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The story of Bugs Bunny, the most famous animated rabbit

Before the 80th birthday of one of the most transcendent cartoons in the history of animation, we decided to review how it was created

Still from the short film known as 'Any Bonds Today?'

The popular cartoon turns 80. / Photo: Wikimedia - Warner Bros. and U.S. Treasury Department

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: La historia de Bugs Bunny, el conejo animado más famoso

When we talk about an animated rabbit, our mind automatically associates it with a particular name: Bugs Bunny. According to what La Gaceta highlights, this character is 80 years old and continues to be “more current than ever”, thanks to the fact that his figure is still being explored in many aspects. However ... did you know his story?

What is really curious about this rabbit is that, despite the time that he has been with us, he knew how to adapt himself conveniently to the current media. For example, the website of La República de Perú highlights that TikTok, the social network of the moment, generated a fun viral dance inspired by the character's stories. Let's see, then, how his fame came about.

The story of the creation and success of Bugs Bunny

If we talk about Bugs Bunny, we inevitably have to talk about its creator, Robert “Bob” Givens, who, according to the Infobae medium, made the first design of the most iconic rabbit of all time. Basically, his story is that, after working on different short films, the animator joined Warner Bros, home of all these figures.

Warner Bros itself has a really interesting story. According to the specialized website of El Cine de Hollywood, the studios were founded in 1918 by the four Warner brothers (Jack, Sam, Harry and Albert), having their own section for creating animations, which are always associated with the logo of the brand.

Well, within this study the rambunctious rabbit would emerge, although not all of us know how he did it. Although many do not know it, on April 30, 1938 he made his secondary debut with Porky pig in Porky's Hare Hunt, although with a very different style than we have today. However, several aspects of the character were lacking.

This is why, on July 27, 1940, a date that is considered official, the short A Wild Hare was released, where Bugs already managed to drive Elmer, the hunter, crazy. The medium Heraldo also highlights that this was the moment in which one of the most iconic catchphrases of all time emerged: "What's up, doc?", Which began to demonstrate the character's ingenuity, but also his ability to exasperate his enemies. 

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At the same time, the personality of Bugs Bunny managed to shock the audience. He was a transgressive rabbit, but not offensive. He rebelled against the rules, and even made the other characters' hair stand on end, but he never did evil. Much of his character was formed, according to El Universal de México, using the  comedian Groucho Marx as a reference.

In addition, the rabbit did not act "alone", but also did it with another group of animals, which would form the successful group of Looney Tunes. In this sense, although the spark and essence of yesteryear is still preserved, it is clear that they had to modify some behaviors. For example, the means of Metro 95.1 emphasizes that the series canceled the use of firearms, so as not to apologize for their use in American society.

All this means that, even 80 years after its creation, Bugs Bunny is one of the first options to watch cartoons. Thus, we see that Tónica's specialized website comments that the new Looney Tunes animated series is the most watched program on the HBO Max streaming platform, which shows that, although the animation methods were improved, the characters and the stories created kept their attractive over time.