Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hare Today, Tomorrow, and Always

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?


  1. Miss J couldn't begin to pick a favorite tho The Barber is certainly up there. She just added a bunch of Looney Tune dvds to her Amazon wishlist. Best cartoons EVER!

  2. I always enjoyed it when Bugs got all dolled up in drag. It worked on so many levels!

    And of course Elmer Fudd's "The wabbit kicked the bucket" routine was a childhood fave.

  3. I like the looks of the later ones with the surreal backgrounds, Marvin the Martian included.

    Really, his sassy serenity in the face of adversity is a model for us all.

  4. Bugs was my first crush and I think the handsome studio portrait that you used shows why.

    Favorite would have to be 1946's
    "Hsir Raising Hare", it's got everything - Peter Lorre, a very brief drag moment of Bugs as ballerina in a lampshade tutu, and of course the 'interesting' monster, Gossamer, as Bugs' manicure client. A better 7 minutes could not be spent.

  5. In the hopes that you stop back by, Felix caro, can you shed any light on exactly when that monster was dubbed "Gossamer"? In my wicked, misspent youth, us kids just called him The Sneaker Monster - it was a surprise in writing this post to discover her has a name.

    What gives?

    And Fanny - love to meet you; hope you can hang around a little longer next time!

  6. "In the hopes that you stop back by..."

    Dearest one, now that you've returned to your adoring public, I'm never leaving!

    From the truth tellers at Wikipedia:

    Jones gave the monster this name "because he's the opposite looking of gossamer. He's a big, hairy thing."


  7. Come back here, you raaaa bit.

  8. My friend Kevin and I frequently (annoyingly to others, I'm sure) quote the monster manicure scene to each other.

    "I think monsters are the most innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnteresting people."

  9. Peenee-

    Why would that be annoying, I mean, people quote Shakespeare all the time don't they?

  10. i'm with thom. adored bugs in drag.