Bugs Bunny is an animated cartoon character; created in 1940 by Leon Schlesinger Productions (later Warner Bros. Cartoons) and voiced originally by Mel Blanc. Bugs is best known for his starring roles in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated short films, produced by Warner Bros. during the golden age of American animation. His popularity during this era led to his becoming an American cultural icon, as well as the official mascot of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray hare or rabbit who is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality; a Brooklyn accent; his portrayal as a trickster; and his catch phrase "Eh... What's up, doc?", usually spoken while chewing a carrot. Though a similar rabbit character began appearing in the Warner Bros. cartoon shorts during the late 1930s, the definitive character of Bugs Bunny is widely credited to have made his debut in director Tex Avery's Oscar-nominated film A Wild Hare (1940).
Since his debut, Bugs has appeared in various short films, feature films, compilations, TV series, music records, comic books, video games, award shows, amusement park rides, and commercials. He has also appeared in more films than any other cartoon character, is the ninth most-portrayed film personality in the world, and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Across the globe, there are figures that are hailed as heroes. Without a doubt, one of these great public heroes is the firefighter. Now Bugs Bunny joins the forces in “A Hare Ablaze.” With a rabbit infant in his arms, Bugs embodies the compassionate spirit of a firefighter as he carries the child safely away. The intricate brushstrokes and fiery colors of the work help convey a message: one of valor and empathy of those who sacrifice for us.
About Kirk Mueller:
Artist Kirk Mueller is a Warner Bros. character illustrator who can not only render Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters right up there with the best of them, but can actually understand what motivates the characters. He is completely unique that he is able to step into the personality of each of the characters and understand their attitudes and reactions. He has also been commissioned to draw and paint scenes featuring popular characters from Disney, Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Network. From his first viewing of a Warner Bros. cartoon at age four, Kirk was convinced that he was (and still is) Bugs Bunny! This cartoon perspective wherein the Looney Tunes characters are an integral part of his life, coupled with the chance to work with legends Chuck Jones, Virgil Ross and Friz Freleng among others, has yielded an artist with a passion for capturing the essence of the characters. His art reflects the best of what the characters are and were at the hands of their original animators and directors. When Kirk first began working for Warner Bros. in 1993, his projects included designing and illustrating all of the three-dimensional Looney Tunes Christopher Radko ornaments, as well as figurines and collectible plates.
As time went on, WB commissioned Kirk to create many of the art editions released by the studio, including Looney Line-Up, one of the best selling pieces in the history of the WB gallery program. A very brief list of artwork that began with a Kirk Mueller illustration includes close to 50 limited edition cels such as Termite Terrace, A Tribute to Friz, Girls Night Out, and cels featuring Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Andre Agassi, to name just a few. What makes the WB sports pieces so unique is Kirk’s instinct to know how a Looney Tunes character would act if he was boxing with Ali or playing gold with Jordan. Perhaps the ultimate reason that Kirk works so well with the irreverent Looney Tunes characters can be captured by his description of his character illustration as well as his life in general: “It is a juvenile anarchistic lack of respect for order, with an unyielding penchant for seeing the pie hit the face.”