(*Editor’s Note: This post was supposed to be written yesterday, but I was surprisingly busy at work and didn’t get a chance to do it.)
Nostalgia…I have it.
It is with this in mind that I wish Bugs Bunny a belated Happy Birthday.
Bugs made his debut on July 27, 1940 in a cartoon titled “A Wild Hare.”
Ahhh Merrie Melodies. Looney Toons.
Growing up, I was a Bugs Bunny kid more than I was a Mickey Mouse kid. Call it “accessibility.” Bugs was just more prevalent. Tiny Toons came out in 1990 (I was 8) and featured an abundance of the Looney Toons characters. Merrie Melodies/Looney Toons enjoyed a long airing on TNT. Bugs and the gang tore the house down with the greatest basketball player of all time in Space Jam. And then there was the apparel. SO MUCH APPAREL!
Mickey is cool. But to watch most Disney stuff, especially after Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color went off the air. I remember having the Disney Channel as a youngster and then going years without it. Bugs was always there whereas the Mouse wasn’t. I guess at some point, Disney was taken off of the cable package my parents had selected. But TNT was there to stay.
Also, and you can directly credit 1990’s advertising for this. From my childhood home in the St. Louis area, Six Flags was a day trip. Get up, drive there in just over an hour, spend all day at the park, and drive home. (I am now roughly equidistant between Six Flags St. Louis and Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.) I have been to Disney World. I had a blast, from what I can remember. I was eight at the time. I can’t tell you how many times I have visited Six Flags. And Six Flags has (or had…I don’t keep up with all the news) a partnership with Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers owns the Looney Toons characters. I think you see where I’m going with this. But it helps explain my slight bias towards Bugs Bunny.
In recent years, we have seen the 75th birthday/anniversary of Superman and Batman. We’re only two years away from the 75th anniversary celebration of Spider-Man.
As I look at a more recent timeline and attempt to imagine what fictional characters will stand the test of time as well as Bugs Bunny and his ilk, Mickey and the Disney crew, Supes, Bats, and Spidey, I fear the list isn’t as long as many would hope. Stepping outside of comic books, the characters that jump out to me are Doctor Who, Darth Vader, Yoda, and a select few other Star Wars characters, The Simpsons, GI Joe, Barbie, etc.
It pains me to say, but I doubt He-Man will ever catch lightning in a bottle again like they did in the 1980’s. And yes, I realize that was all just a way to sell action figures.
What characters do you know of in the last 20-30 years do you think will celebrate 75th anniversaries? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.