Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt
Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny series
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Gil Turner
Gerry Chiniquy
Manuel Perez
Cal Dalton
Richard Bickenbach
Herman Cohen
Jack Bradbury
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) June 7, 1941
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:30 (one reel)
Language English

Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt is a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, starring Bugs Bunny and Hiawatha, first released on June 7, 1941. The short makes several direct references to The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The short was directed by Friz Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, animated by Gil Turner, and the musical director was Carl Stalling.

The voices of Bugs Bunny and Hiawatha were both provided by Mel Blanc.

Plot

Bugs is reading The Song of Hiawatha out loud to himself and the saga turns real as a pint-sized, Elmer Fudd-like Hiawatha (minus the speech impediment) turns up, paddling his canoe. Hiawatha is looking for a rabbit for his dinner. Hiawatha manages to trick Bugs into thinking he is preparing a hot bath for him. It is actually a cooking pot, which Bugs quickly vacates once Hiawatha casually mentions that he is having rabbit stew for supper.

As with Elmer, Bugs spends the rest of the cartoon tormenting his would-be devourer, who finally breaks his arrows in anger and disgust, and paddles his canoe away while Bugsy finishes his reading of the poem. However, in the closing gag, the miffed-looking Hiawatha suddenly returns to the foreground where Bugs is reading the narrative, and after a second of wordless staring at each other, Hiawatha gives Bugs the "insulting kiss" that the Bunny usually bestows on others. Hiawatha then paddles away again, as Bugs "spits out" the kiss.

Production notes

Controversy

  • This cartoon was one of the 12 Bugs cartoons pulled out of the June Bugs marathon in 2001 because of ethnic stereotypes (in this case, the Native American hunter), even though this cartoon has aired on Cartoon Network's show The Acme Hour during Thanksgiving (and the latter cartoon What's Cookin' Doc?, which features a clip of this cartoon, has aired a few times with the scene from Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt intact.)

Availability

References

External links

Preceded by
Tortoise Beats Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1941
Succeeded by
The Heckling Hare


Category:1941 animated films Category:Films directed by Friz Freleng Category:Merrie Melodies shorts Category:1940s comedy films Category:Films about Native Americans Category:Films featuring hunters Category:1940s American animated films

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