The Lasting Success of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny

Since Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny made their star debuts, they have become famous fictional characters known throughout the world.  Both of their names have become synonymous with timeless laughter, optimism and goodwill.  Mickey Mouse still represents Disney as the official mascot that began the franchise over 80 years ago.  While Bugs Bunny became the first fictional character for Warner Bros., starting the Looney Tunes franchise that is still going strong after 75 years.

Mickey Mouse made his early big screen debut in the cartoon “Plane Crazy” in 1928.  “Plane Crazy” didn’t receive the popularity that creator Walt Disney was hoping for.  But that all changed with the premier of “Steamboat Willie” making Mickey Mouse an instant success as a fictional character and Walt Disney a household name.  By the end of 1928 Disney had created his own line of Mickey Mouse merchandise.  Both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse’s success continued to rise as more cartoons were created.  Through the years of Mickey Mouse cartoons, his animated body design has stayed the same.  Mickey Mouse was originally drawn by Disney using a series of different circle sizes.  Psychologists say that circles represent soothing shapes, which could be a hidden reason behind the success of Mickey Mouse.  But throughout the years the lovable mouse has maintained the same good nature demeanor.

Mickey Mouse plays “the little guy” with constant optimism that always conquers adversity.  A key point to Mickey’s success.  Many people that have seen Mickey Mouse can relate with his character because everyone has felt like “the little guy” who’s constantly being put down by life.  While not everyone can get through adversity with optimism like Mickey Mouse, fans can still relate and find hope because Mickey always overcomes his difficulties.  Mickey Mouse remains a successful character to this day because even through much adversity he has never hurt anyone.  And being one of the smallest animals gives audiences the satisfaction of seeing his victories as well-deserved and memorable.

Bugs Bunny began his extensive career by making his first appearance in the animated short “A Wild Hare” in 1940.  “A Wild Hare” introduced the world to a fictional character with a specific personality that takes great pride in eluding Elmer Fudd.  Since his debut, Bugs Bunny has been in over 150 cartoons, has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was the first animated character to be featured on a postage stamp.  While Bugs Bunny appears as any ordinary carrot loving rabbit, it is his personality that has been capturing audiences for generations.  Bugs Bunny is defined and remembered for having personality packed with witty banter and a sarcastic attitude.  Chuck Jones, the producer and director of Looney Tunes credited Bugs Bunny’s success to being “character driven, rather than gag driven.”

Although Bugs Bunny’s witty personality provides laughter, the key to his fame is he is never mean-spirited.  Being the ultimate trickster, Bugs was the one always provoked by other characters.  This leaves fans feeling that Bugs is always a nice person, though he is never a push over.  Bugs Bunny uses witty humor to see himself through adversity, which makes him feel like an actual person instead of just a fictional character.  Since the phrase “What’s Up Doc?” was said, fans can’t get enough of the animated character that has stayed true to his personality.  Bugs Bunny remains today a character that plays tricks only to those that deserve it.

Both Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse created two entirely different franchises that produced animated shorts, films and merchandising that millions around the world have watched and purchased.  Generation after generation continues to watch and adore Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, both for different reasons.  While Mickey is the smallest animal that provides contagious optimism through adversities, Bugs provides comic relief through witty humor and tricks that is only given to those that deserve it.  Each fictional character through his own way leaves a lasting impression with audiences that will continue to live on through yet another generation of new fans.

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