"Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart" plays briefly under the title card, and the cartoon opens with a trail of carrot tops floating on the seas. Bugs is stranded in a barrel in the middle of the ocean, but he doesn't seem to mind - he's reading Esquire magazine (considered an "adults only" magazine at that time) and singing the song "Down Where the Trade Winds Play" (a song made popular by Bing Crosby).
On the island of "Bingzi-Bangzi - Land of the Ferocious Apes", the population is made up of gorillas that act like humans - they read the newspaper and read books such as "The Grapes of Wrath", have families and live in huts. (In the underscore, one of Stalling's jungle themes is heard, its official title being "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals"). One of the apes, Mrs. Gruesome Gorilla, is sad that she doesn't have any children - though her perpetually grouchy husband Gruesome Gorilla (voiced by Mel Blanc) couldn't care less. Mrs. Gruesome (also voiced by Blanc, using a falsetto) walks toward the water and starts to say, "I'm going to..." (suggesting despondency), but then spots Bugs floating in his barrel. Her mood instantly changes, and she takes him back to her treetop (at one point, yielding the right-of-way to a Tarzan look-alike. (Bugs finishes "Trade Winds" just as Mrs. Gruesome picks up the barrel, and segués into a full verse of "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat", which he finishes just as he discovers himself in the clutches of the ape.) Mrs. Gruesome wants Bugs to be her "baby". At first, Bugs doesn't want to, but when she starts crying, he gives in ("That's my soft spot - dames crying.")
Mrs. Gruesome then presents Bugs to Mr. Gruesome - who is none too happy about having a baby in the house. Bugs tries to fit in, playing like a "monkey". Mr. Gruesome takes Bugs out for "play" (in reality, treating Bugs abusively), but Bugs soon realizes that he's in for a beating if he sticks around. A long chase ensues (including a frenetic version of Stalling's jungle theme), and Bugs finds himself trapped against the edge of a cliff. Bugs gives up and allows Gruesome to catch and thrash him. However, Gruesome quickly tires out and drops from exhaustion, with Bugs knocking him over with a mere puff of breath. Emerging as the victor, Bugs jumps up and catches a hanging branch, again playing "monkey" (another short clip of the jungle theme is heard in the underscore, along with the time-honored "jungle" sound of a kookaburra at iris-out.
A similar sequence where Bugs is adrift on the ocean was used again in Rabbitson Crusoe (1956).
Films:Tarzan of the Apes • The Romance of Tarzan • Tarzan the Ape Man • Tarzan and His Mate • Tarzan Escapes • Tarzan Finds a Son! • Tarzan's Secret Treasure • Tarzan's New York Adventure • Tarzan Triumphs • Tarzan's Desert Mystery • Tarzan and the Amazons • Tarzan and the Leopard Woman • Tarzan and the Huntress • Tarzan and the Mermaids • Tarzan's Magic Fountain • Tarzan and the Slave Girl • Tarzan's Peril • Tarzan's Savage Fury • Tarzan and the She-Devil • Tarzan's Hidden Jungle • Tarzan and the Lost Safari • Tarzan and the Trappers • Tarzan's Fight for Life • Tarzan's Greatest Adventure • Tarzan, the Ape Man • Tarzan the Magnificent • Tarzan Goes to India • Tarzan's Three Challenges • Tarzan and the Valley of Gold • Tarzan and the Great River • Tarzan and the Jungle Boy • Tarzan, the Ape Man • • •