Cartoon Country: New Looney Tunes

Just when you thought it was safe to return to Twinsanity…..

CARTOON COUNTRY RETURNS!!!

Bender Applause

We’re back, baby!

Today’s Cartoon Country is all about a show I’m grooving on right now: New Looney Tunes.

New_Looney_Tunes_Square

For the uninformed, New Looney Tunes began as Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production. Stylized as wabbit. and known also as bugs! in parts of Europe, the Middle East and Japan, Wabbit is/was an American animated television series from Warner Bros. Animation. The series premiered on September 21, 2015, on Cartoon Network, and later premiered on October 5, 2015, on Boomerang. Eventually, the series was rechristened New Looney Tunes and its’ universe was expanded to include the rest of the Looney Tunes gang.

I probably don’t need to say this anymore, but like all of the Cartoon Countries, this isn’t a review; I won’t be breaking down any of the show’s specific episodes, for the simple fact that I can’t; currently the series isn’t airing anywhere in the US (on March 7, 2017, Turner and Warner Bros. announced that the unaired episodes will be released on Boomerang’s SVOD service, but there doesn’t seem to have been any follow-up to that), so I’ve only caught sporadic glimpses of New Looney Tunes, much to my chagrin. (Fun Fact: I had originally planned to examine New Looney Tunes as a What The Funny, but was unable to due to the lack of resources, references, clips, stills and information available.) Instead, I’ll just be giving a brief overview of the show and my views and opinions on it.

The series returns to its’ slapstick roots. This is a good thing, as physical comedy was something NLT’s predecessor, The Looney Tunes Show, was sorely lacking. FTR, I thought The Looney Tunes Show was just so-so; I didn’t hate it like so many other people on the internet, but I’ll openly admit that it wasn’t what I wanted from a new Looney Tunes series. Intro time. (I know I showed this here once already, but it makes me happy, so here it is again:)

 

Each episode of Wabbit contained two shorts, starring Bugs Bunny as the main character. When the show transitioned to New Looney Tunes, each thirty-minute episode contains four shorts, with Bugs Bunny as the main character. In the show, Bugs confronts other characters from the Looney Tunes shorts, as well as some new friends and enemies.

Some characters are given new traits. For example:

wabbit wile e coyote

Wile E. Coyote is Bugs’ pompous, smart-alecky, technology-obsessed neighbor, whose desert expanse is separated from Bugs’ forest rabbit hole setting by a single wooden fence. His ‘vast intellect’ and obsession with the latest gizmos always loses out to Bugs’ simple wise-ass cunning.

 

elmerfudd

Elmer Fudd returns, and about time too, I say. Elmer was barely featured on The Looney Tunes Show and I thought it was weird how in this new series which stars Bugs Bunny and whose title is in ‘Elmer Fudd-ese’, didn’t feature the character until now, but Fudd is back, and he’s still no match for Bugs.

 

wabbit taz

Taz here (in what as far as I know is his only appearance in the series so far) is ‘Theodore Tasmanian’, employed as an accountant who tries to repress his savage nature.

 

OK, this take on Taz is a bit weird. It’s funny to hear Taz speaking full sentences, but it’s just kind of strange. I’m not sure if the show will keep Taz in this guise for future episodes, but I’m sure fans like this more than Taz being a pet like he was in TLTS. (Though to be fair, I didn’t think that was a bad idea either, I just wouldn’t have made him Bugs’ pet, as animals keeping other animals as pets is just weird and kind of…wrong somehow. I’d have given Taz to Granny or something.)

There are also new characters (Yes! I’m glad that the producers are mixing things up and adding new characters into the fray rather than just relying on old formulas), such as Squeaks the Squirrel, whose nonsensical chattering is provided by Dee Bradley Baker…

wabbit_squeaks

wabbit bugs and bigfoot

…And the weakest character in my opinion, Bigfoot, a childlike, mindlessly destructive and very, very, very stupid Sasquatch who routinely calls Bugs “Lady”. I don’t find Bigfoot especially funny, but it is good that the producers aren’t afraid to knock Bugs around a little; this keeps him from becoming smug and too perfect to be interesting.

And then we come to Daffy. Insane. Unhinged. Totally nuts. Woo-hoo-ing all over the place.

wabbit daffy and porky

And this is my reaction.

smiley-faces

THANK YOU! I’ve already elaborated on this in Unpopular Opinions, but I am SO glad to see Daffy Duck being a nut-job again instead of a greedy, selfish, cowardly a-hole! This series gets my respect just for bringing my favorite take on my favorite Looney Tune back!

wabbit bugs and sam

Now, with the slapstick comedy back, Bugs back in the rabbit hole, Sam having his guns again and Elmer antagonizing Bugs again, you’d think fans would be happy….

Belushi But No

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Of course, people still have to look for trivial reasons to bitch, whine and moan about this show. The prevalent complaint I hear about this series is the characters’ designs; people think they look ‘weird”. I actually heard this statement uttered about the show’s aesthetic choices:

assy_400x400

“Why can’t we get a series where the characters look ‘the normal way’?

“The normal way?”

Madea Shut Up

First, we FINALLY get a Looney Tunes show where the characters are acting loony again, and now you’re complaining about the designs? Second, what’s “the normal way”? How are we defining “normal” here? You know every artist has their own style, right? There has NEVER been one specific way to design these or any characters.

Bugs_Bunny

Heck, even the Termite Terrace directors each had their own sets of artists: Friz Freleng’s Bugs looked different from Tex Avery’s Bugs who looked different from Chuck Jones’ Bugs who looked different from Robert McKimson’s Bugs. As long as the characters are still recognizable as who they’re supposed to be, what’s the problem?

Foghorn_Leghorn_in_Wabbit

Granted, that face on Foghorn is a little weird…

wabbit yosemite sam

…And Yosemite Sam looks like he escaped from the Ren & Stimpy Show. Still, you recognize that it’s Yosemite Sam, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

Porky_Pig

And for those who are asking, “Why is Porky so fat here?”….

Early Porky Pig

…This is closer to how he looked originally.

Also, curiously absent from the fun (so far) is Lola Bunny. If she were to show up, one wonders if we’ll get something closer to the Space Jam version…

Lola_Bunny 1

…Or the Looney Tunes Show version.

LolaBunny

And no, I’m NOT opening that can of worms again. We’re not going to launch that tired debate about which version of Lola is better. Here’s my answer to that question:

Squidward_Meme_-_Nobody_Cares

Seriously, that argument is so old it’s growing mold! As long as Lola is A) funny and B) an actual character, not just some secondary love interest or some hyper-competent “I don’t need no man”, cipher-like embodiment of Girl Power (TM) or some den mother whose only job is to remind the boys how dumb they’re being, I’m fine with her portrayal.

In summation, I’m liking what I’ve seen so far of New Looney Tunes, and I’m hoping the show will come back to the States in full capacity so I can rake in some good old-mixed-with-new style cartoon cool.

wabbit bugs and squeaks

Grab yourself some crunchy carrots and enjoy the show!

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16 Comments

  1. We finally have a premiere date! December 21 on the Boomerang app.
    http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/boomerang/269369/boomerang-will-deck-your-halls-with-a-very-merry-jerry

    Like

    • silverstar

      If New Looney Tunes becomes a regular feature on the service, I just might be tempted to sign up for it. Before the only show on there I was kind of interested in was Wacky Races.

      Like

      • The Wacky Races reboot is pretty bad. I signed up for the service and watched a few episodes. It’s not good.

        Like

  2. Yeah, before, I was curious about the new Wacky Races series, but I didn’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee for just one show. However, it just might be worth it to subscribe, especially if this is the only way to see New Looney Tunes in the U.S.

    Like

  3. silverstar

    I caught a few clips of the new Wacky Races on YouTube just last night. While I appreciate what the show’s producers are trying to do and that just showing the racers try to one-up each other with their gimmicky cars can get kind of repetitive, it’s surprising to me just how little actual racing there is on a show called Wacky RACES.

    Getting back to New Looney Tunes, I still say that that show might be worth a subscription, especially if that’s going to be the only way we can see the show in the US outside of YouTube clips. It kills me how so many of these shows (New Looney Tunes, the Inspector Gadget reboot, the Wacky Races reboot, etc) air on TV outside the States, but here in America Turner won’t run any of these shows on their TV channel. I guess they want to keep them exclusive so there will be more of an incentive to subscribe to the online service.

    Like

    • Jeff Bergman confirmed that a new Flintstones series is being made for the Boomerang app. Also, nearly all the Garfield specials (80s Garfield, not the CGI Garfield Show) are up there right now.

      Like

  4. The remaining season 1 episodes of NLT are finally up on the Boomerang app, and some of season 2 (featuring Porky) as well.

    Like

  5. Oh, wow! This show will have an updated version of “Rabbit Rampage!”

    Like

    • I saw a clip of that on YouTube. Looks good!

      Like

  6. https://www.thewrap.com/looney-tunes-cartoons-bugs-bunny-daffy-duck-warner-bros-tv/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    There’s another Looney Tunes show in development, this time from the creator of the super wacky fun that is Uncle Grandpa.

    If you go to 19:20 in this video, Maurice LaMarche explains why he’s not Yosemite Sam anymore and how Fred Tatasciore is his replacement (a very good one I might add)

    Like

    • silverstar

      More new Looney Tunes shorts? I dig it. I just really hope that WB sticks with the crazy version of Daffy Duck that we got in New Looney Tunes. Greedy, selfish, jealous-of-Bugs Daffy has been done to death; that version needs a rest. Bonkers Daffy has been a breath of fresh air, and was one of the highlights of NLT, so I hope he sticks around for a while. That illustration makes me think that the producers will once again be using the nutty Daffy here, as he looks a lot of the 40’s version of the character.

      The news that Peter Browngardt will be producing these shorts will probably give some fans pause, given the irrational hate-boner several people have for Uncle Grandpa, but speaking as someone who actually kind of liked UG, I think Browngardt can deliver the zaniness that these shorts need.

      Like

  7. I wasn’t a big fan of Wabbit/NLT. It lacked the energy that Disney was pulling off in spades with their Mickey Mouse shorts.
    Now that Pete Browngardt is on board, I have hope that these new shorts can fully reach their potential. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Like

    • I thought Wabbit/New Looney Tunes was funny myself. Warner Brothers and Disney have always had very distinct styles and different approaches from one another, so comparing the two of them is like comparing apples and oranges, but different strokes for different folks. For me, New Looney Tunes was what the Looney Tunes Show should have been. Mind you, while I didn’t love TLTS, I didn’t think that it was the worst thing ever.

      Like

    • silverstar

      Wabbit/NLT “lacked energy”? I’m not sure I follow you. I could see someone making that statement about The Looney Tunes Show, as that was waaayyy more subdued than any Looney Tunes project should have been (despite some amusing moments), but not NLT, which came off as better than previous attempts to bring the franchise to a modern era. WB tried making some new theatrical shorts a few years back; someone leaked them on one of the message boards I was on at the time; those shorts were OK, but they were lacking in spirit and frankly, just weren’t very funny. With NLT, you could tell the people behind it were having fun, and that joy and anarchic glee reflected on screen. Heck, NLT’s opening title sequence alone possessed more energy than TLTS’ entire 52-episode package.

      As for the Paul Rudish Mickey Mouse shorts, like Goldstar said, it’s apples and oranges. Some people prefer apples and some prefer oranges, but is an apple truly better than an orange, or are they just different? Disney and Warner Bros. are Coke and Pepsi: people can and will have their personal favorites, but you can’t really say that one is unequivocally better or worse because their styles and sensibilities are just different. I’ve seen both, each have their strengths, each have their weaknesses. I personally prefer Wabbit/NTT, but Looney Tunes has always been closer to my style of humor, though I enjoy the new Mickey shorts for what they are.

      Like

      • I think the user is trying to say that this show is the opposite extreme. Whereas detractors of The Looney Tunes Show thought it was too down to earth and slow paced for the franchise, detractors of this series think it goes in the opposite direction, in that it’s too fast paced and hyper to the point that it’s just a bunch of randomness with nothing clever about it, and characters acting like idiots and jerks. Again, I don’t think the show does that, but this user seems to think so.

        Like

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