|Hyde and Hare|
|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Gerry Chiniquy|
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Irv Wyner|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The Vitaphone Corporation
Hyde and Hare is a 1955 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on August 27, 1955, and stars Bugs Bunny. The short is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The cartoon pits Bugs against Dr. Jekyll, who continues to turn into Mr. Hyde. The title is a play on the expression "neither hide nor hair."
Bugs comes out of his rabbit hole in a city park every morning because a kind gentleman keeps coming to feed him a carrot ("Well, here I go again with the 'timid little rabbit' routine. It's shameful, but - eh, it's a living!"). At first feigning the on-all-fours posture of a real rabbit, Bugs eventually stands up and confides that he would rather simply go home with the gentleman as a "pet", since it would be easier for both of them. As the gentleman brings Bugs home, he remarks that it is strange that Bugs calls him "Doc" because, "I happen to be a doctor." The camera then pans up to show that the name above the apartment is none other than Dr. Jekyll.
Inside the house, Bugs gets used to his new surroundings. Going into a room with a door marked "laboratory" in search of a carrot for Bugs, Dr. Jekyll walks by and sees the fizzing, red potion that he knows he should not drink, because it's a failing of his concoction, so he walks away, refuses to drink it, and tries to stay away from it, but gives in, and drinks the potion anyway ("Oh, I'm so ashamed!!"). He then transforms into Mr. Hyde, with a monstrous green face and glowing red eyes. When Bugs sees him, he initially thinks he is a sick person who needs to see the doctor, he sits Hyde in a chair, but as he goes to get the doctor, stops when Hyde swings an axe at Bugs, chopping a lamp in half. Bugs quickly realizes that this cackling, knuckle-dragging, axe-swinging monster is not someone to be heckled. Bugs runs away, calling out for the doctor. Soon the monster reverts to Dr. Jekyll. Bugs, still thinking that Hyde might benefit from seeing a doctor, tries leading Jekyll to the patient. On the way, the doctor changes into Hyde. After yelling for Jekyll again, then seeing that suddenly Hyde is gone since the doctor is back, Bugs decides they should hide in a storage room by giving Dr. Jekyll a shotgun. Once more, Dr. Jekyll transforms into Mr. Hyde and tries to shoot Bugs, who, having reinforced the door, tears it open and escapes. Bugs heads for a closet and, seeing the doctor in the hallway, waves him inside and shuts the door. In the dark, another change occurs, and when seeing this again, Bugs flees, running into the laboratory.
At this point, once he is the doctor again, Jekyll decides that he's going to pour the rest of the formula down the drain since Bugs will never be bothered by that beast if he promises to stay. He goes into his laboratory, but finds the beaker empty. He asks Bugs if he drank the potion; much to his shock, Bugs acts insulted at the idea and leaves ("I am going back to the park! There is no question of my integrity there.....").
Walking back to his park, Bugs transforms into a monstrous green rabbit, confirming Jekyll's suspicion that Bugs did drink the potion. The people at the park who are busy feeding the pigeons see the transformed Bugs and run away screaming. Bugs (who, unlike Dr. Jekyll, retained his usual personality and is unaware of the change in his appearance) wonders aloud, "Now what's eating THEM? Hmph! You'd think they never saw a rabbit before!" He chews on his carrot as the cartoon irises out.
The cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD box set. You can play Hyde Bugs in the Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal video game.