Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales is a 1982 compilation film made up of Looney Tunes shorts and animated bridging sequences, hosted by Bugs Bunny.
Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have to sell books for Rambling House. They go their separate ways and experience many wacky things. For instance, while flying through a winter storm, Daffy ran into a house owned by Porky Pig and briefly stayed there while taking place of a stuffed duck which he merely destroyed. Meanwhile Bugs burrowed his way to a jungle where he pretended to be a baby ape to an ape couple. One half of the couple wanted to do Bugs in, but manages to divert him after he accidentally dropped a boulder on his wife's head.
After a little while, Bugs & Daffy reunite and burrowed their way to a cave at a dry desert. Inside, were treasures filled gold, jewels and stuff. The greedy duck tries to take the treasure, but he ran into Hassan the guard and made a mad dash back to Bugs who tricked Hassan into climbing into the clouds. Daffy ran back into the cave in excitement.
Later, Bugs comes across Sultan Yosemite Sam's palace in the Arabian desert. Sam needs someone to read a series of stories to his spoiled brat son, Prince Abba-Dabba (whose appearance resembles to the bespectacled boy from "A Waggily Tale"). When Bugs first meets the tyke and gets mocked, he objects to the idea of reading to him. Then, Sam threatens to make Bugs bathe in boiling oil, at which point Bugs agrees to read to Abba-Dabba. Bugs tries to escape in a variety of ways but to no avail. At one point, Bugs even escaped on a flying carpet from the palace, but Sam catches him.
Meanwhile, Daffy tries to make off with the treasure. As he finished with it, he makes a quick check to see if he missed anything. That's when he encountered a magic lamp with a genie inside. Initially he rubbed the lamp to let the genie out, but Daffy pushed him back down thinking he was trying to steal the treasure. But the genie does not like what he was doing and chases him out of the cave by casting dangerous spells on him. Daffy then wanders through the desert in a separate search for water.
Back at the palace, Bugs is fed up with reading stories to the prince, so he dumps his book in the fire. As he was being threatened to be dunked in boiling oil, Bugs warns Sam not to throw him in a nearby hole which Sam eventually did. Little did Sam & Abba-Dabba realize that this was Bugs' ticket to freedom. So Bugs luckily escapes and ran into Daffy. Daffy was pleased to see Bugs and soon sees the palace, hoping to sell books there. Bugs tries to warn Daffy about the palace, but he would not listen. He found out the hard way and the two walk off into the sunset with Daffy missing all of his feathers.
Most of the rest of the movie consists of the stories played out as classic cartoons. Some of the classic cartoon shorts were abridged. In the One Froggy Evening sequence, the ending where the construction worker from 2056 finds Michigan J. Frog and makes off with him was cut, making it seem as if the cartoon ended with the construction worker from 1955 getting rid of the frog and running off.
This was the first Looney Tunes compilation film to use a completely original story and treat the included cartoon shorts as part of the story, as opposed to having the characters introduce the cartoons.
- Cracked Quack (Daffy's line, "We'll just put it away in the storage for the winter", is replaced with, "Thermopolis will just have to wait")
- Apes of Wrath (Bugs' line, "So I'll be a monkey", is replaced with, "I'll sell books later")
- Wise Quackers (The opening where Daffy is flying and crash-lands like a plane on a farm and onto a pitchfork and encounters Elmer)
- Ali Baba Bunny (ending to cartoon appears later on with Bugs removed)
- Tweety and the Beanstalk
- Bewitched Bunny
- Goldimouse and the Three Cats (Bugs read's the narrator's lines)
- Red Riding Hoodwinked
- The Pied Piper of Guadalupe & Mexican Boarders (with the story ending with beginning and ending of the former)
- One Froggy Evening
- Aqua Duck (flipped and only shown up to the point where Daffy realizes the pool of water is a mirage).
- Mel Blanc - Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Sylvester, Jr., Speedy Gonzales, Tweety, Rover, Hassan, Big Bad Wolf, Genie, Beanstalk Giant, Elvis Gorilla
- Arthur Q. Bryan - Elmer Fudd (archive footage)
- June Foray - Granny, Mother Gorilla (archive footage)
- Shepard Menken - Old Storyteller
- Lennie Weinrib - Prince Abba-Dabba
The main plot point, setting up Bugs and Daffy as Scherezade figures, is in itself similar to the 1959 short Hare-Abian Nights, which itself used considerable stock footage and also featured Yosemite Sam as the sultan.
Another interesting aspect of this film is that many voice artists that were not credited in the original shorts are billed as "additional classic voices". For the first time, over twenty years after his death, Arthur Q. Bryan receives credit on a Warner Bros. production, even if it does fail to credit him as the voice of Elmer Fudd.
The film marks the first time that a Warner cartoon compilation feature used classic cartoon footage from more than one director (the previous two films, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie and The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, consisted entirely of films directed by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng, respectively). One Froggy Evening, A Sheep in the Deep, Bewitched Bunny and Ali Baba Bunny were directed by Chuck Jones, and Aqua Duck was directed by Robert McKimson, while all other classic shorts included were directed by Friz Freleng.
This is also the first Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies film with a compilation of classic Warner Bros. cartoon shorts to be produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
Carrie Rickey, reviewer for the Village Voice, remarked that Bugs and Daffy "used to be burrowers, explorers; now they're traveling salesmen imprisoned by the nuclear family."