Wabbit: When Cartoons Teach


Some animated characters are timeless. Tom and Jerry. Mickey Mouse. Bugs Bunny.

In the latest incarnation of Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny,?Wabbit?sets up our favorite rabbit (with apologies to the Easter Bunny) in a series of vignettes where he both battles through often insane situations?and?provides social commentary on the world he lives in. If it happens to make you think of a situation you’ve been in yourself… well, I’m sure that’s merely coincidental.

In?Hare-Raising Tales, all twenty-six episodes from the first season (2015-16) are collected on two discs. Bugs will match wits with Yosemite Sam and try to talk sense into Wile E. Coyote; he’ll befriend Squeaks the Squirrel; he’ll find out that not everyone has his socially conscious and community friendly worldview.


Some highlights:

In “Leaf It Alone,” Coyote personifies all of our nutty neighbors (and maybe ourselves) who are hellbent on the perfect lawn. One leaf stands in the way of Coyote’s perfect lawn, and absolute destruction may be coming, just to make his lawn look right.

“For the Love of Acorns” shows how obsessive we can be about sports – and what it looks like when we lose sight of why we played in the first place.

Bugs mixes it up with Sam in “Hareplane Mode,” when Sam’s texting almost kills Bugs. In addition to a lesson about not texting while driving, Sam’s obsession with the next best phone shines a bit of perspective on iPhone envy.

In “Splashwater Bugs,” Slugsworthy the First (an elephant seal) becomes the butt of several jokes about bullying, and what happens when we fail to value others above ourselves in a day at the water park.

And finally, in “Fwee Wange Wabbit,” a food critique named Vera (who is a vulture) goes to great lengths to eat Bugs, highlighting our ignorance about ecosystems – and how our free will can negatively impact others.

These Bugs Bunny cartoons remind me of Jesus’ parables. Sure, the stories are entertaining on the surface, but when we dig a bit deeper, we can see that there’s more going on underneath. If we’re open to it, we might discover something about ourselves – and the world we live in.

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