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Falling Hare is a 1943 Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Bob Clampett.

The cartoon starts with Bugs Bunny reading a book at an army base, which mentions how Gremlins sabotage airplanes. Bugs laughs off the notion of them existing, just as a Gremlin walks by him and attempts to blow up a shell. Bugs is almost tricked by it into doing it, but he quickly catches on, and spends the rest of the cartoon trying to stop the Gremlin from sabotaging an airplane, while the little creature constantly keeps him on the ropes.

The cartoon is notable for being one of the The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.

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Tropes:

  • Agony of the Feet: The Gremlin hits Bugs on the foot with a wrench.
  • Banana Peel: As Bugs scrambles back in the plane, the Gremlin is eating some bananas and has left all the peels on the floor for Bugs to slip on and almost run out the other door.
  • Batty Lip Burbling: Bugs after being hit by the Gremlin.
    Gremlin: Speak to me, bunny rabbit. Speak to me!
    Bugs: I'm only three-and-a-half years old. b-b-b-b-b!
    Gremlin: I like him. He's silly.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Bugs talks to the audience early in the cartoon while reading his book. And the ending gag has Bugs and the Gremlin both reveal to the audience that the whole rivalry was a charade.
  • Cartoon Creature: The Gremlin is an unusually designed creature that doesn't seem to be identifiable with any other kind of species. In particular, he has airplane wings and a tail affixed to his head.
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  • Censor Box: Played with. The front gate sign of an unnamed Air Force base is censored to keep classified information from being discovered by the enemy ("Number of planes: Censored. Number of men: Censored.") The last line was censored for more traditional reasons ("Men's opinion of Top Sergeant: CENSORED!!!").
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Bugs reading about the Gremlins' "diabo-lical sabotay-gee".
  • Door Judo: Bugs is trying to break down the plane door to get the Gremlin. The Gremlin then opens the door and Bugs ends up running out of the plane and into thin air.
  • For the Evulz: The Gremlin does not seem to have any loyalty to any Axis nation, so his sabotage activities seem to be just for fun.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Simultaneously Defied and Parodied. The airplane is plummeting to the ground when it halts to a stop just feet off the ground. The reason: WWII-era rationing.
    Gremlin: Sorry, folks. We ran out of gas.
    Bugs: Eh, you know how it is with these A cards.
  • Griping About Gremlins: The Gremlin delights in causing chaos, from trying to set off a blockbuster bomb, to tormenting Bugs and sending a plane flying out of control.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: When the gremlin opens the door after Bugs frantically knocked on it, Bugs' heart was beating with "4F" on it.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Bugs manages to quickly maneuver the plane so that it flies sideways between two skyscrapers.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Being Looney Tunes, the laws of aerodynamics (and gravity, and just about anything else you studied in physics class) are completely ignored in favor of Rule of Funny.
  • Metaphoric Metamorphosis: When Bugs is tricked into running out of the airplane, he briefly turns into a donkey, complete with the words Jack Ass labelled on him. For an extra punch, the music cue that plays is the stock snippet "You're a horses ass."
  • Mickey Mousing:
    • The gremlin's initial attempt to set off the blockbuster is in time with "I've Been Working on the Railroad."
    • Bugs's attempts to break down the door to the airplane are accompanied by a sting in the tango that the orchestra is playing.
    • When the gremlin lets him back inside the plane, the sound of Bugs's visible heartbeat is provided by a bass line.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: After being hit on the head, Bugs Bunny does a Lennie impersonation, asking the Gremlin "Which way did he go, George?", gets a response — which allows Bugs to collapse in the appropriate direction. Afterwards, Bugs gives a second non sequitur, saying to the Gremlin in a child-like voice "I'm only three-and-a-half years old!".
  • Not So Above It All: The normally cool and collected Bugs Bunny is constantly made a fool of by the Gremlin and kept on the ropes throughout the cartoon. Subverted in the ending, when it's revealed that the whole thing was a big joke.
  • Public Domain Animation
  • Pun-Based Title: On the phrase Falling Hair (a term for male pattern baldness).
  • Refuge in Audacity: The films topper gag has the airplane Bugs and the Gremlin are on stop in mid-air, just a few feet away from crashing into the ground, all because the plane ran out of gas.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The gremlin is frequently seen eating bananas.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: When Bugs realizes that he was just talking to a Gremlin, he actually says "Gasp!" out loud.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The book Bugs is reading in the opening is called Victory Through Hare Power, a reference to the book and Disney live action/animated film Victory Through Air Power.
    • When Bugs asks if that really was a Gremlin, the Gremlin screams into his ear "It ain't Wendell Willkie!" Willkie was the Republican Presidential candidate for 1940, and a well known proponent for America's entry into WWII.
    • After being hit on the head, Bugs starts talking like Lennie from Of Mice & Men, asking "Which way did he go, George?"
  • Signature Laugh: The Gremlin's "Yankee Doodle" ha-has.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: As the plane drops, the altimeter spins out of control, but stops briefly to display the message "Incredible, ain't it?"
  • Standard Snippet: Bugs trying to break down the door is done to the Russian folk song Ochi Chornye.
    • "I've Been Working On the Railroad" plays while the Gremlin tries to detonate the shell.
  • Twist Ending: Bugs wasn't really at the mercy of the gremlin, he and the critter were just putting on an act for the audience.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: This is the Gremlin's raison d'être, tampering with airplanes For the Evulz.
  • Wartime Cartoon: The cartoon is set during World War II and has an army air base and airplane as its setpiece, and the villain of the cartoon is a gremlin, who were commonly referenced as a rationale for plane sabotage. The ending gag also has a rather dated reference to ration cards.
  • What Have I Done: Almost. Bugs decides to help the Gremlin, who is hitting a bomb with a mallet. He's about to give it a good whack when he suddenly screeches to a stop and yells at the top of his lungs, "WHAT AM I DOING?!"
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