Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Looney ‘Toon

“Daffy, you’re a mean-spirited, self absorbed, disturbed, little weirdo, but for whatever reason, you’re my best friend.”

-Bugs Bunny-

I love cartoons. As a kid, The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show was my most anticipated hour of the week, and as an adult I still love these characters. If, heaven forbid, I was forced to pick just one favorite animated series, it would always be Looney Tunes.

Last night, the Looney-ness was re-born in the form of a sitcom, and I loved it.

The Looney Tunes Show follows Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as they live together in the suburbs. Though Daffy claims that he is just crashing at Bugs’ place until he gets back on his feet, Speedy Gonzales points out that if you crash somewhere for five years, you live there.

At first I was a bit skeptical. Would this new take on my favorite characters do them justice, or would it desecrate the Looney Tunes name? I am thankful to report that it is every bit as funny as most of the old cartoons were. The humor comes more from the characters than it does from the situation, and that is as it should be. What makes these characters so hilarious is their individual personalities. Daffy Duck would be just as funny in a grocery store as he would be in the Himalayas.

The basic sitcom premise is not the only thing this new show has to offer though. Each episode features at least one Merrie Melodies short, or a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. So far I am less impressed by the Merrie Melodies than the Roadrunner cartoons, but it’s nice that they are keeping this series of cartoons alive. They have potential and I hope they will improve in the future.

The new Roadrunner cartoons are just as funny as their theatrical counterparts were, sometimes even more so. This part of the show is done in CGI, and though purists may balk at this change, I love it. Having these characters and environments in CGI allows the animators a lot more freedom in the style of sight gags they can do. Some of the new cartoons were released online earlier this year, and so far my favorite has to be “Silent But Deadly".” Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. There are no flatulence jokes to be found anywhere here. The title is in reference to Wile E.’s latest scheme, which is to become a ninja. I found a copy of the short on YouTube, so I will link it here for your viewing pleasure. :)

Bugs and Daffy were always a hilarious pair in the old cartoons, so making them the stars of this new take on the Looney Tunes is a natural fit. In the first episode, Daffy convinces Bugs that they need to go on a game show called “Besties” where the aim of the game is to answer questions about your best friend for points. The team with the most points wins a cruise. Daffy Duck, being the self absorbed narcissist that he is, fails miserably, not even knowing Bugs’ catch phrase. Daffy wallows in self pity after they lose because Bugs, annoyed by how little Daffy knew about him, began ignoring him. The next morning, Speedy Gonzales tells Daffy he needs to work harder at being a friend to Bugs, so Daffy books them tickets to the cruise they lost. Hijinks ensue.

As I said before, the humor comes from the characters, but there are also jokes happening in the background, just like in the old cartoons. For example, when they board the cruise ship, it is docked at the “Port of Potti.” A bit childish, I know, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me snort with laughter.

Another thing I love, is that even though the show is mainly focused on Bugs and Daffy, all the other characters will get their moments in the spotlight. Speedy Gonzales plays a short but important role in the first episode, though I’m not sure why he was there. Does he live with them as well? It really doesn’t matter, and if he does, I’m sure that will be addressed in future episodes.

Even the more obscure and less well known characters are featured. Bugs’ and Daffy’s opponents on “Besties” were Mac and Tosh, otherwise known as the Goofy Gophers. If you don’t know who they are, don’t worry, they didn’t star in nearly as many classic shorts, but they are still very funny.

I could go on telling you everything that makes the show funny, but thanks to the magic of YouTube, I don’t have to. I found a bunch of clips from last night’s episode, so you can see for yourselves.

The first clip is the beginning of the episode. Anyone worried that the characters would not be true to their classic personalities should have their fears allayed by this clip.

The next scene is Bugs drilling Daffy before they go on the show.

This clip is a very abridged version of the game show scene. Many of the jokes have been cut out, but it will still give you a good idea of what it was like.

The last clip I found was when Speedy tries to talk some sense into Daffy, but instead of getting the point, Daffy pretty much goes insane. Not that he was ever very stable to begin with… :p

If you are a Looney Tunes fan, and you have Cartoon Network, or the knowhow to get episodes from “other sources,” I highly recommend watching this show. I’ve already watched the first episode twice, and I may go back and watch it again. :)


  1. Wow! They really captured the Looney Tunes spirit in these. I didn't expect it to be quite this good.:) BTW, that wasn't the first thing that I thought of when I read "Silent But Deadly". :p

  2. Well, you were raised in a family of all girls, so that could have something to do with it... :)