DirectorPenny Marshall First episode dateJune 1, 2004 LanguageEnglish
Release dateDecember 1, 1951 (USA)
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Big Top Bunny is a Warner Bros. Pictures Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released in 1951 and re-released in 1961 as a Blue Ribbon and directed by Robert McKimson and written by Tedd Pierce. The cartoon is available on Disc 1 in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1.
At Colonel Korny's World Famous Circus, Bruno the "Slobokian or Russian Acrobatic Bear" is the star of the show. But when the Colonel gets a phone call about Bugs Bunny's talents, he agrees to put him on stage with Bruno - which Bruno shows his disgust for by spitting into a corner.
When Bugs is introduced along with Bruno, Bruno can't help but smack Bugs around a little. Bruno tries to get the better of Bugs - either by placing an anvil on top of a series of targets so Bugs can hit his head, or by not catching Bugs during a trapeze act. However, Bugs soon starts getting the better of Bruno, which includes turning the tables on the bear by letting him fall from the trapeze into the band section (twice).
After telling Bruno he's "too clumsy", Bugs then starts playing up the idea that he's going to be the sole star of the show, and to prove it, he'll take a 200-foot dive off a platform into a tank of water. Bruno gets on an adjacent platform, and challenges Bugs to an even higher heights and diving into smaller amounts of water. Eventually, Bruno comes up with the challenge of diving 1,000 feet (305 m) off the platform into a block of cement ("On my head, yet!"). Bugs accepts the challenge and starts to do the stunt, but Bruno forces his way into going first. When Bruno lands flat on the cement block, Bugs leads the dazed bear around, telling him that he's going on a 'trip' . Cutting a rope, Bugs starts a series of thoroughly timed "accidents" that initially sends the bear flying across the tent. Bruno then gets whacked around by various stronger performers of the circus until finally landing in a cannon, which Bugs uses to shoot him out of the tent.
In other media
A 3-D version of this cartoon was produced in 1972 by General Aniline & Film (GAF) for its View-Master line, spread out over three reels (21 images).