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Arab Images on Film
Remind Me

Hare-abian Nights

* Short immediately follows the 2:30 am ET airing of "The Sad Sack"

Hare-abian Nights (1959) is a quickie "clip" cartoon from the Warner Bros. crew. On occasion budgets and schedules were stretched during a production year, and it became necessary to come up with a very low budget cartoon to get back on track. Hare-abian Nights was put together by members of the Chuck Jones unit while Jones himself was busy on another cartoon. The new wraparound material which introduced the clips was directed by animator Ken Harris, and it marked the first time in a decade that someone other than Jones, Friz Freleng, or Robert McKimson was completely in charge of one of the Warner Bros. cartoons.

A bored Arab sultan is holding court, anxious to be entertained. He faces two musical acts - the first is "The Timbuk Two plus 3", a combo playing "Sweet Georgia Brown." The sultan pushes a button to send the group via trap door to a crocodile pit! The next act is announced as "El Viz Pretzel" and a rockabilly singer launches into "You ain't Nothin' but a Hound Camel"! Of course, this act also gets the trap door treatment. Enter Bugs Bunny, who has tunneled into the palace proclaiming "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Des Moines!" Bugs is immediately set up as a "Teller of Tales" and, wary of banishment to the crocodile pit, Bugs begins his storytelling. This is all the preparation needed for extended clips from two classic Looney Tunes, Bully for Bugs (1953), the Chuck Jones-directed faceoff between matador Bugs and a very angry bull; and Sahara Hare (1955), in which Arab bandit Riff Raff (Yosemite) Sam is kept from entering an abandoned Foreign Legion outpost by the crafty Bugs - this cartoon was originally directed by Friz Freleng.

As soon as Bugs relates his final story he rants, "That Yosemite Sam - what a character - what a maroon - what a chicken-pickin', cotton-pluckin' guy!" Naturally, the sultan turns out to be Sam as well, and you can guess who ends up in the crocodile pit! This cartoon represents the only occasion during the classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series in which Yosemite Sam was NOT directed by Friz Freleng. As a "clip" cartoon, Hare-abian Nights is successful because the framing sequences are fast and funny (Mel Blanc has a field day voicing all of the characters), and the revived scenes are well worth repeating.

Director: Ken Harris; Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones (earlier cartoon clips, both uncredited)
Screenplay: Michael Maltese
Film Editing: Treg Brown
Cast: Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam (voice)).

by John M. Miller



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