The Big Snooze is a 1946 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Bob Clampett, his final cartoon for Warner Bros. (his name does not appear in the credits because he left the studio before the film was released). Its title was inspired by the 1939 book The Big Sleep, and its 1946 film adaptation, also a Warner release. The Big Snooze features Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, voiced as usual by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, respectively.
In this cartoon-within-a-cartoon, Bugs and Elmer are in the midst of their usual hunting-chasing scenario. Elmer angrily quits, because he feels the writers will not "allow him" to catch Bugs.
So Elmer decides to go fishing instead, thinking that he will not be around amymore rabbits (including Bugs). But he was wrong, as Bugs follows Elmer to his fishing spot and sees him sleeping.
Bugs worms his way into Elmer's dream, (a by-product of Elmer's nap) with sleeping pills in order to torment the inept hunter with nightmare imagery; Bugs chooses 'zillions of red and yellow wabbits' to start off the agony. Later, Bugs runs Elmer over with a "train" made of rabbits.
Elmer's failed pursuit of the "wabbit" through the surreal landscape, as well as down connected rabbit holes, allows Bugs to dress Elmer in drag (wig, dress, lipstick et al.), making Elmer look like Rita Hayworth.
Bugs inspects his handiwork, then introduces Elmer to a trio of (literal) wolves, lounging by the sign at Hollywood and Vine. Upon noticing "Elmer", one wolf cries out ("how ooooold is she?"), right before another wolf begins flirting with Elmer. The latter causing the gender-morphed Elmer to exclaim "Gwacious!", and flee from the wolves, pausing long enough to ask the audience, "Have any of you giwls evew had an expewience wike this?".
In an attempt to "help", Bugs persuades Elmer to follow a mad dash towards stage right, as Bugs plays the old gag "run 'this way'!", putting Elmer through a bizarre series of steps which include him running on his feet and on his hair, hopping like a frog, as well as Russian folk dancing (Hey!).
Bugs and Elmer jump off the edge of the dreamscape. During the descent, Bugs drinks some "Hare Tonic - Stops Falling Hare" and screeches to a halt. The dream-Elmer lands roughly back in his own body and awakens. Elmer swiftly returns his job back at Warner Bros.; the episode closes with Bugs happily speaking the catchphrase from the "Beulah" character on the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly, "I love dat man!"
- The question of whether or not any of the girls in the audience have to put up with what was going on in a scene was later used in Hare Splitter.
Due to concerns of substance abuse, the part where Bugs takes a sleeping pill to invade Elmer's dream was originally edited out when shown on most TV channels (particularly the Ted Turner-owned cable networks TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network, but there have been cases of this cartoon appearing edited on local TV stations). The scene was most often deleted with a jump cut or, as on Cartoon Network, with a fake black-out. This was the method used until it was shown uncut on Cartoon Network's The Bob Clampett Show and has been shown uncut ever since on other cartoon installment shows on CN.
The Big Snooze is available in a restored version on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set, and as part of the compilation What's Up, Doc? A Salute to Bugs Bunny on Volume 3. It can also be found in the iTunes store. Another place where "The Big Snooze" is available is on the Xbox Live Zune marketplace.
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