The Unmentionables is a 1963 animated short film in the Merrie Melodies series produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. It features Bugs Bunny with Rocky and Mugsy (in their final appearance), and spoofs The Untouchables, a popular television crime drama (complete with an impression of Walter Winchell's frantic narration, by Ralph James). The title is also a synonym for "underwear". Bugs takes on the role of crime fighter Elegant Mess (a reference to Eliot Ness). To design this cartoon, director Friz Freleng and his team studied the works of John Held Jr.
The cartoon opens with a pair of eyes looking through a peep door, followed by the credits. The narrator explains how the Roaring 20's was a time of jazz, "new" fashion trends (such as oversized fur coats on men and short-skirted dresses, bell hats, knee socks, and long pearl necklaces on women), dance parties, and mobster violence. The scene then cuts to a pair of gangster cars shooting guns at each other (ceasing at a traffic light). One man, witnessing the gangster battles, hurries over to the nearest telephone booth and orders the operator to connect him to the police, but the dimwitted female operator takes so long to make the connection, that the gangsters' gunfire shoots the telephone booth and man in half, to which the operator says "Sorry! You've been disconnected."
Over in Washington D.C., Bugs Bunny (addressed as Agent Elegant Mess in this cartoon) is assigned by his chief to infiltrate the gangster underworld in Chicago. As Bugs takes a taxi out to Chicago, he discovers he's fallen into a trap set by Rocky and Mugsy.
At the hideout, Rocky and Mugsy have tied up Bugs and put his feet in a bucket of water, making it seem like he has a cold, but Mugsy pours in some cement. Both men then throw Bugs into Lake Michigan in the dark of the night, but unknown to the men Bugs manages to use a pipe as a snorkel and hop out of the lake.
The next night, the gangsters decide to throw a party to celebrate Rocky's birthday and the (supposed) death of Bugs. Rocky's guests include Jack "Legs" Rhinestone (wearing ladies' socks on his legs), "Baby Face Half" Nelson (whose face is the size of his cigar end), "Pizza Puss" Lasagna (whose face looks like the surface of a pizza), "Pistol Nose" Pringle (whose nose is shaped like a pistol, and breathes out cigarette smoke), and "Teeth" Malloy (whose giant teeth take up all of his face).
Mugsy announces Rocky's entertainment just as Bugs pops out of the cake, disguised as a flapper. During the entertainment, Mugsy, distracted by Bugs' disguise, nudges Rocky so he falls over, making Rocky punch him up the jaw. Just as Rocky comes up to Bugs to tell him he loves him, Bugs kicks Rocky up the jaw for three times, making him drop his guns. The third kick has Rocky so deep under his hat that he has to feel the floor for his guns and fire aimlessly.
Once Bugs flees, Rocky sees he's been set up and orders all the gangsters in attendance to capture Bugs, but they fall to the floor dead (Rocky having shot them by accident). Just as Mugsy comments on Rocky making a boo-boo, Bugs comes in, disguised as a police inspector, and books Rocky for murder. Determined not to be booked, Rocky whips out a revolver. Bugs then whips out a carrot, which Rocky and Mugsy find funny, until the carrot end opens up and blasts them. When Bugs tries again, the carrot is empty, to which Bugs comments "That's the trouble with carrots! They're only good once!"
Rocky then retaliates with real gunfire and he and Mugsy chase Bugs across town into a factory. Unable to see in the dark, Rocky orders Mugsy to turn on the light, but once the light is on, Rocky see that Bugs has a gun aimed at him. He orders Mugsy to turn off the light, but Bugs blasts him before the lights go out. Rocky then orders Mugsy to switch places so that Mugsy will blast Bugs. After the places are switched and Rocky turns on the light, Mugsy fires, only to discover Bugs isn't there. By the time they turn around and see where Bugs is, Bugs blasts Rocky again and turns out the light.
Rocky and Mugsy then chase Bugs up a set of stairs into, what we think to be, a storeroom. Mugsy slams the door on Rocky, which prompts him to sock him up the jaw again. Bugs then escapes, locks the door, and runs down the stairs. A light then goes on revealing that the three characters are in the ACME Cereal Factory. Bugs then throws a switch, which send Rocky and Mugsy into a mixer and has them mixed about like "a merry go round at the amusement park." Bugs then throws another switch which puts them in the popper. When the cereals come out on the conveyor belts, Rocky has been placed into a "six pack" box and Mugsy has been placed into a "king sized" box (both boxes showing their pictures with "cut along dotted lines" on them).
The next day, with Rocky and Mugsy apprehended, Bugs takes them to the State Prison. Rocky and Mugsy are then sentenced by the court to spend twenty years of hard labor. As they're hammering away on the rocks, we see in the final shot that Bugs is joining them in the sentence, as the narrator explains that Bugs had lost the keys to the handcuffs.
Bugs crashes Rocky's birthday party
Narrator: The boys decided to throw a party celebrating Rocky's birthday and the removal of Agent Mess. (camera shows cake and gangsters surrounding Rocky) Among those attending... were Jack "Legs" Rhinestone, "Baby Face Half" Nelson, "Pizza Puss" Lasagna, "Pistol Nose" Pringle, and "Teeth" Malloy.
(Mugsy stands up)
Mugsy: Uh, Rocky, we'd like to present you a token of our esteem.
(Bugs Bunny pops out of cake, disguised as a flapper)
Bugs: (in flapper's voice) Hiya, suckers!
Rocky: Who's da broad?
Mugsy: (goo-goo eyed) She's some looker, eh Rocky? (nudges Rocky so that Rocky and chair fall over. Mugsy looks down) Duh, what happen, Rocky?
Rocky: (punches Mugsy up the jaw) You bonehead. (walks over to Bugs) You know, you're a lucky broad. I like you. (Bugs kicks Rocky up the jaw) Stop the music. (Bugs kicks Rocky up the jaw again, making him drop his guns) Stop... Stop the music! (Bugs kicks Rocky a third time, shoving him up his hat so he can't see. Rocky feels the floor for his guns) STOP! THE MUSIC!
(Rocky picks up guns and fires. Bugs flees out of his disguise. Rocky ceases firing)
Rocky: (turning to gangsters) Dat dame's not a dame! Quick! Don't just stand there gapin', go get 'im!
(Gangsters fall dead to the floor. Rocky gasps)
Mugsy: Gee, Rocky, you made a boo-boo.
Bugs: (disguised as a police inspector) Yeah, and I'm bookin' ya for moider.
Rocky: Oh yeah? Well, I'm da bookie around here and I'll do the bookin'. (whips out revolver)
Bugs: (whips out carrot) Stick 'em up, you're under arrest!
Rocky: Heh, heh, heh! Look Mugsy, He's gonna shoot us with a carrot! Heh, heh, heh... (carrot end opens up and blasts Rocky and Mugsy in the face) Heh...heh...ooooohhh.
(Bugs pulls hidden trigger on carrot only to make clicking noises)
Bugs: Dat's the trouble with carrots: Dey're only good once.
(Rocky fires revolver, causing Bugs to flee and begin the chase through the ACME Cereal Factory)
- On the syndicated "Merrie Melodies" show, the two times Rocky gets shot (one where Bugs uses his carrot as a gun and the other time when Rocky, Bugs, and Mugsy are in the cereal factory) were cut.
- The WB version of this cartoon shortened the scene in the beginning where a man runs into a telephone booth to report a crime to the operator and is told to wait. Immediately after, the man and the phone booth are shot in half by offscreen gunfire and the operator says, "Sorry, you've been disconnected." The WB! showed the first half where a man runs into a phone booth to report a crime, but cuts off after that, making it fairly obvious that something is missing.
- The cartoon plot and title parody the TV series The Untouchables.
- This is the final Friz Freleng directed Bugs Bunny cartoon for sixteen years.
- This is Rocky and Mugsy's last theatrical appearance for thirty-two years.
- One of the gangsters attending Rocky's birthday party looks almost like Tintin's nemesis Rastapopoulos.
- During the scenes where Bugs kicks Rocky, flees from Rocky's gunfire, and Rocky telling the gangsters they've been had, the same background is used.
- The cartoon is used as part of the plot in the second part of Friz Freleng's Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.
- This is one of a few cartoons in which Bugs Bunny has less dialogue than any other character.
- In this cartoon, Mugsy's character design reverted to his original design in "Bugs and Thugs". This design of Mugsy would later be used in subsequent appearances later on in the modern era.
- The scene where Rocky gets shot by Bugs in the ACME cereal factory is somewhat reused in a Friz Freleng-produced cartoon in the Metro Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon series The Inspector, in the cartoon "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!"
- This is the only cartoon where both Bugs Bunny and the gangster duo Rocky and Mugsy lose in the end. Also, this is one of the rare instances where both Bugs and his enemy lose in the end; others include "Hold the Lion, Please", "Hare Conditioned", "A Feather in His Hare", and "Captain Hareblower".
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