Eight behind-the-scenes fun facts about ''Bully for Bugs''

These details aren't just a load of bull.

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LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs Bunny has taken on many jobs throughout his life in the public eye. He's been a detective, an opera star, he's even hawked war bonds. But one of his most recognizable one-off gigs, mostly because of his stylish get-up, was Bugs' role as a bullfighter. Here, the fashion-forward furry fellow fought ferociously to save his hide from an enraged bull. Is he safe, or is this the end of Bugs Bunny? 

For diehard fans and casual Looney Tunes viewers alike, here are eight fun facts about the cartoon short "Bully for Bugs!"

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1. Bugs Bunny's 100th


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

When "Bully for Bugs" premiered in 1953, it was the 100th Bugs Bunny cartoon. Some anniversary celebration... Bugs' big reward is a bullhorn to the gut.

2. Chuck Jones


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

"Bully for Bugs" is the 151st Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. Other Chuck Jones toons from 1953 included "Duck Amuck" and "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century."

3. "I don't want no gags about bullfights. Bullfights aren't funny".


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

That was the decree from producer Edward Selzer, Chuck Jones' boss. Jones and writer Michael Maltese immediately booked a trip to Mexico, where they witnessed their first bullfight. They came back from the experience to create one of the best Bugs Bunny cartoons ever. 

4. Bugs' Destination


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Obviously, Bugs didn't mean to end up in the middle of a bullfight. His real destination was Coachella Valley, home to a fictional carrot festival. In real life, Coachella Valley is home to the annual two-weekend Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. We think Bugs would make a great headliner!

5. A left turn where?


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

As is often the case, Bugs Bunny was headed somewhere else and landed in the thick of this plot by accident. Classically, Bugs attributes his mixup to an errant "left toin at Albuqoique." This isn't the first time he made that mistake. That distinction belongs to the wartime toon "Herr Meets Hare."

6. Toro the Bull


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

This is the debut of Toro the Bull, a justifiably angry bull who does his best to dispatch Bugs Bunny. He'd later reappear in "Mexican Cat Dance," Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Space Jam.

7. Cuadrillas


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Before Bugs triumphantly re-emerges, donned in new duds, the door he enters through is emblazoned with the word "Cuadrillas." In this context, "cuadrillas" refers to assistants who help a matador in a bullfight. Typically, the group consists of three banderilleros and two picadors.

8. Music to his ears


LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs' successful attempts at bullying the bull are soundtracked by two traditional Mexican melodies. First is the famous and instantly recognizable "La Cucaracha." Later, Bugs slaps the bull around to "Las Chiapanecas."

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DonStankalis 13 months ago
One other gag. final one with its lengthy setup and payoff was one of genius...
jaybird3939 14 months ago
I love it when Toro is standing behind Bugs, Bugs is standing with his back to Toro. Toro is huffing and puffing. Bugs turns around and slaps him, the says "Stop steaming up my tail!" Toro just looks confused.
Dave 14 months ago
My favorite line, as he is traveling through the air from a headbutt from the bull:
“Of course your realize this means WAR.”
Bricat2001 14 months ago
i just realized that they got rid of the pink panther cartoons :( i hope metv isnt getting rid of Saturday morning cartoons
timothys71 Bricat2001 14 months ago
I was kind of surprised too to see that the entire first hour was Popeye the last 2 Saturdays. However, they made fewer of the Pink Panther/The Inspector/Roland and Rattfink cartoons, so those had been repeating a lot more. Hopefully they will rotate back into the schedule at some point. In the meantime, maybe we can enjoy some Popeye cartoons that haven't been on for a while.
Kramden62 timothys71 11 months ago
The Pink Panther cartoons were made over 15 years, from "The Pink Phink" in 1964 to "Supermarket Pink" in 1979.

So how could there possibly be a shortage of them?
SJKurtz 14 months ago
The card for Charles Jones is in the style of the illustrations for the book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, specifically the lettering of Jones' name. There's just something perfect about this cartoon, the timing, the phrasing of the gags. For one example, the flying bull passes into frame over the glue brush (beat) then sandpaper (beat) and so forth. I really love how the action works in the landscape (tight forced shots, long shots where the 'camera' stops and the bull keeps going out of the scene getting smaller and smaller - a hallmark of Jones' that is more evident in the roadrunner cartoons. Maltese was a great gag writer and the secret to Jones' success. This is one of their best and it absolutely made my day. thanks!.
JeffPaul76 14 months ago
Well, There were somethings I knew and somethings I didn't know. Thank you MeTV.
Bapa1 14 months ago
Classic cartoon. Went to Mexico City and ended up at a bullfight. (not by choice). Rooted for the Bull, but he lost. I remember when SoFL got it's first Spanish TV station (Canal Vente-Tres!), they showed Bullfighting. Sad.
Cougar90 Bapa1 14 months ago
I agree. A classic that is fur and shoulders above today's cartoons.
pmneal 14 months ago
I love when Toro swallows the gun and bullets come out of his horns (much to his surprise)
Kramden62 14 months ago
I like when the sandpaper gets glued onto the bull's chest, lights a match which in turn lights a fuse, and then blows up over a can of TNT. Very funny, indeed.

By the way - anybody who remembers that infotainment show "Feeling Good" on PBS in 1974-75 will know that snippet of "Bully for Bugs" is shown on a TV during the opening sequence. (Sesame Workshop produced "Feeling Good.")
DonStankalis Kramden62 13 months ago
And IIRC, Chuck also did some animated segments of the Road Runner and Coyote for The Electric Company.
Kramden62 DonStankalis 13 months ago
I remember those!
AnnieM 14 months ago
This is one of my all-time favorite BB cartoons. I lose it every time loopy Toro tiptoes after Bugs. For me, everything Chuck Jones is comedy gold. 😀
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