Why Bugs Bunny Is the Ultimate Animated American Icon

Mickey Mouse is obviously more well-known than Bugs Bunny. But there’s a kitschy globalization aspect to Mickey that Bugs has somehow managed to avoid ,even though they both served as mascots for their companies (Disney and Warner Bros., respectively). How did Bugs do it?


Kaptain Kristian breaks down the difference between Mickey and Bugs as such: Bugs is cool, slick, funny, defiant, and in control. Mickey is tame, inoffensive, and, well, corporate as hell. Bugs is who most Americans want to be (even if we’re meek li’l Mickeys inside), Mickey is just a safe brand that gets stamped around the world. And while Bugs is a character, Mickey is a company.

But what makes Bugs Bunny truly special is how he’s so unique in animation. Instead of having one set origin story from one particular artist, the development of his character came from a committee of the best artists. Instead of being an imitation of something that came before, or being too one-note of a character, his personality is versatile and adaptable, and can fit into any story (he’s been in more movies than any other animated character). And instead of being a motionless cartoon that just cracks jokes, he feels alive because his wiseass is always moving around the screen.


Bugs is a hell of a character and Kaptain Kristian explains more in the excellent video above.

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Some people may want to be Bugs, but I more strongly identify with the Egyptian god of frustration.