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Western Animation / Rabbit of Seville

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"How do! Welcome to my shop / Let me cut your mop / Let me shave your crop!
Dain-tily! Dain-tily!
Hey, you! Don't look so perplexed / Why must you be vexed / Can't you see you're next?
Yes, you're next! You're so next!"
Bugs Bunny

"Rabbit of Seville" is a 1950 Looney Tunes short directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.

The plot features Bugs Bunny being chased by Elmer Fudd into the stage door of the Hollywood Bowl, where the audience is waiting to see Gioachino Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville. Bugs tricks Elmer into going onstage and participating in a break-neck operatic production of their chase punctuated with gags, all to the tune of Rossini's overture to the opera.

Compare with Woody Woodpecker's equally famous take on a different excerpt from the same opera. Contrast with What's Opera, Doc?, which does parody a famous opera, but the former (this one) is more comedic, while the latter is more dramatic.

"Rabbit of Seville" provides examples of:

  • Backwards-Firing Gun: This happens after Bugs ties Elmer's shotgun into a knot.
  • Barbershop Episode: Bugs gets chased into the stage door of the Hollywood Bowl by Elmer, where Bugs tricks Elmer into going onstage, and participating in a break-neck operatic production of their chase punctuated with gags, all to the tune of Rossini's overture to The Barber of Seville.
  • Bowdlerization: The ABC airing mutes out some of the sound effects of Elmer shooting in the beginning. The shot of Bugs slashing Elmer's face with a razor was also cut by replacing it with a cropped shot of Bugs holding a mirror (which appeared after Elmer got slashed) and grimacing in disgust while the sound of the slashing played as normal. Also cut was the segment where Bugs ties Elmer's gun into a knot. It skips from the shot of Bugs doing a provocative thrust backward towards the camera to the shot of Elmer being flung back into the barber chair, attempting to suggest some continuity between the two.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Bugs, dressed as an elegant Spanish señorita in a green gown, does a flamenco dance, with two pairs of scissors as castanets. As he does, he snips the buttons off Elmer's suspenders, causing his pants to drop and exposing his floral-print boxers.
  • Dangerously Close Shave: Bugs gives Elmer one:
    Bugs: There, you're nice and clean!
    Although your face
    Looks like it might have gone through a machine...
  • Disguised in Drag: Bugs, dressed as a Spanish señorita.
  • Escalating War: During the climax, Bugs and Elmer start chasing each other back and forth across the stage with ever larger weapons, starting with a hatchet, and ending with a cannon that wouldn't look out of place on a modern battleship.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Bugs, while dressed as a Spanish señorita, plays two pairs of scissors like castanets.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Bugs and Elmer get married towards the end of the short.
  • Fruit of the Loon: At one point, Bugs makes a fruit salad on Elmer's head.
  • Funny Background Event: A poster outside the theatre promotes Eduardo Selzeri, Michele Maltese, and Carlo Jonzi.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Elmer wears these.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Very briefly right before the end. Whereupon Bugs carries Elmer across the threshold and drops him into a giant cake bearing the words "The Marriage of Figaro."
  • Mandatory Line: Elmer has just one spoken/sung line in the entire short: "Oh, wait 'til I get that wabbit!"
  • Mickey Mousing: Inverted; the short is underscored by a preexisting song (the overture to The Barber of Seville, composed by Gioachino Rossini) and the action is animated in time with it.
  • Mirror Reveal: After rubbing hair restorer and Figaro fertilizer on Elmer's scalp, Bugs shows him the results on a mirror. Elmer is at first elated that strands of hair are growing, but then he sees them sprout flowers, so he grabs his rifle and the chase is on again.
  • Musical Episode: Every line except for the absolute last ("N-ext!") is sung to the tune of the overture; all lines but one are Bugs'.
  • Never Trust a Hair Tonic: Bugs rubs and sprinkles a number of tonics on Elmer's scalp, only for flowers to sprout from his head instead of hair (the last one was actually plant food).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Spanish señorita is obviously Bugs, but Elmer doesn't notice until Bugs reveals his tail.
  • Shrug Take: As Elmer looks for Bugs on the stage, Bugs pulls the switch that opens the curtain. The conductor looks confused, glances at his watch, then shrugs at the camera and starts the music.
  • Smug Smiler: Bugs smirks as he delivers the shave on Elmer.
  • Snake Charmer: Bugs dresses as one and uses a flute to control an electric shaver that attacks Elmer.
  • Sudden Anatomy: At one point, Bugs' hands sprout five fingers, to have his hands match those of a piano player.
  • Tipped Off by the Tail: Bugs' revealing his tail is what lets Elmer know who the Spanish señorita really is.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Bugs distracts Elmer while dressed as an elegant Spanish señorita. Elmer does not notice until he is bamboozled, as usual.
    • Elmer, during the ending, dresses as the bride after Bugs gives him a number of gifts, including an engagement ring. Bugs then proceeds to drop him into the cake that (presumably) would have been used later in the actual opera, had the two not stolen the show.
  • With Lyrics: A large section of the cartoon has Bugs (and Elmer) singing their dialogue to the tune of the overture from The Barber of Seville.