|The Heckling Hare|
This is the second-to-last Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Tex Avery to be released. The last, All This and Rabbit Stew, was produced before this film. Additionally, it was the fifth cartoon for Bugs and the 55th cartoon Avery directed at Warner Bros.
The Merrie Melodies opening sequence also featured the first usage of the Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it. Here, after the zoom-in and a couple of bites of his carrot, Bugs pulls down the Merrie Melodies title screen like it is a shade.
Starting with this cartoon, WARNER BROS. and Present are already on the screen, and would be for all Bugs Bunny cartoons, excluding Hold the Lion, Please, until Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips. After Nips the Nips, the Bugs Bunny head would appear after the WB shield zooms in starting with Hare Ribbin'.
Bugs is being hunted by a dog named Wiloughby but the dog falls for every trap Bugs sets for him until they both fall off a cliff at the end.
The Heckling Hare is the cartoon that led to Tex leaving Warner Bros. Animation for M.G.M. Originally, the cartoon ended with Bugs and Wiloughby falling off of 3 cliffs, as well as the hare remarking to the audience, "Hold on to your hats, folks! Here we go again!" For reasons that aren't quite known for sure (some say that it was because the "Hold on to your hats, folks! Here we go again!" line was the punchline to a then-dirty joke; others say that Schlesinger objected to the ending because he felt viewers would think Bugs Bunny died at the end), Leon Schlesinger interfered and edited the cartoon, ending it with Bugs and Wiloughby "putting on the brakes" and making a soft, feet-first landing on the ground. Bugs then says to the audience, "Heh-heh. Fooled ya, hadn't we?" followed by an abrupt fade-out as Wiloughby says, "Yeah!" (most versions, specifically the Cartoon Network version and most home video versions, cut out Wiloughby saying "Yeah!" as the cartoon ends to cover it up. The version shown on the Golden Collection DVD set does not restore the original ending, but does leave in Wiloughby saying, "Yeah!" just as the short abruptly ends). Tex was so angry that he walked out of the studio (although, according to some film historians, he was fired after an argument with Leon). Leon promptly suspended him, and, during his suspension, he was hired by M.G.M. This scene is in fact true, as there is a transcript of the cartoon that contains the original ending, as shown on the bottom right.
The Heckling Hare at SuperCartoons.net
The Heckling Hare at B99.TV