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The Big Snooze is a 1946 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Bob Clampett, his final cartoon for Warner Brothers (his name does not appear in the credits because he left the studio before the film was released). Its title was inspired by the 1939 book The Big Sleep, and its 1946 film adaptation, also a Warner release. The Big Snooze features Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, voiced as usual by Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, respectively.


In this cartoon-within-a-cartoon, Bugs and Elmer are in the midst of their usual hunting-chasing scenario. After Bugs tricks Elmer into running through a hollow log and off a cliff three times (repeating a gag from All This and Rabbit Stew, and which would be repeated again in Foxy by Proxy six years later), Elmer becomes enraged and frustrated that the writers never let him catch the rabbit "in every one of these cartoons" (thus breaking the fourth wall). He tears up his Warner contract and walks off the set to devote his life to fishing, with a tearful Bugs begging Elmer to reconsider. With a line in the water, and lying against a tree , Elmer quickly falls asleep.

Bugs, stunned by Elmer's walkout, observes Elmer's nap (dreaming of a log being sawed in half) and takes sleeping pills ("Take Dese and Doze") in order to rock Elmer's "dreamboat" by invading his dream and continuing to drive Elmer crazy. Symbolic of his dreamland plight, Elmer appears nearly nude, wearing only his derby hat and a strategically placed loincloth consisting of a garland of flowers. Bugs torments Elmer with constant images of rabbits, including a point where Elmer is tied to railroad tracks and run over by a train of rabbits (Bugs: "Good Gravy! Here it comes! The Super Chief!" Elmer: "Agony! A-go-nee!") . After Elmer breaks free, the two resume their chase, through a surreal landscape.

Elmer talks to the audience
Elmer tries to follow Bugs into connected rabbit holes, slamming into the ground headfirst after Bugs moves the first hole. Elmer stands and shakes his head furiously saying "BWWWWWWWWW!". Bugs asks Elmer "what's the matter doc, ya cold? Here, I'll fix dat!", which allows Bugs to trick Elmer into wearing a very sexy and slinky green evening gown which, due to the tightness of the stunning gown, "magically" reshapes Elmer's body into a classic feminine hourglass figure, giving him large breasts with cleavage, a female midsection and womanly hips, as well as long, shapely gams ending in dainty female feet.Elmer also winds up sporting doe eyes with long thick eyelashes, (matching panties) and a pair of open toed high heels. Bugs adds an auburn ringlet-styled wig, and before Elmer can protest, a quick jab into his stomach administered by Bugs causes Elmer to lean forward while closing his eyes, pursing his lips so Bugs can apply red lipstick, completing Elmer's metamorphosis into a voluptuous "woman" similar to Rita Hayworth.

As Elmer's confusion gives way to realization that Bugs was yet again tormenting the inept hunter, albeit in a totally new way, Bugs inspects his handiwork then lifts a section of the dreamscape to reveal the corner of Hollywood and Vinemarker, where a trio of "Hollywood wolves" dressed in zoot suits are lounging. Once the trio notices the ravishing Elmer, one wolf cries out "Howwwwww old is she?", as a lead in for two of the wolves to jump around hooting and hollering further at the "feminized" Elmer while the third wolf begins to hit on "Elmer" as Bugs quietly enjoys the mayhem he unleashed.

Elmer's gender-confusion causes him to panic as a real woman, crying out "Gwacious!", before grabbing the hem of his evening gown and running from the wolves the best he can with his new womanly body and high heels, pausing long enough to ask the audience, "Have any of you giwls evew had an expewience wike this?". With the wolves in hot pursuit, "Elmer" resumes his attempt to ditch the wolves, ending up in a position where he can be "helped" further by Bugs, at which point Bugs and Elmer dash toward stage right, as Bugs plays the old gag "run 'this way'!" putting Elmer through a bizarre series of steps which include him running on his feet and on his hair which causes his dress to fall around his inverted waist showing his matching full cut green panties with lacy trim adorning the leg openings, hopping like a frog, as well as Russian folk dancing (Hey!).

Bugs and Elmer jump off the edge of the dreamscape (in a scene similar to The Heckling Hare). During the descent, Bugs drinks some "Hare Tonic - Stops Falling Hare" and screeches to a halt in mid-air, while the dream version of Elmer continues to careen toward earth, finally crash-landing into the real Elmer's snoozing body as he wakes up with a start: "Oh, what a howwibwe nightmawe!"

Elmer dashes back to the cartoon's original set, pieces his Warner contract back together, and tells the audience, Oh, Mr. Warner... I'm ba-ack!" and the chase through the log begins anew. The happy Bugs faces the audience in a closeup, closing with the catchphrase from the "Beulah" character on the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly, Ah love dat man! ("Love dat man!").


Due to concerns of drug abuse, the part where Bugs takes a sleeping pill (from the bottle that reads, "Take Deze and Doze") to invade Elmer's dream was originally edited out when shown on most TV channels (particularly the Turner-owned cable networks TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network, but there have been cases of this cartoon appearing edited on local TV stations). The scene was most often deleted with a jump cut or, as on Cartoon Network, with a fake black-out. This was the method used until it was shown uncut on Cartoon Network's The Bob Clampett Show and has been shown uncut ever since on other cartoon installment shows on CN.


The Big Snooze is available in a restored version on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD set, and as part of the compilation What's Up, Doc? A Salute to Bugs Bunny on Volume 3.


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