Lola Bunny — From Role Model to Ditz

Image: Dakster Sullivan
Image: Dakster Sullivan

Lola Bunny made her debut to the Looney Tunes universe in the 1996 Warner Brother’s film, Space Jam. The film stars Bugs Bunny, Michael Jordan as well as a host of other famous Looney Tunes characters. Her cartoon sex appeal made all the boys fall in love and her skills with a basketball made their jaws drop. Bugs learned his lesson real quick that she was no doll and had just as much (if not more) skill than anyone else on the team.

It’s been a long time since I’ve paid attention to anything Looney Tunes. After seeing her in the most recent incarnation of The Looney Tunes Show, I’m speechless on what Warner Brothers has done with the character. The latest episode to air is titled “The Black Widow“. Hold your horses Avenger fans…they’re not talking about our favorite red head in a cat suit. This Black Widow is actually a jewel thief character in a movie that Bugs and Lola watch together.

Throughout the episode, I had to dump cold water on the flames coming out of my ears. The creators have turned one of my favorite rabbits into a ditz! What happened to my the female bunny who put the guys in their place and was the smartest one on the court? The entire episode Lola is either the damsel in distress or taking things so literal, she was hurting my head.

Since this was the first episode I’ve seen where Lola plays a major part, I looked up her history in the Looney Tunes Show Wiki. This is what it listed as Lola’s character description:

Lola Bunny is Bugs Bunny’s beautiful, bubbly, talkative and kooky girlfriend. Lola talks a mile-a-minute, can be absent-minded on occasion, and has a way of getting what she wants.

Reading her history in the show a little further, Bugs is described as trying to avoid her after their first date because he is annoyed and embarrassed by her quirks. Lola decides to chase after Bugs and hounds him through phone calls and “128 emails”. She later stoops to stalking him to get him to see her again. She later mistakes something Bugs does as a proposal and goes off to plan their wedding.

I’ve got a million questions in my head right now about Lola’s backward development. Why did they turn her from someone a little girl can look up to (and boys can respect on the court) to a complete idiot (and a wealthy idiot at that)?

I’m not going to stoop to any blonde jokes (because I’m blonde and not the least bit dumb), but I wonder if the writers are playing off on that. I’d hate to think they wanted a weak character and did the chauvinistic thing by making it a girl.

Instead of making her a desperate ditz, I suggest a different approach to updating the character.

Since the creators felt she needed an update, why not make her career oriented and constantly changing her job to suit her mood. One week she could be working for the FBI another week she could be an Olympic athlete. Show her taking college courses or better yet, teaching the courses (bonus points if they are STEM oriented). She could also have a geek side to her and read comic books, play video games and enjoy geek-flicks.

Up to this point, I’ve thought the show was okay. It’s not Ben 10 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (but really, what is?). It’s a good Saturday morning filler cartoon. After this episode, I think I’ll find something else to fill the gap…like Tiny Toon Adventures re-runs (note to WB…don’t even think about screwing with Babs Bunny).

This isn’t the first time a female character has been screwed with to fit a stereotype (Amanda Waller comes to mind). I’m sure it won’t be the last.

If you are looking for a cartoon series for your child that includes strong female roles, check out The Ultimate Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go!.

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Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.