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Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Falling Hare" (1943)-Bugs & "Victory Thru Hare Power" Book

OK. Here is one of those mysteries that maybe someone can help me solve. As I mentioned earlier, I like to collect items with an aviation theme. Naturally, I picked up this cel of depicting a parody of Disney's "Victory Through Air Power" (1943).

A few years later, I was given Adamson's book "Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years And Only One Gray Hare." On page 65, I saw this similar image:

Since I tend to document articles that include items I collect, I scanned the image from the book and filed it away with my other images from the cel. But I didn't really give the whole thing too much thought. Later, when I was editing my image database, I noticed that the cel that I owned had writing on the spine of the book and there was no writing on the image from Adamson's book.

An enlargement of my cel showed "By Bugs Bunny April-1946." Since "Falling Hare" was released in 1943, this cel was not from the movie! Bottom line, I have no idea how the cel came into existence!

It's still a great cel and it makes for a great story!

Now, I should mention that ANY cel from the World War II era is a little more difficult to find. Due to a shortage of materials during the war effort, a number of cels were cleaned off and reused. There is a little variation here, since some studios were more aggressive in reusing cels than others and some of the more interesting cels were spared the cleaning process. As a side note, I've often wondered if the threat of cel cleaning in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988) was a reference to the cleaning that took place in the 1940's.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Falling Hare” (1943). Cel of Bugs Bunny and Pantone background. "Hare Power" is the book that Bugs Bunny is holding. The cel from that era is reasonably rare. Segment a parody of Disney’s “Victory Through Air Power” (1943). [Image: 10.5"W x 7-7/8"H] Acquired 1992. SeqID-0143 Updated: 7/15/2005

Reference: Similar image in “Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Gray Hare,” pg. 65. Adamson, Joe. "Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Gray Hare." SeqID-1507


  1. It may be possible that you purchased a 'sericel'. This means the same company i.e. Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes etc artist has replicated an original, and it is possible that the artist input the humorous script on the spine of the book. Otherwise its some gag-ster on the 'digital enhancement' team having a laugh and meddling with original art(as they do) and should be shot.

  2. Anonymous- Good comment. Here are some of my thoughts... (1) Sericel: I have a number of other sericels from Warner and they all have some indicator that it is a Warner product. (2) Digital enhancement: When you look at the cel from the back you can see the brush marks and I would venture to say that a digital reproduction would no show reverse-side marks. (3) Artist joke: Probably closer to the truth. However, the joke would be the "April 1946" notation on the book spine. If it is a joke, I don't get it...

  3. I see three possibilities...
    (1) This is an actual cel used in the production of the original cartoon and the writing on the spine was added later, possibly by an animator as a joke. (2) The cel is actually present in film, as-is, with the writing on the spine. You'd need to step through the film frame by frame to verify. If the writing was only on one cel, it could blink on and off screen so fast you'd never see it. (3) (The most likely scenario) This is a studio publicity cel. The publicity cels were often created from the original film drawings.