The Wabbit Who Came to Supper
The Wabbit Who Came to Supper is a 1942 American Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon featuring early appearances by Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. The Elmer character is in a transitional state from his earliest appearances in Bob Clampett's shorts and the appearance which he adopted around 1943.
|The Wabbit Who Came to Supper|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Starring||Uncredited voice characterizations:|
Arthur Q. Bryan
|Music by||Musical direction:|
Carl W. Stalling
|Animation by||Character animation:|
(final five uncredited)
Uncredited effects animation:
A. C. Gamer
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|March 28, 1942 (US)|
The title of the short is a reference to the 1942 Warner Brothers film version of the 1939 George S. Kaufman Broadway comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner, in which an overbearing house-guest threatens to take over the lives of a small-town family.
Just as Elmer's hunting dogs have Bugs Bunny cornered in the forest, Elmer receives a telegram informing him that his uncle Louie is, in his will, leaving him $3 million, as long as he never harms any animals - especially rabbits. Immediately, Elmer changes his tune and becomes uncharacteristically nice, setting Bugs free.
Bugs, with characteristic élan, takes full advantage of the situation by sneaking into Elmer's house and making himself at home. As Elmer opens his front door, he hears Bugs singing "Angel in Disguise" while taking a shower and reacts angrily; from behind the shower curtain, Bugs pokes a sign reminding Elmer about Uncle Louie.
Bugs then makes the most of his opportunity to purposely aggravate Elmer; after he enjoys a shave he settles into an easy chair and files his nails. He knows he has the advantage of blackmail should Elmer try to punish him in any way. Elmer gently tries to coax Bugs into leaving, lightly patting him on the head; Bugs leaps up, yelling, "Whaddya tryin' to do, kill me?" and makes like he is going to phone Uncle Louie to report this cruelty. Elmer apologizes, promises to never do anything of the kind again, and manages to trick the rabbit into walking out of the house. Bugs resorts to faking a serious, pretty much fatal, illness prompting Elmer to take him back in, afraid he may have lost the inheritance for good.
As Elmer is carrying Bugs around the house, singing to him, a special delivery letter arrives which says that Uncle Louie has "kicked the bucket" and that Elmer now inherits the $3 million. However, the amount of the various estate taxes, including a $2 million inheritance tax, claims the entirety of the inheritance and leaves Elmer owing Louie's lawyer $1.98.
This turn of events infuriates Elmer and, with nothing now to lose, he is free to vent his anger on Bugs. A chase ensues and, after a variety of Bugs Bunny twists and tricks, the rabbit opens the front door and runs out, slamming the door behind him. Elmer gives the door an extra slam and says, "Good widdance to bad wubbish."
Within seconds, the door buzzer goes off and a postman delivers Elmer a large Easter egg. It pops open to reveal an impossibly large litter of baby Bugs Bunnies who say, " Eh, what's up Doc?" in unison, jump out and begin running around the house.
Friz Freleng, the man most responsible for developing Bugs' personality, was the director of this short cartoon. This short film was written by Michael Maltese and animated by Richard Bickenbach. The music was selected, composed and arranged by Carl W. Stalling with sound effects and editing by Treg Brown. Mel Blanc performed the voice of Bugs Bunny, and Arthur Q. Bryan performed the voice of Elmer Fudd.
Being in the public domain, The Wabbit Who Came to Supper was featured on several low-budget VHS releases of public domain cartoons. (The use of "Angel in Disguise," which remains under copyright, has complicated the short's public domain status.)
On the 2005 Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 DVD release, The Wabbit Who Came to Supper is presented in a restored unedited version with a commentary track provided by animation historian Jerry Beck and Warner Brothers' inker Martha Sigall, one of about 40 uncredited inkers and painters who labored on the Looney Tunes shorts.