Bugs Bunny’s milestone 80th birthday year coincides with the debut of Looney Tunes Cartoons, the critically acclaimed HBO Max Original series produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Warner Bros. is throwing a celebration like no other.

A Wild Hare

Tex Avery (1940)

A Wild Hare is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon supervised by Tex Avery. The short subject features Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. The short is Bugs Bunny’s first official appearance.

Bugs’s nonchalant stance, as explained many years later by Chuck Jones, and again by Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, comes from the 1934 movie It Happened One Night, from a scene where Clark Gable’s character is leaning against a fence eating carrots more quickly than he is swallowing (as Bugs would later do), giving instructions with his mouth full to Claudette Colbert’s character. This scene was so famous at the time that most people immediately saw the connection.

The line, “What’s up, Doc?”, was added by director Tex Avery for this film. Avery explained later that it was a common expression in Texas where he was from, and he didn’t think much of the phrase. But when this short was screened in theaters, the scene of Bugs calmly chewing a carrot, followed by the nonchalant “What’s Up, Doc?”, went against any 1940s audience’s expectation of how a rabbit might react to a hunter and caused complete pandemonium in the audience, bringing down the house in every theater. As a result of this popularity, Bugs eats a carrot and utters some version of the phrase in almost every one of his cartoons; sometimes entirely out of context.

Porky’s Hare Hunt

Ben “Bugs” Hardaway & Cal Dalton (1938)

This cartoon marked the first appearance of the rabbit that would evolve into Bugs Bunny, who is barely recognizable compared to his more familiar later form. Bugs’ first official appearance would come two years later in A Wild Hare.

While Porky’s Hare Hunt was the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature a Bugs Bunny-like rabbit, A Wild Hare, directed by Tex Avery and released on July 27, 1940, is widely considered to be the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon.

The first “true” appearance of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Elmer is a dimwitted hunter, “wooking for wabbits.” Bugs is a clever, smooth-talking character, who confuses Elmer with double-talk and misdirection. Elmer is no match for the wascally wabbit, even when he thinks Bugs is dead.

Bugs Bunny’s 80th Anniversary Extravaganza

Comic Con (2020)

Take a trip through eight decades of laughs and carrots when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) presents an all-encompassing look at one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable stars. Join three of the current voices of Bugs Bunny–Billy West (Space Jam, Futurama, Doug), Jeff Bergman (Tiny Toon Adventures, Our Cartoon President), and Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons, Muppet Babies)–alongside Looney Tunes Cartoons executive producer Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa), movie historian, author and TV personality Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), animation historian and author Jerry Beck (Animation Scoop), and Warner Archive senior vice president George Feltenstein as they cover the gamut of Bugs’ history from theatrical shorts to Saturday morning cartoons and the new HBO-MAX series. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown (Community, Avengers: Endgame, DC Super Hero Girls) will moderate the panel.

To see more Bugs Bunny cartoons click here: https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:looney-tunes?utm_id=sa%7c71700000067032079%7c58700005866967669%7cp53640660949&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5OX60syo6gIVNh6tBh2I4w08EAAYASAAEgJ-9_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Happy Birthday, Bugs. Thanks for the years of laughter.

Ryan Kramer (2020)

When Bugs Bunny wants to take a ride on the roller coaster, Yosemite Sam, the carnie, claims no rabbits are allowed, so Bugs tries to get on anyway.

Ryan Kramer is known for his work on Uncle Grandpa, Ben 10, and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. He enjoys making comics, raising kids, meditation, fitness, philosophy, and breakfast burritos. You can find him on Twitter @ToonholeRyan.

Kenny Pittenger & David Gemmill (2020)

Please enjoy this 11-minute episode from the new series “Looney Tunes Cartoons” which features three brand new shorts starring Tweety and Sylvester in Boo! Appetweet, Bugs and Elmer in Plunger, and Daffy Duck in Bubble Dum.

Starring the cherished Looney Tunes characters. Looney Tunes Cartoons echoes the high production value and process of the original Looney Tunes theatrical shorts with a cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling. Marquee Looney Tunes characters will be featured in their classic pairings in simple, gag-driven and visually vibrant stories. The new series from Warner Bros. Animation is comprised of animated shorts that vary in length and includes adapted storylines for today’s audience.

Looney Tunes Cartoons is an American animated web television series developed by Peter Browngardt and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, based on the characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. The series made its worldwide debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2019, and will premiere on HBO Max on May 27, 2020.

On June 11, 2018, Warner Bros. Animation announced that a new series, which would “consist of 1,000 minutes spread across 1–6 minute shorts”, would be released in 2019 and that it would feature “the brand’s marquee characters voiced by their current voice actors in simple gag-driven and visually vibrant stories”. The style of the series is to be reminiscent to those of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson, Bob Clampett and others. President of Warner Bros. Animation, Sam Register (creator of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi), along with Peter Browngardt (the creator of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and Uncle Grandpa), serve as executive producers for the series.

The series will bring all of the Looney Tunes characters together under one roof, including marquee characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester Cat, Tweety Bird, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Taz, Foghorn Leghorn, Beaky Buzzard, and Pepé Le Pew. Who else might show up? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Kenny Pittenger is known for his work on SpongeBob SquarePants and David Gemmill is known for his work on Teen Titans Go!

Warner Bros. (2020)

Join the all new adventures of the Looney Tunes pals including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and friends!

Looney Tunes Cartoons is an American animated web television series developed by Peter Browngardt, creator of Cartoon Network’s Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and Uncle Grandpa, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, based on the characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. It made its worldwide premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2019. This show is the successor to New Looney Tunes. The series will be publicly released on HBO Max on May 27, 2020.

On June 12, 2019, a short titled Dynamite Dance was uploaded on YouTube. It served as a trailer for the series starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

On June 11, 2018, Warner Bros. Animation announced that a new series, which would “consist of 1,000 minutes spread across 1–6 minute shorts”, would be released in 2019 and that it would feature “the brand’s marquee characters voiced by their current voice actors in simple gag-driven and visually vibrant stories”. The style of the series is to be reminiscent to those of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson, Bob Clampett, and others. President of Warner Bros. Animation Sam Register  along with Pete Browngardt serve as executive producers for the series. The shorts will bring all of the Looney Tunes together under one roof, including more obscure members like Pete Puma, Beaky Buzzard, Hubie and Bertie, Petunia Pig and Cicero Pig.

To watch the new Looney Tunes Cartoons short Dynamite Dance click on the link below:

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2019/06/30/looney-tunes-cartoons-dynamite-dance/

Friz Freleng (1945)

Hare Trigger is a 1945 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng and stars Bugs Bunny. The short featured the first appearance of Yosemite Sam, as well as the first short to credit the whole animation staff who worked on the short.

The short is also the first to use the shortened version of the song Merrily We Roll Along that played from 1945 to 1955.

Yosemite Sam is an American animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons produced by Warner Bros. Animation. His name is taken from Yosemite National Park. Along with Elmer Fudd, he is an adversary of Bugs Bunny. He is commonly depicted as an extremely aggressive gunslinging prospector, outlaw, pirate, or cowboy with a hair-trigger temper and an intense hatred of rabbits — Bugs in particular.

Animator Friz Freleng introduced the redesigned or renamed character in the 1945 cartoon Hare Trigger. With his grumpy demeanor, fiery temper, strident voice and short stature, and fiery red hair, Sam was in some ways a caricature of Freleng.

Other characters with Sam-like features appear in several Merrie Melodies shorts shown below.

Super-Rabbit

The Bugs Bunny entry Super-Rabbit (1943) features the cowboy character Cottontail Smith, whose voice is similar to Sam.

Stage Door Cartoon

Stage Door Cartoon (1944), however, features a southern sheriff character that looks and sounds similar to Sam, except for a more defined Southern stereotype to his voice. 

Chuck Jones (1946)

Hair-Raising Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of Chuck Jones’ imposing orange monster character, unnamed here, but in later cartoons named “Rudolph” and then “Gossamer”.

Chuck Jones (1948)

After Bugs Bunny had begun to outwit Yosemite Sam – the creation of the senior director Friz Freleng – director Chuck Jones decided to create the opposite type of character, one who was calm and soft-spoken, but whose actions were legitimately dangerous. Marvin the Martian was the result, and made his debut in 1948’s Haredevil Hare. Marvin is the quietest of the Looney Tunes villains, and is very clever and competent in general. However, he is also comedic.

Marvin’s design was based on a style of armor usually worn by the Roman god Mars. “That was the uniform that Mars wore — that helmet and skirt. We thought putting it on this ant-like creature might be funny. But since he had no mouth, we had to convey that he was speaking totally through his movements. It demanded a kind of expressive body mechanics.”

Marvin was never named in the original shorts – he was referred to as the Commander of Flying Saucer X-2 in The Hasty Hare in 1952. However, in 1979, once the character apparently attracted merchandising interest, the name “Marvin” was seen in The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie—more than 30 years after his birth!

Warner Bros. (2019)

Looney Tunes Cartoons Coming Soon From Warner Bros. Animation.

In Annecy, France, Warner Bros. Animation premiered its raucous new slate of Looney Tunes shorts, screening more than 10 of them in front of a packed house of 1,000 enthusiastic festival attendees. The program was introduced by WBA’s vp of series Audrey Diehl, joined by executive producer Pete Browngardt and supervising producer Alex Kirwan who about the production process of the new shorts in between the screening of the films.

The shorts are part of the studio’s commitment to creating 1,000 minutes of new Looney Tunes animation. When WB announced the project at last year’s Annecy festival, the studio touted that the shorts would take a “cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling,” and they’ve stayed true to that mission.

In fact, these cartoons are truly unlike any recent incarnation of Looney Tunes television projects – the characters felt true to their personalities, the cartoons were visually driven with each one reflecting the distinct humor of its directors and board artists, and the gags were inventive and outrageous, in some cases outrageous enough to make one wonder, How did they get away with that in 2019?

Among the shorts that received the strongest reaction at the screening was Basket Bugs, also directed by Gemmill. Two of the gags in that film were so well constructed (and unexpected) that they received applause from the audience, and as anyone who watches a lot of animated shorts in theaters can tell you, it’s a rare occasion when an audience cheers for individual gags in the middle of a film.

Warner Bros. still hasn’t announced how it will release its new Looney Tunes content – there could be as many as 200-plus shorts of varying lengths when all is said and done – but wherever they put them out, a lot of viewers are going to be pleasantly surprised by this one-of-a-kind project

by Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew

Below are stills from two more of the shorts that premiered today at Annecy: Wet Cement and Mummy Dummy.

Wet Cement

Mummy Dummy