Released: May 25th, 1946
Directed by: Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones)
Hair-Raising Hare is the debut of one of my favorite Looney Tunes characters: the huge, red, furry, sneaker-wearing monster. He’s been known by several names over the decades: “Monster,” “Rudolph,” and “Gossamer” though in this first appearance he doesn’t appear to have a given name. For some reason, the sight of this huge monster has always elicited a fit of giggles from me (I think it has something to do with the sneakers, they look so incongruous).
The plot is simple: Bugs is lured to a mad scientist’s castle (how do these mad scientists always have castles?) to be dinner for the aforementioned monster. When Bugs gets wise to this plan, he makes a break for it and the chase is on (interestingly, the scientist is not seen again for the rest of the short). The rest of the cartoon follows Bugs as he outwits and evades the monster, before finally subduing the monster by breaking the fourth wall (making the monster aware of the audience watching him).
This cartoon has one of Bugs Bunny’s best known gags: at one point he stalls the monster by pretending to be a stylist who declares the monster needs a manicure. Suddenly Bugs whips out a table, chairs and begins to file the monsters nails, all while holding a conversation that you might hear in a nail salon. This is Bugs in pure mischief mode; once he gets over his initial fright, the monster doesn’t stand a chance.
I feel like Gossamer (the furry monster) doesn’t get enough attention compared to better known characters so I like to bring attention to him when I can. Let me know what you think about Hair-Raising Hare in the comments below and have a great day!
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