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Lumber Jack-Rabbit (1954)

Bugs Bunny stumbles on the carrot patch of Paul Bunyan, but doesn't realize that it is guarded by a 124-foot, 4,600-ton dog named Smidgen.

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(as Charles M. Jones)

Writer:

(story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bugs Bunny / Smidgen (voice)
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Storyline

Bugs Bunny stumbles on the carrot patch of Paul Bunyan, but doesn't realize that it is guarded by a 124-foot, 4,600-ton dog named Smidgen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Holzfäller-Hase  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The legendary Chuck Jones left Warner Brothers for four months over the production of this cartoon, which he felt was unsatisfactory. He went to Disney for those months, and worked on Sleeping Beauty (1959), but eventually realized that, although he thought Walt Disney was an excellent producer, the company was not right for him. A famous meeting occurred when Disney told Jones "We can work out something for you" and Jones responded "Well, you have one job here that I want, and that's yours!" to which Disney said "I'm sorry, it's filled." It was the only time Jones left the company in a career that lasted over 25 years, until Jones was "let go" with the animation department in 1962. See more »

Quotes

Bugs Bunny: [on being confronted by Paul Bunyan's dog, Smidgen, height 124 ft 6 in, weight 4600 tons] I'll be scared later. Right now, I'm too mad.
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Crazy Credits

In recognition of the fact that this is in 3-D, the opening WB logo that normally moves forward crashes into the screen before moving back into position. See more »

Soundtracks

What's Up, Doc?
(uncredited)
Music by Carl W. Stalling
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Chuck Jones falls flat in 3-D
18 July 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

"Lumber Jack Rabbit" is the only Warner Brothers cartoon filmed in 3-D. It's also further proof that Chuck Jones is the most overrated figure in the history of animation. Jones utterly fails to take advantage of the possibilities of 3-D, and this movie falls flat in every sense.

"Lumber Jack Rabbit" begins promisingly. In the opening credits (which are now cut out when this cartoon is shown on television), we see the familiar Warner Brothers logo surging towards the camera, as in so many Looney Toons. But this time, the logo passes its usual stopping-place and it keeps on coming, until it's nearly in our laps.

Viewed in the 3-D process, this is unexpected and truly impressive. It's also the LAST time this cartoon will impress us.

A dull narrator briefly recaps the legend of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack. (By the way, there are no authentic folktales about Paul Bunyan: he was actually created in the 20th century as part of an advertising campaign for a timber company.) We see gigantic Bunyan (from the chest downwards) striding across his land, on which everything is many times normal size ... including Bunyan's giant dog Smidgen. (Is this name meant to be funny?) Chuck Jones brings nothing new to Smidgen; except for his gigantic size, Smidgen is drawn and animated to look exactly like every Chuck Jones dog in every Chuck Jones cartoon, including Jones's boring canine character Charlie Dog.

Into this valley of the giants comes a normal-sized Bugs Bunny, who must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. From Bugs's perspective, Paul Bunyan's giant carrots look like redwood trees. Bugs immediately starts harvesting the giant carrots, only to run afoul of Smidgen the giant dog. Nothing funny happens. More critically, NOTHING happens to take advantage of the 3-D aspects of this cartoon.

Carl Stalling does his usual excellent work with the musical soundtrack. Throughout this cartoon, Bugs Bunny sings "Blue Tail Fly", a folksong made popular by Burl Ives. Most people don't realise that "Blue Tail Fly" is actually a song about a black slave who murders his master and then fools the coroner's jury into returning a verdict of accidental death. I can't help wondering if Jones (or scriptwriter Michael Maltese) knew how truly subversive this song is. Stalling provides a jazzy syncopated flute line in counterpoint to Bugs's vocals. Very nice!

"Lumber Jack Rabbit" was originally shown in cinemas in 3-D format, with parallel filmstrips and those goofy cardboard glasses. It's now shown on TV in conventional "flat" format, which is no loss as the 3-D effects are negligible. By 1954, when this cartoon was made, all of Warners' best animators (Avery, Clampett, Tashlin) had already gone elsewhere, so this prestige project went to Chuck Jones by default. I wish that the opportunity to make a Bugs Bunny cartoon in 3-D had been given to Friz Freleng or Robert McKimson instead. McKimson's contributions to animation have been sorely underestimated, just as Chuck Jones's have been severely overestimated. Robert McKimson's cartoons were always funny and pleasing to the eye, and he could have done much better work with "Lumber Jack Rabbit" than Chuck Jones has done here.


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