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Bugs Bunny's 75 Years: Monday Marks Iconic Cartoon's Anniversary

Image: Bugs Bunny's 75 Years: Monday Marks Iconic Cartoon's Anniversary
(Chuck Jones, Facebook)

By    |   Monday, 27 Jul 2015 03:12 PM

Monday marks Bugs Bunny's 75th anniversary, but it's still not clear who actually created the iconic Warner Bros. character.

Bugs Bunny made his debut in 1940 on "A Wild Hare," directed by Tex Avery, and coined his signature phrase “What’s up, Doc?” Soon after, the show received an Academy Award nomination for best original short. "A Wild Hare" lost to another cartoon entitled "The Milky Way."

Warner Bros., however, will not be celebrating the famous rabbit’s birthday, especially because the character’s creation is somewhat elusive. Looney Toons animator Chuck Jones credits Avery with Bug Bunny’s creation, according to Time. However, Warner Bros. had sketched a variety of different rabbits even before Avery’s time.

Mel Blanc, who voiced the original Bugs character in "A Wild Hare" claims he named the rabbit “Bugs” after animator Ben “Bugs” Hardaway. However, some believe that cartoonist Charles Thorson designed Bugs Bunny for Hardaway, captioning, rather than naming, his sketch as "Bugs’ Bunny."

Bugs quickly gained popularity. In 1949, he was featured in Jones’ animated film, "Long-Haired Hare." Throughout the 1950s the character appeared in many other films including "What’s Opera Doc?," "Rabbit Rampage," and "Knighty Knight Bugs." Just 14 years after his birth, the bunny was more popular than Mickey Mouse, Time noted.

In 1987, Bugs’ popularity continued to show no end when the ABC show “The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show” topped the charts as the network’s No. 1 kid’s show, Variety reported.

Jones has featured some of his cartoons and art in a traveling exhibition in recent years. The exhibition is named after Bugs and called “What’s Up Doc?” The display is currently in Seattle’s EMP Museum, according to The Wall Street Journal

Jones commemorated the career-defining character in a Monday Facebook post:

 

Happy 75th Anniversary, Bugs Bunny! Bugs first appearance was on July 27, 1940 in a short cartoon directed by Tex Avery,...

Posted by Chuck Jones on Monday, July 27, 2015




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Monday marks Bugs Bunny's 75th anniversary, but it's still not clear who actually created the iconic Warner Bros. character.
bugs bunny, 75, anniversary, warner bros, cartoon
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2015-12-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 03:12 PM
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