Merrie Melodies: “Tortoise Beats Hare” (1941)

8 min; dir. Tex Avery; USA

This Bugs Bunny cartoon, which seems to have drawn much of its inspiration from the Oscar-winning 1935 Disney short “The Tortoise and the Hare,” also retells the famous Aesop’s fable. Cecil Turtle makes his first appearance in this short (he will appear in the 1943 sequel, “Tortoise Wins by a Hare”), accepting a ten dollar bet that he cannot beat Bugs in a running race. Cecil then enlists his cousins to trick Bugs along the path by posing as him at various points and appearing to be one step ahead. The turtle then crosses the finish line ahead of Bugs and awaits his arrival. Bugs pays him the ten dollars and he distributes them to his cousins, who acknowledge that it is a possibility that Bugs was tricked.



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