Monday, April 18, 2005


Gossamer is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. The character is a hairy, orange monster. His rectangular body is perched on two giant tennis shoes, and his face is composed of only two oval-shaped eyes and a wide mouth.
Animator Chuck Jones introduced the monster character in the 1946 film Hair-raising Hare. In it, Bugs Bunny is lured to the lair of a mad scientist who wants to use the rabbit for his experiments. The monster (here called "Rudolph") serves as the scientist's henchman, trying desperately to capture the bunny. This plot was repeated in the 1952 Jones short Water, Water Every Hare. The monster would remain dormant for many decades until Jones used the character once more in Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century in 1980. This is the first cartoon where the character is called "Gossamer".
Gossamer has also appeared in a cameo role in a number of recent Warner Bros. productions. He was in a 1990 episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, for example ("Duck Treck"), and he appears briefly in the 1996 movie Space Jam. He has also featured in a number of episodes of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries.
In recent years, Warner Bros. marketers seem to have seized upon the character. Gossamer's image is available on all sorts of Warners merchandise, from T-shirts to ballcaps to plush toys. This sort of marketing helped propel The Tasmanian Devil to newfound stardom, and it is seemingly helping Gossamer's popularity to some extent. It remains unclear whether Gossamer will become one of the more popular Looney Tunes characters, as has Taz, or if he will remain relatively obscure.
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