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Pre-Hysterical Hare

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Pre-Hysterical Hare
Directed By: Robert McKimson
Produced By: John W. Burton
Released: November 1, 1958
Series: Looney Tunes
Story: Tedd Pierce
Animation: Ted Bonnicksen
Warren Batchelder
Tom Ray
George Grandpré
Layouts: Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds: William Butler
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Dave Barry
Music: John Seely
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fuddstone
Preceded By: Hook, Line and Stinker
Succeeded By: Gopher Broke
Pre-Hysterical Hare is a 1958 Looney Tunes cartoon by Warner Bros. featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (known in this cartoon as Elmer Fuddstone). These two are in their usual hunter-and-bunny antics, but with different items that were used in the Stone Age.

As actor Arthur Q. Bryan, who ordinarily provided the voice of Elmer Fudd, was ill during production of this cartoon, Dave Barry provided the character's voice.


The opening scene depicts Bugs and Elmer in the modern day, with Elmer's gun blasting at Bugs repeatedly. Bugs finally pauses long enough to tell the audience, "Someday, they'll outlaw this annual madness known as Rabbit Season." He hops over a stone dike, but either the ground on the other side is not firm enough to support him, or he lands with too much force. Elmer finally appears above ground and on the opposite side of the dike from Bugs wearing a frustrated expression ("Oh, dwat that bwasted wabbit! Where is he?")

At the same time, Bugs is asking himself the very same question. He assumes that he has fallen into a cave possibly belonging to giant Native Americans. This assumption comes from an item on the wall with odd writing on it which Bugs takes for a powder horn. He says, "Must be Indian writing, but it's Greek to me." (The writing briefly changes to English: reading "TIME CAPSULE — CIRCA 10,000 BC TO BE OPENED 1960 AD," then reverts to its original format as Bugs approaches it. He pulls on a stopper on the wide end that is nearly his own size, whereupon, much to his surprise, a reel of film pops out. This he transports (off-camera) back to his hole and views through his own film projector. This film is described as "A Micronesian Film Documentary in Breathtaking Cro-Magnonscope. Color by Neanderthal Color." Then the narration begins.

"This is the year 10,000 B. C. This film has been made to preserve a record of our way of life. Here, good hunting defines good living."

During the opening pronouncement, a variety of clashes take place amidst the palm trees and other tropical surroundings, i.e. dinosaurs fighting each other and a tiger and Pteranodon battling. This sequence re

-uses footage from the cartoon short Caveman Inki.

"Let us meet one of our most intrepid hunters. This is Elmer Fudd stone."

Fuddstone emerges from his cave and utters: “Shhhhh. Be vewy, vewy quiet. Me hunt Sabre-toothed Wabbit” — an obvious less-educated version of the modern-day Fudd's “I'm hunting wabbits” catch phrase. This statement shocks the modern Bugs, but when he asks “Sabre-toothed Rabbit?” the prehistoric documentary answers him directly via narrator:

"Yes. A Sabre-toothed Rabbit. His habitat is deep in the lush jungle."

A Sabre-toothed Rabbit hole now appears on the screen — albeit covered by a rock. Its inhabitant pushes it aside, grabs his ears and hops up out of the hole (which Bugs would occasionally do in previous cartoons), after which he munches on a carrot in Bugs' trademark fashion. The Sabre-toothed Rabbit looks very much like Bugs, but he has less-well-groomed fur and longer teeth. Bugs laughs off the possibility that he's related to him ("Get a load o' that snaggle-toothed Aboriginal-e!") but then asks the film directly if he is. The Sabre-toothed Rabbit also speaks like Bugs, as he answers: "Eh, could be."

Elmer Fuddstone now appears, spear in hand, and huddles low to the ground, remarking, "Sabre-toothed Wabbit come this way." He continues on, up into a tree, where he rips a vine off one branch and ties a loop in one end like a lasso. The looped end he allows to fall to the ground, but when the prehistoric Bugs passes by, he pulls on the string and Elmer falls down.

Next, the prehistoric Elmer grabs a hollow stick, into one end of which he places a poisonous berry. He says that no rabbit can make a monkey out of him, but as he prepares to blow it at Bugs, he suffers the effects of the projectile's consumption as the rabbit blows it at him first (he turns red, green and a mainly brown tartan pattern in quick succession before returning to his normal hues). Bugs asks him "What's up, Doc?" whereupon Elmer blasts the "tweachewous wabbit" for not allowing him to hunt him and thus provide his killer's family with clothes and food. Bugs feigns guilt and offers, "I'll help ya get me. Some smart-apple's gonna invent gunpowder someday and the gun will follow along."

This entices Fuddstone to begin developing gunpowder almost at once, and shortly thereafter he demonstrates this to Bugs. He rubs a wooden stick in a small skin bag of gunpowder, which explodes (Bugs notes, "He did it — but he did it the hard way.") Elmer is now high in an old tree, ashen-faced and much the worse for wear, but he maintains a triumphant look upon his face ("NOW who has the wast waugh?").

Bugs searches for items out of which to manufacture a gun, in the end settling on the hollow stick that previously contained the toxic berry Elmer swallowed by mistake for a gunbarrel, and "a taro root for a stock." Elmer grows impatient, but Bugs soon attaches the root to one end of the stick, pours in powder and pebbles, and hands the finished product (a "Genuine Imitation Squirrelly Rifle — Also Handy For Shooting Rabbits") to his pursuer. He lights the fuse with an extremely primitive version of a cigarette lighter and tells him, "You may fire when ready." But right before he fires, Bugs tells Fuddstone, "Oops, got this on the wrong end!" He removes the stock and plugs it into the other end of the barrel, causing Elmer to shoot himself in the face (See "Censorship" for details on this gag).


  • This is the first Looney Tunes in the 1958-59 season evident from WARNER BROS PICTURES INC without a dot after BROS and INC.


When Bugs says "I just hope I'd still be in one piece so I could appreciate it" when he runs away from Elmer's gunfire his mouth doesn't move.


  • When this cartoon was shown on ABC, all of the gags involving Elmer Fuddstone getting shot in the face were cut.


Pre-Hysterical Hare has been widely panned by fans as one of the less entertaining Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1950s. Criticisms include its weak plot, John Seely's canned musical score and a poor impersonation of Arthur Q Bryan's Elmer Fudd voice by Dave Barry.


External Links

Pre-Hysterical Hare at

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
Elmer Fudd Cartoons
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraConfederate HoneyThe Hardship of Miles StandishA Wild HareGood Night Elmer
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitNutty NewsFresh HareThe Hare-Brained Hypnotist
1943 To Duck or Not to DuckA Corny ConcertoAn Itch in Time
1944 The Old Grey HareThe Stupid CupidStage Door Cartoon
1945 The Unruly HareHare Tonic
1946 Hare RemoverThe Big Snooze
1947 Easter YeggsA Pest in the HouseSlick Hare
1948 What Makes Daffy Duck?Back Alley Op-RoarKit For Cat
1949 Wise QuackersHare DoEach Dawn I Crow
1950 What's Up Doc?Rabbit of Seville
1951 Rabbit Fire
1952 Rabbit Seasoning
1953 Up-Swept HareAnt PastedDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Design for LeavingQuack Shot
1955 Pests for GuestsBeanstalk BunnyHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is A Life?Heir-Conditioned
1956 Bugs' BonnetsA Star is BoredYankee Dood ItWideo Wabbit
1957 What's Opera, Doc?Rabbit Romeo
1958 Don't Axe MePre-Hysterical Hare
1959 A Mutt in a Rut
1960 Person to BunnyDog Gone People
1961 What's My Lion?
1962 Crow's Feat
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion Of The Bunny Snatchers
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody

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