|The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie|
|Directed by||Chuck Jones|
Phil Monroe (co-director - "Bugs at Home" segments)
|Screenplay by||Chuck Jones|
(classic material staff are uncredited)
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Produced by||Chuck Jones|
(classic material staff are uncredited)
Arthur Q. Bryan
|Edited by||Treg Brown|
|Music by||Dean Elliott|
Milt Franklyn (also orchestration - uncredited)
Carl W. Stalling
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|September 14, 1979|
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie is a 1979 American animated comedy package film directed by Chuck Jones, consisting of a compilation of classic Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts and newly animated bridging sequences hosted by Bugs Bunny. The bridging sequences, which had been produced in 1978, show Bugs at his home, which is cantilevered over a carrot-juice waterfall (modeled on Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" house in Bear Run, Pennsylvania). The film was released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bugs Bunny.
Early on, Bugs discusses the wild villains he had co-starred with in his cartoons, which is followed by a tongue-in-cheek sequence depicting the history of comedy and a scene in which Bugs discusses his "several fathers". The latter scene was written by Chuck Jones as a way to debunk fellow animation director Bob Clampett's claims throughout the 1970s that he alone created Bugs, and Clampett's name is notably missing from Bugs' list, as a result of the conflict between Jones and Clampett. The film Bugs Bunny: Superstar featured Bob Clampett, and is another compilation of cartoon shorts, probably the first to examine the history of Warner cartoons, which under-played Bugs' other 'several fathers' and is part of the mentioned conflict.
All of the shorts featured were directed by Chuck Jones.
The combination of classic animated footage along with new animation would become the template for the theatrically released Looney Tunes movies for this film up until Daffy Duck's Quackbusters in 1988.
The film was dedicated to the memory of Chuck Jones' first wife, Dorothy Webster, who died before the film got released.
Bugs Bunny, while giving a tour of his luxurious mansion, talks about the history of the chase and how it led to the invention of comedy. After introducing his "several fathers" involved in Looney Tunes productions, he discusses some of his famous rivalries, battles, and chases, all of which serve as introductions to footage from the classic short subjects. The final segment of the film consists of an extended chase sequence between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner compiled from several shorts. At the end of Bugs' tour, they appear as constellations in a chase in the night sky.
The film features a new gag involving the "That's all, Folks!" endline, apparently the idea of Chuck Jones (himself credited in the opening credits as having a "slightly disarranged mind"). When it appears at the start, an annoyed Bugs pushes away the bullseye rings and places a "NOT" into it so that it says "That's NOT all, Folks!". Then before the end credits roll, as it starts to write out, Bugs blocks it path and forces the quote marks to erase itself saying to with a snide "Well?" and forces it to rewrite itself as "That's not quite all, Folks!". Finally, after the credits finish, the Warner Bros. shield zooms in. Bugs appears on top and says, "Eat your heart out, Burt Reynolds!" The shield zooms back out, and then the writing re-appears, pre-written, as "That's really all, Folks!" with the word "really" underscored, ending the film.
The film was released in April 1979 in some test markets as The Great American Chase. The film was shown at the 17th New York Film Festival on September 29, 1979 at Alice Tully Hall. The film opened at the Guild 50th Theatre on September 30, 1979. It set an opening day record at the theater with a gross of $6,280.
It aired on Disney Channel, HBO and Cartoon Network.
Warner Home Video released The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie on VHS and Betamax cassettes, and on CED in the 1980s. After its second home video release in 1986, the film was re-released on VHS and LaserDisc on February 3, 1998 (as part of the Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary VHS promotion). The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie returns with Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales on the Looney Tunes Movie Collection two-disc DVD set in 2005. It is also available for purchase or rent in the Apple iTunes Store.