8 great reasons to watch Hot Cross Bunny

Wherein Bugs Bunny matches wits with an evil genius.

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LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

― Carl Sagan

Ah, science. Just as discovery pushes the boundaries of human knowledge, so too does Bugs Bunny push the boundaries of comedy. Really, what would happen if a madman crossed a chicken with a hare? This is the type of question Warner Bros. sought to answer in 1948 with the Robert McKimson-directed Merrie Melodies short Hot Cross Bunny.

So why should you care, anyhow? Well, your time is yours. But, 10/10 evil scientists agree that Hot Cross Bunny is an excellent cartoon.

For those who need further persuasion, here are eight great reasons you should check it out, doc!

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1. It's a Family Affair

 

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How many cartoons do you know of that feature the animated works of the director's brother? Bet you could count them on Porky Pig's left hand. But, that's the case here in Hot Cross Bunny. Director Robert McKimson's very own brother Charles is credited as an animator in the short's opening sequence. 

2. Hot Cross Punny

 

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Fans who enjoy lampoons of historically significant poetry are in for a real treat with this one! Bugs Bunny is being examined at the Paul Revere Foundation Hospital. You can see the building's inscription in the featured image: "Hardly a man is now alive." Your high school English teacher would've been happy to note that this references Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride." In the context of a hospital, the line takes on a much bleaker meaning!

3. A Fantastic Foe

 

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What highlights Bugs the best is juxtaposing him with a baddie who is Bugs' opposite. Where Bugs is calm and cool, Yosemite Sam is hot-tempered. Where Elmer is dumb, Bugs is clever. Here, in Hot Cross Bunny, Bugs' street smarts are contrasted with the book smarts of the evil scientist. The world of academia is a great machine for Bugs to rage against, and the scientist is a great foil. The character, minus the German accent, proved popular enough to re-appear in the Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries episode, "The Tail End?"

4. The Devil's in the Details

 

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Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were always great at "blink and you'll miss it"-style gags. One of those missable gags is the names of the girl bunnies on Bugs' wall. The names might point toward some foul play from the scientist. The girls (sporting some very similar handwriting) sign the photos "May," "Bea," and "Chloreen." I don't know about you, but "Maybe chlorine" sounds an awful lot like something a scientist would write! 

5. A Lasting Impression

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts are pretty evergreen. Their approach to humor is timeless, especially with physical gags as best exemplified by Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. But, occasionally, a little context makes them even more enjoyable, like when Bugs Bunny busts out an impression of Lionel Barrymore. Specifically, Bugs' routine is a reference to the 1931 movie A Free Soul

6. Fred Ast-Hare

 

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Bugs Bunny is, obviously, an incredible performer. It should be no surprise to any of us, then, when he occasionally breaks out into tapdance. This isn't the first time Bugs has exhibited his spectacular softshoe skills, either. Twice before, in Stage Door Cartoon, and Bugs Bunny Rides Again, Bugs tapdanced his way into our hearts. Not bad for only his third time!

7. A Familiar Freakout

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

If Bugs' bizarre song-and-dance number seems like it's giving you déjà vu, it's because you may have seen it before. The whole thing was recycled from an earlier cartoon, "Book Revue," starring Daffy Duck. Whether Bugs watched the toon from two years prior remains to be uncovered.

8. Real Science!

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

When Bugs Bunny boasts his beaker is brimming with "manganese, phosphorus, nitrate, lactic acid, and dextrose," the scientist is right to guffaw. Those really are the scientific names for the ingredients in a chocolate malt!

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8 Comments

wahoo76 12 months ago
The design of the hospital building in the beginning of the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Hot Cross Bunny” (1948) was based on Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, CA. The iconic main hospital building was built in 1941, and was designed in the streamline moderne style, which was very popular at that time on the west coast. After the 1994 earthquake, it was decided that the undamaged building was obsolete, and so it was torn down to make way for the new Providence/St. John’s Health Center.
top_cat_james_1 12 months ago
I like how the scientist performs a lengthy exam on Bugs while keeping the already gathered audience in the surgical amphitheater waiting. Oh, and a top hat and table are there for no apparent reason other than for Bugs to perform his magic act. As Church Lady would say, "Well, how conveeeeeenient!"
Runeshaper 12 months ago
"May," "Bea," and "Chloreen" = HAHAHAHAHA! Gotta love the Fred Ast-Hare nod too!
cperrynaples 12 months ago
I always thought 5 was a reverance to the Dr. Kildare movies! They were made back in the '30's before Richard Chamberlan! And how could you ignore the brain switch with the doctor and the chicken? I remember the chicken saying, "We will reverse this...I HOPE!"
CoreyC cperrynaples 12 months ago
It seems that the Doctor is a victim of fowl play.
SRN 12 months ago
There is only one thing that Bugs loves even more than carrots--and that is performing in public, even if it's impromptu. No stage fright for this bunny!
Andybandit 12 months ago
I love Bugs Bunny Cartoons. But I am probably the only one who never saw this Bugs Bunny Cartoon.
Bricat2001 Andybandit 12 months ago
i dont think ive seen this one yet either
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