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The Old Grey Hare is a 1944 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Bob Clampett, written by Michael Sasanoff, music by Carl W. Stalling. Starring an older and young Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (voiced by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan respectively). It was the first Bugs Bunny cartoon to credit Warner Bros. Cartoons as producer after Leon Schlesinger sold the studio to WB. Although Bob McKimson was the only credited animator, Rod Scribner, Manny Gould, and Jack Bradbury aided in the process.

Title

The title is a double play on words. One is the typical pun between "hare" and "hair", with the bunny (who was already grey-haired) rendered "old and grey" for this cartoon. The title also refers to the old song, "The Old Gray Mare". Some theater cards for this cartoon gave the alternate spelling, The Old Gray Hare.

Plot

The cartoon starts with Elmer sitting under a tree, crying over never being able to catch Bugs. The "voice of God" (also the voice of Mel Blanc) tells Elmer that he would eventually catch him, and proceeds to transport him "far into the future" past the years 1950, 1960, 1970, etc., until reaching the then-distant year of 2000 Anno Domini.

This offers the chance to use some contemporary gags with a futuristic twist, as Elmer finds a year 2000 newspaper. One headline says, Smell-O-Vision Replaces Television: Carl Stalling Sez It Will Never Work!" In sporting news, "Bing Crosby's Horse Hasn't Come In Yet!" (Crosby was known for investing in racehorses that did poorly).

By now, both Elmer and Bugs are very old and wrinkled ("What's up, prune-face?") - Bugs even has a large white beard and a cane - and lumbago - but their chase resumes. This time Elmer is armed with a "Buck Rogers" ray gun. After a short chase (at slow speed, due to their ages), Elmer gets the upper hand, shooting Bugs with his ultra-modern weapon.

At the moment when it seems Elmer has finally beaten his nemesis, the apparently dying Bugs thinks back to when he and Elmer were much younger. This leads to a flashback sequence with a baby Elmer hunting a baby Bugs (both are still in diapers; Bugs, whose "baby" voice is virtually identical to the normal voice of Blanc's Tweety, is drinking carrot juice from a baby bottle; Elmer is crawling and toting a pop-gun; and they interrupt their chase to take a baby nap-time together.)

After the flashback is over, a tearful Bugs starts to dig his own grave, with Elmer getting equally emotional. Just at the point where it seems that Bugs is going to bury himself, he switches places with the weeping and distracted Elmer, and cheerfully buries him alive instead ("So long, Methuselah!") The buried Elmer quips, "Weww [well] anyway, that pesky wabbit is out of my wife [life] fowevew [forever] and evew [ever]!" However, Bugs suddenly pops in and repeats the popular catchphrase of the "Richard Q. Peavey" character from The Great Gildersleeve, "Well, now, I wouldn't say that," plants a kiss on Elmer, then hands him a large firecracker with a lit fuse, and quickly departs. While Elmer shivers and doesn't do anything, the screen immediately fades out and Robert Clampett's famous vocalized "Bay-woop!" is heard with the firecracker still hissing. The cartoon ends with the "That's all, Folks!"(which appears every single cartoon) card appears already pre-written and the firecracker explodes off-screen, rumbling and shaking the on-screen title card.

Gallery

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Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Old Grey Hare.

Availability

Trivia

  • In this short, Bugs Bunny in his normal adult age is not shown, just as a baby bunny and as an old rabbit.
  • This is the first cartoon where something or something referring to the beginning happens at the end where the usual That's All Folks! ending card is shown.
  • When an old Elmer is reading the newspaper, Bing Crosby's and Carl Stalling's names can be seen.
    • Also, instead of saying says it says sez.
  • While Baby Bugs is babbling to Elmer as a baby, the words of his catchphrase, What's Up Doc, appears and Elmer reads it.
    • A similar gag would show up in the later Popeye the Sailor cartoon Popeye the Ace Of Space. when Popeye is captured by aliens, they babble the words',... on this typical Earthman specimen, appears and Popeye reads it.
  • Final cartoon to have WARNER BROS. Present. All cartoons after this will have WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC. Present
  • Final cartoon to use produced by WARNER BROS. CARTOONS on opening titles.
  • This is one of the several Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts to have ending gags involving the closing titles; others include Porky's Duck Hunt, Stop, Look and Hasten, and Box Office Bunny.

Censorship and Title alterations

  • On Cartoon Network (except for the first "June Bugs" marathon and The Bob Clampett Show), the shaking ending card is replaced with the generic "Dubbed Version" end card (though the explosion can still be heard), thus ruining the ending gag.
  • The European dubbed version which airs in EU countries keeps the original shaking ending card.
  • The WB! airing of this cartoon cut the part where baby Elmer points his toy gun at baby Bugs and baby Bugs breaks his bottle of carrot juice over baby Elmer's head.

External Links


v - e - d
Bugs Bunny short logo
1930s (Happy Rabbit)
Porky's Hare HuntPrest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940s
Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild HareElmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit TwoubleThe Wabbit Who Came to SupperThe Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing HareTortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling HareLittle Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door CartoonHerr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare TonicBaseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody RabbitRabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick HareGorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies Over The SeaHare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950s
Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of SevilleHare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair-Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare-Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top BunnyOperation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare LiftForward March HareUpswept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully for BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot RabbitCaptain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy BunnyBeanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis is a Life?Hyde and HareKnight-mare HareRoman Legion-HareBugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star Is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is HumanAli Baba BunnyBedeviled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit RomeoHare-Less WolfHare-Way To The StarsNow, Hare ThisKnightly Knight BugsPre-Hysterical HareBaton BunnyHare-Abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960s
Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than HareThe Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince ViolentWet HareBill of HareShishkabugsDevil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1970s-present
Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolThe Fright Before ChristmasPortrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out BunnyBox-Office BunnyBlooper BunnyInvasion of the Bunny SnatchersCarrotblancaFrom Hare to EternityDaffy Duck for PresidentHare and Loathing in Las Vegas


v - e - d
Elmer Fudd character looney tunes series
1930s (Egghead)
Egghead Rides AgainLittle Red Walking HoodDaffy Duck & EggheadThe Isle of Pingo PongoCinderella Meets FellaA-Lad-In BagdadA Feud There WasCount Me OutJohnny Smith and Poker-HuntasHamateur NightA Day at the ZooBelieve It or Else
1940s
Elmer's Candid CameraConfederate HoneyThe Hardship of Miles StandishA Wild HareGood Night ElmerElmer's Pet RabbitWabbit TwoubleThe Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitNutty NewsFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistTo Duck or Not to DuckA Corny ConcertoAn Itch in TimeThe Old Grey HareThe Stupid CupidStage Door CartoonThe Unruly HareHare TonicHare RemoverThe Big SnoozeEaster YeggsA Pest in the HouseSlick HareWhat Makes Daffy Duck?Back Alley Op-RoarKit for CatWise QuackersHare DoEach Dawn I Crow
1950s
What's Up Doc?Rabbit of SevilleRabbit FireRabbit SeasoningUpswept HareAnt PastedDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot RabbitDesign for LeavingQuack ShotPests for GuestsBeanstalk BunnyHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Heir-ConditionedBugs' BonnetsA Star Is BoredYankee Dood ItWideo WabbitWhat's Opera, Doc?Rabbit RomeoDon't Axe MePre-Hysterical HareA Mutt in a Rut
1960s
Person to BunnyDog Gone PeopleWhat's My Lion?Crow's Feat
1970s-present
Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnyBox Office BunnyBlooper BunnyInvasion of the Bunny SnatchersDaffy's Rhapsody
See also


v - e - d
Looney tunes and merrie melodies logo
Media
Franchises: Show-logo-looneyTunesMerrie Melodies logo

Shorts:
Television: The Bugs Bunny ShowThe Porky Pig ShowThe Road Runner ShowThe Merrie Melodies ShowSylvester and TweetyThe Daffy Duck ShowThe Daffy/Speedy ShowLooney Tunes on NickelodeonMerrie Melodies Starring Bugs Bunny and FriendsThat's Warner Bros.!Bugs N' Daffy
Feature Films: The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner MovieThe Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny MovieBugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit TalesDaffy Duck's Fantastic IslandDaffy Duck's QuackbustersSpace JamThe Looney Tunes Hall of FameLooney Tunes: Back in Action
Specials: Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie GhouliesCarnival of the AnimalsBugs Bunny's Easter FunniesBugs Bunny in SpaceBugs Bunny's Howl-o-Ween SpecialA Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's CourtBugs Bunny's ValentineBugs Bunny's Looney Christmas TalesHow Bugs Bunny Won the WestThe Bugs Bunny Mother's Day SpecialBugs Bunny's Thanksgiving DietDaffy Duck's Easter SpecialBugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All OverThe Bugs Bunny Mystery SpecialDaffy Duck's Thanks-For-Giving SpecialBugs Bunny: All American HeroBugs Bunny's Mad World of TelevisionAn Ounce of PreventionBugs vs. Daffy: Battle of the Music Video StarsBugs Bunny's Wild World of SportsHappy Birthday Bugs! 50 Looney YearsBugs Bunny's Overtures to DisasterBugs Bunny's Creature FeaturesBugs Bunny's Lunar Tunes

Characters
Main characters: Barnyard DawgBeaky BuzzardBugs BunnyCecil TurtleCharlie DogClaude CatDaffy DuckElmer FuddFoghorn LeghornGossamerGrannyHector the BulldogHenery HawkHippety HopperHubie and BertieLola BunnyMac and ToshMarc Anthony and PussyfootMarvin the MartianMichigan J. FrogMiss PrissyPenelope PussycatPepé Le PewPete PumaPorky PigRalph WolfRoad RunnerSam SheepdogSpeedy GonzalesSylvesterSylvester Jr.TazThe CrusherTweety BirdWile E. CoyoteWitch HazelYosemite Sam

Minor characters: Blacque Jacque ShellacqueBoskoThe CrusherGiovanni JonesYoyo DodoTasmanian She-DevilMelissa DuckHugo the Abominable SnowmanSpike and ChesterNasty CanastaThe GremlinPrivate SnafuPetunia PigPlayboy PenguinShropshire SlasherCount BloodcountMama BuzzardColonel ShuffleEgghead Jr.Owl JolsonToro the BullRocky and MugsyMinah BirdInkiBeansLittle KittyHam And ExOliver OwlPiggyGabby GoatBuddyHoneySlowpoke RodriguezThe Three BearsFoxyK-9A. FleaSnifflesConstruction WorkerFrisky PuppyRalph MouseHoney BunnyRoxyThe Martin BrothersRalph PhillipsClyde BunnyFauntleroy FlipDr. I.Q. HiGruesome GorillaSloppy MoeHatta MariBusinessmanThe WeaselWiloughbyThe Two Curious PuppiesCool CatBabbit and CatstelloInstant MartiansBobo the ElephantColonel RimfireSmokey The GenieJose and ManuelMerlin the Magic Mouse and Second BananaConrad the CatAngus MacRoryBanty RoosterThree Little PigsTom TurkeyGoopy GeerNelly the GiraffeAla BahmaDr. LorreCottontail SmithBunny and ClaudeClaude HopperThe Hep CatThe Drunk StorkThe CatSinging CatSouthern SheriffOld Woman's CanaryOld Woman's CatBluebeardPorky's Drunken FriendsOld WomanLittle Red Riding Hood's Grandma • Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red Walking Hood/Little Red Riding Rabbit/Goldilocks and the Jivin' Bears) • Goldilocks (The Bear's Tale/Goldilocks and the Jivin' Bears) • The CrowKing ArthurKing Arthur's Knights

Studios
Warner Bros. CartoonsDePatie-Freleng EnterprisesFormat FilmsChuck Jones EnterprisesReel FX
People
Dave BarryWarren BatchelderMel BlancTed BonnicksenArthur Q. BryanBill ButlerBob ClampettRuss DysonMilt FranklynFriz FrelengManny GouldGeorge GrandpreKen HarrisHugh HarmanRochelle HudsonRudolf IsingUb IwerksChuck JonesCarman MaxwellNorman McCabeChuck McKimsonRobert McKimsonTom McKimsonWillian LavaLou LillyMichael MalteseTedd PierceHawley PrattTom RayVirgil RossLeon SchlesingerRob ScribnerEddie SelzerCarl StallingLarry Storch
Music/Songs
A Hot Time in the Old Town TonightWhistle and Blow Your Blues AwayI Think You're DuckyThe Merry-Go-Round Broke DownMerrily We Roll Along
Other


v - e - d
Warner Bros. Cartoons 1947
Media
Shorts (1929-1939):

Shorts (1940-1949):
Shorts (1950-1959):
Shorts (1960-1969):

Studios
Songs
Other
Warner Bros. CartoonsLooney TunesMerrie Melodies
See also


v - e - d
Warner Bros. Cartoons 1947
Media
Shorts (1929-1939):

Shorts (1940-1949):
Shorts (1950-1959):
Shorts (1960-1969):

Studios
Songs
Other
Warner Bros. CartoonsLooney TunesMerrie Melodies
See also


v - e - d
Warner Bros. Animation Logo (Template-only)
Looney Tunes/Spielberg universe
Animated series: The Bugs Bunny ShowTiny Toon AdventuresTaz-ManiaAnimaniacsThe Sylvester & Tweety MysteriesPinky and the BrainFreakazoid!Road RoversHisteria!Pinky, Elmyra and the BrainThe Cat&Birdy Warneroonie PinkyBrainy Big Cartoonie ShowBaby Looney TunesDuck DodgersLoonatics UnleashedThe Looney Tunes ShowNew Looney Tunes

Films: Bugs Bunny: SuperstarThe Bugs Bunny/Road Runner MovieThe Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny MovieBugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit TalesDaffy Duck's Fantastic IslandDaffy Duck's QuackbustersSpace JamWakko's WishTweety's High-Flying AdventureLooney Tunes: Back in ActionBah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes ChristmasLooney Tunes: Rabbits Run

DC Comics
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice LeagueTeen TitansJustice League UnlimitedThe BatmanKrypto the SuperdogLegion of Super HeroesBatman: The Brave and the BoldYoung JusticeGreen Lantern: The Animated SeriesTeen Titans Go!Beware the BatmanDC Super Hero Girls

Animated films: Batman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroThe Lego Batman MovieBatman: Return of the Caped CrusadersBatman vs. Two-Face

Hanna-Barbera
Animated series: What's New, Scooby-Doo?Tom and Jerry TalesShaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedThe Tom and Jerry ShowBe Cool, Scooby-Doo!Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs!

Direct-to-video film series: Scooby-Doo on Zombie IslandScooby-Doo! and the Witch's GhostTom and Jerry: The Magic RingTom and Jerry: Blast Off to MarsThe Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!

Other TV series
Detention¡Mucha Lucha!Xiaolin ShowdownCoconut Fred's Fruit Salad IslandBaby BluesRight Now KapowDorothy and the Wizard of OzBunniculaGreen Eggs and HamUnikitty!WayneheadOzzy & DrixMike Tyson Mysteries3 SouthMadJohnny TestFirehouse TalesThunderCatsThunderCats Roar
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Theatrical: Quest for CamelotThe Iron GiantOsmosis JonesThe Lego MovieStorksThe Lego Ninjago Movie

Direct-to-video: Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!¡Mucha Lucha!: The Return of El MaléficoHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Films, distribution only
Gay Purr-eeThe Incredible Mr. LimpetTreasure IslandOliver TwistThe Nutcracker PrinceRover DangerfieldThumbelinaA Troll in Central ParkThe Pebble and the PenguinCats Don't DanceThe Fearless FourThe King and IThe Scarecrow
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