Bugs Bunny: Violence vs. Music

A few weeks ago I posted some videos of legendary Warner Brothers animator Chuck Jones teaching you how to draw your favorite Looney Toons Characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote. Like any self respecting red bolded American dad who came of age in the TV era, I loved bugs bunny as a kid. Who wouldn’t? It’s funny and it’s silly. But when I popped a few episodes on the iPad for my son to watch, I noticed that it is also rather violent.

Is Bugs Bunny Too Violent?

Bugs Bunny, Murderer

Bugs Bunny, Murderer

This is an interesting question. My gut tells me no, it didn’t make me violent. But then holding my son on my lap in his dinosaur PJs and watching Elmer blast Daffy’s beak off just doesn’t seem right. This study released last year by the Seattle Children’s Research Institute suggest that violent TV and/or TV after 7:00 PM can affect children’s sleep in a negative way.

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Here’s the Catch:

“Bugs Bunny counts as violence in this study, and so does Batman and so does Pokémon,” lead author Michelle Garrison told MedPage Today/ABC News. “Slapstick funny violence in Bugs Bunny or superhero violence in Batman or more realistic violence — we didn’t see a difference in terms of the impact on sleep,” she said.[ABC News]

Now my son has been experiencing a lot of night terrors and frequent wake ups, though I’ve been cutting back on his iPad time and all we ever watch is episodes of Dinosaur Train and Star Trek TNG Reruns. (I’m more worried about crewmen in dresses than violence in Star Trek TNG.)

Bugs Bunny and Music

When I was an undergraduate student, I remember more than one of my music professors would say, half jokingly, “When I was a kid, everything I needed to know about classical music I learned by watching Bugs Bunny.” [Kansas City Star]

On the other hand, might the music on Bugs Bunny be beneficial to kids? Everyone knows that classical music makes you smarter, do better in school and have a higher chance of mating with women who look like Sigourney Weaver.

As I began to study music history I started to understand what my professors meant by that comment. I realized what an incredible juxtaposition the composers had created by pairing Wagner with Elmer Fudd’s futile attempt to kill Bugs Bunny, or setting music to any number of chase sequences between cat and mouse. [Kansas City Star]

Though that article doesn’t cite any evidence that music makes cartoons better for the mind, just more fun to watch, I can’t say that it’s a good thing. But, intuitively, since music is good, and episodes like “Long-Haired Hare” are incredibly memorable and associate something fun and funny with something artistically valuable, it must be good. Right?

-Mike

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