Rebel Rabbit is a 1949 Merrie Melodies short staring Bugs Bunny. It was directed by Robert McKimson and is unique as being one of the few Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs actually causes trouble rather than being pushed to do it by an antagonist.
When Bugs learn that rabbits only have a two cent bounty, he goes on a campaign to prove that rabbits can be dangerous. Unfortunately, he gets more than he bargains for when his antics draw the entire U.S. Army after him.
Tropes appearing in this cartoon:
- The Alcatraz: Where else would Bugs end up after angering the entire United States government?
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Bugs wanted a big bounty, and he got it... as well as a cell in Alcatraz.
- Bowdlerization: Versions shown on FOX, The WB, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang cut the montage of Bugs destroying America to remove Bugs trading Manhattan back to the Native Americans and telling the audience, "They wouldn't take it back unless I t'rew in a set of dishes."
- Disproportionate Retribution: Bugs' reaction to learning that he only has a two-cent bounty (because rabbits are seen as harmless) is to go on a rampage destructive enough to warrant a million-dollar bounty, the entire army after him, and a cell in The Alcatraz.
- Heel Realization: "Could it be I carried this thing just a little too far...?" BOOM "Eh, could be!"
- Hero Antagonist: Bugs becomes this when outraged enough to go on a vandalism spree.
- History Marches On: Some of the gags that Bugs pulls off might not mean much to modern audiences. For example his vandalism of a DC bench marked "Reserved For Bernard Baruch" seems trivial if you didn't know who Baruch was and why sitting on benches to meet with major political figures was a habit of his.
- Human Mail: Bugs mails himself to Washington D.C., putting the stamp himself on his armpit.
- Medium-Shift Gag: As Bugs is surrounded by the U.S. Armed Forces, live-action footage of tanks, bomber planes and battleships are intercut with his reactions shots.
- Monumental Damage: Bugs sabotages various landmarks, including turning off Niagara Falls, filling up the Grand Canyon, even sawing Florida off the mainland. ("South America, take it away!")
- No Kill Like Overkill: When Bugs finally proves his point, the US Army proves theirs by sending every tank, airplane, horse Calvary and foot soldier after him.
- Regional Redecoration: One of the ways Bugs works on increasing his bounty involves sawing off the entire state of Florida and pushing it down towards South America.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: For rabbits being only worth a two cent bounty, Bugs decides to show how dangerous rabbits can be.
- Skyscraper Messages: Bugs rewires the lights at Times Square to read "Bugs Bunny Was Here".
- Visual Pun:
- Bugs steals the locks from the Panama Canal. As in the padlocks, not the actual canal locks.
- When Bugs sells Manhattan back to the Native Americans, the skyscrapers turn into tepees, and the Statue of Liberty becomes a cigar store wooden Indian.
- Bugs ties up the railways, as in tying the actual rails into giant bows.
- "Wanted!" Poster: The whole plot gets started when Bugs runs into some bounty posters for dangerous animals like bears and foxes, then finds one for rabbits at two cents. Insulted, he decides to show the U.S. Government how dangerous a rabbit can be; by the end, his bounty is a whopping million dollars.