Looney Tunes in Society

Looney Tunes1

 

The year 1940 Warner Bros. first debuted their future mascot; The  male animated rabbit Bugs Bunny’s first appearance was a Merrie Melodies short film “A Wild Hare”. The episode introduced the Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny rivalry. In the episode Bugs proves to be the smarter when Elmer Fudd, the hunter, gives all of his effort to capture the bunny and have a satisfying meal. The rabbit plays  mind games and uses his swiftness to avoid capture from the speech impaired hunter. This episodes is the one that setup the characteristics of Bugs Bunny. His wittiness became admired by all of America even after seventy years this iconic character is still humored. As a child I admired all of the Looney Tunes characters because of their goofiness and ability to out outsmart their predators. Out of all the loony characters my favorite was Bugs Bunny. My parents would tell me I resembled the clumsy Daffy Duck more than I did Bugs because of my bluntness and ability to make things worse. Even though I found my parent’s claims to be somewhat true I still idolized Bugs Bunny. His catch phrase, “What’s up Doc?” became an introductory greeting I began to use quite frequently. What I loved about this bunny was his expertise at everything and the confidence to back it up. When attempting to escape a hunter or an animal predator  he cleverly escaped without even having time to plan. He was fast on his feet and never second guessed his ideas. Even today I still try to copy his three steps ahead of everyone else feel he gives off. I recall in the live animated movie “Space Jam” Bugs remained calm when against aliens from a different planet that threatened him and his friends their freedom. He proved to be an effective leader for the rest of the Looney Tunes characters and proved to be best at everything even while playing basketball with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Bugs did not only have an impact on my childhood but also the lives of all Looney Tunes watchers. After his first appearance in “A Wild Hare” the rabbit exploded in popularity. The year 1942 America was participating in World War Two and apparently Bugs Bunny was as well, but on the home front. Bugs encouraged the public opinion of America being in the war and urged Americans to support the war effort. Bugs appeared in multiple commercials supporting citizens to buy war bonds. The animated rabbit was seen as a hero and a patriot in a few of his episodes where he battled American enemies of World War Two. He “battled” against Hitler and a few of his soldiers when finding himself lost in a forest. The episode “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips” was pulled from being shown on tv because of its negative stereotypes of Japanese men. In the episode Bugs outsmarted a Japanese soldier and made him look like an embarassed enemy to the American public. Bugs had such a big impact on the public that the Marine Corps deemed him a Master Sergeant. After the war the show Looney Tunes was recognized as a historical cartoon that had greatly impacted society. People began buying Bugs Bunny stamps for collection and the sale for Looney Tunes product sky rocketed. All of the characters in the cartoon had such distinguishable personalities that people started to  be called the characters from the animated show. Before my parents began calling me the radical Daffy Duck my mother held on to the nickname Tweety bird. It was a nickname that she refused to accept, but found somewhat true. The name was given to her at a young age because of her cute but also trickery actions. She grew up and my dad found that to be an accurate name for her because of the characteristics that came with it. Now, every birthday or mothers day she’s given some sort of Tweety bird product from t-shirts to stuffed Tweety animals. The joke has almost been passed on to me being called Daffy Duck. This is a symbol that the Looney Tunes show has impacted American families personally and have become a conversation topic through generations of families from 1940 beyond. The cartoon show continues to be aired and recreated. In the current Looney Tunes show now the characters are more vibrant than ever and have the loudest personalities. I look forward to having conversations about the show and its characters with my future kids as well as they learn to live a vibrant life as well. I can only hope that I’ll be able to raise a witty Bugs Bunny.

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