Toon Adjacent: Bugs Bunny Meets the Super Heroes
So recently Jason came across this and showed it to me:
My initial thought upon seeing this was:
…But after having a little more time to process things, I have a little more to say about it. Unfortunately, we never actually saw this majestic spectacle unfold, and as far as we know, no more footage of this extravaganza exists, so I can only offer my initial impressions on it.
-First of all, I love how Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin are referred to as “The Super Heroes”, as if these 3 are the only superheroes in existence.
A more accurate title would be Bugs Bunny Meets the Justice League or Bugs Bunny Meets the Super Friends or Bugs Bunny Meets the DC Super Heroes, or the 3 of Them That We Could Fit Into This Venue, Anyway.
While the DC roster is, shall we say, a trifle limited, I can at least see the reasoning for it, from a technical standpoint. I can understand why Flash and Green Lantern weren’t used for this:
…As their super powers would have been impossible to replicate on a live stage, especially at such a small theater.
Similarly, I understand why they didn’t go with Aquaman: ’cause then they would’ve had to put a pool on the stage and the performers would have had to avoid falling into it, and the guy who would’ve played Aquaman would not only have to be able to fit into the suit, but also be a good swimmer, so yeah, it would’ve been too much of a hassle to make the ‘story’ of this show center around the ocean in order to accommodate him.
Green Arrow would’ve simply been redundant: they didn’t need 2 rich guys with toys, plus they couldn’t risk a stray arrow hitting somebody in the audience.
They likely went with Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin because they were the easiest ones to replicate on a live stage with no special effects. Of course you wouldn’t be seeing Batman whipping out his grappling hook or Wondy snaring someone with her magic lasso; once you strip away all the fancy stuff like the Lasso of Truth, silver armbands and fancy Bat-Gadgets, their powers basically amount to punching and kicking, so we just get 3 Justice League members for this show. Two if we’re not counting sidekicks.
On the Looney Tunes side, we get Bugs of course, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Taz, Speedy Gonzales, Foghorn Leghorn and a grossly oversized Tweety Bird. (Though not the human Looney Tunes like Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam for some reason.) I gotta say, these aren’t the greatest costumes I’ve ever seen. Daffy looks like he’s suffering from a bad case of Can’t-Shut-My-Beak-Itis. My guess is that Warner Bros. just gave whoever came up with this the OK to use their characters, but otherwise weren’t heavily involved in it. These costumes look more like outfits you’d buy for a kid’s birthday at Party City.
What’s funny about this is that it ran at the Baltimore Civic Center, and we’re Marylanders. How did this manage to slip past us? We’ve honestly never heard of this until Jason saw this commercial on his YouTube feed. The kid versions of ourselves would’ve wanted to go see this; I’m sure it would’ve been pure cheese, but it would’ve been entertaining cheese. For kid comic book and cartoon geeks, the Looney Tunes and the Justice League sharing a stage was like a video arcade that also had free pizza. If nothing else this could’ve been a fun show to riff on MST3K style. Now I wish I had seen this; I’m dying to know what sort of circumstances would create the need for 3 members of the Justice League to team up with the Looney Tunes. The very idea that Foghorn Leghorn exists somewhere in the DCU is utterly side-splitting to me.
One final note about the roster: we get Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman, but there’s a glaring omission here, one the size of a brontosaurus…
…WHERE THE HECK IS SUPERMAN???
You can’t have a live show starring the DC Super Heroes and not have Superman. That’d be like having a Disney live show without Mickey Mouse or a Muppets special without Kermit the Frog. You just don’t do that. What’s especially strange about Superman’s absence is that this show happened in 1979…
…The same year Superman: The Movie opened in theaters. You’d think any entrepreneur worth their salt would put Supes in the show just to cash in on all the hype. And it’s not like they couldn’t use Big Blue: all they’d have to do is put a buff guy in the blue-and-red suit and make some breakaway props for him to smash up. I know they couldn’t have him flying or using heat vision, but he could at least burst through a prop wall or something.
The big question raised by this is simply: who comes up with something like this??