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Lola Bunny

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Lola Bunny
Lola

Gender

Female

First Appearance

Space Jam
November 15, 1996

Team

Tune Squad

Voice Actor

Kath Soucie

Lola Bunny is Bugs Bunny’s beautiful, sassy, and no nonsense girlfriend. According to Kevin Sandler in Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation, she was created as "female merchandising counterpart" to Bugs Bunny. She first appeared as Bugs Bunny's girlfriend in the 1996 Sports Comedy film Space Jam.

Since Space Jam however, Lola has appeared in most Looney Tunes Projects such as Television spin-offs, video games, comic books and merchandise. In most post Space Jam media she is depicted as she was in this film.

Creation of Lola BunnyEdit

In this movie Honey Bunny was planned to be Bugs Bunny's female counterpart. Honey Bunny is a character that had appeared in Looney Tunes Dell Comics and had cameo roles in at least three Looney Tunes shorts. Although she was originally planned to appear in the film her character didn’t make it pass pre-production sketches. On these sketches we see an athletic rabbit with a bow on her head, wearing a dress referring to the flag of the United States of America. However, an artist who prepared those sketches drew Honey in so that she looked like Bugs' twin sister (another artist commented saying "is it just Bugs in drag?"). They decided to change her visual appearance.

Controversies arose when artists in Warner Bros. started working on a visual appearance of Bugs Bunny's female counterpart whom they wanted to put in the film. They rejected Honey Bunny in version from 1990's; whose appearance was almost exactly like Bugs’ and started working on a new character.

After "four months of hard work" the character was ready. Lola Rabbit, as she was named at that time made problems for Warner Bros. because of her visual appearance resembling that of a teenager which caused reaction from McDonald's; who had signed a contract with Warner Bros. on selling Happy Meals with characters from Space Jam.

McDonalds’s had refused to sell Lola Rabbit toys and happy meal items if that was to be her final appearance to be used in the film on the grounds that it would be wrong to have Bugs Bunny paired up with what resembled a teenage girl.

Chuck JonesEdit

Chuck Jones, a famous animator and director of many well-known animated Looney Tunes shorts, helped (or rather tried to help) artists working on "Space Jam". All his suggestions being rejected, however.

In one of later interviews he stated that, in his opinion, Lola Bunny is a character with no future, she's a totally worthless character with no personality. He didn't like Lola or the idea and comedy of "Space Jam" at all. His opinion was shared by Maurice Noble, an artist who created visual backgrounds for many animated shorts directed by Jones.

Fritz FrelengEdit

Although another of famous animators working on animated shorts with Bugs Bunny and his friends, Isadore Freleng, didn't get to see the "Space Jam" (Freleng died in 1994), though he did give his opinion about pairing Bugs Bunny with women. In one of interviews he gave in middle 1980's, when asked about why Bugs Bunny doesn't have a girlfriend, he stated that Bugs "wouldn't be the same troublemaker".

In the meantime, however, Freleng created a few sericels in which we see Bugs Bunny showing his emotions to Honey Bunny. Freleng was speaking about a girl that would change Bugs Bunny's personality or "domesticate" him. “If Bugs Bunny appearing along with female counterpart would remain the same crazy and intriguing character, then there would be no problem.”

For more on Lola Bunny's creation and design, see Production Art.

ControversyEdit

Lola's presence in Space Jam sparked a considerable amount of controversy amongst Looney Tunes fans. Many argued that the entire movie was a failed attempt to "update" the classic characters to the tastes of modern audiences. Another argument is that Lola's character as a "strong, independent female" who was at the same time excessively seductive, and has no place among the fallible human characteristics of the rest of the Looney Tunes. (Throughout the entire movie, Lola suffers no injury, reverse or misfortune of any kind, on the court or off.) Also, some argue that Bugs already has an established sweetheart in Honey Bunny, and that Bugs' boorish and competitive behavior towards Lola are against his character.

HistoryEdit

Space JamEdit

Lola first appeared in the 1996 film Space Jam. She is shown with tan fur, blonde bangs, and wears a yellow tank-top, purple shorts and a matching purple rubber band on both ears like a ponytail. She has aqua colored eyes. Lola is voiced by Kath Soucie in the film.

Lola's basketball skills get her a spot on the Tune Squad, in which the Looney Tunes characters battle the villainous Monstars for their freedom, with help from Michael Jordan. She is the second best player on the Tune Squad team, the first being Jordan himself.

Although she initially turns down Bugs' advances, her feelings shifts to affection after he saves her from a belly-flopping Pound, getting himself painfully squashed in the process (showing that he is willing to put himself in harm's way for her and genuinely cares for her). Acting on these feelings, she kisses him and near the film's end, becomes his girlfriend.

The Looney Tunes ShowEdit

Lola also has a main role in The Looney Tunes Show, voiced by Kristen Wiig. Compared to her "trophy girl" personality in Space Jam, her personality differs greatly in this show.

In The Looney Tunes Show, Lola Bunny is Bugs Bunny's beautiful, bubbly girlfriend. Lola talks a mile-a-minute, can be absent-minded on occasion, and has a way of getting what she wants. She values her love for Bugs greatly, and will go at any length to see he feels the same for her. Going far into seeking him out when he's not responding to her and will do anything, even if it puts her own life at risk just to be with him.

Although she sees Bugs as something of a saint and a "bad boy" combined and appears attracted to his appearance, intelligence, and his personality, Lola is not above criticizing his cross-dressing habits, finding his female disguises incredibly ugly. She even tried to keep him out of her family photo because she thought his chipped tooth would ruin it. While most likely not unintelligent and nonathletic, Lola's enthusiasm also causes her to be unfocused in sports, and confuse certain things with others.

While post Space Jam media used Lola's promotional design to design her, The Looney Tunes Show based their design of Lola from her appearance in Space Jam.

Other appearancesEdit

Following Space Jam, Lola has regularly appeared in solo stories in the monthly Looney Tunes comic published by DC Comics.

An infant version of her, voiced by Britt McKillip, is among the regular characters of Baby Looney Tunes. Like her older counterpart, she has tomboyish traits and an affinity for basketball. She is also much more childlike and emotional in her personality given her young age.

Other appearances include her role as the reporter in the direct-to-video film Tweety's High-Flying Adventure. She also appeared as a playable character in the games Bugs Bunny & Lola Bunny: Operation Carrot Patch, released in 1998 and Looney Tunes Racing, released in 2000. She was also a news reporter in the game Looney Tunes: Space Race also in 2000. Her lines in Space Race are "And their off", and "Hello is this thing on?"

In the action comedy Loonatics Unleashed, her descendant is Lexi Bunny who seems to be the first in command of the Loonatics team over Ace Bunny (the descendant of Bugs). She seems to have inherited her ancestor's athletic prowess and general witty and no-nonsense attitude along with her seductive charm.

Following Space Jam, Lola has regularly appeared in solo stories in the monthly Looney Tunes comic published by DC Comics.

Lola Bunny was also featured in a Looney Tune webtoon, on looneytunes.com, entitled "Dating Dos And Don'ts." During this webtoon, in the form of a fifties educational film, Bugs Bunny attempts to take Lola out on a date, but Elmer Fudd and Lola's disapproving dad (voiced by Tom Kenny) are all that stand between him and his date. The short ends with Elmer crashing on top of Lola's dad, and Lola continuing to kiss Bugs passionately.

A mascot version of Lola Bunny in her "Space Jam" Tune Squad uniform helped debut the Women's National Basketball Association in 1997 appearing at their inaugural game between the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks in Inglewood, California.

DesignEdit

In the wake of Lola Bunny's initial movie appearance, many "Looney Tunes" fans have noticed some differences between the character's appearance as seen in "Space Jam", and the design used in subsequent promotional images and merchandising:

  • The "Space Jam" version of Lola has a powder-puff tail, rosy red eyelids, and slipper-shaped footpads. Her secondary fur color is a light tan, while her hair and tail are cream-colored. This appearance conforms to the animation model sheets used during the film's production.
  • The "promotional" Lola has a teardrop-style tail similar to Bugs Bunny's, footpads that extend all the way around her feet (again, similar to Bugs'), yellow-blonde hair that extends down the back of her head, and her secondary fur color is white. This version of the character is the one dictated by the official Warner Bros. "style sheets" (first published in the "Space Jam Style Guide") used for merchandising purposes.

The reasons for the change in Lola’s appearance between movie and merchandising are unknown. However, it would seem that Warner Bros. considers the “promotional” Lola the official design. As that is the one used in merchandising and animation.

Design inspirationEdit

In early concept art it reveals that Babs Bunny, a rabbit character from Warner Bros “Tiny Toon Adventures’” design was if not inspired at least was thought upon while designing Lola Bunny. In the art above, production notes Lola’s change in appearance from promotional designs to the one used in Space Jam by commenting,

“The new revised Lola is a little older, and a little more sophisticated and sexy looking. (Let’s try and lose about 35% of the Babs Bunny Look)"

PersonalityEdit

Lola's personality is a combination of the Hawksian woman, tomboy and femme fatale archetypes. She is a tough talking, no-nonsense woman (as displayed by her reactions to being called the term "doll," which she finds to be derogatory and highly offensive) who is extremely independent and self-reliant. She is highly athletic (easily the best player after Michael Jordan himself). She is also incredibly seductive in her behavior, quite capable of easily charming men around her (as displayed with the other Looney Tunes in her first appearance in the movie but with none more so than Bugs Bunny himself, her boyfriend).

TriviaEdit

  • Preproduction Names for Lola were:
    • Bunni Bunny
    • Lola Buni
    • Lola Rabbit

GalleryEdit

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