Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Bugs Bunny Image Gallery
Bugs Bunny is a fictional rabbit/hare who appears in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated films produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, which became Warner Bros. Cartoons in 1944. He remains one of the most popular and recognizable cartoon characters in the world. In 2002, he was named by TV Guide as the greatest cartoon character of all time. Currently, he is the corporate mascot for Warner Brothers, especially its animated productions.
According to Bugs Bunny: 50 Years and Only One Grey Hare, he was "born" in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, the product of the imaginations of Tex Avery (who directed A Wild Hare, Bugs Bunny's debut) and Robert McKimson (who created the definitive Bugs Bunny character design), among many others. According to Mel Blanc, the character's original voice actor, Bugs Bunny has a Flatbush accent, an equal blend of the Bronx and Brooklyn dialects. His catchphrase is a casual "What's up, Doc?", usually said while chewing a carrot. His other popular phrases include "Of course you realize...this means war" and "Ain't I a stinker?"
A number of animation historians believe Bugs Bunny to have been influenced by an earlier Walt Disney character called Max Hare because he had similar big teeth. Max, designed by Charlie Thorson, first appeared in the Silly Symphonies cartoon The Tortoise and the Hare, directed by Wilfred Jackson. Tex Avery, one of Bugs' creators, did admit to having copied Bugs' design from Max, although Avery's design of Bugs was less cute and innocent-looking than Thorson's, so it would fit better with his sarcastic demeanor. Avery has been quoted as saying: "I practically stole it. It’s a wonder I wasn’t sued. The construction was almost identical." In fact, it was the drawing by Bugs Hardaway in 1938 that was chosen from among others as the direction for the character's personality. This drawing came to be known around the "Termite Terrace" as Bugs' Bunny. The name stuck, though the apostrophe was eventually dropped. Bugs himself would eventually appear in three variations on The Tortoise and the Hare.
Bugs eventually evolved a personality of detachment, often quipping, no matter how immediate the danger he was in. The way Bugs used his carrot is also similar to the way Groucho Marx used his cigar. One of Bugs' most popular catch-phrases, "Of course you realize (or 'know'), this means war!" was originally said by Groucho (and other cast members) in films such as Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera (wikipedia)