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Video : Hare Ye, Hare Ye

November 11, 1990|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bugs Bunny, that Oscar-winning wascally wabbit, hit the half-century mark thisyear. But despite being a "gray hare," Bugs looks remarkably fit.

TNT is celebrating Bugs' birthday with a 14-carat special, "What's Up Doc?: ASalute to Bugs Bunny." The two-hour program features a slew of cartoon clips,behind-the-scenes footage at Warner Bros. Studios and new and old interviewswith Bugs' creators: directors Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and the late BobClampett and Tex Avery and the voice of Bugs and all the Looney Tunes, the lateMel Blanc. The salute also includes 10 full-length Bugs Bunny cartoons,beginning with the first official Bugs Bunny film, 1940's "Wild Hare."

But that's not all folks. If the special whets your appetite for more Bugs Bunnyfare, there are numerous Bugs shorts on videocassette. Here is a rundown ofselected Bugs video collections. Most cost less than $20. Bugs! MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears," "Gorilla My Dreams," "Bugs BunnyGets the Boid," "Hare Ribbin'," "Rabbit Transit," "Case of the Missing Hare,""Tortoise Wins by a Hare" and "Baseball Bugs."

What's up: The 1944 "Hare Ribbin" finds Bugs underwater in order to avoid ahunting dog with a Russian accent. In 1948's "Gorilla My Dreams," Bugs isadopted by Mrs. Gorilla, only to have Mr. Gorilla chase him through the jungleto the strains of "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals." Bugs Bunny Classics MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "Haredevil Hare," "Bugs Bunny Rides Again," "Heckling Hare,""Racketeer Rabbit," "Acrobatty Bunny," "Hare Trigger" and "Rabbit Punch."

WhatUs up: "Heckling Hare," from 1941, is the fifth Bugs cartoon and featuresthe inept hunting dog, Willougby, stalking Bugs. "Hare Trigger," produced in1945, marks the first appearance of Yosemite Sam. And in "Racketeer Rabbit,"also from 1945, Bugs makes himself at home in an abandoned house that justhappens to be the hideout of Peter Lorre and Edward G. Robinson. Bugs Bunny's Festival of Fun MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "Baseball Bugs," "Hare Ribbin'," "Rhapsody Rabbit," "The Wacky Wabbit"and "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper."

What's up: In "Rhapsody Rabbit" (1946), Bugs performs Liszt's Second HungarianRhapsody. Bugs Bunny's Hare-Raising Tales Warner Home Video

Included: "A-Lad-In His Lamp," "The Windblown Hare," "Bully for Bugs,""Knight-Mare Hare," "Rabbitson Crusoe" and "A Witch's Tangled Hare."

What's up: Bugs does his version of Mark 'wain's "A Connecticut Yankee in KingArthur's Court" in 1955's "Knight-Mare Hare." Bugs and Witch Hazel battle it outin castle Macbeth in 1959's "A Witch's Tangled Hare." Bugs Bunny on Parade MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "Buckaroo Bugs," "Jack Wabbit and the Beanstalk," "Super Rabbit,""Elmer's Pet Rabbit" and "Hold the Lion, Please!"

What's up: "Elmer's Pet Rabbit," produced in 1941, is the second Bugs Bunnycartoon. Elmer sees Bugs in a pet shop window and takes him home, only to beheckled by Bugs all night. The 1943 "Super Rabbit" finds Bugs becoming averitable Super-bunny after he is given super carrots and goes off to fight the evil Texasrabbit hater, Cottontail Smith. Bugs Bunny's Wacky Adventures Warner Home Video

Included: "Hare Do," "Long- Haired Hare," "The Grey Hounded Hare," "Bunny Hugs,""Roman Legion Hare," "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!" and "Ali Baba Bunny." Bugs Bunny Superstar MGM/UA Home Video

What's up: Orson Welles narrates this 1975 compilation film of Bugs' best,including "Corny Concerto," the wacky 1943 spoof of "Fantasia." A Salute to Friz Freleng Warner Home Video

Included: "High Diving Hare," "Bunker Hill Bunny," "Show Biz Bugs" and"Knighty-Knight Bugs." A Salute to Mel Blanc Warner Home Video

Included: "Rabbit of Seville" and "Bedeviled Rabbit."

What's up: In 1950's "Rabbit of Seville," Bugs and Elmer Fudd invade aperformance of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and supply their own lyrics. A Salute to Chuck Jones Warner Home Video

Included: "Rabbit Seasoning" and "What's Opera, Doc?"

What's up: "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957) spoofs Wagnerian operas and features Bugsin drag and a blond wig as the Valkyrie Brunhilde. Starring Bugs Bunny MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "Easter Yeggs," "A Hare Grows in Manhattan," "Hare Tonic," "HareConditioned," "A Feather in his Hare" and "Hare Force." The Very Best of Bugs MGM/UA Home Video

Included: "What's Cookin' Doc?," "Rabbit Punch," "Little Red Riding Rabbit,""Wackiki Wabbit" and "The Heckling Hare."

What's up: In 1944's "What's Cookin' Doc?," Bugs is so upset he lost the bestactor Oscar to James Cagney he screens "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt," to encourage arecount. Who Framed Roger Rabbit Touchstone Home Video

What's up: Bugs has a cameo in the 1988 blockbuster in the scene in which he andMickey Mouse, wearing unopened parachutes, float down to Earth with human starBob Hoskins, who is not wearing a chute.

"What's Up Doc?: A Salute to Bugs Bunny" airs Monday at 5 p.m. on TNT andrepeats Saturday at 5 p.m.; Nov. 18 at 7 a.m.; Nov. 22 at 9 a.m.

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