Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bugs Bunny, that iconic, carrot-smacking, wisecracking wabbit is 70 years old! In 1940, “A Wild Hare” debuted, introducing Bugs, and his nemesis Elmer Fudd, to the world. Here is where we first heard “What’s up, Doc?”and saw the beginning of how clever Bugs Bunny always outthinks and tricks his foes. Bugs Bunny is funny at its purest—Bugs Bunny building a salad on Elmer Fudd’s head in the barber shop, his fights with Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam, his conducting the opera and making the poor singer gasp for air—the situations and laughs are endless! Bugs’ appeal is universal; the seven-year- old laughs, the 17-year- old is not too cool to laugh and those who are 70 laugh too. And unlike today’s animation, Bugs Bunny is a visually pleasing cartoon. All the characters and scenes are beautifully designed and colored.

By 1942, Bugs was Merrie Melodies’ biggest star. Since the country wasn’t concerned about being politically correct in the 40s,Warner Brothers, the top-rated animation studio of the time, also pitted Bugs Bunny in cartoon shorts against Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese.

In the 1940s and 50s, the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoon shorts were shown almost exclusively in theaters. (Ah, those were the days! A double feature and a cartoon!) In 1960, they repackaged the shorts into The Bugs Bunny Show, which debuted in prime time. Two years later, the show moved to the Saturday morning cartoon lineup, and an entire generation’s funny bone was tickled.

Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny...........

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