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baby bed

Baby Buggy Bunny

Baby Buggy Bunny is a Merrie Melodies animated short film directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese in 1954. The story is about a dwarf gangster named "Babyface" Finster who, after a clever bank robbery, loses his ill-gotten gains down Bugs Bunny's rabbit hole, forcing him to don the disguise of an orphan baby to get it back.

The 2006 film Little Man, employs a similar storyline, and on January 22,2007, was given a Razzie nomination for Worst Remake or Rip-off for shamelessly ripping off this storyline, which it went on to 'win'.

Plot

The First National Bank is being held up because a tall dark stranger is forcing the Bank Manager to put all the money into a black bag. The tall dark stranger takes the bag, leaves the bank, and ducks into an alley just as the manager sets off the alarm. The tall dark stranger then puts the bag in a baby carriage and takes off his clothes and removes his wooden stilts, revealing himself to be Ant Hill Harry, alias "Baby Face Finster", a 35-year-old man who is as high as a baby at birth, hence his nickname (he needed the stilts and costume to make the robbery). Just as the police arrive, Finster slips on a baby bonnet, dress, and baby booties and mimics an innocent looking baby as the cops run by. Finster then hops out of the carriage, causing it to run away, and after making sure the cops are gone, runs after it.

The carriage runs out of town and crashes into a rock, sending the bag of money flying into Bugs Bunny's hole. Bugs thinks its money out of the blue and decides to keep it all for himself. Realizing what's happened to his stolen goods, Finster sets up the old "abandoned baby routine" and manages to get Bugs' attention. After Bugs reads the note Finster made (Dear kind Rabbit, Please take care of my little baby. His name is Finster. Thank you, oh thank you. a Mother (broken-hearted, at that)), he starts to feel all smitten, until Finster shows him a P.S. note. (P.S. Take him inside, you dope--- you want him to maybe catch cold? broken-hearted mom)

Down in his hole, Bugs puts Finster in a baby chair and while he goes to look for a baby toy for Finster, Finster spots the money and hops on over to grab it (stopping halfway when Bugs is looking). Bugs spots him trying to dig into the bag and puts Finster in a playpen, scolding him for playing with "dirty money". Finster then holds his breath and doesn't let it out until Bugs gives him the money.

A few minutes later, Bugs returns with Finster's formula, only to discover Finster had escaped his playpen. Bugs spots him trying to leave and immediately tickles him, but Finster flattens Bugs' head by whacking him with the bag. Bugs recovers from this and grabs Finster just as he's trying to leave the hole. Bugs puts the money on a high bookshelf and tells Finster they're going to play a nice quiet game before bedtime. When Finster whips out his pistol, Bugs assumes its a toy pistol, until Finster blasts him and parts his hair down the middle with it (even in his groggy state, Bugs still assumes the pistol is a toy). Bugs then catches Finster climbing up the shelf after the money, but he brings him back down.

Bugs puts Finster in a baby bed, but when he's not looking, Finster grabs a baseball bat. Just as Bugs turns out the light, he gets beaten up. When the light is back on, Finster is still asleep. Bugs turns out the light again, only to get beaten up again. Suspecting Finster again, Bugs turns the light back on, imitates a light going off, which makes Finster grab the bat and start beating up Bugs again. Bugs wakes Finster up, assuming Finster's having a nightmare. Finster wakes up and covers up his bad behavior by calling Bugs "daddy."

Bugs then decides to watch some television while Finster sleeps, but when he turns on the TV, the screen has got static interference. Just then, Bugs hears the electric shaver on in the bathroom and discovers the cause of the static interference on his TV. Finster is in the bathroom shaving himself, smoking a cigar, and wearing a tattoo (labeled Singapore, Massie, 1932). When Bugs wonders out loud why a baby is doing grownup things, Finster turns off the shaver, allowing the TV screen to clear up in time for the news interruption. The news report shows Finster at a height chart and gives a good description of him, making Bugs realize that this little tyke is anything but an adorable infant.

Turning off the TV, Bugs goes back to see Finster and catches him trying to take the money again. Bugs scolds Finster again for playing with dirty money and drops him in the washing machine. After Finster goes through the rinse cycle, Bugs pulls him out and throws him upwards so that he hits the ceiling. Bugs then makes up an excuse that he's forgotten his fudge, causing Finster to hit the floor. Bugs then picks up Finster asking him if he's fallen down, but Finster whips out a knife. He tries to stab Bugs, but Bugs dodges and Finster ends up stabbing his own rear. He then starts swearing over his backfired attempt, and Bugs punishes Finster by rapidly spanking him, causing Finster's various weapons to pop out on to the floor.

Later, at the police station, the chief hears a knock at the door and orders Clancy to answer the door. Clancy answers the door to find that Bugs has left Finster tied up in a basket along with the bag of stolen money and a note that explains who Finster really is. (Dear kind Police, Please take care of my little baby Finster, alias Ant Hill Harry. He is a bank-robber embezzer, thief, and crook. Thank You, oh thank you!! Grateful)

Much later, Finster is in a baby playpen in a jail cell in the state prison and starts throwing up a tantrum, demanding to be let out. Bugs then arrives to see the little menace, and tells Finster to stop being such a crybaby, on account that 99 years in jail isn't forever

Facts

Clips from this cartoon, using the tall dark stranger part, were used in the 1980 special The Bugs Bunny Mystery Special.

Finster's tall dark stranger disguise was used throughout The Bugs Bunny Mystery Special and, at the end, it was revealed that Porky Pig was wearing the disguise.

It was thought that Baby Face Finster was the inspiration for the character Baby Herman in the 1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Quotes

  • Bugs Bunny: How many times do I have to tell you NOT TO PLAY WITH THE DIRTY MONEY!
  • Bugs Bunny (as he's giving Ant Hill Harry, aka "Babyface Finster", a spanking): We'll just have to teach you not to play with knives and not to use notty word. And believe me, Finster, this hurts you more than it does me!
  • Bugs Bunny: Finster's shaving at his age? And Tattooed? And smoking a cigar?
  • Bugs Bunny. Oh dear . . . I do believe I've forgotten my fudge!
  • Bugs Bunny (upon seeing the faux baby for the first time): Ehh, what's up, uh, Pediatrician?
  • Bugs Bunny: (after he hears "Finster" crying about being in jail): Don't be such a baby! After all, 99 years isn't forever.

Censorship

  • On ABC, the following cuts were made to this cartoon:
    • The part where Babyface Finster draws a gun on Bugs and Bugs foolishly thinking it's a toy (until he gets shot in the face).
    • The part where Bugs, having learned Finster's identity, shakes Finster after catching him trying to get the purse full of money atop the bookshelf. This was to keep from promoting Shaken Baby Syndrome, or SBS.
    • The part where Bugs, having learned Finster's identity, puts Finster in the washing machine after handling the "dirty" money, throwing Finster up to the ceiling, and letting him fall flat on his face. The edited version is done in such a way, it looks like Finster just fell off the bookshelf.
  • Some syndicated airings of this cartoon on local TV stations merely shorten the part where Babyface Finster is shaken after Bugs catches him trying to get the purse full of money.
  • The Cartoon Network and FOX's Merrie Melodies Show version merely cut the part where Finster draws a gun on Bugs and Bugs foolishly thinks it's a toy (until he gets shot in the face).

References

External links

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