Article by hi joiney
PlotDaffy Duck lures Elmer Fudd to Bugs Bunny’s burrow, and watches from aside when Elmer attempts to shoot Bugs. Bugs informs Elmer that it isn’t rabbit season, but instead duck season. Daffy emerges, irate, and attempts to convince Elmer that Bugs is lying. Their conversation breaks down into Bugs leading Daffy to admit it is duck season by a number of verbal plays and reverse psychology, for example:Bugs: “Duck season!”Daffy: “Wabbit season!”Bugs: “Duck season!”Daffy: “Wabbit season!”Bugs: “Duck season!!”Daffy: “Wabbit season!!”Bugs: (reversing the flow) “Wabbit season!”Daffy: “Duck season!!!”Bugs: “Wabbit season!!!”Daffy: “I say it’s duck season, and I say, FIRE!” (This entire section is used as the opening in Looney Tunes: Back in Action)Once Daffy admits it is duck season, Elmer fires his shotgun at Daffy, causing the duck to suffer a temporary setback before he comes back and tries again. This repeats several times during the short, with Daffy trying different ploys to get Elmer to shoot Bugs, but Bugs continues to outwit him.Daffy then disguises himself as a rabbit (rabbit ears and a cotton tail) and tells Elmer that it’s ‘Duck season’. Bugs then appears disguised as a duck, complete with webbed feet and a fake bill. Elmer shoots Daffy after seeing a “Rabbit Season” sign on the same tree. Then he goes up to Bugs and saids “You’re desthpicable!” The next scene Bugs begins to read duck recipes from a cookbook, and Daffy does the same with a rabbit recipe cookbook.Elmer finally loses patience and decides to take out both Bugs and Daffy. Daffy comes into the scene, dressed as a dog and Bugs comes in as a lady hunter. Elmer, however, sees through their disguise and threatens to shoot them. The cartoon climaxes when Elmer finds the two arguing by a tree with a sign that starts with the words “Rabbit Season”; Bugs and Daffy continue to pull off the sign to alternatively reveal it is “Duck Season” or “Rabbit Season” until they hit a final sign, proclaiming it to be “Elmer Season”. The tables turned, Bugs and Daffy, dressed as hunters, begin to chase Elmer, telling the audience to be “vewwy, vewwy quiet…we’re hunting Elmers!” (Daffy: “Hahahahahahahaha.”) ReactionBugs and Daffy fight over which one of them is in season at the moment, in this scene from Rabbit Fire.Rabbit Fire is generally considered among Chuck Jones’ and Michael Maltese’s best works, and is noted for its use of dialogue gags in lieu of the physical gags more typical in animation. Besides the two sequels to this film, a number of other notable Jones shorts, including Beanstalk Bunny and Ali Baba Bunny, paired quick-witted Bugs and self-serving Daffy with (or rather against) each other.The “duck season/rabbit season” argument from this short became one of the most notable references of the Looney Tunes franchise, and has been analyzed both by scholars and by Jones himself (though it should be noted that this gag was actually used by Daffy against Porky 6 years earlier in the cartoon Duck Soup to Nuts). According to an essay by Darragh O’Donoghue, Rabbit Fire “stands in close relation to human experience, striving and generally failing to grasp an elusive quarry or goal.”. Richard Thompson said that in the film, there is “the clearest definition of character roles: Elmer never knows what’s going on; Bugs always knows what’s going on and is in control of things; Daffy is bright enough to understand how to be in control, but never quite makes it.” Jones himself refers to Rabbit Fire as a “corner” picture, among his works that, “as in turning a corner in a strange city, reveal new and enchanting vistas.”The short earned an honorable mention for animation historian Jerry Beck’s list of The Fifty Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1000 Animation Professionals. Its 1952 sequel, Rabbit Seasoning, made the actual list at number 30. The style, setup, and plot of Rabbit Fire were adapted into the opening sequence of Warners’ 2003 film Looney Tunes: Back in Action.The non sequitur elephant character based on Joe Besser was the inspiration for Horatio the Elephant, a recurring character on PBS’s Sesame Street. Production detailsIn two interviews conducted years after this cartoon was originally released, director Chuck Jones fondly recalled voice artist Mel Blanc improvising hilariously as Daffy when he was trying to think of another word besides “dethpicable”. However, in the finished film, only the words from the original dialogue script actually appear. Historians believe that Blanc did indeed improvise, as Jones remembered, but that Chuck Jones decided to use what was originally written instead. Rabbit Fire and its two sequels often have two characters in the same frame for some length of time an atypical aspect of the “Hunting” trilogy. In order to keep budgets under control, most Warner Bros. cartoons would cut back and forth between characters, rather than put two or more in the same shot. Interestingly, while the film is introduced by the Looney Tunes music The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, the opening card indicates a Merrie Melodies “Blue Ribbon” release, and the end card is Merrie Melodies, replacing the original orange-red Looney Tunes title sequences.This marked the first cartoon where Bugs and Daffy starred and appeared together. While Bugs had made a cameo in Porky Pig’s Feat (which co-starred Daffy and Porky Pig), this was the first where both were stars.The title is a play on “rapid fire”. CensorshipNetwork television channels (particularly ABC, CBS, WB, and the syndicated “Merrie Melodies Show”) have edited this cartoon (and the other two cartoons in the “hunting trilogy”abbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit, Duck!) to remove the many times Daffy is shot in the face by Elmer. While ABC and “The Merrie Melodies Show” would simply replace each occurrence with a frozen shot of Bugs looking on while the gunshot can be heard, CBS and WB would removed the entire scene of Daffy getting shot (sound and all).On cable networks, all of the Daffy getting shot in the face gags were left intact. However, the “No More Bullets” gag (where Elmer seems to have run out of ammunition, Daffy stares down the barrel of the shotgun and discovers the hard way that there was “one buwwet weft”, with the large slug left lodged in his dangling scalp) was cut from Rabbit Fire when shown on Nickelodeon. Influences in other mediaThe back-and-forth-and-reversed gag from this short is referenced in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where Eddie Valiant tricks Roger Rabbit into having a glass of whiskey in the same way Bugs tricks Daffy into getting shot.Roger: “I don’t!”Valiant: “You do!”Roger: “I don’t!”Valiant: “You do!”Roger: “I don’t!”Valiant: (reversing the flow) “You don’t!”Roger: “I do!”Valiant: “You don’t!”Roger: “I do!!”Valiant: “You don’t!”Roger: “Listen, when I say I do, that means I do!” (he chugs the drink)Thrice on the sitcom My Wife And Kids, on a sketch on the season 30 Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Paris Hilton, and on the cartoon Johnny Bravo, the verbal trick is used, with the winner being referred to as having “Bugs Bunnied” the loser.In the Baby Looney Tunes series, Bugs uses this same trick to get Daffy to agree with him twice.Bugs: “I’ll take the back seat, you take the front seat.”Daffy: “Oh no you don’t, I’m sitting in the back seat!”Bugs: “I’m sitting in the back seat!”Daffy: “I’m sitting in the back seat!”Bugs: “I’m sitting in the back seat!”Daffy: “I’m sitting in the back seat!”Bugs: “You’re sitting in the back seat!”Daffy: “You’re sitting in the back seat, and that’s final!”Bugs: “Okay Daffy, if you say so.”Daffy: (realizing he has been tricked) “I’d better remember never to fall for that one again!”In an earlier cartoon entiled Baseball Bugs, Bugs uses the same trick on another team player who disguised himself as the umpire and falsely said Bugs was out.Gashouse Gorilla: You’re out!Bugs: Where do ya get that malarky ? I’m safe!Gashouse Gorilla: I said you’re out!Bugs: Safe!Gashouse Gorilla: Out!Bugs: Safe!Gashouse Gorilla: Out!Bugs: Safe!Gashouse Gorilla: Out!Bugs: (Reversing the flow) Out!Gashouse Gorilla: Safe!Bugs: Out!Gashouse Gorilla: Safe!Bugs: Out!Gashouse Gorilla: Safe!Bugs: Out!Gashouse Gorilla: Safe!Bugs: Out!Gashouse Gorilla: I say you’re safe! If you don’t like it you can go to the showers!Bugs: Okay, have it your way, doc. I’m safe.(The Gashouse Gorilla suddenly realizes what happened) CreditsProduced by: Edward SelzerDirected by: Chuck JonesStory: Michael MalteseMusic: Carl StallingAnimation: Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Lloyd Vaughan, Ben WashamBackground: Philip DeGuardLayout: Robert GribbroekVoice Characterisions: Mel Blanc ReferencesPlease help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008) Notes^ Darragh O’Donoghue’s review of What’s Opera, Doc?, Rabbit Fire, and Feline Frameup. sensesofcinema.com^ “You’re Despicable!” – michaelbarrier.com. Retrieved 2008-01-16.^ Michael Barrier’s audio commentary for Disc One of Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 (2005). SourcesJones, Chuck (1989). Chuck Amuck : The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0-374-12348-9.Jones, Chuck (1996). Chuck Reducks : Drawing from the Fun Side of Life. New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-51893-X.Thompson, Richard (Jan-Feb 1975). Film Comment. External linksRabbit Fire at the Internet Movie DatabasePreceded byThe Fair-Haired HareBugs Bunny Cartoons1951Succeeded byFrench RarebitPreceded byThe DuckstersDaffy Duck Cartoons1951Succeeded byDrip-Along Daffy Categories: English-language films | 1951 films | American films | Looney Tunes shorts | Films directed by Chuck JonesHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from January 2008 | All articles needing additional references
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