Bugs Bunny is a popular cartoon character made Leon Schlesinger Productions and originally voiced by Mel Blanc. He appeared in various cartoons like Looney Tunes and a series of short animations of Merrie Melodies. Over the years, Bugs Bunny became an American cultural icon and has also served as Warner Bros. Entertainment’s corporate mascot.
Bugs Bunny is a very talkative, non-caring, and indifferent gray hare who cunningly hangs around with various characters and has become popular for his catch phrase “Eh…What’s up, doc?” which he says while chewing a carrot.
Bugs Bunny has appeared in a number of shorts, films, TV series, comics, video games, award shows, amusement parks, and commercials.
THE ORIGINS OF BUGS BUNNY
Bugs Bunny was an original member of Tex Avery’s cartoon unit. The first Bugs Bunny appeared in the Bugs Bunny comics in the Sunday pages and his first film appearance was in Porky’s Hare Hunt on April 30, 1938.
The rabbit portrayed in Porky’s Hare Hunt that it reappeared in Prest-O Change-O as the pet of Sham-Fu the Magician. His next appearance was in Hare-um Scare shown in 1939. It was the first time that a gray bunny was used and the name Bugs Bunny was penned.
A Wild Hare which first aired on July 27, 1940 was considered as the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was also where Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny started the chase that would run for a very long time. In addition, the cartoon started using the popular catchphrase, “Eh…What’s up, doc?”
Elmer’s Pet Rabbit was the first film to use the screen name “Bugs Bunny” while Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt was the second Bugs Bunny cartoon to receive an Academy Award nomination.
During the Second World War, Bugs Bunny started appearing in a number of episodes of Merrie Melodies along with other cartoon characters such as Egghead, Inki, Sniffles, and Elmer. His first appearance in the Looney Tunes series was in the episode Buckaroo Bugs. His popularity continued rising as the war progressed and he eventually received his own special star billing.
Bugs Bunny also became the official mascot of Kingman Army Airfield in Kingman, Arizona and 530 Squadron of the 380th Bombardment Group of the 5th Air Force. He was also made an honorary Marine Master Sergeant when he wore a United States Marine corps uniform in the cartoons Super-Rabbit.
BUGS BUNNY’S CAREER AFTER THE WAR
After the war, Bugs Bunny still made a number of appearances and cameos in cartoons and short films. Some of these included Knighty Knight Bugs as well as Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck! Bugs also became the famous rival of Daffy Duck for a long time.
In 1960, The Bugs Bunny Show was aired which included Warners cartoons made after 1948. During the 1970s until the early 1990s, Bugs Bunny starred in a number of animated specials for TV like Bugs Bunny’s Thanksgiving Diet, Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales, and Bugs Bunny’s Bustin’ Out All Over. In addition, he had been included in theatrical compilation features such as Bugs Bunny: Superstar, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales, and Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters.
Aside from other Warner Bros. characters, Bugs Bunny shared the screen with characters from other studios like Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit where he starred side by side with Mickey Mouse. He also appeared in the TV special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.
The film Box-Office Bunny marked Bugs Bunny’s 50th anniversary. He also appeared in a number of movies later on including (Blooper) Bunny, Space Jam, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
Bugs Bunny returned to television when The Looney Tunes Show and Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production. In 2015, he was in a film entitled Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run.