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8/16 Evening/Night OT-Rabbit of Seville Edition



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Rabbit of Seville is a 1949 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released in 1950. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.

The cartoon, in a plotline reminiscent of Stage Door Cartoon, features Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd into the stage door of the Hollywood Bowl, whereupon Bugs tricks Elmer into going onstage, and participating in a break-neck operatic production of their chase punctuated with gags and accompanied by musical arrangements by Carl Stalling, focusing on Rossini's overture to The Barber of Seville.

Stalling's arrangement is remarkable in that the overture's basic structure is kept relatively intact; some repeated passages are removed and the overall piece is conducted at a faster tempo to accommodate the cartoon's standard running length. In 1994 it was voted #12 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

Summary

The cartoon opens with people filing in to see "The Barber of Seville". In the back of the theater, Bugs is chased by Elmer and runs through an open back door. Elmer, now behind the curtain, doesn't see it rise when Bugs raises the curtain. The conductor, after a brief confused look at his watch, shrugs, then starts the orchestra, which causes Elmer to turn wide-eyed towards the audience. Bugs then steps out from behind a stage door, dressed in a barber's outfit, and ropes Elmer into getting a shave, rendering him "nice and clean" at the expense of the integrity of Elmer's facial features ("although your face looks like it might have gone through a machine").

After recovering, Elmer starts the chase again (speaking his only line in the cartoon: "Oh, wait till I get that wabbit!"), but is stopped by Bugs dressed as a temptress (possibly Rosina from the actual Barber of Seville opera), singing, "what would you want with a rabbit? Can't you see that I'm much sweeter? I'm your little señorit-er. You're my type of guy, let me straighten your tie, and I shall dance for you." He then ties Elmer's shotgun into a bowtie (no dialogue is heard from this point onwards until the end) and snips off Elmer's pants suspender buttons . After being thoroughly embarrassed when his pants fall down, Elmer sees through Bugs' disguise, he tries shooting him, but is blown back into the barber's chair. Bugs has another go with Elmer's scalp, beginning with a scalp massage with his hands and feet, turning his head into a fruit salad bowl (complete with cherry on top). Elmer chases Bugs again, but Bugs plays a snake charmer to get an electric shaver to chase Elmer. Elmer disables the shaver with a shotgun blast and chases Bugs back to the barber's chairs. Bugs and Elmer raise their chairs to dizzying heights, and Bugs cuts loose a stage sandbag which bonks Elmer, causing Elmer to wander around in a daze until he's back (yet again) in Bugs' barber chair.

Before Bugs' third go-round with Elmer's scalp, he gives one of his feet a pedicure with a can opener, hedge clippers, file and red paint. That is followed by growing a beard on Elmer's face and shaving it with a miniature mower, and finally a mud masque for the face which Bugs handles like cement. Then it's back to the scalp as Bugs massages it with hair tonic first, then adds "Figaro Fertilizer", causing hair to grow from Elmer's head which sprouts into flowers. A short 'arms chase' ensues as a result where Bugs and Elmer chase each other off stage with bigger weapons (first axes, then guns, then cannons). Finally, Bugs ends the chase by offering flowers, chocolates and a ring to Elmer, who ducks offstage and comes back as the blushing bride. The tune then briefly switches to the "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn, before finishing with Bugs carrying his 'bride' up a long flight of stairs, through a false doorway (opening up onto thin air), and drops Fudd down into a wedding cake labeled "The Marriage of Figaro". Bugs then looks at the camera, smirks, and says in the same way as his catchphrase, "Eh, next!"

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