Since television started developing and flourishing, and became focusing not only on information but also amusement, many cartoons have been created, but few were what can be called timeless classics, which are as popular today as they have ever been. The animated series Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies, produced by Warner Bros Cartoons, were a success from the very beginning, one of their greatest stars unquestionably being Bugs Bunny. This extremely funny and charismatic rabbit first appeared in 1940 in a production named “A Wild Hare”, and has since been the leading light of a huge array of animations.
He was actually based on a nameless cartoon rabbit from 1938, that was merely an undeveloped sketch. Over the years, he was the protagonist of no less than 163 short cartoons, among them Elmer’s Pet Rabbit, The Heckling Hare, The Wacky Wabbit, Tortoise Beats Hare, What’s Cookin’ Doc? and Case of the Missing Hare. Although Bugs’ place within the animal reign is still being debated, as he has sometimes been called a hare but more often a rabbit, the vast majority of the public doesn’t seem too preoccupied with the matter.
His name, Bugs, is an old and out of use American slang term meaning “crazy”. He is defined by it, as the logical motivation behind his actions is usually difficult to identify, for instance when he pesters others. He lives in a forest, in his rabbit hole, where he withdraws when attacked. In almost every cartoon he is seen standing casually against a tree, nibbling on a carrot, and opening a conversation with his catchphrase, “Er…what’s up, Doc?” which is now universally famous.
He interacts with a variety of other characters but seems to have a very special relationship with millionaire Elmer Fudd (sometimes confused with an analogous character named Egghead) a short huge-headed man who carries an everlasting grudge towards him and keeps trying to shoot him. Elmer usually makes his appearance walking slowly through the forest, as he stalks Bugs with a hunting rifle. He is made even funnier by his slight speech impediment, which makes him unable to pronounce the letters R or L; therefore, with dismay in his voice, he refers to Bugs as a “wabbit”. The unsuccessful chase is somewhat similar to that of Tom and Jerry, as just like Tom, a frustrated Elmer only manages to injure himself and others, but never shoots his long desired pray.
Aside from Elmer Fudd, other famous cartoon characters Bugs Bunny often mingles with, often resulting in confrontation, are Daffy Duck, Willy E. Coyote, Cecil Turtle and the Tasmanian Devil. Bugs Bunny has his own way of handling conflict, and his second most popular catchphrase is “Of course you realize…this means war.” He has a distinctive way of saying it, which makes it delightful. Every word he says is emphasized by his very amusing voice, done by a number of people so far. Next to Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny is considered to be the greatest cartoon character ever, and providing seven decades of entertainment to all generations stands as a proof of that.