Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny!

This is not a review that's meant to be created for it's own purpose. It's just a small post to let you know that today is Bugs' Bunny's official birthday today. His official birth date is on July 27, 1940 - in his first official appearance A Wild Hare - directed by Tex Avery.

I've always enjoyed hearing the story on how Bugs Bunny was first developed, in 1938 in Porky's Hare Hunt as just a white, looney rabbit, which was similar to Daffy Duck in Porky's Duck Hunt. I'd always say that the creator of Bugs Bunny was Ben Hardaway because he managed to develop the rabbit in further shorts, but he never directed the rabbit from then on where he did become known as "Bugs Bunny" -Bugs is even named after Ben Hardaway who's nicknamed "Bugs Hardaway", and it did begin in a model sheet - where a designer wrote down the character's name as "Bugs' Bunny", which was describing it as "Ben Hardaway's rabbit" in the model sheet - before it was officially named "Bugs Bunny".

As the character's first official appearance was made on A Wild Hare - he used his catchprase that we are all familiar with "What's up, doc?" It was actually Tex's catchprase when he was in high school. In that short, Bugs Bunny was quite different from what we know today. It was Robert Givens who gave Bugs his first "official" design, even though it's not the design we know today. The Bugs Bunny in this short, has a more oval head, his cheeks are more thinner than thicker, and Bugs was more menacing looking in personality wise. It wasn't until about 1943 when Bob Clampett changed Bugs Bunny's style in design with the wider cheeks, and Bob McKimson later gave Bugs Bunny the final design we know today.

Bugs' evolution from design to design, and Bob McKimson's final design is at the far end - while the early prototype cartoons of Bugs would be by Bugs Hardaway. In personality wise, it was really Chuck Jones who gave Bugs the great personality that we have today, and that he directed the cartoon Rabbit Fire in which Chuck and Michael Maltese got the idea for Bugs and Daffy to be duelling enemies over the next years.

If Bugs Bunny would still be going today - he would be 71 years old by now, and by now he would be old and crooked, ah - but cartoons don't age from time to time. Here is what Bugs could look like today - in this framgegrab from The Old Grey Hare.

What's up pruneface?

Congratulations to Bugs Bunny, even though his cartoon appearances officially halted in the 1960's, he still made appearances and has continued to delight us all these years.


  1. Ah yes, The Old Grey Hare...God bless Rod Scribner.

  2. Ah yes, The Old Grey Hare...God bless Rod Scribner.