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Western Animation / Buckaroo Bugs

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Buckaroo Bugs is a 1944 Looney Tunes cartoon, directed by Bob Clampett and starring Bugs Bunny. It is notably the first Looney Tunes short to star Bugs (all of his previous appearances were in the Merrie Melodies series) and the last Warner Bros. cartoon produced by Leon Schlesinger.

In a small town of the "San Fernando Alley", an unseen thief named the Masked Maurauder attacks and steals many of their goods, forcing them to call upon the help of a hero named Red Hot Ryder, who turns out to be a dimwit. As it turns out, the Maurauder is none other than Bugs Bunny, who is so amused with his newfound foe that he decides to screw around with him for the heck of it.

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Tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: Despite being set in the old years of the Wild West. theres a lot of in-jokes related to World War II sandwiched in.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Bugs briefly talks to the audience when he first appears.
  • Butt-Monkey: Red Hot Ryder is basically a walking punching bag for Bugs throughout the whole cartoon.
  • Expy: Red Hot Ryder is clearly meant to be a stand-in for Elmer Fudd, yet he somehow manages to be so much more incompetent and harmless, that he makes the pitiful Elmer look like a professional assassin in comparison.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Zigzagged; at first, Red's horse is too stubborn to stop until he bludgeons it with a club, yet later on the horse is shown to be much more intelligent than his master.
  • Idiot Hero: Red Hot Ryder, who is so incompetent that he never once poses a real threat to Bugs.
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  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Bugs' Masked Maurauder disguise is nothing more than a handkerchief over his face. Ryder is too stupid to tell the difference, though.
  • Poke the Poodle: While stealing gas, butter, sugar, shoes and tires are definetely beyond petty theft, among Bugs' crimes is simply stealing carrots from a Victory Garden.
  • Screwy Squirrel: Bugs, who decides to mess around with Ryder for no reason other than for his own amusement.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Red Hot Ryder is a parody of Red Ryder, and character wise is a mix of Red Skelton's radio characters 'Sheriff Deadeye' and 'Clem Kiddlehopper' with their catchphrases "Whoa horse! Come on horse whoa!" and "Here I am".
    • That's right! That's right! You win the $64 question!" Is a reference to the then-popular radio quiz show Take It Or Leave It.
  • Simpleton Voice: Red Hot Ryder speaks like this for the bulk of the cartoon, fitting for someone as profoundly dimwitted as him.
  • Villain Protagonist: Bugs is this yet again, but this is notably the only cartoon in his entire filmography where he's explicitly given a role as a villain, unless one wished to count him becoming public nuisance number one in Rebel Rabbit.
  • Vocal Dissonance: While the bulk of the cartoon has Mel Blanc using a dopey voice for Ryder, his first appearance has him shouting in a loud and hoarse voice—the same voice he would end up using for Yosemite Sam, no less!
  • Wartime Cartoon: The cartoon was released late into World War 2, and features several topical references to it, such as Bugs stealing things that were heavily rationed at the time, and one town resident having grown a Victory Garden.
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