The original title is a play on the comic strip character "Prince Valiant." The alternate title is derivative of one of Yosemite Sam's choice insults at Bugs Bunny in this cartoon: "You better open up that gate, Prince Varmint, or I'll bust it down!"
A Viking named Sam the Terrible is rowing upriver towards a castle, and he is noticed by two people on a nearby riverbank, who retreat to the castle sensing an invasion. As he passes by Bugs Bunny's hole, Bugs peeks out and thinks that Sam's outfit is that of an "electric can opener broken loose". As Bugs sees Sam enter the castle, Bugs takes it upon himself to fight Sam.
In Bugs' first confronting Sam, who is trying to get the locals to come out, Bugs calls Sam's outfit a Halloween costume, and takes the sword from Sam and dulls it, rendering it useless, and kicks Sam out of the castle. Sam tries to re-enter, only to see the horns of his cap get stuck in the castle door. In the meantime, Bugs paints a door on the castle walls to trick Sam, and Sam (this time with the help of a pink elephant) tries to break the "door" down, only to instead knock in some of the stones where the door was painted.
Next, Sam, with the help of the elephant, is catapulting rocks over the castle walls. Bugs sees an opportunity to ruin Sam's plans and pours pepper on the elephant, making him sneeze a rock right into Sam, flattening him. Thinking that Sam has retreated, Bugs asks for the bridge to be lowered. Sam, however, reappears and tries to cross the bridge with the elephant, but the elephant is so heavy that Sam and the elephant both fall through into the moat.
Sam then decides to try to sail in the back way, using the elephant's belly as a boat. Bugs, however, notices this and while Sam is sailing, he plugs the elephant's nose with a cork, forcing him back to land for air and forcing Sam to use his hat to sail back to shore, where he chases away the pink elephant.
Frustrated, Sam tries to mine his way into the castle under one of the towers, only to have the tower pancake onto him. After this attempt fails, Sam attempts to blow open the castle door with TNT. When Sam tries to leave, however, the drawbridge has been raised and Sam is forced to wait with the lit explosives. After the door blows open, Sam rushes in, only to meet the elephant that he chased away earlier, now on Bugs' side. The elephant chases Sam with a hammer to chase him away. Bugs comments about what can be accomplished with peanuts, as the elephant chews on some.
- This cartoon was retitled Prince Varmint upon reissue due to the intimidating title for TV broadcast versions on ABC, CBS, Fox, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, the syndicated Merrie Melodies Show and the former WB! channel. This edit applies to all TV versions of the cartoon worldwide, regardless of the channel.
- On a 1992 episode of The Merrie Melodies Show, the original title card showing a Viking ship with the title on the sail was replaced with a title card where Bugs Bunny (in Viking garb) is sitting on the side of a castle along with new credits being issued. The intro and outro cards were also replaced with 1958 Blue Ribbon opening cards with the 1946-1955 Looney Tunes opening music cue playing over it (both plastered from "From A to Z-Z-Z-Z") and 1953 closing cards with 1946-1955 Looney Tunes ending music cue playing over it (both plastered from "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide"). This version is also used when aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the United States .
- The version currently seen on Boomerang's streaming service is taken from Bugs 'n' Daffy, showing only the new title card from Merrie Melodies. Instead of actual credits, the full Bugs 'n' Daffy credits sequence is played at the end.
- An alternate version of this retitled version which airs in other countries (e.g. on the Italian TV station Mediaset Italia 1, and on the French TV station Canal+ Family) has the original title card showing a Viking ship with the title on the sail replaced by a plain title card as on an episode of The Bugs Bunny Show (as pictured below). The intro cards were replaced with 1950 Merrie Melodies opening cards (plastered from "Hare We Go" (note production code of 1156)), and uses the 1959-1960 Merrie Melodies closing cards, though preserving its original ending music cue .
- In addition to the above cut, the ABC version also edits the part where Bugs pulls up the drawbridge, thus trapping Yosemite Sam on the castle's doorstep with a pile of dynamite he had lit by replacing the scene with a repeat shot of Sam running away from the explosion (though the shot of Sam looking disheveled after the explosion was left intact).
- On a German broadcast, the opening rings from "Birds of a Father" appear (with production number 1559)
- This is one of the only two post-1948 Looney Tunes shorts which were shown censored with a minor edit on the unrestored TV prints (even on the PAL masters) worldwide regardless of the TV channel. The other one is "Gonzales' Tamales".
- HBO Max, MeTV's "Toon In with Me" block, and the Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Blu-ray set have the original title and credits.
- The restored version that uses the original titles released to HBO Max, MeTV, and Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary incorrectly uses the 1955-64 closing rendition of "Merrily We Roll Along" instead of "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down".
TV Title Cards
|Bugs Bunny Cartoons