August 6, 2006
Bunny Hugged (1951)
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

Starring: Bugs Bunny, The Crusher, Ravishing Ronald
Written by: Michael Maltese
Directed by: Chuck Jones


With a mere runtime of 8 minutes, Bunny Hugged manages to turn the inimitable Bugs Bunny into a bona fide wrestling superstar. Considering that's only about seven minutes and thirty seconds longer than it took The Ultimate Warrior to launch his championship career against the Honky Tonk Man, Bugs must have had a legitimate decision to make as to whether or not he should give up hassling Elmer Fudd altogether and become a full-time professional wrestler.

It all started innocently enough: Bugs was a corner-bunny/mascot for Ravishing Ronald, a character whose creation was a tip of the cap to Gorgeous George. Unfortunately, Ronald's opponent was none other than the massive and anatomically impossible Crusher, and he proved to be no match. After Ronald is utterly unable to continue, Bugs takes on the persona of The Masked Terror to confront The Crusher and, not coincidentally, "save his meal-ticket."

Bugs reaches deep into his animalistic tendencies to try and lay the smackdown on The Crusher, and fans of the bunny should be warned that he has a dark side capable of a nasty fighting spirit. In the end, of course, the allure of living in a world where a falling anvil leaves only an unsightly bump on the noggin was too great, and we never got to see the wrestling career of Bugs come to full fruition. The short is available on the DVD sets of Looney Tunes Golden Collections, and is well-worth seeking out. The Crusher may or may not be paid tribute to by way of Peter Parker's opponent Crusher Hogan in the original Spider-Man comic book. Chuck Jones created a similar storyline in 1948 for a short called Rabbit Punch, trading in the boxing colloquialism for a wordplay on "Bear Hug" from the wrestling world.


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Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can be emailed at hillhouse_slam@hotmail.ca -- SLAM! Wrestling.



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