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Hot Cross Bunny is a 1948 Merrie Melodies short directed by Robert McKimson.


The title is an obvious play on the nursery rhyme Hot Cross Buns as well as a punny allusion to the basic plot.


Bugs is "Experimental Rabbit #46" in the Eureka Hospital Experimental Laboratory, a Paul Revere Foundation, which sports the unlikely slogan 'Hardly a man is now alive'. Bugs lives a pampered life, oblivious to the fact that a scientist plans on switching his mind with that of a chicken.

The scientist brings Bugs out to the operating theater, in front of an audience of fellow doctors. Bugs, of course, thinks he's been brought out to perform. He pulls out all the stops, singing, dancing, scatting comedy routines including his impression of Lionel Barrymore, and magic acts. Upon finishing each act, he looks around to see the unimpressed, stern-faced doctors in exactly the same frame position each time. "What a tough audience! It ain't like Saint Joe!" The scientist attempts to retrieve Bugs but is pushed away. He strikes Bugs with a hammer while the rabbit is in the middle of a scat routine, but Bugs quickly revives and, having failed as the entertainment, becomes a vendor instead, selling hot dogs to the scientists, only to be hammered again. Learning the scientist's intentions, Bugs runs and a chase ensues. Bugs hides in a closet, unaware there was a skeleton in there, and comes out scared. Then he makes a run into a lab and mixes together a concoction whilst running from the scientist; after commanding him to stop, he reveals the concoction in his hand and warns him "One more step and I'll blow ya up!" He says the beaker contains "manganese, phosphorus, nitrate, lactic acid, and dextrose," which causes the scientist to burst out laughing, "That is the formula for a chocolate malted!" Curious, Bugs drinks the entire thing and comments "Yum, Yum! I'm a better scientist than I taught!" Then he hides near an oxygen tent disguised as a Boy Scout and briefly fools the scientist. "That was me good deed for the day!"

Finally, Bugs is rendered helpless with laughing gas and placed on the table. With the metallic mind-switching caps on him and the rather uninterested-looking chicken, the experiment was ready to begin. At the last minute, he somehow cut the wire connecting to his electrode hat and the scientist begins clucking like a chicken, while the chicken with the scientist's mind states in plain English his hope that the experiment can be reversed, "In our next experiment, we will reverse the procedure, I hope." Bugs says, "Looks like Doc is a victim of fowl play!", and then, he laughs.





  • The ABC version shortened the part near the end where Bugs, the doctor, and the chicken are hooked up to the machine to remove the part where all three of them get an electric shock.[2]


  • Bugs' dance from this short would later be reused in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Prom-ise Her Anything".
  • Also when the doctor was going to get Bugs for an experiment notice the doctor's uniform turns blue, then turns blue again.
  • The scientist would later appear, minus the German accent, in the Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries episode, "The Tail End?"
  • Before the cartoon starts, the Warner Bros. Entertainment logo is shown in both the Stars of Space Jam: Bugs Bunny video tape and modern airings on CN and Boomerang.
  • The working title was "The Rabid Rabbit"[1]
  • This was the first Bugs Bunny cartoon in the WB-owned TV packages (released August 1, 1948 or later) to be released.
  • The cartoon was reissued in the 1959-60 season, around the same time that the short "Unnatural History" was released, with the original closing replaced. It is the oldest released post-1948 cartoon to be reissued. Most cartoons from 1948 were reissued in the 1957-59 season.
    • The original "Bugs Bunny In" title to the cartoon was replaced when it was reissued in the 1959-64 season, due to the Merrie Melodies title being shorter than its normal length. The same thing also happened to the Blue Ribbon reissue titles of "Knights Must Fall", "Rabbit Hood", and "Homeless Hare".
  • This cartoon was supposed to be in the pre-1948 cartoon package due to production numbers, being before "Haredevil Hare", but since the cartoon was released after July of 1948, the cartoon somehow remained in the hands of Warner Bros.
  • The cartoon has been restored on HBO Max with its original opening and closing rings, along with the "Bugs Bunny In" title.



External Links

Preceded by
Haredevil Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Hare Splitter
Bugs Bunny Shorts
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 HareUpswept 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
1997 From Hare to Eternity
2004 Hare and Loathing in Las VegasDaffy Duck for President