‘Bugs Bunny Makes His First Appearance in Animated Film ‘A Wild Hare’ on this Day in History, July 27, 1940′

‘Bugs Bunny Makes His First Appearance in Animated Film ‘A Wild Hare’ on this Day in History, July 27, 1940′

Today marks Bugs Bunny’s 83rd birthday, as it was on July 27, 1940, that he made his debut in the animated film “A Wild Hare” by Warner Brothers. Bugs Bunny has since become a cultural icon, known for his famous catchphrase, “What’s up, Doc?”

The storyline of “A Wild Hare” revolves around Elmer Fudd’s relentless pursuit of the clever Bugs Bunny. Elmer attempts to catch Bugs by peering into rabbit holes, teasing him with carrots, and engaging in various unsuccessful schemes. Eventually, frustrated by Bugs’ antics, Elmer walks away in tears, while Bugs playfully turns his carrot into a makeshift instrument and marches towards his rabbit hole.

The short film was even nominated for an Academy Award in the “Best Short Subject: Cartoons” category. Bugs Bunny was brought to life at Leon Schlesinger’s animation unit in Warner Brothers studios, with a team of talented animators, including Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Friz Freleng. Mel Blanc provided the iconic voice for Bugs Bunny, while musician Carl Stalling contributed to the soundtrack.

Despite earlier variations of Bugs Bunny, it was in “A Wild Hare” that he took on his familiar appearance and personality, uttering the memorable phrase, “What’s up, Doc?” Variety has noted that Bugs Bunny is second only to Mickey Mouse in terms of popularity among cartoon characters.

Throughout the years, Bugs Bunny has shared the screen with other beloved animated characters like Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Yosemite Sam. Some classic Bugs Bunny cartoons include “Hare Tonic,” “The Big Snooze,” “Hair-Raising Hare,” and “The Rabbit of Seville.” Notably, “What’s Opera, Doc?” received acclaim for its adaptation of Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” and became the first cartoon short inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1992.

In addition to his successful animation career, Bugs Bunny has appeared in feature films such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988), “Space Jam” (1996) with Michael Jordan, and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (2021). Bugs Bunny’s popularity is also evident in his numerous accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and being the first animated character to appear on a postage stamp. TV Guide even ranked Bugs Bunny as the greatest cartoon character of all time.

As Bugs Bunny celebrates his 83rd birthday, his enduring charm and mischievous antics continue to captivate audiences of all ages.

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