I believe the cartoon is entitled Bewitched Bunny. Unfortunately, I don't have a video describing the scene.

In short, Bugs Bunny (dressed as a truant officer) shows up at the witch's house who is fattening up Hansel and Gretle. As the children are engorging on the dessert, Bugs asks the children what their names are. When Hansel says his name, he exaggerates the vowels.

Bugs then says "Hansel?" to himself a few times in confusion.

Why is Bugs confused by the name Hansel?

  • 2
    IMO because he's not used to that enunciation; the kid says is with a 'ɑː' and Bugs is used to 'æ'.
    – Walt
    Mar 21, 2015 at 15:16
  • 2
    I always thought it was because he thought it was a funny/peculiar name.
    – DA.
    Mar 21, 2015 at 17:28
  • Agreed. I basically took it as him saying "what kind of name is hansel?"
    – pooter03
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:16
  • I didn't know if there was a running gag beyond the context of the cartoon itself?
    – Tim Reddy
    Mar 25, 2015 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


So, this is just a guess mind you.

In 1954, a stop motion movie was released, titled "Hansel and Gretel: an Opera Fantasy". You can watch it here.

As I was watching it, the mother, father and sister all call the boy, Haahnzel, rhymes with gunsel. However, when the witch calls him by name, she calls him Hansel, rhymes with cancel.

My gut tells me that perhaps when the movie was watched, this may have caused some (slight) confusion in people. Perhaps trade entertainment newspapers questioned it. I don't know, can't actually find any, but I think maybe.

Then, later in 1954, Looney Tunes released its Bugs Bunny version, Bewitched Bunny. Perhaps that's why they had Bugs "question the pronunciation".


At the beginning of the episode, Bugs was reading the fairy tale: in that story Hansel gets his feet chopped off so he cannot run away (Grimms' tale were quite dark, you know).

I think that's why he repeats the name: Bugs remembers what happens to Hansel, in fact he then says "Run for you lifes. She wants to eat you for supper".

Here the link to the episode.

  • 1
    Mmm, I think not, because the prince is confused by pronunciation of the name too in the end.
    – Walt
    Mar 22, 2015 at 9:53

I'd guess it's a crack at the Germanic tongue, particularly considering Bugs' own odd accent. He's probably unaccustomed to it or otherwise finds it amusing or confusing. Think Robin Williams making fun of Indian accents.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .