Bonanza Bunny is a 1959 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Robert McKimson.


Set in 1896 Dawson City, Yukon, a snow-covered Bugs Bunny walks into the saloon with a bag full of gold nuggets. Bugs has no use for these yellow rocks, admitting that he confused "carats" with the vegetable when he traveled to the area, having actually heard about the Klondike Gold Rush. The men in the saloon look suspiciously at Bugs, who requests a glass of carrot juice, to which an eager bartender give Bugs his best serving of carrot juice then comments that Bugs' rock "is pretty." Bugs pays the man with it, while naively saying "You like it, keep it! I will save the rest for souvenirs." Nonetheless, Bugs is shot at by a man who identifies himself as Blacque Jacque Shellacque-"Wanted" for Claim-jumping, pogo-sticking, and Square-dance calling. The shot breaks Bugs' glass of carrot juice, the crowd of other men in the saloon become frightened and hastily rush away and Bugs confronts Jacque about how rude he is.

Jacque thinks that Bugs is out to get rich and demands the bag of gold. When Bugs refuses to cooperate, Jacque engages in a series of tricks to seize the gold. One of the gags is Bugs' and Jacque's blackjack game, to which Bugs innocently says that he does not know the rules of blackjack and that "I only played Old Maid a few times for fun". Bugs requests to stand on one card, to which an enraged Blacque Jacque shouts "ONE CARD?!" to which he then softens his tone and assertively says "Oh, sure, sure!" clearly thinking this will be to his advantage to allow the supposedly gullible Bugs this irregular hand. Regardless, Jacque cheats (by drawing from the top of the deck and hiding a card up his sleeve) and deals for himself two "10 of spades" cards for a total of 20. "Beat that, sucker!" Jacque laughs, but Bugs wins with a single "21 of hearts" card ("HAR HAR, HEARTY, HAR HAR!") Bugs recovers his wagered bag of gold and calmly says "Well, that's the way the ball bounces, sometimes you gotta win, sometimes you gotta lose", to which an enraged Jacque roars to himself "Arggh, no one beats Blacque Jacque Shellacque!" In a classic Bugs Bunny trick, Bugs pretends to have a phone call for Jacque from "Fifi from Montreal"-actually a lighted dynamite stick. Jacque takes the bait and gets blown up-but not killed.

Jacque corners Bugs in a back storeroom and in a form of armed robbery, holds a pistol to Bugs Bunny and demands the gold. Bugs then pretends to cower and "surrenders" the gold, actually handing him a bag filled with gunpowder, but not before cutting a hole in the bag and causing it to leak. The powder leaves a trail behind Jacque, who gloats at his "victory", and proceeds to run off into the mountains shouting "I'm rich! I'm rich!", without even bothering to check the contents of his ill-gotten bag. Bugs' lights the trail, which makes a gigantic and colorful explosion, aborting Jacque's celebration. "Gee, the Northern Lights are pretty this time of year!" Bugs remarks as he witnesses the explosion. Furthermore as he departs, Bugs notes what people will do for a bunch of gold-painted rocks.


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  • Most of the scenes from this cartoon were used in the TV special, How Bugs Bunny Won the West.
  • The scene where Blacque Jacque Shellacque opens fire on Bugs and then moves to reveal his own wanted poster is used in an earlier cartoon called Drip-Along Daffy where Nasty Canasta also tries to shoot Daffy Duck, then moving to show his own wanted poster.
  • The dog barks heard from the husky pulling the sled Bugs rides on at the end of the cartoon are the same ones Mel Blanc would later use in voicing Dino the dinosaur in the Hanna-Barbera animated TV series The Flintstones in the 1960s.
  • Two of the large sacks lined up against the back wall of the storeroom are labeled "Butler Spuds" and "Gibbroek Corn Meal", as inside-jokes to background artists William Butler and Robert Gribbroek respectively.
  • Contrary to the narrator's description of Dawson City as "lawless", its laws were strictly enforced by the Mounties, as the Yukon was a part of British Canada. While there were certainly rip-roaring saloons, gamblers and even brothels, there was actually very little violence (unlike this cartoon which is very violent), and Sunday closings, along with a "no work" statute, were rigidly enforced - Fishing or cutting wood on Sundays are illegal and one can be arrested for doing such activities on that day.


When this cartoon aired on ABC, everything between Blacque Jacque's loss to Bugs at card game 21 and Bugs running into a storage room, including the cork-pulling gag in the rumpus room and the dynamite telephone, was deemed too violent and removed from this cartoon.[1]


External Links

Bonanza Bunny at

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