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Western Animation / Wet Hare

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"Wet Hare" is a 1962 Looney Tunes short starring Bugs Bunny and rarely recurring villain Blacque Jacques Shellacque. It was directed by Robert McKimson.

While taking a shower under a waterfall, Bugs is unpleasantly surprised to find the water drying up on him. He briefly worries that the water is simply gone, but then concludes that it’s probably the fault of beavers damming the river upstream. He goes to confront the beavers, but instead finds the villainous lumberjack Blacque Jacques Shellacque building an illegal rock dam in order to control the water supply and profit off the scarcity. Bugs removes a large rock at the top, which Jacques prompty replaces. He then asks what would happen if a little rock at the bottom of the dam became dislodged. Jacque is so eager to show that his dam is solid that he removes a small rock himself, and the whole thing comes crumbling down.

Bugs’ shower is again interrupted by the dam, which Jacques has rebuilt stronger. Standing on top of the dam Jacques sees a shark fin. He assumes this to be another trick by Bugs and goes out to meet it with a knife in his teeth. It turns out to be a real shark. Bugs saves Jacques from the predator but at the same time crashes a log boat through the dam, destroying it again.

Jacques builds a third, even bigger dam. Bugs throws a stick of dynamite at it, which Jacques easily catches. It blows up in his face, of course, and Jacques doesn’t notice an entire raft full of dynamite heading for the dam.

Jacques follows the sound of Bugs’ singing voice to the waterfall and hits what he thinks is Bugs with a rifle blast. Instead he’s destroyed Bugs’ Victrola, enraging the rabbit. Finally he builds another dam, this time out of steel. This time his own supply of water has been cut off, by a dam that Bugs built. Jacques destroys a series of dams that Bugs has built while Bugs begs him to stop. Finally he gets to the Grand Cooler Dam, which he tries to destroy with a cannonball. The cannonball ricochets, plowing into Jacque and knocking him into a police van that drives him away. Bugs says that he’s sure he’ll see Jacques again, “In, uh, about 20 years."

"Wet Hare" provides examples of:

  • Big Dam Plot: Jacques builds dam, Bugs breaks dam, and so on. Subverted at the end when Jacques fails to break the Grand Cooler Dam.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: The Victrola being destroyed prompts Bugs to say, “Of course you realize this means war", a line lifted from Groucho Marx.
  • Briar Patching: Bugs wins his final victory over Jacques by begging him not to destroy a series of dams, which Jacques of course does. The cannonball launched at the Grand Cooler Dam lands right back in the cannon and sends Jacques reeling into a paddywagon.
  • Brick Joke: A fairly subtle one, but Jacques’ eventual arrest by the police via launching himself into their paddywagon was signalled earlier by Bugs questioning Jacques’ supposed (legal) right to dam the river. Ironically, ABC would cut the earlier scene (due to Jacques pointing a gun in Bugs’ face as his answer), making the ending an Orphaned Punchline of sorts instead.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Jacques swims out to meet the shark this way, when he thinks it’s just Bugs with a fake shark fin.
  • French Jerk: Jacques doesn't care that Bugs won't be able to shower anymore.
  • Genre Savvy: Jacques displays a cunning awareness of the kind of tricks a character like Bugs would employ that most Looney Tunes antagonists don't. Sadly for him, it still doesn't help.
  • Maurice Chevalier Accent: Jacques talks in a grossly exaggarated French accent, though Blacque Jacque Shellacque is French Canadian, while Maurice Chevalier was from France.
  • Ninja Log: Jacques shoots at what he thinks is Bugs singing in the shower, but is really his record player.
  • Pun: The Grand Cooler Dam is a pun on the Grand Coulee Dam in the US state Washington.
  • Pun-Based Title: The title is a pun on "wet hair".
  • Serial Escalation: The dams keep getting bigger, and Jacques’ schemes to get rid of them keep getting wackier.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: Jacques sees a shark fin in the water and assumes it's Bugs. It's not.
  • Shatterpoint Tap: Removing one tiny pebble from the bottom of the dam causes it to burst apart.
  • Shout-Out: Each time he tries to take a shower Bugs sings “April Showers” in an imitation of Al Jolson.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When the water first dries up, Bugs blames "pesky beavers". Meanwhile, as Jacques is building the dam, he says to himself "I feel like pesky beaver."
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The dam is blown up a couple of times.
  • Tempting Fate: Jacques thinks it's silly that taking away one of the little rocks at the bottom of the dam will cause it to break. He is proven wrong.
    • During the final confrontation, Jacque — having blown up several of Bugs' makeshift rock dams — is so eager to one-up his wascally wabbit foe that he scoffs at this latest dam, thinking it to have been a hastily bunny-built creation ... and not seeing that it is the concrete Grand Cooler Dam (a play on "Grand Coulee"), fires his cannon into it. However, before he realizes that it is, indeed, a real dam, the cannonball ricochets off the dam and back into the muzzle of his cannon, the force of which blows him into a waiting police paddywagon, off to federal court to await terrorism charges.
  • This Means War!: Said by Bugs after Jacques shoots his Victrola.
  • Threatening Shark: When Jacques sees a shark fin in the water, he assumes it's one of Bugs' tricks and dives in to deal with him personally...only to see it really was a shark. Cue mad panic.
  • Villain Has a Point: Bugs paddling a log into the rock dam to “save” Jacques, only to cause the dam’s destruction, prompts this response from Jacques.
    Jacques: This is being saved?
  • Waterfall Shower: "Though April showers may come your way..."