Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bugs Bunny - Gay Panic?

The Bad Bugs Bunny program from the Hole in the Head festival reminded of an observation.

There is a strong element of homoeroticism in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. When Bugs is threatened, he frequently gets into a tight dress, puts on a wig, applies make-up, and sashays in front of Elmer Fudd or some other guy with a gun. Typically, Elmer becomes enchanted (i.e. aroused) with Bugs-in-drag. Elmer is abused by Bugs when he goes in for a kiss. Eventually Elmer learns the truth about the identity of the beautiful woman in front of him (usually the dress rides up and reveals Bugs' cottontail). This sends Elmer into a rage and he attempts kills Bugs. Sometimes, he'll even stick his shotgun in Bugs' mouth.

Dennis Nyback mentioned something that I was aware of but overlooked. The Looney Tunes were originally intended for adults. The cartoons were shown before the main feature film along with a newsreel. It wasn't until they started showing the cartoons on Saturday mornings that they became associated with children.

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