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Western Animation / The Big Snooze

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The Big Snooze is a 1946 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by an uncredited Bob Clampett (along with some ghost-direction by a likewise uncredited Art Davis), starring Bugs Bunny.

In this one, Elmer is chasing Bugs, as usual — but Elmer decides he's tired of being the Butt-Monkey, tears up his Warner Bros. contract, and quits the cartoon business.

Elmer is happily snoozing under a tree when Bugs, panicked at losing his partner, decides to invade Elmer's dream to get Elmer to come back to work.

The last cartoon Bob Clampett made for Warners, and the last one he ever made to be released.

The Big Snooze provides examples of:

  • Animated Actors: Elmer is a contract player for Warner Bros.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: In Elmer's dream, Bugs dresses him up as a sexy woman, similar to Rita Hayworth. The wolves on Hollywood and Vine are attracted to him.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: As Bugs looks up things to do to Elmer, he says "Oh, no! It's too gruesome!... but I'll do it."
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Elmer Fudd tears up his contract, and decides to give up wabbit hunting in favor of fishing. Bugs decides to invade Elmer's dream and splash loud, clashy colors into Elmer's dream to persuade him to come back. After a train of rabbits runs over him, Bugs putting a dress on him and the wolves chasing him while Bugs and Elmer do the cossack dance before Elmer falls off the cliff and wakes up, putting his contract back together and saying "Oh, Mr. Warner, I'm ba-ack!" in a singsong voice. In real life, Bob Clampett's animation style, which was quite innovative for 1946, diverged from that of his contemporaries, Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones, and he was ready to take on new challenges in the animation industry. Because of this, Clampett (Elmer Fudd) took this chance to bid farewell to Warner Bros., in spite of his colleagues' attempts to dissuade him from doing this.
  • Bowdlerization: During the sequence where Bugs finds Elmer asleep next to a tree, the part where Bugs takes out a bottle of sleeping pills and ingests them so he can invade Elmer's dream was often edited out on a lot of American TV airings with a quick black out from Bugs saying "Hey, I better look into this!" to Bugs asleep next to the tree.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • "Bette Davis is going to hate me for this", said by Bugs as he's begging Elmer to stay. Davis was at the time fighting with Warner Brothers to get out of her contract.
    • After Elmer, dressed as a woman, is chased by the wolves in his dream, he looks at the audience (the theater audience, since Elmer is looking down) and says "Have any of you girls ever had an expewience like this?"
  • Chained to a Railway: Parodied. Elmer is tied to the tracks by Bugs Bunny and the "Super Chief" runs right over him — the "Super Chief" being a long line of little bunnies following Bugs, who's wearing a feathered headdress.
  • Deranged Animation: Like all of the best Bob Clampett cartoons, there's little care given to keeping characters on model, the animators instead opting to draw the characters however they see fit in any given scene to fit the emotion.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Elmer's weird, surreal dream, as created by Bugs.
  • Dream Walker: Bugs, seeing that Elmer is having a quiet, peaceful dream, takes some sleeping pills so he can fall asleep and enter Elmer's dream, to ruin it.
  • Dream Sequence: Bugs jumps into Elmer's dreams.
  • Expy: The wolves dressed in zoot-suits, hang out on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and lust after a sexy dame are identical to the zoot-suit wearing Wolfie, Tex Avery's MGM character, who also hung out on Hollywood and Vine and lusted after a sexy dame.
    Wolf: How OOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLD is she?????
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Three times, Bugs tricks Elmer into running through a hollow log and off a cliff. Three times, Elmer is able to scramble back after realizing he's standing on thin air. After the third time, he quits.
  • Medium Awareness: Bugs and Elmer know they are making a cartoon. Elmer quits the business.
  • Metaphoric Metamorphosis: Elmer repeatedly changes into a "sucker" (that is, a lollipop) after Bugs gets him to run through the log and off the cliff. This was repurposed from the animation of Sambo in Tex Avery's All This and Rabbit Stew.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: Elmer's nightmare makes him go back to work.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Bugs is practically begging Elmer not to quit working in show business with him.
  • Polka-Dot Paint: Bugs recolors Elmer's dream with Nightmare Paint. Each brush stroke is a different color pattern.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The opening chase is set to Rossini's "William Tell Overture". While Elmer is sleeping, Bugs taunts him by singing Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer". Later, during the pink elephants parody, he sings "The Rabbits are Comin'", a parody of the Scottish march "The Campbells are Coming".
  • Rage Quit: Elmer rips up his contract and quits the cartoon after one too many times being beaten by Bugs.
  • Rule of Three: After the third time Bugs gets Elmer to run off the cliff, Elmer has had enough.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: "I quit! I'm thwough! I get the worst of it fwom that wabbit in evewy one of these cawtoons!"
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Part of the Walk This Way gag that Bugs gets Elmer to do.
  • Shout-Out: Part of the nightmare references Dumbo's "Pink Elephants" sequence, with multicolored Bugs outlines on black backdrop singing "The rabbits are coming, hooray, hooray" in a similar rhythm to the "Pink Elephants" song.
  • Standard Snippet:
    • The opening title card is set to "Some Sunday Morning" from the 1945 Warner Bros. film San Antonio.
    • When Bugs knocks himself out, he floats up to Elmer's dream in a sailboat, appropriately singing, "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat".
    • When Bugs splatters "Nightmare Paint" all over Elmer's dream, a faster version of Raymond Scott's "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals" is heard.
    • While falling, Bugs casually sings "September in the Rain" from the 1937 Warner Bros. film Melody For Two.
  • Walk This Way: When Elmer is fleeing form the wolves in his dream, he finds Bugs, who says "Quick, run this way!" and then does a ridiculous dance. Elmer copies him exactly.
  • World of Pun: This is a Bugs Bunny cartoon, after all.
    • "Sleeping Pills: Take Dese and Doze."
    • "One Thousand and One Arabian Night-mares"
    • "Hare Tonic: Stops Falling Hare."