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Ballot Box Bunny
Merrie Melodies (Bugs Bunny) series

The title card of Ballot Box Bunny.
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Warren Foster
Voices by Mel Blanc[1]
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Arthur Davis
Manuel Perez
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Paul Julian
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) October 6, 1951 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:35
Language English

Ballot Box Bunny is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released in 1951, directed by Friz Freleng and written by Warren Foster.[2]


Yosemite Sam is running for mayor of a small town, declaring such empty promises as: "There's enough fresh air and sunshine in this great country of ours for everybody – and I'll see to it, that you'll get your share!". Bugs Bunny is underneath the podium drinking carrot juice when Sam makes a pledge to make good on his previous promise "to rid this country of every last rabbit" if elected. Bugs then decides he needs to fight against Sam by running against him for mayor.

Bugs proceeds to quickly try and win the townspeople over (including referencing Theodore Roosevelt's famous "I speak softly, but I carry a BIG stick!" quote). However, Sam declares that he speaks LOUUUUUD and carries "a BIGGER stick, and I use it too!" (When watching this on The Bugs Bunny Show, Daffy Duck says "I speak medium, and I carry the BIGGEST stick.) Sam has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He steals Bugs' cigar stand, to which Bugs switches his "SMELLO" cigars with five-cent ATOM Explosive Cigars ("You Will Get A BANG Out of This"). He sends a boxful of "assorted" picnic ants to steal all of the food at Bugs' picnic, to which Bugs hides a dynamite stick in a watermelon for him. Then he rigs a cannon at the front door of Bugs' headquarters and greets Bugs with friendship at the back door, but the plan backfires on him when Bugs pretends that a pretty girl named Emma who loves Sam is at the front door. Then he challenges Bugs, asking him if he can "play the pi-anna", and Bugs takes the challenge, so he rigs explosives in the piano at a certain key and presents the piano to Bugs to play "Those Endearing Young Charms" (a gag recycled from a Private Snafu short), but Bugs misplays the tune on purpose to infuriate Sam, who plays it correctly and falls for his own trap.

A quick chase through the streets leads the pair to the parade for the newly elected mayor, a literal "dark horse" candidate – a chestnut-colored mare, whose car bears a sign reading "Our New Mare". Oddly, Bugs suggests a game of Russian Roulette and hands Sam a gun. Sam agrees, points the gun at his head, closes his eyes and pulls the trigger, and gets the click of an empty barrel. He then hands the gun to Bugs, who points the gun to his head, closes his eyes, and pulls the trigger as the "camera" irises into black in the center of the screen to the sound of a gunshot. An iris opens up on Bugs to the left, having ducked and holding a smoking gun as he proclaims "I missed!". The right side of the screen irises open to reveal a scorched, hatless Sam shot in the head by Bugs' wayward blast, and Sam says: "I hate that rabbit!" (see "Censorship" note below for more information about the ending).


  • The statue contains a list of cre members from the film. It reads, "Pro Patria 1865: Batchelder, Champin, Farren, Julian, Nicholson, Perez, Pratt and Ross."[2]
  • Building names to look out for: Ross & Co, Josiah Freep, Frizby, M. Perez, P. Julian Yard Tools.[2]

Edited versions

thumb|left|Bugs "misses" and shoots Sam.

  • The ending scene where Bugs and Sam play Russian Roulette after both losing the mayoral race to an actual "dark horse mare" was deleted for many years on TV airings (regardless of channel – it has been edited on ABC, CBS, WB, FOX, syndicated networks, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network [until September 2011], and Boomerang) with a fake iris-out after Bugs says: "Dark horse?" and Sam says: "Mare?"(Mayor) [1]. Since September 2011, however, Cartoon Network has aired the short with the ending uncut and uncensored.
    • One local station left the first part of the ending scene intact, but edited the short by ending it just as Bugs puts the gun to his head and the cartoon irises out, deleting the scene of Bugs missing and shooting Yosemite Sam instead. Because of the darker implications of this edit (that Bugs committed suicide, rather than having blasted Yosemite Sam), this edited version has only aired once.
  • On Nickelodeon, in addition to the above main edit, the part in which Bugs plays his "juteybox" (read: Bugs' marching one-man band) and Sam shoots him is altered so that way, Bugs' marching is played in a loop and Sam is merely heard saying, "Shut off that juteybox! I can't hear myself a-speechin'," followed by a cut to Sam saying: "Now, where was I?", making it seem that Bugs merely stopped because Sam told him to rather than be forced to do it by use of firearms.


See also


  1. Lawson, Tim; Persons, Alisa (9 December 2004). The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-57806-696-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=0cEAOsLJad8C&pg=PA54. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Ballot Box Bunny". www.bcdb.com, August 31, 2013

External links

Preceded by
His Hare-Raising Tale
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Big Top Bunny

Category:1951 animated films Category:English-language films Category:Merrie Melodies shorts Category:Films directed by Friz Freleng Category:American political comedy films Category:1950s American animated films