Sunday, 31 March 2013

My Dick Twacy Hat

When the time of year for candy egg hunts and chocolate bunnies rolls around, cartoon fans rush to talk about Bob McKimson’s “Easter Yeggs” (1947). Well, let’s face it, who really cares about faux Disney forest animals (like the ones in Lantz’s “The Egg Cracker Suite”) when some psychopathic kid is bashing Elmer Fudd’s egg-painted bald head with a hammer?

A cute little bit is when Elmer digs a trap for Bugs. “I can’t miss with my Dick Twacy hat,” he tells us, and flips up the brim to emphasize his point.

Bugs, conned by the Easter Bunny (Bugs tends to be an unwitting victim in too many of McKimson’s shorts) into delivering eggs, falls in the hole. Love the brush strokes.

The unusually-vicious Elmer tries to drown Bugs by filling the hole with water. In a nicely-timed series of drawings, Bugs unexpectedly emerges in an inflatable raft. Elmer stretches out of camera range.

The water from Elmer’s hose creates a stream through a log. The chase is on and ends in an inevitable Tunnel of Love scene. How many times was that used in a Warners cartoon? (Cal Howard even borrowed it for Columbia’s “Wacky Quacky”)

Only Bick Bickenbach, Chuck McKimson and Izzy Ellis get credited on this cartoon. The foliage is by Dick Thomas.


  1. Some of the greatest dialogue ever!

    Here___,(forget what Bugs called him)...I'll deliver the technicolor hen fruit for ya"

    I wanna Easter Egg! I wanna Easter Egg! I wanna Easter Egg!

    Easter Bunny, Bugs at the end:"Remember (Doc) Keep Smiling!"

  2. Easter Rabbit: You can't quit now, you'll give the Easter Rabbit a bad name.
    Bugs: I've already got a bad name for the Easter Rabbit!

  3. Kids watching on TV only got half the gag with Mel's perpetually glum Easter Rabbit, since by then his "Happy Postman" bit from "Burns and Allen" was long gone by the time the AAP package hit the airwaves.

    Foster needed Elmer's Dick Twacy hat for the follow-up scene, with Bugs and the watch. Bugs' darting eyes and Mel's fast patter ("Ya got a saw on you, Doc?") really put over what's basically a tangential scene to the rest of the plot (all Bugs has to do is note he once was in a magician's act and the audience is willing to accept everything that follows, even if Elmer runs out of patience).

  4. I've heard it speculated that this scene was one of the last animated by Rod Scribner before his TB issues.

  5. An unusually plot-heavy LT short, it balances all of the obstacles Bugs must face (the Easter Bunny, Elmer, the dead-end kid), beautifully within the seven-minute time limit. Kudos for Foster for the out-of-nowhere, throwaway appearance of the Easter Bunny in the middle of Bugs' magic act, and the reappearance of the dead-end kid at the end to torment Elmer. Talk about tying up loose ends!