelved. It was also going to air on a ToonHeads episode about the 12 banned Bugs shorts, but the series was canceled and the episode was shelved). The cartoon saw limited broadcast on Toonheads during a special on World War II cartoons, but they were mostly clips. Since the cartoon has no Turner "1995 dubbed version" ending card, it is assumed to be banned from syndication permanently much like the Censored Eleven (although the cartoon itself was never been part of The Censored Eleven list to begin with).



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 ThisKnighty 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 Hare and Loathing In Las VegasDaffy Duck for President