Duck! Rabbit, Duck! is a 1953 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones, and starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. It is the sequel to Rabbit Seasoning, and the third (along with Rabbit Fire) and final entry in Jones' "hunting trilogy" (the only major difference in format between this film and the others is that it takes place during the middle of winter). Produced by Eddie Selzer for Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc., the short was released to theaters in 1953 by Warner Bros. Pictures and is widely considered among Jones' best and most important films. This is the only film in the trilogy where Bugs does not crossdress.
The cartoon, set in winter, finds Daffy Duck removing and burning every "Duck Season Open" sign he finds (while humming the tune "La Vie en rose") in order to warm himself in the winter ("I am a duck bent on self preservationum..munum", he tells the audience). Elmer is out hunting and Daffy uses several signs to convince Elmer that it's rabbit season, making Elmer excited about "Fwesh Wabbit Stew!" just before Elmer follows the yellow trail to Bugs' rabbit hole. Daffy lures Bugs Bunny out by asking for a cup of blackstrap molasses. Just as Bugs Bunny comes out of his rabbit hole, Elmer points the gun at him and declares that he got his "Wabbit Stew". However, Bugs is already prepared for Daffy's trick and attempts to convince Elmer not to shoot him because he is obviously an endangered species: a fricasseeing rabbit (the irony being that fricassee is actually a type of stew) and that Elmer doesn't have a license to shoot fricaseeing rabbits.
This enrages Daffy, who attempts to convince Elmer Fudd that Bugs Bunny is actually trying to trick Elmer and orders Elmer to shoot Bugs, prompting Elmer to regretfully point out that he doesn't have the proper license. Daffy writes out the proper hunting license but has to ask Bugs how to spell "fricasseeing". Bugs tells him, "F-R-I-C-A-S-S-E-E-I-N-G", adding "D-U-C-K". Daffy gives Elmer the license ("The fine print doesn't mean a thing!") and Elmer obediently blasts (for the first time in this cartoon) Daffy. This leads into an extended routine in this short that has Bugs holding up various "animal season" signs to correspond with every figurative expression involving an animal that Daffy gets called (including "goat", "pigeon", "mongoose" and "dirty skunk"). Each presentation of the sign was accompanied by a brass fanfare of a fox hunting call, and is, of course, followed by a gunshot; after each shot, irritated Daffy is forced to put his beak back in place.
At one point, Bugs builds a snow-rabbit image of himself and when Elmer blasts it, returns disguised as an angel - which Elmer believes, to Daffy's total disgust.
Bugs then puts on a duck disguise. Daffy (who has been instructing Elmer not to pay any more attention to the signs but to only do what he tells Elmer) sees him, but forgets himself and shouts "Shoot the duck!", to which Elmer obliges by shooting the nearest duck — Daffy. Daffy finally goes completely insane, demanding "Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers and gunpowder and cordite!", bounding around on all fours like an elk and scuttling around sideways like a crab, shrieking that it's Elk Season and Fiddler Crab Season and that Elmer should shoot him.
The antics become truly confusing at the end when the now-totally bewildered Elmer encounters Bugs, disguised as a game warden, and begs him to tell Elmer what hunting season it really is. Bugs tells Elmer that it's baseball season. On hearing this, Elmer, too, then completely loses his sanity and starts shooting at a baseball as he runs off into the distance. While he's gone, Bugs asks Daffy what hunting season it really is. Daffy casually answers that it's duck season and ends up getting blasted by many hunters hiding behind rocks. Daffy crawls back, seething and smoldering from being shot, and tells Bugs "You're despicable!"
- Produced by: Edward Selzer
- Directed by: Charles M. Jones
- Story: Michael Maltese
- Music: Carl Stalling
- Animation: Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, Richard Thompson, Abe Levitow
- Layouts: Maurice Noble
- Backgrounds: Philip De Guard
- Voice Characterisions: Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan (uncredited)
- Warner Bros. Cartoons Golden Jubilee 24 Karat Collection: Bugs Bunny's Wacky Adventures