Westernanimation / Bully for Bugs


Bully for Bugs is a 1953 Looney Tunes short, directed by Chuck Jones.

The short begins with Bugs on his way to the Coachella Valley for the "Big carrot festival, therein." but takes a wrong turn at Albuquerque and winds up inside a bullfight arena, and becomes an unwitting victim of Toro the Bull and his horns. Bugs, indignant at this attack, immediately decides to turn the tables, taking up the role of matador and giving the bull his just desserts for the rest of the cartoon. One of the few Bugs shorts where his opponent gains the upper hand at several points along the way.

This cartoon is also notable for a bit of history behind its making, at least according to Chuck Jones: Jones' supervisor, Eddie Selzer, barged into Jones' office one day and announced, completely out of the blue, that "bullfights aren't funny!" Since Jones and his fellow animators worked from the assumption that Eddie was always wrong about everything, their only choice was to make a cartoon about bullfighting.

It can be found on Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1.

This Looney Tune provides examples of:

  • Beastly Bloodsports
  • Bullet Seed: After accidentally swallowing a rifle, Toro is briefly able to shoot from his horns. His attempt to reload (with explosive rounds) leads him to disaster.
  • Bull Seeing Red: Subverted, in that Bugs flapping his cape leads a dazed Toro into following him around the arena in a sort of dance.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The entire premise of this cartoon. Bugs slaps Toro in the nose for "steaming up his tail", for that Toro headbutts Bugs into the sky, and then Bugs declares war on Toro and enters as a bullfighter.
  • Door Judo: Sets up Bugs' Finishing Move.
  • Deadly Dodging / 1-Dimensional Thinking: Bugs does this with an anvil.
  • Genius Bruiser: Toro. OK, maybe "genius" is an overstatement, but compared to most of the opponents Bugs faces, he's practically Einstein.
  • Hit Flash: see Second Person Attack.
  • Horn Attack
  • Impact Silhouette:
    • Toro leaves a bull-shaped hole through the matador's cape.
    • Bugs leaves a rabbit-shaped one when Toro knocks him through a wall.
  • Mickey Mousing: Most notably used when Bugs is mockingly slapping Toro to the tune of "Las Chiapanecas".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Toro has red, blood-shot eyes.
  • Second Person Attack: Bugs uses Toro's horns to create a slingshot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The original bullfighter hightails it for the hills as soon as Toro appears.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "Toro" is spanish for "Bull".
  • Shut Up, Scary Thing: As seen in the page-image above. Of course, the Scary Thing uses this moment to prepare for payback.
  • Slippery Skid: Used as part of Bugs' finishing gambit.
  • Standard Snippet: The staple South of the Border tunes "La Cucaracha" and "Las Chiapanecas" are played when Bugs is fighting with Toro.
  • A Taste of Defeat: Although Bugs dominates the fight for the most part, Toro does get in a few good shots of his own (some quite literally).
  • This Means War!: Quoted by Bugs when he is first attacked by Toro.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Both combatants have a bad habit of indulging in this a little too soon.
    Bugs: [after tricking Toro] Hee hee hee...what a gulli-bull! Hee hee hee...what a nin-cow-poop!
    [Toro, with his horns detached, bops Bugs on the noggin with a hoof, like a hammer.]
  • Visual Pun: The end curtain, which covers up Toro's behind.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Toro, basically, during any of his charges.
  • Writer Revolt: invoked The reason the cartoon was made. Though it was justified, because, as writer Michael Maltese said, "Eddie's never been right before..."
  • Wrong Turn at Albuquerque: Bugs realizes he's screwed up as soon as he pops out of the ground.

Alternative Title(s): Bully For Bugs