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Bugs Bunny Birthday Bash at TCM Fest

Bugs Bunny Birthday Bash at TCM Fest

Tomorrow morning at the early hour of 9:15am, Leonard Maltin and I will be discussing the legacy and great films (i.e theatrical shorts) of Bugs Bunny at the TCM Festival, at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Actually there is nothing I’d rather do at that hour – or any hour for that matter. 

We will be screening ten classic Warner Bros. cartoons including the one considered by all to be Bugs Bunny’s true first film, Tex Avery’s A Wild Hare (1940). However, the program is billed as Bugs Bunny’s 75th Birthday Bash and some are asking how we could be celebrating a 75th anniversary when the character emerged in 1940. The answer is that Bugs evolved from a zany series of rabbit hunt cartoons which began in 1938 – the first of which is Porky’s Hare Hunt (directed by Ben (nickname “Bugs”) Hardaway). 

We will be showing some beautiful crystal clear digital restorations on the big screen tomorrow morning, and if there are still tickets, I Invite you to join us. It’s impossible to pick the ten best… but after due consideration (and other legal factors) we will be screening these titles:

A Wild Hare (1940) Tex Avery

Wabbit Twouble (1941) Robert Clampett

Tortoise Wins By A Hare (1943) Bob Clampett

The Old Grey Hare (1944) Bob Clampett

Slick Hare (1947) Friz Freleng

Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948) Friz Freleng

Long Haired Hare (1949) Chick Jones

What’s Up, Doc? (1950) Robert McKimson

Rabbit Seasoning (1952) Chuck Jones

What’s Opera, Doc? (1957) Chuck Jones

Below are three cartoons we aren’t screening on Saturday, three of the wacky rabbit cartoons that led to the birth of Bugs Bunny (sorry about the watermarks on these You Tube videos – I highly recommend buying the DVDs ):




Special thanks to Michael Schlesinger for suggesting to TCM that they do this program. 

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