Hard to Beat Bugs Bunny

But there were MANY great cartoon characters back in the golden age

By Jeff Salter

Let’s get a few details out of the way before I begin.
1. I’m calling the ‘golden age’ of cartoons as the ones on network TV in the late 1950s and early 1960s… even though several of those cartoons had been around since the 1940s (in movie theaters).

2. Quite a few cartoon characters also appeared in comic books, but comic books are a topic for another day. One, in particular: my favorite comic book character is Uncle Scrooge… but I don’t recall many (if any) times I saw him in a cartoon.

3. Beginning in the middle 1960s (as best I recall), some studios began producing cartoons with minimal animation. They were hardly more than a series of stills in which the mouths/lips would move… and occasionally background scenes that would slide behind them. Chief among these travesties were Clutch Cargo and Johnny Quest. I hated both.

Nitty Gritty

Now let’s get down to the good stuff. Most cartoons of “my” era were produced by a syndicate or studio. There was the Warner Brothers’ group (including Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies) which featured such luminaries as Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Pepe LePeu, and (I think) Mighty Mouse. Then there was the Hanna-Barbera syndicate/studio which produced many, including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quickdraw McGraw, Top Cat, Flintstones, and the Jetsons. The main cartoons I remember from Disney studios were Chip & Dale and Donald Duck. Micky Mouse was, of course, a staple of Disney… but I never cared for that character (or his girlfriend). Odd, to me, that Disney considered Mickey his flagship character!

I don’t remember who produced Rocky & Bullwinkle, but I’m pretty sure it was neither of the two big studios noted above. Woody Woodpecker, was – I believe – the primary product of Walter Lanz studio. I can’t remember who produced Heckel & Jeckyl or Tom & Jerry or Roadrunner/Coyote.

As has been mentioned already this week by one of the Resident Foxes, some of these cartoons were equally aimed at adults (like Flintstones and Bullwinkle) but still delightful, on a different level, for the kiddies. Flintstones was, as I recall, one of the first primetime cartoon shows on TV. [I’m sure somebody will correct any inadvertent inaccuracies I present here… and that’s okay with me.]

My Favorite?

All of these mentioned above (in the main sections) were cartoons I greatly enjoyed… but my absolutely favorite was Bugs Bunny. He had the most acting range, got into the most interesting situations, and played against several different foils (Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, the Abominable Snowman, and the Tasmanian Devil… among others).

No doubt, I’ve forgotten a few headliners… and I didn’t take the time to mention all the wonderful side-kicks that most of these cartoon shows had to bounce off the main characters. Suffice it to say, I loved cartoons – whether after school, on Saturday mornings, or during primetime – and I’d be happy to see some of my favorites again.

[JLS # 610]

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About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in art, characters, childhood, favorites, Jeff Salter, memories, TV and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Hard to Beat Bugs Bunny

  1. jbrayweber says:

    You mentioned all the greats. Wathced and loved them all. The only charcater that comes to mind you missed was Popeye.

    Bugs was always my favorite, too. But I will add Scooby Doo was equally a favorite of mine. I love cartoons and still delight in watching them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Well, you know how I’m unable to let go of an “I can’t recall who…” statement, so I looked up Rocky and Bullwinkle and found they were created by Jay Ward Productions. That said, I did watch them every Saturday. My oboe instructor when I was an undergrad was the son of the person who drew Bullwinkle, so that was interesting, too. Bugs Bunny and friends was entertaining – I can’t say he was my favorite character, but I DID enjoy all the classical music they incorporated into their episodes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, if there is only one studio to choose it would have to be Warner Brothers, and only one character, it would have to be Bugs!
    We have much of the same tastes, as you will see tomorrow
    I had the same reaction to Clutch Cargo and Johnny Quest;
    what were they thinking?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I’m sure they were thinking: let’s reach that target audience and do it as cheaply as possible. Even as a child, I was offended by their lack of effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Clay Cormany says:

    I would have to go with Donald Duck as my favorite cartoon character with Bugs a close second. Mighty Mouse, by the way, came from a different studio — Terrytoons — which also turned out the mischievous magpies, Heckle and Jeckle. Although not as popular as the Disney and Warner Brothers’ characters, Woody Woodpecker and his crew (Andy Panda, Chilly Willy) could also be entertaining. Walter Lantz was their creator.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Salter says:

    Can’t believe I left out the Pink Panther and Mr. Magoo!

    Like

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    You can’t go wrong with Bugs Bunny! When he was a child my son had a stuffed pink rabbit that acted very much like Bugs. He was hysterical talking for the rabbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was and still am a fan of Roadrunner. I even pulled for the coyote sometimes. hee hee Also Chip and Dale and Scooby Do. Kids don’t know what they’re missing today if they haven’t seen these winners.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the older Bugs Bunny cartoons. I remember when we were little my older brother, Sam, loved Yosemite Sam.

    Liked by 1 person

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