So this is always an unpopular topic when I bring it up. Don’t get mad and start sending hate mail in my direction. This is my opinion, and mine alone. Bugs Bunny is a better cartoon character than Mickey Mouse. Let me say, I don’t hate the mouse. He is a fantastic corporate icon and mascot, one of the greatest, but as a cartoon character he is a little weak.
Think about the personalities of these two. Bugs is a nice guy, but when pressed he fights back, he’s a real stinker, as he likes to say. He is funny in an ornery way. Mickey on the other hand is just a nice guy, he doesn’t get mad or get even. He’s just happy. Which in my opinion is a little lame. A cartoon character needs to have an edge. Donald Duck is probably a better cartoon character, he has a personality, he gets mad, he can be mean. Mickey is just happy. I think that is why there are so many Mickey cartoons that put a big part of the starring role on Pluto or Goofy. They have comedic chops.
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there is an incredible scene with Mickey and Bugs. Bugs does something mean and Mickey just giggles.
Next is the ability to turn into other characters. Bugs can be a female bunny, Groucho Marx, a pirate, a conductor. He can morph into any role. It’s one of my favorite things about Animaniacs, they can take on the style and look of another character without breaking their character. Mickey Mouse, to the best of my knowledge does not do any morphing. And that’s OK. I am sure there is a good reason for it.
Finally as drawings go, I think Mickey is limited. He can show expression with his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Bugs has the aforementioned traits plus the added benefit of his whiskers and those ears. They can do anything, show anger, sadness, and can even act as a swim cap and radar detector.
Speaking of Looney Tunes, I always loved Pepe Le Pew. You know a lot has been said about him and how the cancel culture did away with him. In reality, the director of Space Jam decided to remove Pepe from the feature. It was his decision. Linda Jones, who’s father Chuck Jones, created Pepe has said Pepe was never about attacking the female, it was the fact he was a casanova and a skunk. He did not realize he offended the nose. Linda suggested they put Pepe into a situation where he is trying so hard to get a job, but no one will hire him because he stinks. Now that I have seen the new Space Jam, I think the director did Pepe a favor.
For the record, I am not bagging on Mickey or Disney, I think they are great, I just think Bugs is the better cartoon character. I am working on an upcoming post that looks at many of the animation greats and their ties to Kansas City, including Walt himself, and those that would go on to bring the Looney Tunes to life.
I wrote this blog on 7/27/2021. Today is Bugs’ official birthday. He is 81 years old.