2023 marks the 85th Anniversary of Bug Bunny’s first animated appearance in 1938’s “Porky’s Hare Hunt.” Debuting originally as Happy Rabbit, Bugs eventually became one of the most iconic animated characters of all time. In honor of the landmark anniversary, we’re discussing every animated appearance by Bugs Bunny. We’re big fans of Bugsy and we hope that you are, too.
Follow us on this massive journey where we discover and re-discover Every Bugs Bunny Ever.
One of the pleasures of watching the Looney Tunes shorts is how they almost always look for an opportunity to lampoon or reference their rival Disney. While Warner did it more prominently in the early days they do take some chances here and there, and it’s a hoot. One of the more subtle gags in “Acrobatty Bunny” is when Bugs looks down the gaping maw of his nemesis Nero the lion. He then exclaims “Pinocchio?!” to the sounds of echoes of his voice.
It’s a pretty funny jab at the “Pinocchio” movie, and a great reference especially when you know how often Warner took the chance to lampoon Disney.
In either case, “Acrobatty Bunny” is simple and another fairly routine short but it’s pretty funny and gets by on some great energy and a pretty solid set up. As with most of the best shorts, Bugs accidentally walks in to trouble as man makes it hard for him to live life in his small hole. Here the circus is in town and their construction of the tent makes it hard for Bugs to sleep. He goes up to confront the owner of the circus only to find himself facing off against the ravenous lion Nero. Nero is one of the many one and done villains of the Bugs Bunny library, but he’s fun in his own right.
His purpose is merely to eat Bugs Bunny who is intruding on his territory, but Bugs makes it hard to stalk and eat him. “Acrobatty Bunny” is apparently Robert McKimson’s firs outing with Bugs Bunny and what a debut it is. “Acrobatty Bunny” is such a fun and funny short filled with some raucous gags. The writers manage to make the most out of this setting, allowing Bugs to wreak havoc on his enemy. One of my favorite gags is Bugs taking the form of a clown and using Nero’s gullibility to lower his defenses.
His coaxing him in to laughing at his garb is one of the best bits of the whole short, and the whole animated sequence paired with the ace timing make it such a raucous bit. I also never tire of hearing “Laugh Clown Laugh!” be sung by the Looney Tunes characters. Although Daffy is quite good at belting out the tune, Bugs’ version also has its merits. While “Acrobatty Bunny” isn’t perfect, or even the most significant short in the Bugs Bunny library, it’s a great launching point for Robert McKimson who gives us a clear cut preview of what he had to offer audiences in the future.
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