Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Bugs Bunny

Warner Bros.' flagship character and, after Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, almost certainly the most internationally recognized star of animated shorts, although BB, like Tom & Jerry and Woody Woodpecker, has never become a cultural Icon in quite the same fashion as the other two. His first (anonymous) appearance was in Porky's Hare Hunt (1938), where he reprised a Daffy Duck role from the previous year's Porky's Duck Hunt (1937). This movie was a great hit, and a few shorts later BB was established as a star. (His name came from the nickname of his first director, Ben "Bugs" Hardaway.) Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and the great voice artist Mel Blanc (1908-1989) all played their parts in BB's early development, with Avery providing, in A Wild Hare (1940), the final definition of the character whom, at least 160 shorts later (not to mention compilation features), we know today: the wisecracking, inevitably superior Trickster bunny (Elmer Fudd often says to Bugs, "Oh, you Twickster."), ever ready with a disingenuous "What's up, Doc?" or a sympathy-squeezing faked-death scene.

BB had a small role in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), being voiced by Mel Blanc – as in his very first short. [JG]

further reading: That's All Folks!: The Art of Warner Bros. Animation (1988) by Steve Schneider; Bugs Bunny: Fifty Years and Only One Gray Hare (1990) by Joe Adamson.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.