Bugs Bunny is a fictional rabbit that appears in the cartoon series produced by Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. He has appeared in over 163 animated shorts till date and did cameos in three other shorts, along with appearances in non-animated films. Today, Bugs Bunny is undoubtedly one of the most popular and most recognizable cartoon characters, real or imaginary, in the world. He, along with Mickey Mouse, was the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The rabbit has appeared in numerous cartoons, television series, animated movies and video games. Read through the following lines to know more interesting and amazing information on the history, origin and background of Bugs Bunny.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny first appeared in a cartoon short, as an unnamed rabbit, titled ‘Porky’s Hare Hunt’ and released on April 30, 1938. Co-directed by Cal Dalton and Ben Hardaway, the cartoon was similar to the 1937 cartoon titled ‘Porky’s Duck Hunt’. The rabbit was voiced by Mel Blanc. The rabbit made a second appearance in 1939, in ‘Prest-O Change-O’, which was directed by Chuck Jones. The same year saw the rabbit in yet another cartoon, titled ‘Hare-um Scare-um’, which was directed by Dalton and Hardaway. The lead animator, Charlie Thorson gave the rabbit the name ‘Bugs Bunny’.
Bugs Bunny then appeared in the 1940 short ‘Elmer’s Candid Camera’ directed by Chuck Jones, where the rabbit is seen to encounter Elmer Fudd. The rabbit was redesigned to give a look similar to the present Bugs Bunny. The character made a full-developed appearance in ‘A Wild Hare’, directed by Tex Avery and released on July 27, 1940. This was the first cartoon where Bugs Bunny emerged from his rabbit hole and asked the hunter, Elmer Fudd, “What’s up, Doc?” It was Chuck Jones’ ‘Elmer’s Pet Rabbit’ that released in January 1941, where the name ‘Bugs Bunny’ was finally introduced to the audience.
Bugs Bunny appeared in 5 more shorts during 1941, namely, ‘Tortoise Beats Hare’ - where Cecil Turtle made his first appearance; ‘Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt’; ‘All This and Rabbit Stew’; ‘The Heckling Hare’; and ‘Wabbit Twouble’ - the first of the five shorts to present a chubbier Elmer Fudd. Bugs Bunny had become the star of the Merrie Melodies series by 1942, which was originally created for only one-shot shorts. ‘Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid’ saw the redesigning of the rabbit, with a rounder head and less prominent front teeth. Other shorts that were made in 1942 were ‘Hold the Lion, Please’, ‘The Hare-Brained Hypnotist’, ‘Fresh Hare’ and ‘Case of the Missing Hare’. Bugs Bunny also made a cameo appearance in Tex Avery’s Warner Bros. short ‘Crazy Cruise’ and starred in two-minute United States war bonds commercial film, ‘Any Bonds Today’.
Since then, Bugs Bunny has appeared in many cartoon shorts in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series, his last appearance being in the theatrical cartoon in 1964. ‘Rabbit Fire’, ‘Rabbit Seasoning’ and ‘Duck, Rabbit, Duck!’ are considered as Chuck Jones’ best works. ‘What's Opera, Doc?’, released in 1957, was the first cartoon short that received appreciation from the Library of Congress in the United States and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In the fall of 1960, a television program titled ‘The Bugs Bunny Show’ debuted that originally aired during prime time. However, after two seasons, it was shifted to Saturday mornings.
With the death of Mel Blanc in 1989, the voices of Bugs Bunny were replaced with Joe Alaskey and Billy West. Bugs Bunny came back to the silver screen in 1990, with ‘Box Office Bunny’. In 1997, the rabbit appeared on a US postage stamp, which was ranked seventh on the list of top ten most popular US postage stamps. A younger version of Bugs Bunny is the main character of Baby Looney Tunes, which debuted on Cartoon Network in 2002. Bugs Bunny was also at the top position alongside Mickey Mouse, for the ‘Greatest Cartoon Character Of All Times’ in 2002 by TV Guide. Just like Mickey Mouse is the mascot for the Walt Disney Company, Bugs Bunny serves as the mascot for the Warner Bros. Studios and its various divisions.