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Rebel Rabbit is a 1949 animated short starring Bugs Bunny. It is an anomaly in the Bugs Bunny cartoons—in this one, Bugs is the aggressor having found out that the bounty for rabbits is only two cents and intends to prove that rabbits are tough—even if he has to be "more obnoxious than anybody". He also, in a rarity, receives a comeuppance (despite achieving his goal), something only Cecil Turtle had ever done to Bugs up to this point. Some scenes utilize live action stock footage.
|Directed by||Robert McKimson|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer (uncredited)|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Charles McKimson|
|Layouts by||Cornett Wood|
|Backgrounds by||Richard H. Thomas|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|April 9, 1949|
Bugs notices high bounties on various animals. $50 (about $530 today) on foxes, $75 (about $790 today) on bears, but then he becomes offended by the two-cent bounty (about $0.21 today) on rabbits. Bugs has himself mailed to Washington, D.C., where a supercilious game commissioner explains that the bounty is so low because, while foxes and bears are "obnoxious" animals who damage property, "rabbits are perfectly harmless". Bugs vows to prove that he can do just as bad and storms out, slamming the game commissioner's door so hard that the glass shatters.
Bugs begins his campaign of direct action by attacking a guard in the leg with his own billy club. From there, he pulls stunts like renaming Barney Baruch's private bench to "Bugs Bunny", painting barbershop pole stripes on the Washington Monument, and rewiring the lights in Times Square to read "BUGS BUNNY WUZ HERE".
Various newspapers comment about Bugs' actions as he shuts down Niagara Falls (revealing some barrels underneath it). Bugs then sells the entire island of Manhattan back to the Native Americans and is shown walking through it wearing a stereotypical feathered headband and smoking a peace pipe, asiding to the audience that "they wouldn't take it back unless I threw in a set of dishes". Afterwards, Bugs saws Florida off from the rest of the country, and quotes "South America, take it away!" Bugs then wonders what other kind of devilry he can commit. Bugs heads to Panama and swipes all the locks off the Panama Canal, which are represented as actual locks as he yells "I got 'em! I got 'em!". Bugs then heads to Arizona where he fills up the Grand Canyon. He then concludes his campaign by literally tying up railroad tracks.
An outraged Senator Claghorn–esque Congressman speaks before the United States Congress and demands that they take action against Bugs, but is interrupted by Bugs who emerges from the congressman's hat, slaps him and gives him a mocking kiss. The cartoon then shows live-action footage of the entire War Department mobilizing against him. Tanks come rumbling out of their garages, soldiers pour out of barracks, and bugles blow as the news of this is shown. Bugs, now satisfied with the $1 million bounty (about $10,500,000 today) on his head (although the bounty is for him specifically, not rabbits in general), is snapped out of a Tarzan yell by the whole US Army coming after him. Bugs then dives into a fox hole as artillery shells surround the foxhole. Bugs then says "Could it be that I carried this thing too far?" just as the missiles explode. It then cuts to Alcatraz Island where Bugs in his jail cell finally remarks "Ehhh, could be...!"
The uncut short is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 DVD set.