HARE TONIC (1945)
Article 5228 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuck Jones
Featuring the voices of Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan
What it is: Bugs Bunny Cartoon
Elmer buys Bugs at the market in order to use him as an ingredient in wabbit stew. Bugs counters by convincing Elmer he carries a contagious disease called “rabbititus”.
It’s interesting to compare this Bugs and Elmer cartoon with THE HARE-BRAINED HYPNOTIST from a couple of days ago. In that one at one point, Elmer is hypnotized to believe he is a rabbit, while in this one, he fears that the dread disease will turn him into a rabbit. This one is the better cartoon; it features a number of gags in which Bugs bamboozles Elmer into believing he’s contracted the disease (including a version of the mirror gag in which Elmer sees Bugs as his reflection), a sequence in which Bugs plays a character named Dr. Kilpatient, and a final gag which breaks the fourth wall by having Bugs tricking the audience into thinking they’ve got the disease. Outside of the talking animal detail, I suppose the fake disease could push this one into fantastic territory, though I’ll admit that’s a stretch. However, there is a sequence while Bugs is having a fit where he transforms himself into a robotic version of the Frankenstein monster for a few seconds, so that gives it a little more content. This is a fine entry in the Bugs/Elmer series.