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.