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Tortoise Wins by a Hare is a 1943 Merrie Melodies short directed by Bob Clampett.


The title is a pun on the term "by a hair," meaning "by a small amount."


Bugs again challenges Cecil to a race after viewing footage from their previous encounter two years earlier, which seems to depict Cecil as having won fairly instead of by cheating Bugs with his cousins. Bugs then goes to Cecil's tree home disguised as an old man to ask the turtle his secret. Cecil, not in the least bit fooled by the disguise, tells him his streamlined shell lets him win, and produces a set of blueprints for his "air-flow chassis". The turtle ends the conversation with the comment, "Oh, and another thing... Rabbits aren't very bright, either!" just before slamming the door in the enraged bunny's face. Not getting the hint that the turtle's story is a humbug, Bugs builds the device and prepares for the race.

Meanwhile, the bunny mob learns of the upcoming match-up and places all its bets on Bugs. ("In fact, we don't even think that the toitle will finish... Do we, boys?" "Duh, no, Boss, no!") The race begins, and Bugs still outpaces his reptilian rival. However, in his new get-up, the dim-witted gangsters mistake him for the turtle. Cecil reinforces this misconception by dressing in a gray rabbit suit and munching on some delicious carrots. The mobsters thus make the shelled Bugs' run a nightmare, ultimately giving the race to Cecil (in an aside to the audience, as the rabbits cheer him, Cecil remarks, "I told you rabbits aren't very bright!"). When Bugs (who, by this time, realizes he's been had) removes the chassis and sobbingly reveals that he's the rabbit, the rabbit gangsters remark, in mock-Bugsy style, "Ehhh, now he tells us!" and commit suicide by shooting themselves with a single bullet that goes through the sides of all of their heads.





  • The ending where the gambling ring shoots themselves after realizing that they've been trying to sabotage Bugs throughout the cartoon has been cut from many TV prints of this cartoon, including versions shown on the Turner channels Cartoon Network[2] (excluding its appearance on "The Bob Clampett Show"), TBS, and TNT. The scene was also cut when it aired on Turner Classic Movies' animated anthology show Cartoon Alley, but that version uses a fake fade-out after the suicide instead of the iris-out used on TBS and TNT or the dissolve to the dubbed version ending card used on Cartoon Network's non-Bob Clampett Show appearances and currently on Boomerang.
  • The TBS version also shortens the part where the rabbits pounce on Bugs before he can reach the finish line.[2]
  • MeTV airings of this cartoon left in the gang beating up Bugs scene that was cut on TBS and the suicide end gag that is commonly cut on other networks, but edited the scene with the newspaper announcing Bugs' and Cecil's race by digitally blurring the word "Jap" in a headline about a cruiser being blown up in the Pacific. In subsequent airings, the word "Jap" is digitally edited out instead of blurred.
    • However, on 15th January 2022 MeTV showed this cartoon uncensored, keeping in the word "Jap".


  • This is the first cartoon to use the modern Bugs Bunny design by Robert McKimson, though it's not until the late-1940s where all the animation directors of Warner Bros. Cartoons finally settled on using McKimson's Bugs design from this cartoon.
  • The film is a sequel to Tex Avery's 1941 Merrie Melodies short "Tortoise Beats Hare", also starring Bugs Bunny and Cecil Turtle. Bob Clampett took Avery's scenario and altered it for this film.
  • Adolf Hitler's name appears on the newspaper in a news story about Hitler committing suicide, which didn't happen until two years after this cartoon was released.
  • Michael Sasanoff's name appears on the blueprint.
  • The USA dubbed print uses the 1947-48 end card and retains the original 1941-1955 MM ending music cue while the EU dubbed print uses the 1937-38 end card with 1938-41 MM ending music cue.[3][4]
  • The newspaper in the cartoon shares the exact same information as the 1 November 1942 issue of The Chicago Tribune minus the Hitler committing suicide tagline which only appears in the cartoon, not the actual newspaper. This newspaper also appears in two other shorts that Bob Clampett also directed including the Private Snafu short "Fighting Tools", released the same year, and in another Bugs Bunny short "What's Cookin' Doc?" which was released the following year.
  • The scene where Bugs puts on his swimming cap and adjusts it is reused from "The Heckling Hare".



External Links

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 SupperAny Bonds Today?The 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