All This and Rabbit Stew is a one-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Merrie Melodies series, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on September 20, 1941 by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger and directed by an uncredited Tex Avery, with musical supervision by Carl W. Stalling and voices byMel Blanc.
The cartoon was the final Avery-directed Bugs Bunny short to be released. Although it was produced before The Heckling Hare (after the production of which Avery was suspended from the Schlesinger studio and defected to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), it was released afterwards. The title is a parody of that of All This and Heaven Too. Because the cartoon was released after Avery left Warner Bros., Avery's name does not appear in the credits.
After copyright on All This and Rabbit Stew expired in 1969, the film fell into the public domain. The cartoon has been considered highly controversial due to racial stereotyping, which prompted United Artists to withhold this cartoon from syndication a year before it entered the public domain, making it one of the infamous Censored Eleven. The plot has Bugs Bunny hunted by a slow-witted Black hunter who sounds and looks like Stepin Fetchit.
Censorship and bansEdit
Due to the film's racial stereotyping, All This and Rabbit Stew has not been seen on television since 1968, and was put under the "Censored Eleven" group of banned Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts. It was one of the 12 cartoons to be pulled from Cartoon Network's "June Bugs" 2001 marathon by order of AOL Time Warner due to its "offensive" depiction of an African-American.
It is also the only Bugs Bunny cartoon in the Censored Eleven. Due to its public domain status, it is not as scarce as most of the others. It can be seen on the internet and on low-budget video releases of public domain cartoons, in all cases as very worn-out and faded prints (neither UA nor Associated Artists Productions [a.a.p.] – from which UA had acquired the cartoons – had access to the original Technicolor negatives, which were being stored at the WB studios). Some versions also lack the original ending. In the original release, Bugs wins the African-American man's clothes in a dice game and walks off wearing them, leaving the man with nothing but a leaf covering his crotch. In the course of the iris out, Bugs is seen reaching in and grabbing the leaf. This bit is edited from some versions of the cartoon (but not TV versions).