Lighter Than Hare

Lighter Than Hare

Infobox Hollywood cartoon
cartoon_name = Lighter Than Hare
series = Merrie Melodies

caption =
director = Isadore Freleng
story_artist = Isadore Freleng
animator = Gerry Chiniquy
Arthur Davis
Virgil Ross
voice_actor = Mel Blanc
musician = Milt Franklyn
producer = John Burton, Sr.
distributor = Warner Bros. Pictures
release_date = December 17, 1960
color_process = Technicolor
runtime = 7 minutes
movie_language = English
imdb_id = 0054030

"Lighter Than Hare" is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Isadore Freleng. It was originally released on December 17th, 1960.

Plot Summary

Yosemite Sam is an outer space alien who sends a series of robots to capture Bugs Bunny, the earth creature.


The cartoon opens with the credits in outer space and the camera pulls down lower to Earth, down to a town somewhere in Oregon or Washington. Finally, right near Highway 17, a flying saucer from outer space lands and surveys the surrounding area. At the city dump nearby, Bugs Bunny comes back home, thinking he should move somewhere else, on account of the neighborhood "gettin' terribly rundown."

Inside the spaceship, Yosemite Sam of Outer Space, dressed in a green gloveless spacesuit, sees Bugs on the television screen. Summoning Robot ZX29B to the bridge, he orders the robot to capture Bugs as part of their Earth mission. ZX29B trundles out of the spaceship and comes up to Bugs' hole, making Bugs (cleaning up from breakfast) get the feeling he's being watched. Just as the door opens, ZX29B scurries away and hides among the garbage cans outside the dump. Since he hasn't built himself an electric garbage disposal yet, Bugs has to empty his trash in the garbage cans. Coming across ZX29B, Bugs thinks he's a new garbage can and empties his trash there. When Bugs goes away, ZX29B comes up coughing out the garbage.

Angered at stupid ZX29B for bungling his mission, Sam summons the Demolition Squad, a trio of red robots, and orders them to destroy Bugs. The Demolition Squad take fuselit bombs and go out into the dump. Seeing them coming, Bugs panics at being invaded and dives down to the pipe to his bomb shelter. The robots dump their bombs there and head back to the ship. Angered, Bugs tosses in a giant magnet, which sucks them into the pipe. The bombs explode and blow the Demolition Squad to smithereens, prompting a Medic Robot to appear and sweep up the mess.

Angered at the Demolition Squad for bungling its mission, Sam decides to go after Bugs himself and hops aboard an indestructible tank. While Sam scans the dump, Bugs comes up in a forklift and drops a lit stick of dynamite into the tank. Sam tosses it out, but Bugs drops it back in and drills the hatch shut. Just as Sam is hammering out the screws, the dynamite explodes, sending Sam to drive his crippled tank back to the ship.

Bugs, at this time, decides to make his getaway by taking a handcar from the Flag Station. Just as he cranks away, Sam gives chase in the spaceship. The spaceship lowers a ladder, but just as Sam goes down, he gets knocked off at a tunnel. The spaceship picks him up and pulls him back in.

Sam catches up to Bugs by rocketpack and stops him at ray gun point. When Sam brags how Earth creatures can't maneuver very well, Bugs proves him wrong by spinning his ears like the blades on a helicopter. Sam tries to catch up by rocketpack, but Bugs moves so he misses. When Bugs lands in a hole, Sam decides to wait so he can disentegrate Bugs the moment he comes out. While Sam talks, Bugs replaces his rocketpack with a lit stick of dynamite. Just as Bugs flies away, Sam shouts out his catchphrase, just as the dynamite explodes and destroys his spacesuit.

Back at the dump, Sam takes his Robot Ferret. At this time, Bugs builds a Robot Rabbit out of old war surplus stuff. Sam sends the Robot Ferret down Bugs's hole, where the Robot Ferret meets the Robot Rabbit. When the Robot Ferret threatens the Robot Rabbit with a ray gun, the Robot Rabbit agrees to go, provided that the Robot Ferret doesn't press the button on his stomach. The Robot Ferret ignores this command and presses the button anyway, resulting in the release of a metal block that smashes the Robot Ferret to pieces.

Angered at the Robot Ferret for bugling its mission, Sam decides he's had it with fooling around. Bugs, meanwhile, builds another robot rabbit, sets a time bomb, puts it in the robot's stomach, and dresses it up like himself. Outside, Sam's spaceship draws out a huge ray gun ready to blast Bugs, but Bugs sends out the Robot Decoy, which walks into the spaceship. Its mission complete, the flying saucer takes off and flies back to its homeworld.

Later that night, Bugs turns on his war surplus radio and listens in as Sam presents the Robot Decoy to the planet's Potentate. The Potentate orders the Robot Decoy to come forward and when he orders the robot to speak, the Robot Decoy's time bomb explodes, destroying the palace. The dazed Potentate assumes all Earth creatures shoot off their mouths. Laughing at this, Bugs changes the channels, wondering if Amos and Andy is on yet.


This was one of three Bugs cartoons that Friz Freleng both wrote and directed. The other two were From Hare to Heir (1960) and Devil’s Feud Cake (1963).

First time Friz Freleng tries his hand at directing a Bugs Bunny cartoon with a science fiction theme.

First time Yosemite Sam does a spaceman role.

The gag where the main character mistakes an outer space robot for a garbage can is used again in a 1984 Muppet Babies episode.

The Robot Ferret speaks like Marvin the Martian.

This cartoon was released to theaters just one month after Amos and Andy was cancelled on the radio. Friz Freleng chose this gag instead of having Bugs watch a television and change to I Love Lucy after watching the Robot Decoy's demise.


*The CBS version of this cartoon cuts the part where Bugs replaces Yosemite Sam's rocket pack with a stick of dynamite ("Yosemite Sam of outer [boom!] space?!")
*FOX and WB airings of this cartoon cut out the very end where after Bugs listens to the radio broadcast of Yosemite Sam and his planet getting blown up, fiddles with the radio dial and says, "I wonder if Amos and Andy is on yet."

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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