April 30 is Bugs Bunny Day. Don’t worry about where the idea came from or what it all is supposed to mean; just sit back and enjoy the fact that, finally, you’ve got a day worthy of calling in sick for that no boss could possibly fight you over. Who doesn’t love Bugs Bunny? Well, maybe Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. And Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius. And Yosemite Sam. And that lion and the Russian bear in the circus. Okay, well, maybe a lot of people don’t love Bugs Bunny. But it’s still worth a shot at calling in to take the day off from work. Your boss just may be a huge fan of Bugs, after all. If you do get the day off, check out these movies that feature special appearances by Bugs.
What’s Up, Doc?
Peter Bogdanovich puts together a sterling comedic cast to recreate the lost magic of the 1930s screwball comedy in this movie that takes it very title from the most famous quote associated with Bugs Bunny. What better way to celebrate Bugs Bunny Day or the end of April than by catching Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand at the top of their considerable game. “What’s Up, Doc?” is a masterful movie filled with mistaken identity, sight gags, fast-talking verbal gymnastic and the funniest chase scene in movie history. And, right near the end of the movie, a cameo appearance by Bugs himself.
Two Guys from Texas
“Two Guys from Texas” would be just another programmer of musical comedy from former Hollywood stars mostly forgotten today if not for the unexpected appearance of an animated rabbit. Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson and Dorothy Malone are essentially stand-ins for Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in this send-up of the “Road Movies” of that threesome. But even Der Bingle, Dot and Hope never got to interact with Bugs Bunny. And the really weird part is that we’re not talking an animated Bugs Bunny intruding into the live action real life world of the actors. Jack Carson is every bit as animated as the Bugs from whom he receives some advice on his love life.
My Dream is Yours
Some people like to make fun of classic Hollywood musicals, but the truth is that the genre qualifies as Hollywood’s only lasting contribution to the avant garde. If you don’t think that splashy Technicolor movies where people suddenly break out into song don’t qualify as avant garde, then you need to take a gander at the positively surreal section of “My Dreams is Yours” featuring a cameo appearance by Bugs Bunny. An animated Bugs starts the proceedings by haunting the highly stylized live action nursery of a sleeping toddler. This strangely innocent bit of a nightmare on Hollywood Blvd. soon gives way to Doris Day and (again!) Jack Carson dressed in full bunny regalia doing a bit that ends with both dancing in synchronous live-action/animated classic Hollywood musical style with Bugs Bunny. Anybody who tries to tell you that Andy Warhol, John Waters or Luis Bunuel ever made anything more surrealistically avant-garde than this sequence from “My Dream is Yours” is an ignorant snob.