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Forward March Hare
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) series
Forward March Hare title card.PNG

title card
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
John T. Smith
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Ken Harris
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts by Maurice Noble
Backgrounds by Philip De Guard
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) February 14, 1953
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:10
Language English
Preceded by Hare Lift
Followed by Upswept Hare

Forward March Hare is a 1952-animated Looney Tunes cartoon released in 1953 featuring Bugs Bunny. Bugs, accidentally drafted into the Army, causes havoc with his sergeant at basic training. The title relates to the March Hare.

This cartoon was released during the final months of the Korean War.


The mailman has delivered a letter to "B. Bonny" (Bertram Bonny), but when the Truck pulls out, the exhaust from the tailpipe causes the letter to drift out of the mailbox and accidentally drop into Bugs Bunny's hole. Bugs, in the middle of his morning workout (including a brief workout of his ears), eventually sees the letter and assumes it's for him. On reading the letter, he gets shocked: "Holy cats, I've been DRAFTED!!!"

Bugs's going through the Army induction center only causes some small reactions:

-After asking a guard for directions, the guard assumes "so they're inducting rabbits."

-Before Bugs has his X-rays taken, a tall, rather lanky, tiny-headed person behind him looks at him and in response looks and chuckles at the audience.

-When Bugs has his x-rays taken, the doctor there assumes he (the doctor) has been overworked.

-Bugs also passes the eye exam with flying colors from the first letter right down to the microscopic "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." disclaimer at the bottom of the chart. This joke is a reference to Bugs eating a steady diet of carrots, rich in Vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. (The same joke reference was used in Hot Cross Bunny, years prior.)

Once in the army, though, he quickly causes problems. His shoes are too big, so when his Sergeant calls for the men lined up to "about face," Bugs accidentally literally knocks the rest of the line over like bowling pins.

File:Bugs in Basic Training.PNG

Bugs reports to the drill sergeant in basic training.

The Sergeant calls Bugs forward, where Bugs introduces himself as "Private Bugs Bunny reporting, your majesty!" The Sergeant does not believe it is really Bugs, and sarcastically refers to himself as "Sergeant Porky Pig." However, his Colonel, referring to himself as "Colonel Putty Tat," tells the Sergeant that "General Tweety Pie was asking about you, Sergeant." When the Colonel inspects Bugs and orders him to "about face," Bugs knocks the Colonel over with his large shoes, much to the Sergeant's horror.

As punishment, Bugs and the Sergeant — now noticeably demoted to three stripes ("buck" sergeant) — take a long hike that sees both of them crawling back to their bunk (at "Camp Ono" — Ono, Pennsylvania also happens to be a hamlet near Fort Indiantown Gap, a former Army base) in the middle of the night. Bugs, after peeling back his sweating shoes, finally lies down in his bunk, but is woken by Reveille seconds later. Bugs, intending to "moider that bugler," runs out with a baseball bat and a "whack" is heard off-screen. After Bugs decides to take a bath, it is shown that Bugs really smashed a record player.

Later that morning, the Colonel is furiously looking for his helmet. The Sergeant finds Bugs taking his bath, using the Colonel's helmet as his bathtub. After Bugs makes a comment about cleanliness being next to godliness, the Sergeant throws Bugs out and runs off with the helmet full of soapy water — only to run into the Colonel. The Colonel then puts his helmet on - and gets splashed, blowing out bubbles afterwards.

Now demoted to Corporal rank, Bugs's drill-master has Bugs "dress" the chickens for the Officer's Dinner Dance that night — though Bugs has them all dressed in tuxedoes. ("Where are they eatin'?")

Bugs then tries to nail a calendar to the wall above his bunk using a large ammunition shell (causing the neighbouring soldiers to flee in panic). The Corporal runs up just in time to almost get hit with the shell when it goes off — but, much to the Corporal's shock, the shell pierces clean through the angry Colonel's helmet, making him look like the devil.

Now reduced in rank to Private, Bugs's former drill sergeant asks the now-bandaged Bugs Bunny (presumably as a result of the aforementioned incident) what he has against him, asking him why he does not listen to orders, hoping to reason with Bugs. After mentioning Bugs's various body parts, he finally panickedly realizes, and yells, "Jumpin' Catfish! We've inducted a RABBIT!!!" With that he runs off to find the General.

The General apologizes to Bugs for the mix-up, explaining that Congress did not pass any laws saying that rabbits could be inducted into the military. Bugs, however, wants to do his part for the military. The General tells Bugs there is something he can do — Bugs is then seen testing ammunition shells (similar to the one he accidentally fired) by striking the top with a mallet and marking them as DUD when they do not explode. Bugs then breaks the fourth wall by saying, "And just think! In 30 years, I can retire!" and the cartoon ends.


This cartoon is available on the "Stars of Space Jam: Bugs Bunny" VHS, and on the fourth volume of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection

External links

Preceded by
Hare Lift
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Upswept Hare