Lola Bunny as seen in Space Jam.
|First appearance||Space Jam (1996)|
|Created by||Herschel Weingrod, Timothy Harris, Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick|
Kath Soucie (Space Jam, Tweety's High-Flying Adventure),|
Britt McKillip (Baby Looney Tunes),
Kristen Wiig (The Looney Tunes Show)
Lola Bunny is a Looney Tunes cartoon character portrayed as an anthropomorphic female rabbit. 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 crush in the 1996 film Space Jam.
Lola first appeared in the 1996 film Space Jam. She is shown with tan fur, blonde bangs, and wears a purple rubber band on both ears like a ponytail. She has aqua colored eyes. Lola is voiced by Kath Soucie in the film.
Although she initially had no interest in Bugs, repeatedly turning down his advances, her feelings shifted from platonic to romantic after he saved her from a belly-flopping Monstar, getting himself painfully squashed in the process (showing that he was willing to put himself in harm's way for her and genuinely cared for her). Acting on these feelings, she kissed him and near the film's end, becoming his girlfriend.
Lola was created to serve as a Romantic interest for Bugs. While Bugs expressed "heterosexual desire" in previous films, his sexual orientation as described by Jonathan Romney involved polysexuality. Lola has a "curvaceous body", wears tight clothes, and poses seductively when she first appears on screen. In response, Bugs is instantly smitten and several other male characters ogle at her. [note 1] Lola demonstrates her basketball skills and then the film makes use of a Tex Avery-style gag concerning the libido of males: Bugs floats up the air and then crashes to the floor. The scene is reminiscent of "Wolfie" from Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), a character defined by his lust for females. The effect serves to reduce Bugs and his fellow characters to stereotypical "guys".
This adds to the film a sub-plot typical for the romantic comedy: will there be romance between Lola and Bugs? Lola does have a feminist catchphrase, "Don't call me doll", and her athleticism is not a typical feminine trait. But these traits are contradicted and undermined by the "rhythic swing of her cottontail" while showing off and the accompanying music. As Tony Cervone explained, the animators originally had in mind more "Tomboyish" traits for her, but feared that she would appear "too masculine". So they ended up emphasizing her "feminine attributes", and turned her into "a heterosexualized object". The romantic sub-plot of the film concludes with a conventional resolution. Lola is nearly injured by one of the opponents in the basketball game, and Bugs rescues the Damsel in distress. Bugs receives her grateful kiss during the game, and kisses her back following its end, with Lola reacting in her own Tex Avery-style gag on libido.
Lola's personality is a combination of the Hawksian woman, Tomboy and femme fatale archetypes. She is a tough talking, no-nonsense woman who is extremely independent and self-reliant. She is highly athletic while also incredibly seductive in her behavior.
The Looney Tunes Show
Lola also appears in The Looney Tunes Show, voiced by Kristen Wiig. As opposed to her personality in Space Jam, she is portrayed as a scatterbrained, indecisive, gabby young woman who tends to obsess over Bugs, whom she refers to as "Bun-Bun." She is very dedicated to achieving goals but oftentimes tends to forget what she was doing. She's unable to settle on a decision, even for something as simple as what she wants to drink. While she is overly talkative to the point of irritation, Bugs nevertheless appears to enjoy having her around, even surprising himself when declaring himself her boyfriend in "Double Date" where she helped Daffy get the courage to ask Tina Russo out on a date. Near the end of the episode, Lola became friends with Tina Russo. Later in the series Bugs and Lola are seen in multiple episodes spending time with each other.
A toddler 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 child like and emotional in her personality.
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.
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 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) hinder him.
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- Sandler, Kevin (1998). Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation, p. 9. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813525381
- Sandler (2001), p. 141-143
- Vanguardia (Mexico) (15 August 2011). "Regresan a la tv Bugs y Lola Bunny" (Spanish)
- Erickson, Hal (ed.) (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003, 2nd edition, p. 105. McFarland & Co. ISBN 0786422556
- Dallas Morning News (17 September 2005). "'Beep-beep' gives way to yawn-yawn" (subscription required)
- Lola Bunny at the Internet Movie Database