Mickey Mouse vs Bugs Bunny



Mickey Mouse vs Bugs Bunny

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
It's a battle between two of the most beloved animated characters of all time! In this installment of versus, we'll be pitting Mickey Mouse against Bugs Bunny. Our video includes categories such as Modern Interpretations, The Funniest Toon, Supporting Cast, and more!

Mickey Mouse vs. Bugs Bunny

Welcome to WatchMojo and in this installment of versus, we’ll be pitting Mickey Mouse against Bugs Bunny.

Both characters have left a four-fingered handprint on the world, but only one can be declared the ultimate animation all-star.

Who would YOU rather go parachuting with, Mickey or Bugs? Let us know in the comments!

Round 1: Golden Age Cartoons

Although “Plane Crazy” and “The Gallopin' Gaucho” were produced first, “Steamboat Willie” marked Mickey’s first cartoon to receive a proper distribution, as well as Disney’s first synchronized sound short. Walt Disney was awarded a special Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse, although co-creator Ub Iwerks didn’t share in this honor. “Mickey’s Orphans,” “Building a Building,” “Brave Little Tailor,” and “The Pointer” all earned Oscar nominations, but it was “Lend a Paw” that finally brought Mickey the gold. As Mickey’s popularity declined in the late ‘30s, animator Fred Moore gave him a redesign for the extravagant short “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which eventually snowballed into a feature entitled “Fantasia.”

Although Porky Pig and Daffy Duck came first, Bugs Bunny would evolve into Warner Bros’ equivalent to Mickey Mouse. While predecessors to Bugs can be found in cartoons like “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” the Oscar-nominated “A Wild Hare” was our first real taste of his signature design, voice, and catchphrase. “Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt” earned Bugs his second nomination, but some of his most iconic shorts went overlooked by the Academy. “What’s Opera, Doc?” ranked #1 in the book “The 50 Greatest Cartoons,” which also included “Rabbit of Seville,” “Rabbit Seasoning,” “Ali Baba Bunny,” and “Little Red Riding Rabbit.” After eighteen years, the rabbit finally won an Oscar for “Knighty Knight Bugs.”

While both gave us no shortage of classic cartoons, Mickey’s charisma and Disney’s technical wizardry continually broke new ground for animation. It’s even believed that “Steamboat Willie” inspired the Motion Picture Academy to create a category specifically for animated shorts. For that alone, this round goes to Mickey.

WINNER: Mickey 1 / Bugs 0

Round 2: Modern Interpretations

Although Walt Disney passed away in 1966, Mickey is immortal. Following a thirty-year absence from theatrical shorts, Mickey returned to the big screen with the Oscar-nominated “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” Mickey has since starred in theatrical shorts like “The Prince and the Pauper,” “Runaway Brain,” and, most recently, “Get a Horse!,” which masterfully blended the old with the new. On television, he’s catered to little ones with “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” older kids with “House of Mouse,” and animation lovers of all ages with the 2013 “Mickey Mouse” series, which has won several Emmys. He’s even left his mark on video games with appearances in “Epic Mickey” and the “Kingdom Hearts” series.

Even after Warner Bros. Cartoons closed its doors in 1969, the screwy rabbit remained relevant through the “The Bugs Bunny Show” and various package films. Bugs saw a resurgence of popularity in the 1990s with the new theatrical short “Box-Office Bunny,” television appearances on shows like “Tiny Toon Adventures,” and an Annie Award-winning Nike ad co-starring Michael Jordan. The Nike commercials provided the basis for the 1996 feature “Space Jam.” After “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” bombed financially, Bugs returned to the small screen with varying results. For every solid success like “The Looney Tunes Show” or HBO’s “Looney Tunes Cartoons,” there’s been a “Loonatics Unleashed.” As for his games… they’re mostly stinkers.

Both characters have maintained their iconic status well into the new millennium - or we guess the new Mil-Looney-Um in Bugs’ case. Between the two, however, Mickey has found more widespread success, experimenting with a variety of different tones, styles, and media. We’ll see how “Space Jam: A New Legacy” works out for Bugs, but for now, Mickey takes the cheese.

WINNER: Mickey 2 / Bugs 0

Round 3: The Funniest Toon

Although Mickey cartoons have always been charming and beautifully animated, they’re generally not associated with big laughs. In his earlier shorts, the humor stemmed from Mickey’s mischievous tendencies. Over time, though, Mickey evolved from a rascal to a role model. The comedic relief shifted to Disney characters who were more cynical, easily frustrated, or unafraid to speak their minds. While he’s been Mr. Nice Guy for most of his life, more modern interpretations have revisited Mickey’s scrappier side. This is especially apparent in the Paul Rudish (RUDE-ish) cartoons, which blended Mickey’s friendly persona with his inner troublemaker, balancing things out with a good dose of slapstick.

The definitive wise guy, Bugs Bunny’s had audiences cracking up ever since he first asked, “What’s up, Doc?” During his prime, though, Bugs’ personality could shift slightly depending on who directed him, be it Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng (frizzzzz FREE-ling), or Bob Clampett. Clampett’s take on the character, in particular, could be more unhinged and wasn’t always in control of the narrative. Whichever version you prefer, Bugs will forever be associated with big laughs. Few characters have given us a more memorable array of one-liners and comebacks. He’s somebody we all want to be, although most of us have more in common with Daffy Duck.

Although Mickey is getting funnier with age, he’s mostly lacked the edge that’s made Bugs a comedy legend. The iconic bunny gets all the carrots this round.

WINNER: Mickey 2 / Bugs 1

Round 4: Supporting Cast

A leading mouse is nothing without a supporting cast and Mickey has several unforgettable friends, as well as foes. As Mickey assumed the nice guy role, Donald Duck and Goofy stepped up as Disney’s go-to comedic relief. These three would grow into Disney’s signature trio, although Mickey’s sidekicks had a tendency to upstage him with their over-the-top antics. There’s no denying that Mickey and Minnie are a cute couple, but at times their personalities can feel a tad similar. As for villains, Mickey is often pitted against the dastardly Pete. Of course, we’d argue that Pete works even better as a comedic foil for Goofy.

Although Bugs has been bested by a couple of supporting players like Cecil Turtle (SEE-sle) and a gremlin, he’s usually the one responsible for somebody else’s misfortune. Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, Marvin the Martian and Daffy Duck are just a few of his recurring adversaries. Daffy, in particular, works on two levels as Bugs’ comedic foil. In the blink of an eye, Daffy can shift from being Bugs’ pal to throwing him under the bus. Yet, that doesn’t stop Bugs from constantly helping Daffy out of jams. We’ve also gotten to see a different side of Bugs through his relationship with Lola Bunny, who’s been portrayed as both his confident crush and his wacky girlfriend.

Mickey brings a moral center to his group, but he can easily be substituted with another wide-eyed, optimistic leader like - let’s say - Sora. Bugs is irreplaceable, however, sharing some of the funniest dynamics in all animation with his fellow Looney Tunes. That’s another point for Bugs, which means war for our final round.

WINNER: Mickey 2 / Bugs 2

Round 5: Impact

Upon making his debut, Mickey not only eclipsed the popularity of silent cartoon characters like Felix the Cat, but also inspired a slew of copycats. There’s only ever been one Mickey, however. Worthy of comparison to real-life screen legends like Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire, Mickey proved that animation wasn’t just a passing trend. Over 90 years later, Mickey remains the face of the Walt Disney Company, as well as one of the most recognizable characters on Earth. Popular culture wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for this mouse’s influence. He even became the first animated character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bugs has a spot on the Walk of Fame as well, although he might not even exist if Mickey hadn’t ignited Hollywood’s interest in animation. Before Bugs, Warner Bros. churned out a slew of Mickey wannabes like Bosko, Foxy, and Buddy. Through characters like Bugs, as well as Daffy and Porky, however the Termite Terrace crew began to develop a more distinctive voice. Where Mickey stood out with expressive character animation, Bugs is best remembered for his sly witticisms. You can definitely see how this emphasis on sharp dialogue would go on to influence future cartoons, such as “Animaniacs.”

This is a tough call. Both of these company mascots were trailblazers in their own right and continue to impact society to this day. That being said, it all started with a mouse, and Mickey ultimately paved the way for Bugs - not to mention every animated character who followed. Hot dog, Mickey takes the winning point! That’s all, folks!

WINNER: Mickey 3 / Bugs 2
mickey all star fav even bugs