Saturday, March 23, 2013

Learn Something New

So here's something you learn when your youngest grandson is going through a Merrie Melodies/ Looney Tunes phase.

1) Elmer Fudd predates Bugs Bunny, sort of.
2) Wile E. Coyote didn't start out with that name, nor did he exclusively use Acme Products.

I know this because one of the collections the grandboy watches includes Elmer's Candid Camera,  in which Elmer deals with a pre-Bugs rabbit, who looks something like him, but who doesn't talk at all like him. This was a Merrie Melodies toon made in 1940, but not released until 1942. The bunny was billed as "Happy Rabbit."

In Elmer's Pet Rabbit, also co-starring Happy, a name tag identifying the critter as "Bugs Bunny" was added because another short,  A Wild Hare, was made in 1940, and this one was wildly successful, and introduced the "What's up, Doc?" line, as well as the ubiquitous carrot.)

Elmer was based on Egghead, an earlier character, just as Bugs was on Happy, and both continued to evolve. A Wild Hare was closer to who they became than the earlier versions.

Created in 1948 as a parody of Tom & Jerry toon, the first Roadrunner/Coyote cartoon, written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones, Fast and Furry-ous came out in 1949. In early model sheets, Wile E. (which supposedly stood for "Ethelbert," was known as "Don Coyote." When he tries out his Rube Goldberg gadgets, not of all them bear the Acme logo ...

There's a couple of used brain bits you won't get back ...


Kris said...

Some of the early ones were also quite racist, by today's standards.

Steve Perry said...

Racist, sexist, homophobic, a mirror of the times. Makes you cringe to see them, and they are still around if not shown as much.