Opération Bugs Bunny (lost French live-action/animated Christmas TV special; 1997)
|Screencap of the title screen.|
Opération Bugs Bunny was a Christmas TV special that was originally aired on French channel France 2, on December 24th of 1997. It was directed by Michel Hassan.
Santa Claus is depressed and refuses to give away gifts as he usually does. Bugs Bunny is charged with finding him and cheering him up back into his job, including showing him some of his own old cartoons.
The late Michel Galabru plays Santa Claus.
Portuguese-Belgian singer Lio is credited as "Bugs Bunny's girlfriend", although it seems unlikely she is meant to portray Lola Bunny.
Other celebrities appear, such as Canadian stand-up comedian Gad Elmaleh and French singer/comedian Richard Gotainer.
Bugs Bunny himself has been described as being CGI-animated. It is possible this aesthetic choice - and the basic idea of the special itself - was influenced by the movie Space Jam that came out in France in 1997 (in which Bugs Bunny as a cartoon appears alongside live-action humans).
Gérard Surugue, who usually does the French dub of Bugs Bunny, reprises his audio role in this special.
Strangely, Dutch actress Tamar Baruch has also been credited as Bugs Bunny. It seems likely she was motion-capturing a CGI build of Bugs Bunny, in a way similar to virtual TV people such as Cléo from Cyber Flash.
The special seems to have only aired once and there is no easily accessible footage to this day.
It seems some footage used to be on the video-sharing website wat.tv. However, wat.tv has been bought by TF1 and its videos are no longer available.
Only two screencaps from the TV special remain to this day, including the title screen and a screenshot of the special found on Michel Hassan's website.