‘Hare Brained Hypnoist’ (1942)

[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034829/]

Capsule Description: Bugs Bunny's eternal nemesis, hunter Elmer Fudd, tries a new tactic this time: hypnosis. Using a book on hypnosis, he first hypnotizes a bear then tries to hypnotize Bugs, only to be hypnotized in return. Bugs turns the tables on him by commanding him to be a rabbit, but, when turning the tables, Bugs discovers that the tables can be turned in both directions.

Description: Armed with a book on hypnosis, Elmer Fudd first encounters and hypnotized a bear into becoming a canary, then chases Bugs, trying to hypnotize him. Finally, Bugs relents, or seems to, and as Elmer tries to hypnotize him (lightning bolts from their eyes combined with crackling sounds) Bugs turns the tables and hypnotizes Elmer. That's where things start to go wrong for Bugs. Bugs commands Elmer to be a rabbit, and Elmer proceeds to pull every funny stunt and gag Bugs ever pulled on him. Finally, Bugs has enough and has a hypnotic staredown in his rabbit hole. Elmer emerges, terrified, and runs off. Bugs then emerges, gloating over the fact that Elmer thought he could hypnotize Bugs, but then suddenly looks at his watch and leaps into the air, claiming he's a B-19 due at the airport. So what was that about Elmer not being able to hypnotize him?

Commentary: It is a cardinal rule in cartoons: you can get away with anything as long as its funny. (Paraphrased from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?".) The reverse is also true: you can never succeed at anything if its not funny. Elmer is always the straight man in these cartoons and never gets to do anything funny, so he's always, ultimately a failure, whereas Bugs gets all of the laughs, so he always succeeds. But this time, the tables are turned and their roles are reversed: Elmer is doing to Bugs everything Bugs would do to him, and its funny and it drives Bugs crazy.

[youtube QG5PFamgmC4]

Recommendation: Recommended if only for how silly the cartoon stereotyping is here, but its also recommended just to see Bugs get a taste of his own medicine for once.

References:

Trivia:

  • Bugs mutters "Heh, Dracula?" as Elmer tries to hypnotize him.

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