It's hard to believe - given that if any Hollywood star deserves to be called "ageless," it's he - but today marks the seventieth anniversary of the screen debut of one of tinseltown's most versatile stars. Action pictures, musicals, horror, comedy, and even his own biopic (who can forget "Oh, we're the boys of the chorus/We hope you like our show..."?) - there's hardly a genre in which the great Bugs Bunny hasn't triumphed. Who else has done both noir and opera so successfully?
Yes, on a fine July evening in 1940, audiences at Warner Theatre's across the nation sat down for a nice double-feature to find their evening preceded by A Wild Hare, the gripping story of a hunter and his prey - and it's all been nothing but good times since.
What Bugs's epics may have lacked in length (averaging, I believe, something between six and ten minutes), they more than made up for in quality. I'm especially partial to the ones in which Bugs torments poor clueless Daffy Duck, although I can also be talked into a vintage Marvin the Martian now and again. The opera parodies, the triumphantly disastrous night at the Hollywood Bowl ("Leopold!"), encounters with fellow stars from Edward G. Robinson to Errol Flynn and with adversaries that ranged from a baby to a truly deranged witch - really, they're all pretty wonderful.
If I had to choose one favorite, I suppose it would have to be The Rabbit of Seville - what's yours?