Title - Hare-Way To The Stars
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1958
Reason for Placement --
This is going down as probably one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in a long time: which Bugs Bunny/Marvin the Martian toon most belongs on the countdown? These are some of Jones' best shorts, and I love all of them, but sadly, there is only room for one.
Marvin had appeared in two other shorts which stared Bugs Bunny. In the first one, Haredevil Hare, Bugs runs into Marvin on the moon and must stop him from blowing up the Earth. This was a great short, but Marvin really didn't make much of an impression on audiences. In the second short, The Hasty Hare, Marvin and K-9 (his Martian dog) come to Earth to find and capture an Earth creature for study... and I'll give you three guesses who they find. This one was definitely funnier; plus, Marvin's voice was changed from the nasally high-pitched one to the deeper, but still soft-spoken voice we all know and love.
So that leads us to Hare-Way To The Stars, in which Bugs is accidentally sent to Mars (via a rocket that was placed over his hole), and runs into Marvin, once again trying to destory the Earth with his Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator. This time, however, they do give us a reason for his desire to get rid of the Earth: it obstructs his view of Venus.
There are actually a couple of reasons this particular toon gets the coveted spot. First of all, the Space Race had just started when this toon aired, and you can really feel the excitement behind the world's fascination with outer space (especially since the satellite that hits Bugs is modeled to look exactly like Sputnik). Second, Jones re-uses a previous creation of his from Jumpin' Jupiter: the dehydrated Martians, which actually give us one of the best chase sequences outside of a Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner toon. Finally, the background designs are incredible; Maurice Noble really outdid himself with the look of Mars, showcasing a one-of-a-kind abstract style that I honestly cannot get enough of.