Hold the Lion, Please
Directed By: Charles M. Jones
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: June 13, 1942
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Tedd Pierce
Animation: Ken Harris
Layouts: John McGrew (uncredited)
Backgrounds: Gene Fleury (uncredited)
Bernyce Polifka (uncredited) [citation needed|date=]
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc (uncredited)
Tedd Pierce (uncredited)
Tex Avery (uncredited)
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Mrs. Bugs Bunny
Leo the Lion
Preceded By: Hobby Horse-Laffs
Succeeded By: Gopher Goofy
Bugs Bunny-Hold The Lion, Please (1942)(Cartoon Festivals tape version)

Bugs Bunny-Hold The Lion, Please (1942)(Cartoon Festivals tape version)

Cartoon Festivals VHS print

Bugs Bunny - (Ep

Bugs Bunny - (Ep. 17) - Hold The Lion, Please 2015

US Turner dubbed print

Merrie Melodies - Hold the Lion, Please!

Merrie Melodies - Hold the Lion, Please!

EU Turner dubbed print

Hold the Lion, Please is a 1942 Merrie Melodies short directed by Charles M. Jones.


The title is an obvious play on the expression used by switchboard operators of the day, asking the caller to "hold the line." The Three Stooges made a short with a similar title, Hold That Lion, which also featured a renegade lion.


A lion named Leo tries to prove he's still "King of the Jungle" by hunting a small, defenseless animal. He chooses Bugs Bunny as his intended victim, but Leo soon finds out that, in a battle of wits, he's the defenseless one. However, Leo eventually gets Bugs under one paw while raising the other one, claws extended, and looking extremely angry; a truly frightened-looking Bugs could be facing his end.

Just then, Leo's wife, Hortense, calls him on the phone, and Leo immediately goes from ferocious to meek. After a brief conversation, Leo tells her that he's on his way home. After hanging up the phone, Leo apologizes to Bugs about not being able to "stay and kill him," and dashes home to Hortense. Initially, Bugs makes fun of Leo for his submissiveness to his wife, but it's quickly shown that Bugs is just as submissive to his own wife, Mrs. Bugs Bunny (according to a sign behind her), whose presence sends her husband sheepishly slinking back into their rabbit hole. Mrs. Bunny then asks, "Who wears the pants in this family?" and then lifts up her skirt to show her literally wearing a pair of pants.



  • Mrs. Bugs Bunny's higher-pitched voice is similar to Bugs'.
  • This is the only time Bugs is married.
  • Bugs became shorter in "Hold the Lion Please"; Chuck Jones would continue to use this version of Bugs until "A Feather in His Hare", where he used the modern Bugs perfected by Bob Clampett and Robert McKimson.
  • Aside from "Elmer's Pet Rabbit", this is the first Bugs Bunny short directed by Chuck Jones, as he appears in this cartoon with buck teeth, white gloves and his most famous Brooklyn accent.
  • Unlike most other Bugs Bunny cartoons released from 1941 to 1944, the intro did not feature Bugs lying on top the WB shield.
  • This is one of a handful of Bugs Bunny shorts that do not feature the words Bugs, Bunny, Rabbit/Wabbit, or Hare in the title.
  • The copyright was renewed on 1969.
  • Tex Avery voices the Hippo, having recorded his lines before he left the studio.
  • Leo the Lion would make two more appearances after this cartoon; "The Lion's Busy" (1950), and in Tweety's High-Flying Adventure (2000).
  • The Cartoon Festivals print is a damaged duplicated a.a.p. print where the a.a.p. logo plays first, then the 1947-49 Blue Ribbon Color Rings from "Inki and the Lion" open, also notice the light blue borders. The 1939-40 version of "Merrily We Roll Along" plays instead of the 1941-45 version. The print then changes to another print that says "Hold the Lion, Please". This is a MGM/UA print and probably was hacked off by United Artists in the 1980s. This print had aired on TBS, TNT and later Cartoon Network before 1995.

Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1938 Porky's Hare Hunt
1939 Prest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild Hare
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperThe Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing Hare
1943 Tortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling Hare
1944 Little Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door Cartoon
1945 Herr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare Tonic
1946 Baseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody Rabbit
1947 Rabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick Hare
1948 Gorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies over the Sea
1949 Hare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950 Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of Seville
1951 Hare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top Bunny
1952 Operation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare Lift
1953 Forward March HareUp-Swept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully For BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Captain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy Bunny
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Hyde and HareKnight-Mare HareRoman Legion-Hare
1956 Bugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star Is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is Human
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBedevilled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit Romeo
1958 Hare-less WolfHare-Way to the StarsNow, Hare ThisKnighty Knight BugsPre-Hysterical Hare
1959 Baton BunnyHare-abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960 Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than Hare
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince Violent
1962 Wet HareBill of HareShishkabugs
1963 Devil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000
1964 Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolFright Before Christmas
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 From Hare to Eternity
2004 Hare and Loathing In Las VegasDaffy Duck for President
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