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Western Animation / Forward March Hare

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“This is the Army?” note 

Forward March Hare is a 1953 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.

Bugs Bunny is going about his daily business when a letter meant for someone else winds up in his rabbit hole. To his horror, he learns that it was a draft notice for the United States Army. Between the physical exam at the Induction Center and the training session with the exasperated Sergeant First Class he is assigned to, Hilarity Ensues.

Surprisingly, there are little to no pratfalls or stock gags associated with a typical Looney Tunes cartoon. Most of the humor comes from Bugs being out of his element and causing havoc accidentally rather than deliberately.


Tropes appearing in this cartoon:

  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When Bugs is ordered to introduce himself to his commanding officer:
    "Oh, Private Bugs Bunny, heh? Well, I’m Sergeant Porky Pig."
    "Sergeant! And I am Colonel Puddy Tat. General Tweety Pie was asking about you, Sergeant."
  • Batter Up!: Bugs hears Reveille (wake up) mere moments after he flops onto his bed. He takes a baseball bat and runs out to "moyder dat bugler!" Only it turns out to be a record player.
  • Bowled Over: Whenever Bugs is told to do an about face. The first time, the remaining recruits go down like dominoes. The second time, it is the superior of his commanding officer that goes down (starting the Insignia Rip-Off Ritual described downward).
  • Bunny Tropes: When Bugs takes his eye exam, he reads everything, including the fine print at the bottom of the chart, "Acme Eye Test Chart, printed by the United States Printing Office, Washington, D.C., Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." No doubt this is a joke about Bugs' diet of carrots and the perception that they cause good eyesight.
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  • Dangerous Workplace: In the end, Bugs is allowed to do his patriotic duty by testing artillery shells. By hitting them with a hammer and marking them duds when they don't explode.
    Bugs: And just think, in thirty years I can retire.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The commanding officer that oversees the troops Bugs lines up with.
  • Dull Surprise: "So they’re inducting rabbits."
  • Expressive Ears: As his morning workout continues, he works his ears the way he had just worked his arms. When he opens the letter, his ears respond in utter shock and horror ("Holy cats, I’ve been drafted!").
  • Fish out of Water: The core of the comedy in this cartoon. Instead of the on-the-ball Karmic Trickster (or a level-headed comic foil to a brasher or stupider character, like Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, or Elmer Fudd) that is his normal portrayal, Bugs is cast against type, as a well-meaning but incredibly naive and incompetent recruit (not unlike what would be shown on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.). Unlike in Barbary Coast Bunny, it’s not depicted as an act.
  • Hat Damage: That huge artillery shell Bugs was using to hammer his calendar in? When it goes off (and the now-Corporal ducks the blast), it rips away the midpoint of the Colonel’s helmet.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Every time Private Bugs Bunny fouls up, his commanding officer is demoted. Although the act is never seen, it is implied by his insignia disappearing bit by bit, exposing the differently toned fabric underneath.
  • Iris Out: While the cartoon does end this way (see Dangerous Workplace), it is also used as a scene transition. When Bugs is finished reading the draft notice, we get an Iris In to the Induction Center.
  • Literal-Minded: Dress the chickens for dinner? Done. (Except that Bugs put tuxedos, top hats, and monocles on all of the birds! Cue the Chicken Reel.)
    Where are they eatin’?
  • Mistaken Identity: Given how the envelope was addressed, it’s hardly a surprise that Bugs would assume it was for him (though it was marked B(ertram) Bonny rather than B. Bunny).
  • Oh, Crap!: "Jumpin’ catfish, we’ve inducted a rabbit!" The now-Private dashes off to find his superior and inform him of their blunder.


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