How to Draw Bugs Bunny: A Primer by Legendary Animator Chuck Jones

Bugs Bun­ny, that car­rot-chomp­ing, cross-dress­ing ras­cal, might have been cre­at­ed by Tex Avery in the 1940 car­toon A Wild Hare, but he real­ly came into his own under the direc­tion of Chuck Jones. In car­toons like What’s Opera, Doc and Rab­bit Sea­son, Jones refined Bugs’ char­ac­ter, turn­ing him into some­one who was wit­ty, resource­ful and, most of all, cool. Whether or not he was going up against Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam or Mar­vin the Mar­t­ian, Bugs always seemed to have the upper hand. Jones once com­pared Bugs with his vain, self-aggran­diz­ing rival Daffy Duck by say­ing, “Bugs is who we want to be. Daffy is who we are.”

In the video above, Jones shows you how to draw Bugs, and, of course, he makes it look like a cinch. “If you were to draw Bugs,” says Jones in his clipped, pre­cise dic­tion, “the best way to do it is learn how to draw a car­rot and then you can hook a rab­bit on to it.” Not the most help­ful advice for aspir­ing ani­ma­tors. Yet watch­ing Jones sketch out the world’s most famous rab­bit in a mere cou­ple of min­utes is a joy to see.

The trick to draw­ing Bugs, appar­ent­ly, is the nose.  After rough­ing out a cir­cle for the head and a reni­form oval for the body, Jones draws a tiny tri­an­gle for the nose. From there, he sketch­es out two lines, radi­at­ing out­ward from the nose, which deter­mines the loca­tion of Bugs’ ears and eyes. As Jones fills in the rest of the face, he reveals that the inspi­ra­tion of Bugs’ broad, toothy grin was Nor­we­gian fig­ure skater turned 1930s Hol­ly­wood star Sonia Henie. Not, per­haps, the first per­son to come to mind.

To see the Bugs in action, be sure to watch one of Jones’s great­est car­toons, Hare-Way to the Stars. It fea­tures Bugs squar­ing off against Mar­vin the Mar­t­ian in his quest to blow up the Earth with his Illudi­um Q‑36 Explo­sive Space Mod­u­la­tor. More great ani­ma­tions can be found in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pri­vate Sna­fu: The World War II Pro­pa­gan­da Car­toons Cre­at­ed by Dr. Seuss, Frank Capra & Mel Blanc

A Look Inside Mel Blanc’s Throat as He Per­forms the Voic­es of Bugs Bun­ny and Oth­er Car­toon Leg­ends

The Strange Day When Bugs Bun­ny Saved the Life of Mel Blanc

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

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