Bugs Bunny is an American animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray hare or rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality, a pronounced New York accent, and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most notably the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of theatrical short films. His popularity there led to his becoming a corporate mascot of the Warner Bros. company. Bugs has appeared in more films than any other cartoon character and is the ninth most portrayed film personality in the world.

According to Bugs Bunny: 50 Years and Only One Grey Hare, Bugs was born on July 27, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York in a warren under Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In reality, he was created by many animators and staff, including Tex Avery, who directed A Wild Hare, Bugs’ debut role, and Robert McKimson, who created the definitive “Bugs Bunny” character design. According to Mel Blanc, the character’s original voice actor, Bugs has a Flatbush accent. Bugs has had numerous catchphrases, the most prominent being a casual “Eh… What’s up, doc?”, usually said while chewing a carrot.

Capitol records.
Mel Blanc/Pinto Colvig
Bugs Bunny and the Tortoise

Bugs Bunny has appropriated the star role in just about any story involving rabbits, with the exception of the role of Brer Rabbit, which Bugs no doubt would find politically incorrect. Having him play the hare that ineptly loses the race to the tortoise by taking a nap is surely a bit of miscasting as well, as Bugs would never be stupid enough to act like this. But if one is willing to overlook this philosophical oversight, the recorded version of this saga with Mel Blanc doing all the voices is one of the high points of this series of children’s records.

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