Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27 - Bugs Bunny

The first Bugs Bunny cartoon, titled “A Wild Hare,” was released on July 27, 1940, by Leon Schlesinger Productions (later Warner Bros. Cartoons). It is the first animated cartoon in which Bugs is shown as the prey, and clever tormentor, of the absurdly incompetent hunter, Elmer Fudd, and the first in which Bugs says his signature phrase, “What’s up, Doc?” as voiced by Mel Blanc. That phrase is derived from a famous scene featuring Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night” (1934). Elmer’s opening line, "Be vewy, vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits," would also follow him through many subsequent cartoons in which Bugs is more interested in driving his pursuer crazy than in actually escaping. The wily rabbit was the creation of Fred “Tex” Avery, an animator, cartoonist and director who also gave birth to Daffy Duck, Droopy, Porky Pig and others. Avery’s cartoons were the antithesis of Walt Disney’s, always avoiding sentiment and sweetness in favor of non-stop action and characters prone to sarcasm, allusive wit and situations best described as “looney.”

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