Case of the Missing Hare (1942)
Article 5606 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuck Jones
Featuring the voice of Mel Blanc
What it is: Bugs Bunny cartoon
After he is humiliated by a stage magician, Bugs Bunny vows revenge and gets it during the magician’s stage act.
For the record, at this time I’m not covering cartoons in which the only fantastic content is talking animals and/or comic exaggeration; I regard these as “cartoon conventions”, and a cartoon has to have an element beyond these to make me consider it for review. This one throws a magician into the mix, thus making it qualify. Chuck Jones had a preferred rule for Bugs Bunny cartoons, and this one qualifies – Bugs is most effective only if his antagonist strikes first (usually prompting Bugs to say “Of course, you realize this means war!”), and such is the case here. Most of the jokes play around with the usual stage magician tricks, such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat and sticking swords through a wicker basket. This one is pretty solid, and my favorite moment has the magician trying to tempt Bugs with a carrot (as per Bug’s suggestion).