Every Bugs Bunny Ever: Haredevil Hare (1948)

Haredevil Hare (1948)
Directed by Chuck Jones
Written by Michael Maltese
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Ben Washam

I freely admit that I have never been a fan of Marvin the Martian.

Yes, Yes, I know He’s one of the few ancillary characters from the Looney Tunes stable who’s managed to carve out his own niche. Back in the nineties he had his merchandise, and kitschy clothes and managed to set himself apart from Bugs to become his own character and he’s only appeared in five shorts, total! Just five. The thing I remember most about Marvin was that my cousin had this obnoxious alarm clock that he played over and over, first for our amusement and then just to get on our nerves. All in good fun, though. In either case, Marvin had his own corner of the universe with others like Michigan J. Frog and Tazmanian Devil, even appearing in many of the movies.

He was even pegged as a villain for Duck Dodgers, the shockingly good 2003 animated series. In either case, Marvin was created by none other than Chuck Jones as a means of providing a more cerebral villain for Bugs Bunny. He was dressed in a Gladiator uniform and oddly enough didn’t have a mouth or nose, which made it extra challenging to emphasize his personality on screen.

In this short, Bugs is forced by NASA to go up to space as a test subject for their projects. Only with carrots on board does Bugs agree to go on the expedition. While landing on the moon and presuming he’s there all alone, another rocket ship appears and lands. Out from it emerges Marvin the Martian and his goon, the green attack dog known as K9. While Bugs tries to make friendly with Marvin, he learns from the alien that he has plans to completely obliterate planet Earth using his Uranium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator. What, pray tell, is a Uranium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator? It’s never fully explained, all we know is that it’s powerful and it makes things go boom, so it’s cause for concern.

Shocked by the news, he steals the gizmo and makes a run for it, now having to do battle with the fierce K9. To its credit the animation is just downright great, and the comic timing is sharp as ever. Mel Blanc is also just at the top of his game even with lending Marvin an earlier interpretation of his voice before settling on a different one in his next animated outing. This is one of the only times that K9 would talk as he’s mostly a non-verbal villain from there on, as the animators also introduce those ugly bird like monsters that serve Marvin in future shorts.

Although the writers work on a bigger more grandiose premise, they also stick to the fundamentals and what works with Bugs matching wits with a dog, and ultimately being stuck in weird circumstances. I also quite enjoy how it ends on such a fun note with Bugs left literally dangling at the edge of the remnants of the moon with K9 and Marvin hanging from his leg for dear life. While I’m still not a Marvin fan, “Haredevil Hare” has its merits with qualities that made the experience better.

All things considered, I just think Marvin worked better with Daffy and Porky.

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