- Tortoise Beats Hare
Infobox Hollywood cartoon
cartoon_name =Tortoise Beats Hare
Merrie Melodies/ Bugs Bunny
Charles McKimson Robert McKimson
Rod Scribner Virgil Ross
producer = Leon Schlesinger Productions
distributor = Warner Bros. Pictures
March 15, 1941
runtime = 7 min
movie_language = English
"Tortoise Beats Hare" is a 1941 "
Merrie Melodies" animated short directed by Tex Avery. The short stars Bugs Bunnyand, in his first appearance, Cecil Turtle.
Animator Tex Averyintroduced Cecil in the short "Tortoise Beats Hare", released on March 15, 1941. Even from the cartoon's opening titles, Avery lets on that Bugs Bunny is about to meet his match. Bugs wanders onto the title card munching his obligatory carrot and absent-mindedly begins reading the title card, grossly mispronouncing all of the credits (but gets Carl Stalling's name right), such as [Avary] for "Avery" rather than the correct [Avery] , and crediting Dave "Menahenn" with the story rather than "Monahan", and animator Charles "Mac-Emson" (McKimson). When he finally gets to the title itself, he becomes outraged, tears apart the title card, and rushes to Cecil Turtle's house. He then bets the little, sleepy-eyed turtle ten dollars that he can beat him in a race.
Cecil accepts Bugs' bet and quickly (for him, anyway) calls up Chester Turtle and eight other cousins, all of whom look and sound like Cecil (some have deeper voices, some have higher voices). After talking to Chester about the bet, he tells him to call the other cousins and tell them to be ready when he comes to their position, and to "give him the works". Fade to black (he possibly says goodbye and hangs up). The race begins several days later, and as Bugs runs relentlessly toward the finish line, Cecil and his relatives take turns showing up at just the right moment to baffle the bunny. In the end, Bugs is convinced he has won, only to see Cecil (or one of his kin) across the finish demanding the money. Bugs is certain that he has been tricked, and all ten turtles approach and reply, "It's a possibility!"
Voice actor Mel Blancsupplies Cecil's drowsy drawl, which is like a slowed-down version of Blanc's later characterization of Barney Rubble.
"Tortoise Beats Hare" is, of course, a take off of the
Aesopfable " The Tortoise and the Hare". But even more directly, it is Avery's parodyof the 1934 Disney " Silly Symphony", "The Tortoise and the Hare". Interestingly, Max Harefrom the earlier Disney film is often cited as one of the inspirations behind Bugs Bunny.
Avery left Warner Bros. before he could produce any new cartoons featuring Cecil. However, he introduced a similar character in 1943 named
Droopy Dog. Droopy would even take some of his tricks from his slow-and-steady predecessor, such as using his relatives to help him outsmart a wolf.
* When Bugs sees Cecil sitting at the finishing line, he calls him a "blankedy, blank, blank
turtle." He obviously meant to call Cecil curse words, which were also very common among United Statesculture — though considered taboofor films — in the 1940s.
* This was Tex Avery's 54th cartoon and Bugs's 3rd appearance.
It is included on the "" DVD set.
* [http://www.stage6.com/Looney-Tunes-Bugs-Bunny-Collection/video/1443371/Tortoise-Beats-Hare Tortoise Beats Hare at Stage6]
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