Title - The Wacky Wabbit
Director - Bob Clampett
Released - 1942
Reason for Placement --
While a lot of Looney Tunes characters went through periods of redesign before becoming the famous stars we know and love nowadays, Elmer Fudd went through probably the biggest change. In the early 1940s, Elmer was made much fatter and stockier, resembling the voice actor who gave him his trademark speech impediment, Arthur Q. Bryan. One of the toons created with Fat Elmer was The Wacky Wabbit, which shows him prospecting for gold in the desert (if you listen to the lyrics of the song he sings, you can hear he plans to donate the gold to help fund the war effort). And, of course, along comes Bugs Bunny to heckle and annoy him to no avail.
This short has one of my favorite Elmer moments of all time: while attempting to hit Bugs with his pick axe, the rabbit takes a pair of scissors and cuts loose Elmer's pants and suspenders, revealing that Elmer actually wears a girdle! Elmer looks at the audience, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Don't waugh, I bet pwenty of you men wear one of these."
While audiences didn't respond well to the Fat Elmer, and Clampett soon went back to styling him with his slimmer build, the few shorts created managed to linger on and become fan favorites, mostly because in a lot of them, Bugs actually goes after Elmer without provocation. Maybe, deep down, we wanted to see Bugs give Elmer all the grief that he would later attempt to give him in return. Or maybe we just like seeing Bugs start the fight. One might never know, but it doesn't change the fact that The Wacky Wabbit is one of Clampett's best Bugs Bunny shorts.