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Bugs Bunny Blu-Ray Bugs Bunny Blu-Ray

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the iconic American cartoon character Bugs Bunny, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release a three-disc Blu-ray set containing 60 theatrical shorts produced between 1940 and 1964. The package will be released on November 3, 2020.

What’s in the set? Don’t expect a Criterion-like treatment from Warner Bros. for these animated classics. Besides the 60 restored and remastered shorts (full list below), the package includes a Bugs Bunny glitter Funko figure, a new documentary, 10 episodes of HBO Max’s new Looney Tunes Cartoons, and an introductory letter from Looney Tunes historian (and Cartoon Brew co-founder) Jerry Beck.

What’s missing? A whole lot. If there was ever a time to release all 160-plus Bugs Bunny theatrical shorts, a major anniversary like this would have been the right occasion. As it is, WB is offering up a hodegpodge of shorts that’s missing over 100 Bugs Bunny theatricals. Unlike Disney, which methodically released its short film library on the Walt Disney Treasures dvd sets, WB has never deemed the output of its animation studio worthy of the respect that the films deserve, and the entire library of theatrical shorts has never been released on dvd or Blu-ray.

Anything else? Nothing about this package says “premium.” A mass-manufactured — and garish — Funko toy is the antithesis of the bespoke craftsmanship of directors like Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Bob McKimson, who each had their own unique aesthetic take on the character. The cover art is poorly drawn — and who thought it was a good idea to have Bugs chewing on a piece of wood? The crew of the new Looney Tunes recently designed a set of 10 Bugs Bunny postage stamps based on classic Looney Tunes scenes and they’re gorgeous. Why weren’t they involved in the design of this packaging?

Is it worth it? The set will retail for $74.99 ($89.99 Canada), with a digital-only alternative available for $39.99 ($49.99 Canada). According to WB, this marks the first time that these films have been remastered to their original 4×3 aspect ratio for Blu-ray, and if the restoration is done as well as the recent Tex Avery Blu-ray, then that’ll be worth the price of admission for many animation fans. But had the package been put together more thoughtfully, this would have been something truly special. As it is, it’s a real missed opportunity.

Bugs Bunny Blu-Ray

Here’s the list of the classic shorts on the set:

Disc #1
1. Elmer’s Candid Camera
2. A Wild Hare
3. Hold the Lion, Please
4. Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid
5. Super-Rabbit
6. Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk
7. What’s Cookin’ Doc?
8. Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears
9. Hare Ribbin
10. The Old Grey Hare
11. Baseball Bugs
12. Hair Raising Hare
13. Racketeer Rabbit
14. Bugs Bunny Rides Again
15. Haredevil Hare
16. Hot Cross Bunny
17. Hare Splitter
18. Knights Must Fall
19. What’s Up Doc?
20. 8 Ball Bunny

Disc #2
1. The Rabbit of Seville
2. Rabbit Every Monday
3. Fair Haired Hare
4. Rabbit Fire
5. His Hare Raising Tale
6. Hare Lift
7. Upswept Hare
8. Robot Rabbit
9. Captain Hareblower
10. No Parking Hare
11. Yankee Doodle Bugs
12. Lumber-Jack Rabbit
13. Baby Buggy Bunny
14. Hare Brush
15. This is a Life?
16. Rabbitson Crusoe
17. Napoleon Bunny-Part
18. Half Fare Hare
19. Pikers Peak
20. What’s Opera, Doc?

Disc #3
1. Bugsy and Mugsy
2. Show Biz Bugs
3. Hare-Less Wolf
4. Now, Hare This
5. Knighty Knight Bugs
6. Hare-Abian Nights
7. Backwoods Bunny
8. Wild and Woolly Hare
9. Bonanza Bunny
10. People are Bunny
11. Person to Bunny
12. Rabbit’s Feat
13. From Hare to Heir
14. Compressed Hare
15. Prince Violent
16. Shishkabugs
17. The Million Hare
18. The Unmentionables
19. False Hare
20. Blooper Bunn

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.