L-r: Bunny, Claude


Medium: Theatrical animation
Produced by: Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1968
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In its heyday, the Warner Bros. cartoon studio gave us Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety & Sylvester and many, many other …

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… classic toons. But in its waning years, the stars it gave life to were Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse and the like. Bunny & Claude, introduced in 1968, were typical of the studio's late output.

The Bunny & Claude series was the last one released by Warner Bros. during the era of theatrical cartoons — not the last one attempted (Rapid Rabbit, a Speedy Gonzales type but without the ethnic baggage, came out the following year), but given that a series needs more than one member, the last actual series released. The two cartoons in this one were Bunny & Claude: We Rob Carrot Patches (released Nov. 9, 1968) and The Great Carrot Train Robbery (Jan. 25, 1969). Both were directed by Robert McKimson, who was also responsible for the Foghorn Leghorn and Tasmanian Devil cartoons.

If the name sounds similar to that of the 1967 hit movie Bonnie & Clyde, it should. As surely as Hanna-Barbera tried to tap into the popularity of Jaws (1975) with Jabberjaw (1976), these two cartoons, about a pair of Depression-era desperados, were an attempt to ride that film's coat-tails. Warner had done that sort of thing before, from Egghead's travelogue parodies to The Honey-Mousers, but the earlier ones had gone over better.

Voice work on Bunny (no relation) was done by Pat Woodell, who did no other voice work. Clyde was Mel Blanc, whose versatile voice was heard as Pepe LePew, Marvin Martian, The Frito Bandito and dozens if not hundreds of others. Blanc also spoke for the Sheriff who was always trying to bring them to justice.

There no Big Little Books, no Little Golden Books, and only "sort of" a comic book (Bugs tunneled into a drive-in and watched a movie about them that occupied an entire issue of his Gold Key title). Other than that — nothing but the two cartoons. They're occasionally glimpsed on TV, as part of a cartoon package that includes Goofy Gophers, Claude Cat, Beaky Buzzard and any number of others, major and minor. Other than that, there's nothing left of them.


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Text ©2004-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Warner Bros.