The title is a typical Warner Bros. pun on "fresh air" that has little or nothing to do with the plot, other than being set in the crisp, frigid air of a Canadian winter.
Elmer Fudd is trying to catch the "wanted" Bugs Bunny. Bugs locks Elmer to the bomb that Elmer was trying to get Bugs in. It explodes while Bugs pretends to look for the keys. Elmer gets mad, but Bugs fools him as being the guard, while Elmer's clothes then are removed, even his underwear. A chase through the snow happens, including a part where Bugs' ears split around a tree, but Elmer hits it. The impact causes all the snow to fall off the tree, which reveals Christmas decorations, and Elmer emerges from underneath with snow on his face that gives him a Santa Claus appearance. The song Jingle Bells plays in the background, and Bugs says to the astonished Elmer, "Merry Christmas, Santy!" and burrows his way out of Elmer's path.
Bugs then talks to a snowman that is supposed to be Fudd, saying that Elmer can't catch Bugs, let alone catch a cold, and even threatening to punch the hunter square in the nose. When he finishes making his fist, he turns around and strikes Elmer. Bugs then pretends to be Elmer's gun, making noises. The chase continues through the snow, forth and back, until Bugs makes a painting of himself on a rock, and Elmer hits the rock.
Elmer gives up trying to catch the rabbit, but cries in tears, then says that he's a disgrace to the regiment for failing to catch Bugs. Bugs comforts Elmer and promises to give himself up and lets Elmer take him in. Just before Bugs is sentenced to death by a firing squad, Elmer tells Bugs that he can make one last wish before he dies, which prompts Bugs to break out into "Dixie", leading to a minstrel show, where a blackfaced Elmer, Bugs and the firing squad sing the chorus of "Camptown Races", and Bugs asks, "Fantastic, isn't it?"
For a complete transcript, go here.
- The end of this cartoon, where Bugs proclaims his last wish in a chorus of "I Wish I Were in Dixie", which segues into Bugs, Elmer Fudd and the Mounties all in blackface singing "Camptown Races" has been edited on nearly every recent American airing, including versions shown on the Ted Turner-owned networks: Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TBS, and TNT.
- The 1995 Turner "dubbed version" that has aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang American feed censors the scene using a fake fade-out to black to the altered circa 1937-1938 "That's all, Folks!" ending card. This same edit also occurs on the Latin American Turner networks too.
- The old a.a.p. prints that used to air on TNT censored this scene with a fake iris-out. This same edited version was also used on Cartoon Network's American channel prior to the debut of its 1995 Turner "dubbed version" print on television in the late-1990s.
- TBS replaced the actual scene of Bugs, Elmer, and the Mounties in blackface with looped footage of Bugs dancing to "I Wish I Were in Dixie" while the audio played as normal.
- Some gray-market public domain home media releases, such as the one from the "Cartoon Explosion" video series, also cut this ending by dissolving to the original "That's All, Folks" ending card after Bugs starts singing "I Wish I Was in Dixie".
- Some edited versions of "Fresh Hare" even go as far as to delete the entire final scene and have the cartoon end with Bugs surrendering to Elmer to keep him from crying and saying, "Okay, Doc. Let's go" after Elmer lets Bugs handcuff him.
- The display of "Wanted" signs near the beginning are out of order, and the music cues do not seem to match the display.
- After the scene where the bomb, which is handcuffed to Elmer, explodes off-screen when Bugs pretends to look for the keys, Elmer re-appears in the next scene stopping Bugs with his rifle completely fine, not battered and burnt, as if the explosion didn't affect him at all.
- As Bugs rips apart elements of Elmer's uniform bit-by-bit as he fools Elmer by being the guard, in the next shot showing Elmer in full view of his girdle and underwear, his uniform shirt appears to be completely fine and intact in one piece on the ground, evident when Elmer picks up his shirt to put the uniform back on.
- A scene of "Fresh Hare" can be seen in the title sequence gag of the Futurama episode "I Second That Emotion".
- This short fell into the public domain in 1970 when United Artists, the copyright owner to the Associated Artists Productions package at the time, failed to renew the copyright in time.
- This cartoon marks the fifth and final appearance of the fat Elmer Fudd which previously appeared in "Wabbit Twouble" (1941), "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper" (1942), "The Wacky Wabbit" (1942) and the propaganda film "Any Bonds Today" (1942), as beginning with "The Hare-Brained Hypnotist" (1942), the original "slim Elmer" design first seen in "Good Night Elmer" (1940) had returned permanently, presumably due to theater audiences at the time disliking the "fat Elmer" design.
- Bugs is wanted for a series of crimes he had committed in this cartoon (as corrected here for Elmer's rounded-l-and-r speech):
- Resisting an officer
- Assault and battery
- Disturbing the peace
- Miscellaneous misdemeanors
- Public nuisance
- Traffic violations
- Going through a boulevard stop
- Triple parking
- Conduct unbecoming to a rabbit
- Violating traffic regulations (repeat mention of crime #7)
- Clips from the fully restored version of this cartoon (as pictured in the gallery below) appear in the documentary King Size Comedy: Tex Avery and the Looney Tunes Revolution as part of Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 2 Blu-ray release's bonus features and in the documentary as part of Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection, but the complete version of it has yet to be released on any home media format.
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid
The Hare-Brained Hypnotist