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Tortoise Beats Hare (1941)

An upset Bugs challenges the slick Cecil Turtle to a race.


(as Fred Avery)





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Uncredited cast:
Bugs Bunny / Cecil Turtle / Chester Turtle / Turtles (voice) (uncredited)


In an unusual opening for a cartoon, Bugs wanders onto the screen during the credits and reads them aloud, mispronouncing all the names. When he gets to the title, he is enraged, and calls the crew "...all a bunch of joiks!", then adds, "And I oughta know. I woik for 'em." To regain his honor, Bugs challenges Cecil "Toitle" to a race. Cecil calls all his look-alike cousins who live along the race course, and they bedevil Bugs by constantly appearing ahead of him, making him think he's losing at every turn. The rabbit crosses the finish line only to find Cecil waiting there, wondering what took him so long. Thus begins a grudge match continued with rematches in _Tortoise Wins By A Hare (1943)_ and Rabbit Transit (1947). Written by runar-4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

15 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Hasenwette  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First appearance of Cecil Turtle. See more »


Bugs Bunny: [after reading title] "Tortoise Beats Hare"? Why those stupid joiks don't know what they're talking about! And I outta know, I woik for 'em!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bugs Bunny walks out on screen and reads the credits aloud, mispronouncing all the names. He becomes furious when he finally reads the title proclaiming his defeat for the entire audience to see. He then rips up the title screen, and the background appears. See more »


Featured in Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943) See more »


Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Variations played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Funny Bugs misstep
25 March 2001 | by (Great Lakes) – See all my reviews

After Bugs' disastrous second outing, "Elmer's Pet Rabbit," to a point it's nice to see him back with his creative father Tex Avery. However, Tex seems to have forgotten what he did in his first Bugs cartoon to make him successful.

In this cartoon, which (and hopefully this isn't spoiling the should-be-obvious plot to anyone) concerns Bugs racing against the slow yet shifty Cecil Turtle, Bugs has changed roles. He is no longer the heckler but the heckled, constantly being outwitted by Cecil at every turn.

Perhaps Avery likes the idea of the littler, thought-to-be weaker guy being the wiseacre, regardless of the situation. Sadly, it just doesn't work here as far as sheer character. Of course the gags are hilarious, but Cecil is definitely and knowingly rotten. He makes asides to the camera affirming his cockiness, something Bugs didn't do in "A Wild Hare." In that film, the prey was heckling the hunter for private humiliation, whereas in this one the "prey" is confiding in the audience that he's humiliating his opponent for their benefit. It comes off as a little seedy, so one starts to even root for Bugs to win (even though his arrogance caused the situation in the first place).

But at this point Avery, like Chuck Jones before him, is still getting to know his new character and is still figuring out that the jokes work best when Bugs is pulling them on others. Both Tex and Bugs fortunately succeed soon in the future.

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