Outta-this-world facts about "Lighter Than Hare"

The 1960 toon put a new spin on a familiar foe.

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Lighter Than Hare is a 1960 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies short. It was the final Merrie Melodies cartoon from '60 and came toward the end of the series. Bugs would only appear in an additional seven shorts before Merrie Melodies ended its run.

How well do you remember the toon? Maybe you're the expert, or maybe you're here to learn! Either way, let's take a deep dive together into Lighter Than Hare!

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1. Friz Freleng

 

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Lighter Than Hare, like many Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, was directed by Warner Bros. stalwart Friz Freleng.

However, what makes this toon special is that it's one of only three shorts that were both written and directed by Freleng. The other two are From Hare to Heir (1960) and Devil's Feud Cake (1963).

2. Music Man

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

The music in Lighter Than Hare was composed by Milt Franklyn, and you might recognize some of his other work. Among his most famous work is the "Michigan Rag" from the 1955 cartoon One Froggy Evening featuring Michigan J. Frog.

3. Route 17

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs Bunny is always living somewhere new, and this time it's along an abandoned strip of California State Route 17. In real life, parts of the original SR-17 lie underwater in the Lexington Reservoir.

4. Yosemite Sam of Outer Space

 

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Lighter Than Hare is the debut of the character Yosemite Sam of Outer Space. Although he shares a name with his Earthling counterpart, the galactic Sam is seemingly at least a little bit smarter. He's able to operate space machinery but is still no match for Bugs Bunny.

5. Flag Station

 

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When Bugs hops on his pushcart to make his escape, he passes a "flag station." These were (and still, probably, are) railroad stations where the train would stop only if a flag is displayed.

6. Robot Ferret

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Does this robot's voice sound familiar? Mel Blanc voices all the characters in this cartoon, as is the norm. Here, with the Robot Ferret, Blanc uses the same vocalizations he does with Marvin the Martian.

7. Bugs-a-Copter

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs Bunny isn't the only cartoon animal with helicopter ears! In a Peanuts cartoon, Snoopy uses very similar means of transportation, briefly turning into the Whirlidog. Contentious!

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4 Comments

Kramden62 12 months ago
I thought the funniest part in this one was when after Bugs threw a can of TNT into a hole to stop the robots, a robot with a Red Cross flag comes by to sweep up the robots' debris and takes them away to be repaired.

Whenever I see or hear about the Red Cross I always think of that scene and chuckle!
top_cat_james_1 12 months ago
"However, what makes this toon special is that it's one of only three shorts that were both written and directed by Freleng. The other two are From Hare to Heir (1960) and Devil's Feud Cake (1963)."

Wow, "MeTV staff", this is totally inaccurate--You must supply the erroneous factoids Bill spouts on "Toon in With Me".

There are FOUR other WB cartoons that Friz wrote: "Tweet Dreams" (1959), "The Rebel Without Claws" (1961), "The Jet Cage" (1962), and "The Wild Chase" (1965). Try and do some actual research next time.
MrsPhilHarris 13 months ago
I don’t really watch the cartoons now but reading about them reminds me of when I watched them as a kid.
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