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Rabbit Rampage is a 1955 Bugs Bunny animated cartoon in the Looney Tunes catalogue, directed by Chuck Jones and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, which originally debuted on June 11, 1955. It is a spiritual successor to the short Duck Amuck, in which Daffy Duck was teased by an off-screen animator, revealed at the end to be Bugs Bunny. In Rabbit Rampage, Bugs is similarly teased by another off-screen animator, revealed at the end to be Elmer Fudd.
The cartoon inspired a 1993 video game for the Super NES, Bugs Bunny in Rabbit Rampage, which allows the player to control Bugs, following a similar plot. A few clips from this short were shown in a trailer for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD set (seen on the Looney Tunes: Back in Action DVD), but was not included as part of that set. The complete short was released, with its sound-effects track only, on the Volume 6 set of the series as a "bonus" cartoon.
As the cartoon begins, an animator paints a woodland background, complete with a rabbit hole. The animator then erases the rabbit hole and moves it to the sky. Bugs pops out, falls to the ground and utters his catch phrase, "What's up, Doc?". When Bugs realizes who is in charge of the picture, he makes his desire to not fall victim to an animator who plans on making him look bad known all the while preparing to dive back into his hole, giving the animator ample time to erase it, causing Bugs to jump headfirst into the ground. After Bugs stands up, he restates his desire to not work with the animator, ("Look, Buster. What's the big idea? I said I wasn't working with you and that is that!") who puts yellow paint on Bugs' back, implying that Bugs is a coward. Bugs grabs the brush and breaks it in half.
Bugs emphatically states that he will report the animator to his bosses at the Warner Bros. studio and calls the animator a menace to society, while the animator draws a picket sign in Bugs' left hand which says "I WON'T WORK". When Bugs sees the sign, he throws it on the ground, off screen. Bugs asks if the animator is trying to get him fired, before explaining that he has become a valuable asset to the studio, which gives the animator time to draw another picket sign saying "I REFUSE TO LIVE UP TO MY CONTRACT", which once again has Bugs fearing for his long-term future with the studio. After disposing of the last sign off-screen, Bugs returns, wiping off the yellow paint with a towel.
Afterwards, Bugs agrees to work on the picture, but pauses once he sees that the animator drew a hat on his head, prompting Bugs to throw it on the ground, stating that the animator knows he's not supposed to wear a hat. In response, the animator draws an enormous pink women's hat, and Bugs throws it on the ground, too ("Cut it out! You crazy idjit!"). This cycle continues with increasingly ridiculous hats and wigs until Bugs gives up after a giant top hat is painted over him ("That settles it! Get yourself another boy! I'm through! What a Leonardo da Punchy! What a Too-Lousy Lautrec!"). The animator draws an upside down forest as Bugs tries to get to his hole. The animator draws an anvil on Bugs' tail, causing Bugs to fall on a street, later rolling into an empty area.
Bugs incoherently yells at the animator ("Yougoldangconsarnedrapscalionblankityblankblankareyoutryingtodo? Of all the low dirty..."), which the animator responds to by erasing Bugs' head. Once Bugs discovers this latest act of vandalism, he taps one foot impatiently, pointing at the spot where his head existed. The animator then draws a pumpkin head on Bugs' body. When Bugs realizes this, he demands it to be corrected, which the animator supplies by simply adding rabbit ears to the existing head, infuriating Bugs even further ("All right, you comic book Rembrandt, make with the eraser."). The animator erases the pumpkin head and then draws a tiny version of Bugs' head. Bugs does not realize what has happened until he pulls a carrot out of his pocket, stopping short when he sees that something else is wrong. He then takes notice of his now-high-pitched voice. The animator then erases the tiny head and re-draws Bugs' head, normal-sized but minus the ears.
After Bugs asks "Ears?", the animator draws human ears. Bugs moves his finger over one of the ears and says "Not human ears my friend. Rabbit ears, long ones." The animator draws very long rabbit ears and Bugs replies "Don't be so danged literal!" The animator then fixes the ears to make them normal length again. As Bugs walks away, the animator erases his tail. Bugs attempts once more to right the wrongs inflicted upon him by making his latest complaint of the animator's vandalism known ("Alright, you vandal. Put that tail back."), but the animator draws a horse's tail instead. When Bugs states that a horse's tail "belongs on a horse", the animator erases Bugs' body and redraws him as a horse. Bugs, while standing on two hind legs and eating a carrot, points out to the artist that this misinterpretation will not make his employers happy ("Look. My contract clearly states that I'm always to be drawn as a rabbit. So, if you don't want to get yourself in a peck of trouble, just..."), allowing the animator to pretend to comply with what Bugs is telling him by erasing Bugs' horse body and drawing him as a more abstract, simplified rabbit with big cheeks and feet ("Alright, okay, dat's better... Holy codfish, look at my feet!").
The abstract version of Bugs warns the animator that this latest bit of tomfoolery has dire consequences for both of them, which leads the animator to draw him back to normal. Bugs sarcastically asks the animator if he wants to keep tormenting him ("So, I'm me again, eh? What a novel idea. Eh, sure you wouldn't want to make me into a grasshopper or something?"), but backs off as the animator has his paintbrush at the ready. Bugs attempts to make friends with the animator, promising that they could do something revolutionary, but the animator draws two duplicates of Bugs, prompting Bugs to shove the clones out of the picture. As Bugs states that he will not leave his spot until the animator "gets the big boss", the animator paints Bugs on a railroad track with a train coming through a tunnel behind it. As the train passes, Bugs leans on a rock and states that there is still one way out. He jumps up and pulls down a place card with the words "The End" written on it in large letters.
The camera pulls back to the animator, who is revealed to be Elmer Fudd, who laughs and states with delight: "Weww, anyway, I finawwy got even with that scwewy wabbit."
- A "The End" card is also used in the cartoon Duck Amuck after Daffy tears the black exterior down and says "Let's get this picture started!" In Duck Amuck, the card has white text on a black background. In Rabbit Rampage, the card has white cursive text on a dark blue background.
- Error: When Bugs said he'll report the animator to Warner Bros., his tail flashed yellow to grey and white to yellow.
- Error #2: In the beginning of the short, when the animator writes out Bugs Bunny's name (B. Bugs in this case), its font changes within a matter of a scene.
- Innuendo: The animator erases Bugs' head as he is yelling. This was probably done to prevent Bugs from saying any swear words.
- Bugs breaks the fourth wall in this episode. In Duck Amuck, Daffy breaks the fourth wall, too. Unlike Daffy, Bugs seems to know who's the artist in the episode.
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