Thursday, 10 April 2014

He Hateth Himself

One of the funniest realisation moments in cartoon history has to be when it dawns on the Sheriff of Nottingham that Bugs Bunny has swindled him in “Rabbit Hood.” He slowly stops hammering while constructing his dream home (on the King’s land that Bugs has sold him) looks around, then after a 16-frame hold, bites the nails in frustration.

He lets out a head-shaking scream, stretches himself up, then bangs his head with a hammer to punish himself for being a dope.

And Carl Stalling’s banging of a single piano key when the Sheriff is hammering his head is brilliantly appropriate.

Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan and Phil Monroe are the credited animators. See the comment section for the identity of the animator in this scene. There are so many great moments in this cartoon, it’s got to be considered one of Chuck Jones’ and Mike Maltese’s best.


  1. This scene is Ben Washam's animation.

  2. The sheriff's design is a bit of a call-back to the one Chuck used nine years earlier for the Pied Piper in "Sniffles and the Bookworm", and the limbs-everywhere gangliness of the character makes the ensuing head hammering even funnier (as does Jones' dissolve from the pristine King's Garden to the well-in-progress six-room Tudor, complete with Treg Brown's carpentry SFX).

  3. The Sheriff of Nottingham, oddly, is characterized more as Basil Rathbone (who was Errol Flynn’s adversary “Sir Guy of Gisbourne”, and not The Sheriff), from Warner’s film “The Adventure of Robin Hood” (1938). That “Rathbonian” pompousness just made him a better fall guy. …As is so wonderfully illustrated here.

    Of course, Flynn, as Robin Hood, appears at cartoon’s end – so we know all involved were completely aware of the film.