Baby Buggy Bunny
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byEdward Selzer
StarringMel Blanc
Music byMilt Franklyn
Animation byKen Harris
Abe Levitow
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts byErnie Nordli
Backgrounds byPhilip DeGuard
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
December 18, 1954
(USA premiere)
Running time
7:05
LanguageEnglish

Baby Buggy Bunny is a 1954 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.[1] The cartoon was released on December 18, 1954, and stars Bugs Bunny.[2] The story is about a short gangster named "Babyface" Finster (based on gangster Baby Face Nelson) who, after a clever bank robbery, loses his ill-gotten gains down Bugs' rabbit hole, forcing him to don the disguise of an orphan baby to get it back.

Plot

Baby-Face Finster (a.k.a. Ant Hill Harry), a 35-year-old man who resembles a baby, makes a successful robbery of the Last National Bank by the swift use of stilts, dark clothes, a pram and baby clothing. Dressed in baby attire, he easily evades the arriving police.

Unfortunately for Finster, the pram in which he initially hides rolls down a hill until it hits a rock, causing the bag of money inside to eject and end up in Bugs' rabbit hole. Bugs is thrilled with the windfall.

Finster, still in the baby attire, sets himself up as an abandoned child left on Bugs' "doorstep". Bugs takes him in and so begins the bank robber's attempts to retrieve the money, which the brand-new "parent" interprets as a baby's typical mischief.

When Bugs turns off the light after putting Finster to bed, the "baby" whacks him with a baseball bat. This happens a second time. Bugs, thinking perhaps Finster is having a nightmare that is causing this behaviour, prevents it occurring again. A supposedly remorseful Finster hugs him and utters, "Da-Da!"

"Have you seen this man? He is Ant Hill Harry, alias Baby-Face Finster. Notorious bank robber believed to have perpetrated the daring Last National Bank holdup this morning. He is 35 years old, stands --"

Later, Bugs is trying to watch TV, but gets static interference on the screen. Hearing a buzzing noise in the bathroom. Bugs peeks in there and finds Finster is shaving, smoking a cigar, and sporting a tattoo reading: Maisie, Singapore, 1932. Bugs is suspicious. All of a sudden, the TV comes back on and a brief news clip about the bank robbery and an APB for the robber is shown on screen; all this finally makes Bugs realize what is really going on. Sneakily, Bugs turns off the TV and begins looking around for Finster, who is climbing a book shelf in the living room to retrieve the bag of money.

He starts to play rough with Finster, exaggerating his "baby care". He puts the robber in a washing machine to clean him up after he supposedly has played with "the dirty money". Upon removing Finster, still soaped up, from the machine, Bugs tosses him to the ceiling. When he hits the floor and Bugs picks him up, Finster tries to stab him with a butcher knife, but misses and stabs himself in the rear. Rather than crying over his pain, Finster instead murmurs inaudible obscenities, causing Bugs to spank him; each hand-to-posterior connection knocks a weapon from the robber's person (a pistol, a hand club, a cleaver, shotgun shells, a hand grenade, and a machine gun). Bugs trusses Finster up with ropes in a basket and leaves him and the money at the police station with a note, similar to what Finster did with him. Finster does not take it well, throwing a wild temper tantrum while being locked up in a baby-sized playpen in the State Prison, angrily claiming his innocence and that he has been framed. Bugs ends the cartoon, telling the angry bank robber, "Don't be such a crybaby. After all, 99 years isn't forever."

Voice cast

Production

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Reception

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Legacy

Baby-Face Finister's mugshot appears as a background cameo in Space Jam, along with other Bugs Bunny villains Rocky and Mugsy, in addition to The Looney Tunes Show episode "It's a Handbag".

The plot of the critically panned 2006 comedy film Little Man was similar enough to Baby Buggy Bunny to earn a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Rip-off.[3] Animation blog Cartoon Brew noted at least three jokes from Baby Buggy Bunny used in Little Man.[4]

References

  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 268. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 60–62. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ "27th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award "Winners"". Razzies.com. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  4. ^ Beck, Jerry (2006-07-16). "Little Man = Baby Buggy Bunny". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2012-06-16.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)