[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★]
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUGS BUNNY!
(P1) The ‘birthday’ of a beloved Looney Tunes character is an opportunity to REFLECT on his cultural CACHET across multiple generations.
(P2) Bugs Bunny, the carrot-chewing cartoon character – one of the most RECOGNIZED of the Warner Bros. personalities – is celebrating his 75th birthday. In 1940, the cartoon segment “A Wild Hare,” which was directed by Tex Avery, made its first appearance, and the movie short featured Bugs as the world knows him today, with a familiar voice, look, and CATCH-PHRASE, “What’s up, Doc?” (Bugs Bunny was voiced for many years by Mel Blanc.)
(P3) Bugs Bunny is part of the cast of characters seen in the “Looney Tunes” cartoons that include his NEMESIS Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, and many more.
(P4) With Bugs having made his first appearance in 1940, how have he and the other Looney Tunes characters stayed popular? One way has been CONSISTENT appearances.
(P5) While Bugs would have been known to the parents of Baby Boomers from the beginning of the cartoons, Baby Boomers themselves ENCOUNTERED the Looney Tunes characters in the animated shorts that ran in movie theaters and on TV.
(P6) How do Millennials know the characters? The Looney Tunes characters have kept up STEADY appearances in pop culture. The cartoons have run on TV at various points – for example, the Cartoon Network started a new weekend block for the Looney Tunes cartoons in 2013 – and the animated series “Tiny Toon Adventures,” which featured young students learning from teachers like Bugs and Porky Pig, debuted in 1990.
(P7) The Looney Tunes personalities made frequent appearances at the movies towards the end of the MILLENNIUM as well, with major roles in the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and the 1996 movie “Space Jam,” both of which performed well at the box office.
(P8) Bugs and his friends appear to still be in audiences’ minds today, with recent lists rating Bugs as the second-best cartoon character of all time, behind only Homer Simpson.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Who is your favorite cartoon character?
- The Looney Tunes cartoons were originally intended for adults, and unlike Disney characters, Bugs Bunny is very SARCASTIC. Do you enjoy that type of CYNICAL humor?
- One of the most popular newer cartoon characters is SpongeBob SquarePants. Is he popular in your country?
- Do you go to animated movies in the theater often?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.