10 things you may not have known about ''Hare-Way to the Stars''

10 space-age facts about the lunar toon

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Released in 1958, Hare-Way to the Stars is a classic Looney Tunes cartoon that capitalized on the mid-century space race craze.

Our unflappable hero, the inimitable Bugs Bunny, starts his day with a hangover, the result of mixing radish juice and carrot juice during a late-night bender. But things only get worse for Bugs as he's unknowingly blasted into space aboard a rocketship that had been parked over his rabbit hole home.

Here are ten facts you may not have realized about this iconic toon!

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1. The title

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"Hare-Way to the Stars" is actually a reference to a popular song composed in the 1930s by Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli.

"Stairway to the Stars" (the actual song) was performed and recorded first by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra and most famously by Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra.

2. Sputnik

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The toon came at a critical time in the space race. "Hare-Way to the Stars" was released in 1958, less than one year after Russia successfully launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite.

The polished metal sphere was equipped with four external antennas and looked a whole lot like the thing that knocks into Bugs when he exits the rocket. 

3. A 4th outing for Martian

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This is the fourth cartoon that features Marvin the Martian, following his appearances in "The Hasty Hare," and "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century." Viewers who don't have carrots growing in their ears that in Marvin's debut toon, "Haredevil Hare," the then-unnamed Martian has a different, more-nasally voice.

Marvin the Martian would star in one more theatrically released short in 1963's "Mad as a Mars Hare."

4. Illudium Q-36

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One piece of Marvin the Martian's space age technology, namely the world-destroying Illudium Q-36, lives on in stemware everywhere. The Explosive Space Modulator inspired a same-named wine, bottled by Best Vineyards in Elizabeth, IN. 

The winery's website describes their Illudium Q-36 as "a tart and tangy lemon wine" Oh dear!

5. "Where's the kaboom?"

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"Hare-Way to the Stars" marks the first utterance of one of Marvin the Martian's best-known catchphrases. Unaware that Bugs has stolen away his Explosive Space Modulator, Marvin cries out, "Where's the kaboom? There's supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!"

6. K-9

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Despite appearing alongside his Martian owner in shorts like "Haredevil Hare" and "The Hasty Hare," K-9 is conspicuously absent from this cartoon.  The space cadet pup would later reunite with Marvin in the beloved 1996 live-action/animation hybrid "Space Jam."

7. Marvin's whole head

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In a pause-worthy, blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, Marvin's damaged helmet briefly reveals his entire face. So what does he look like under there? Fast-fingered freeze-framing fans are rewarded with a glimpse at Marvin's round, dark face that seemingly only has eyes. Weird!

8. Martians at the movies

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"Hare-Way to the Stars" would later be repackaged as the first segment in the feature-length theatrical release The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie.

While introducing the cartoon, Bugs Bunny himself says of director Chuck Jones '"Ol' Chuck seemed determined to get poor little old me into outer space too!"

9. Little green tights for little green men

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Were you paying close enough attention to notice Marvin the Martian's pants? If you were, you may have noticed that they were green! This is notable in that, previously, Marvin's uniform consisted of distinctly red tights in "Haredevil Hare," "The Hasty Hare," and "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century."

The entire world must've breathed a seismic sigh of relief when Marvin returned to his tried and true red pants in 1963's "Mad as a Mars Hare."

10. Silly Censorship

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In an attempt to cull all children's content of violence (and fun), CBS censored a key explosion and its aftermath. In re-airing the cartoon as part of its The Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Show, the network cut the entire scene where Marvin finds his Explosive Space Modulator and it blows up in his face.

Do you know these Bugs Bunny firsts?

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Do you actually know what is, in fact, up, doc?

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11 Comments

ReneDelgado 8 months ago

Love the cartoon, want to always see it without any editing
Snickers 9 months ago
Love this cartoon. The scene where Marvin creates his instant Martians by adding water is funny.
daDoctah 10 months ago
Does anybody know if the big chicken-headed aliens were ever given a name? Maybe some note scribbled at the top of one of Chuck Jones' style sheets for the characters?
Billreick daDoctah 9 months ago
In everything I've read, they're just referred to as "Martians"
LoveMETV22 10 months ago
Happy Star Wars Day !
Mblack LoveMETV22 10 months ago
Bah humbug.

When Star Wars came out, we didn't have a special day.
LoveMETV22 Mblack 10 months ago
True. The same for Star Trek, but we have them now.
Andybandit 10 months ago
These cartoons are were and still be the best.
Snickers Andybandit 9 months ago
Could not agree more. Spent many a Saturday morning as a kid watching Bugs and the roadrunner.
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