Buckaroo Bugs is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released in August 1944, starring Bugs Bunny and directed by Robert Clampett. It runs for about nine minutes, and is in color with a mono sound mix. This is the only short in which Bugs Bunny served as a bona fide villain; while his shorts often portray him as mischievous and violent, he is never actually malicious and is, for the most part, acting as such in self-defense against an aggressor.
Mel Blanc provided the voices for Bugs Bunny, Red Hot Ryder, and some of the villagers. Robert C. Bruce was the opening narrator. Lou Lilly wrote the story, and Leon Schlesinger served as producer. While only Manny Gould was credited as an animator, Robert McKimson, Rod Scribner, and Jack Bradbury also aided in the process. Other uncredited 'staff' includes the composers of several uncredited bits of non-original music--Sanford Faulkner ('Arkansas Traveller'), M.K. Jerome ('My Little Buckaroo', where the title ostensibly takes its name), Gioacchino Rossini ('William Tell Overture'), Franz Schubert ('Der Erlkönig'), and J.S. Zamecnik ('In the Stirrups'). All original music was composed by Carl W. Stalling.
Unlike most shorts, Bugs Bunny serves as antagonist. In the cartoon, he plays a carrot thief called the Masked Marauder, whom Brooklyn's "Red Hot Ryder" (a parody of Red Ryder) must bring to justice. The cartoon portrays Red Hot Ryder as a dimwit who cannot distinguish Bugs Bunny from the Masked Marauder, and his good-natured slowness is consistently mocked: When Bugs Bunny as the Masked Marauder threatens to shoot Red Hot Ryder, saying, "Stick 'em up, or I'll blow your brains out," the latter treats it like a choice, replying, "Well, now, that's mighty neighborly of you." In the end, Red Hot Ryder catches on, but is unable to catch the Masked Marauder, in the end he tricks him into jumping into the Grand Canyon, when underground Red Hot Ryder finally figures out that Bugs is the Masked Marauder. Bugs pops up from beneath the ground with a lit candle and says "That's right! That's right! You win the 64 dollar question!" (a reference to the "big prize" on the famous radio quiz show, Take It or Leave It). He then kisses him and blows out the candle.
- VHS - Bugs Bunny Collection: Bugs Bunny on Parade
- Laserdisc - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Vol. 2, Side 5
- DVD - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5, Disc 3
- The entire cartoon, which is set in the Old West, is predicated on the Masked Marauder stealing carrots from a victory garden. The victory garden is a reference to World War II (which was going on during this cartoon's production), but the cartoon's setting is far before WWII. Plus, desert environments won't support victory gardens.
- Twice, Bugs uses a magnet to strip Red Hot Ryder of every metal object on his person. This includes objects made of metals that don't conduct electromagnetism (gold tooth fillings, cartridges with brass cases and lead bullets, coins made from various precious metals). In addition, when Red Hot Ryder has been pantsed three times by Bugs in this cartoon, the first and third time revealed a pair of boxer shorts inside Red's pants, while the second time revealed a diaper inside Red's pants.
- The makers of this cartoons didn't know that victory gardens hadn't been around for 60 years or more.
- During the third time Red Hot Ryder was pantsed by Bugs, the desert background changes abruptly.
- This was Bugs Bunny's second appearance in the Looney Tunes series. His first was a short cameo in Porky Pig's Feat, but was not a starring role, therefore making Buckaroo Bugs Bugs' first starring role in a Looney Tunes short.
- The IN TECHNICOLOR on the bottom of "PRODUCED BY LEON SCHLESINGER" changes slightly in this cartoon; compare Brother Brat's IN TECHNICOLOR to Buckaroo Bugs' IN TECHNICOLOR. This IN TECHNICOLOR would be used until late-1948, when Color By TECHNICOLOR came out.
- This was the last cartoon release to bear Leon Schlesinger's name, as he sold his cartoon studio to Warner Bros. around the time of its release.
- The older version of Bugs Bunny would be used again in the next Bugs short, The Old Grey Hare.
- "Red Hot Ryder" serves as a spoof of Red Ryder, borrowing the image of the popular Western serial's cowboy hero Don Berry.
- This and Hare Conditioned are the only two cartoons with Bugs Bunny to use the Looney Tunes drum ending with Porky Pig. That is because he appeared and replaced Porky in Hare Tonic and Baseball Bugs.
- When Bugs blows the candle light at the end of the cartoon, Robert Clampett's bay-vooop! sound is heard. The next cartoon short to use it would be The Old Grey Hare.
- This and The Old Grey Hare use the same fonts for the opening credits.
- Victory gardens were a wartime civilian resource initiative, whereby civilians were encouraged to plant food crops in their gardens to supplement scarce wartime food resources. That Bugs was stealing carrots from a victory garden would have added to his villainy in this cartoon.
- Bugs' final line of the cartoon "Goodnight, sweet prince" is a quote from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Some syndicated versions of this cartoon (particularly one version shown on a TBS station in Illinois) omit the part in which Red Hot Ryder's groin being covered by a fig leaf after the Masked Marauder has his belt and diaper pin taken off by a magnet. Cartoon Network and Boomerang however aired this scene uncut.
Buckaroo Bugs at SuperCartoons.net
Buckaroo Bugs at B99.TV