Shrunken Cinema/Termite Terrace/The Big Snooze

From Eccentric Flower

The Big Snooze

1946

Summary: Elmer quits; Bugs torments his dreams to get him to come back.

Director: Bob Clampett

Writer: Warren Foster

Featuring: Elmer Fudd; Bugs Bunny.

Onreel

0:25 Sound cue: "Some Sunday Morning." To hear some of the lyrics to this, try Back Alley Oproar.

0:32 Notice there is no writer/director card. See Offreel below.

0:35 Sound cue: Overture from "William Tell."

1:43 "... my contwact with Mr. Warner ..." After 1944, Leon Schlesinger, the target of so many barbs from the animators, was out of the picture; he had sold the animation studio to Warner Brothers outright. This changeover may have contributed to Clampett's break with the studio; see Clampett's bio on the directors page.

2:20 "Bette Davis is gonna hate me for this." I can't find a film where "Think of your career!" is listed as a notable Davis quote, but I'm sure some Bette Davis scholar could tell me instantly.

2:36 "West and wewaxation at wast!" Sound cue: "Frühlingslied," a Stalling staple.

2:46 Sound cue: "Beautiful Dreamer," another Stalling staple. Bugs can't remember the words, but you're not missing much.

3:07 The sequence where Bugs takes sleeping pills has been cut from some television airings due to prudishness.

3:23 Sound cue: "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat." Yes, it's a real song (and Bugs is singing the real lyrics). It has been performed by Vera Lynn, The Ink Spots, and more recently by Natalie Cole.

3:51 Sound cue in the "Nightmare Paint" sequence: "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals" by Raymond Scott.

4:00 "The Rabbits are Coming" sung to the tune of "The Campbells are Coming." The art in this sequence is similar to the "Pink Elephants on Parade" hallucinations in Dumbo (1941).

4:46 "Oh, agony, ag-o-ny" seems to be voiced not by Arthur Q. Bryan but by Mel Blanc.

5:19 Unless you count the bride's dress in Rabbit of Seville, I believe this is the only time in the canon that Elmer ends up cross-dressed. Several people have noted that his wig and dress seem to invoke Rita Hayworth.

5:27 These wolves should have a Tex Avery trademark notice on them. Clampett, of course, began his Warner cartoon career working for Avery, but most importantly, would surely have had a look at Avery's 1943 "Red Hot Riding Hood." (Avery had left Warner in 1941.) The cry of "How old is she?" seems to have been a particular Clampett gag - the only cartoons I can find where it was used are all his (the other listed in these pages is Book Revue).

5:47 "Run dis way!" The sound cue here is a mix of the folk-fiddle "Chicken Reel" plus Russian folk dance ("Hey!")

6:16 Bugs sings a bit of "September in the Rain" as they fall (while leaning on the edge of the frame).

7:09 "Ah love dat man!" is a catchphrase of the character Beulah in the radio show "Fibber McGee and Molly."

Offreel

The title of this film is a joke on the Raymond Chandler novel The Big Sleep, a film of which also came out from Warner Brothers in 1946.

This was Bob Clampett's last completed film for Warner Brothers, but it does not bear his name (unlike Book Revue, his next-to-last cartoon). The general consensus is that Clampett's name was struck from this cartoon because he had left the studio before it came out. There is disagreement about the causes of the rift between Clampett and the studio (see his bio on the directors page for more on this), but it's clear that he was disgruntled; "Book Revue" contains a concealed message about his annoyance, and this cartoon is about a character tearing up his contract and quitting.

From the IMDb trivia page: "The sequence in which Bugs traps Elmer inside a log and rolls it toward a cliff each time Elmer tries to exit reuses the animation from the 1941 Tex Avery cartoon 'All This and Rabbit Stew.' Instead of Elmer, the previous film features a black hunter chasing Bugs. Elmer was simply drawn in over the animation of the black hunter, right down to the same body poses and facial expressions." "All This and Rabbit Stew" is one of the Censored Eleven and is not likely to show up in a collection anytime soon, but the cartoon has lapsed into public domain; you might be able to find a bad (but legal) rip of it lying around the internet.

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