That’s Warner Brothers!/Unpopular Opinions: This Must Be Bizarro World

“The following am very important and worth everyone’s time.”

Htrea, aka Bizarro World, is an imperfect, messed-up funhouse mirror duplicate of Earth where everything is the opposite of our world: cats chase dogs, jokes make people cry, boy bands play instruments and Bizarro Joker is the only sane person on the planet.

These days I swear I must be living on Bizarro World, because there was a time if someone told me that Bugs Bunny Builders, an upcoming preschool show for Cartoon Network’s Cartoonito block, would be the show that interests me and that I’m curious to see an episode or two of…

And Tiny Toons Looniversity, a new adaptation of the wonderful 90’s series Tiny Toon Adventures, would be the show that I couldn’t give two squats about…

I’d have told them they were crazy.

But here we are.

I don’t get it either. I’ve tried, folks; I’ve legitimately tried to generate some interest in Tiny Toons Looniversity, but it just ain’t happening. I have zero interest in this show. I’m not even slightly curious about it.

The show I am interested in seeing is Bugs Bunny Builders, the Cartoonito show with squashed versions of Bugs, Lola, Daffy, Porky and Tweety as construction workers taking on all the jobs that Bob the Builder rejected.

“Can we build it? Eh, maybe.”

I know TTL is the show I should be psyched for; I was a big fan of Tiny Toons back in the day, but I’m just not. I think I know why, though: One reason is Reboot Fatigue: I’m legit getting tired of all of these studios strip-mining the nostalgia of Millennials. Another reason is one that I brought up in an earlier Talkin’ Nerdy: I simply don’t think we need another Tiny Toons show right now.

Don’t get wrong; as previously stated, I was a fan of the original Tiny Toons. It definitely filled a need: TT premiered in 1990; back then there was almost no Looney Tunes media aside from The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show on ABC and assorted VHS compilations (anybody remember VHS?), but those were all just collections of the old theatrical shorts, Warner Bros. wasn’t making any new stuff with the Looney Tunes (Space Jam wouldn’t happen for another six years, and this was even before shows like Bugs & Daffy or The ACME Hour — Cartoon Network wouldn’t launch until 1992), so Tiny Toons was as close as we could get to a new Looney Tunes show at the time. It also didn’t hurt that TT was one of the very few syndicated animated series which was all-comedy in an era when most cartoons were action-based or action-comedy hybrids. So I’m not knocking what Tiny Toons contributed to the cultural lexicon.

BUUUT that was then. Today we’re experiencing a kind of Looney Tunes Renaissance: we’ve since gotten no less than 3 new Looney Tunes shows…

Count ’em. Three.

We had a movie this past summer (Space Jam: A New Legacy) and we’ve got 2 new Looney Tunes shows waiting in the wings: the aforementioned Bugs Bunny Builders

…And Tweety Mysteries. Not to mention that Wile E. Coyote VS ACME movie which is supposedly still happening and will be out…sometime.

So with WB doing all this new stuff with the Looney Tunes, what do we need a new Tiny Toons show for? If you own a designer original, what do you need with a knockoff?

Again, I enjoyed Tiny Toons back in the day, but there’s nothing WB can do with Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hamton and Dizzy that they can’t already do with Bugs, Lola, Daffy, Porky and Taz, and when you strip Tiny Toons down to its’ bare bones, Tiny Toons was just a kiddification. I didn’t think we needed a new Animaniacs either (and still don’t), but at least in the case of A!, the characters, while created in the spirit of Looney Tunes, are still original characters with their own shticks. TT, by contrast, did some great shorts, but the characters will always just be junior versions of the Looney Tunes and consequently will always be in their collective shadow.

“You are wrong! The Tiny Toons are original characters! They’re teenagers, unlike the Looney Tunes! There’s all kinds of stuff they can do with them! You’re just a hater!”

Really, what can the producers do on a new Tiny Toons show? A show devoted to part-time jobs? They did that in the first series. Dating and the prom? They did that too. Cramming for exams? They did that. The big football game? Done that. Field trips? Seen that. The only thing they can’t do in this new series is constantly remind us again and again that it’s the 90’s.

Sure, the producers are doing the world a favor by dropping the odious Elmyra from the show, but that’s still not enough to make me interested in it.

By contrast, Bugs Bunny Builders offers things I haven’t seen before.

For one, the cast.

Rather than centering the show on all of the Tunes as a whole, BBB looks like it’ll just be focusing on a crew of 5: Bugs, Porky, Lola, Daffy and Tweety (Tweety being there without Sylvester is kind of weird, though). I’m sure other Looney Tunes characters will make appearances, but I like the minimalist approach the producers are taking with this show.

Second, it looks like we’ll be getting a version of Lola Bunny that’s actually funny. Dare I say, LOONY!

I’m definitely looking forward to that after the comparatively bland version we got in Space Jam: A New Legacy. It’s quite a leap from a “too cool for school” Lola who sounded like Zendaya to a bubbly, silly one who sounds like one of the Chipettes, but I’m not complaining.

But what really sold me on BBB is this:

If this image is any indication, then it looks like Daffy on this show will be his earlier “crazy, darn-fool” version, which again we didn’t get in New Legacy.

Plucky Duck from Tiny Toons was straight-up 1950’s Daffy, which is fine, but I prefer the nuttier 1940’s version overall.

It looks like we may finally be getting the long-awaited Bugs and Crazy Daffy team-up for the first time…on a preschool show! I tell you, we’re in Bizarro World!

To (finally) sum up, I guess I relate to what producer/writer Paul Rugg said when asked why wouldn’t be participating in the Animaniacs reboot:

“Here’s the thing: I did that. 20 years ago.”

That basically sums up my feelings about these reboots. Tiny Toons was great. Animaniacs was great. But both shows were products of the 90’s that I don’t need to see more of. It’s like Eek! The Cat.

I watched Eek! when it was on, I got a kick out of it, but I don’t need to see Eek! suddenly pop back into existence and find out what he’s been up to these past 20 years. I saw the originals, I’m good.

I haven’t seen 5 of the top tier Looney Tunes try to build stuff with kooky stylized vehicles and equipment, so I’m more inclined to check that out.
“That been very bad post! This will be very unpopular and earn you many, many dislikes!”

-Yeah, I know.

Quick Twinsanity 2.0 Update: Cartoon Country Gets Re-Branded…Again!

Hey, y’all.

Remember back in 2020, when we said this?

“Cartoon Country will not be making the transition to videos, at least not entirely. Damon believes that CC too closely resembles a conventional review show, which we’re trying to steer away from. Meanwhile I’ve been concerned for some time now that Cartoon Country and my miniseries What The Funny are too similar to one another for them both to coexist as separate entities, but WTF is too popular and we both enjoy doing them, so there was never the thought of dropping that segment. I was going to bring CC back as something else, but I have no idea what that something else could be. If Cartoon Country were to continue, I think it would need to have some sort of specific theme (such as Tony Goldmark’s Escape From Vault Disney, Doug Walker’s Disneycember, Austin Hardgrave’s Zelda Month or Allison Pregler’s Baywatching) rather than just be a grab bag of cartoons in general, since that’s basically what our show is; having a mish-mash segment on our mish-mash show would be quite redundant.”

Well, we may have found that special niche for the segment formerly known as Cartoon Country to embody. Jason and myself have been kicking the idea nut around, and it’s looking like going forward we’ll be re-re-branding Cartoon Country as a new segment called (drum roll, please)…That’s Warner Brothers!

What will That’s Warner Brothers! be about? I’m glad I pretended you asked. TWB! will be presented in the same manner as the Cartoon Countries, but as the name implies, instead of them being a grab-bag which focuses on a random show or franchise each time, TWB! will exclusively focus on the works of Warner Bros. Studios specifically. There will of course be segments spotlighting Looney Tunes (the most obvious example), but it will also encompass other shows and franchises under the Warner umbrella such as Hanna-Barbera (this includes Cartoon Network’s Cartoon-Cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as HB-Adjacent works like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet), Tom & Jerry, Silver Age WB shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Freakazoid!, and works based on or derived from Detective Comics (DC).

In addition to doing Cartoon Country style deep dives into WB produced shows and franchises, That’s Warner Brothers! will also spotlight commercials, shorts, toys, consumer products, TV specials and whatever else we feel like, as long as it somehow pertains to the works of Warner Bros. Studios.

So it looks like Cartoon Country will be making the jump to Twinsanity 2.0 after all, just under a different name and with a modified theme. When? I can’t say right now, but we’ll keep you posted on our progress and events as they happen. Stay tooned!

What The Funny #9: Next Time, Phone Ahead!

Freakazoid Freaking Out

NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY!!

Cogsgrove Cut it Out

“Cut it out!”

Before we get into it, permit me to apologize for the ridiculously long delay. I had planned to get this (along with the ‘Six Favorite Sonic Zones’ Videots and the Toon Adjacent for The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera) out in September, but September proved to be a really crappy month for blogging; it was just one dumb distraction after another. So yeah, this one is extremely late, but thankfully I’ve managed to squeeze this post in right at the end of October, so I’ll be coming into November with only 2 more Freakazoid! What The Funny installments before we can move to the next set of miniseries. Now, on with the insanity!

The short we’ll be spotlighting today is a segment of Season 1, Episode 11, Next Time, Phone Ahead!

Next_time_phone_ahead

Premise: Dexter Douglas/Freakazoid have a close encounter with a space alien who’s stranded on Earth.

This episode is a spoof of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

no-shit-sherlock

Gag Credits:

Network Censor: Emmitt Nervend

Find Emmitt Nervend: And Send Him Home

Tag:

Mo-Ron

“Deuuuhhhh….”

Highlights:

A flying saucer full of aliens makes a ‘pit stop’ on Earth…

Geico Girls 2

“Ew.” “Seriously?” “So gross.”

…And leaves someone behind: a giant grotesque monster who hides in the trash cans outside of the Douglases’ house and devours Dexter. Fade Out and…

The End

We then cut to TV snow, and discover that this is a pre-screening/table read on the episode with Spielberg himself and various WB staff members…

NTPA Staff Meeting

And Emmitt Nervend as The Beaver.

..who are thinking that they should end the show early and show more Animaniacs reruns.

Warner Sibs 1

“We’re Animaniacs!/And they’re lazy to the max!”

Steven Spielberg does not particularly like this ending. At first, the writers and crew of Freakazoid! convince him to fall in line with their plan. However, Spielberg has other plans, and weaves an oddly familiar story…

It now turns out the the aliens left behind one of their own, namely, this guy:

Mo-Ron

Deuuhhhh, I am…

For the uninformed, this is Mo-Ron, an alien whose intelligence lives up to his name. (Although in this short, his name is mysteriously changed to Bo-Ron.)

Whaaaat

I don’t know why they changed it, either.

Anyway, Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron/Whatever is is one of the few people who is aware of Freakazoid’s secret identity, presumably not because Freakazoid trusts him, but moreso because Freakazoid assumes Bo-Ron is too stupid to remember or care. He is voiced by Stan Freberg. He was first seen in an earlier episode’s wraparounds; when Mo-Ron arrives on Earth, President Bill Clinton and Freakazoid cautiously but eagerly await humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life, hoping to learn the secrets of the universe. Instead, they are confronted with this overweight, belly-button-picking nitwit who repeatedly introduces himself and who thinks that 2 + 2 = 22. They then go to Plan B, blasting the heck out of the creature, but Mo-Ron survives. He continues to hang out with Freakazoid for awhile afterward, until he finally remembers his message: a giant comet is coming to Earth. His warning is too late, and the comet collides with the planet. Whoops!

Here, he’s spotted in the Douglases’ backyard by Dexter…

NTPA 4

Gasp!

…And also by Freakazoid, who’s hanging out in the Freakazone (not to be confused with the Freakalair), a private space inside Dexter’s mind where Freak ponders stuff like taking over Switzerland so he can have all the chocolate and chillaxes watching reruns of Rat Patrol.

NTPA 3

Interestingly, the Freakazone was never depicted again after this episode.

Dexter meets and befriends Mo-Ron, who gives him a ultra-tight bear hug causing Dex to switch to Freakazoid (who murmurs “Help Me!” a la The Fly). Mo-Ron reveals that he’s now going by the name Bo-Ron for some reason and that he hails from the planet Barone’s.

Barones

Barone’s is an Italian restaurant and longtime Southern California institution. Gotta love those inside jokes.

Taking the alien to the Freakalair via the Freakafall (also never referenced again after this episode)…

NTPA 2

Freak proceeds to teach Bo-Ron the ways of Earth.

NTPA 5

Steff_2

-Incidentally, the Freakafall is operated by Steff, who is wearing an outfit similar to the original character design by Bruce Timm, with short shorts and a peaked cap.

FREAKAZOID’S EARTH LESSONS

-Never run with scissors.

-The four basic food groups are ice cream, candy, cakes, and very large cakes.

-Always ask for a piece of the gross, not the net; the net is fantasy.

-Never try to catch a roadrunner; it’s impossible.

WHOA BE-GONE

Incidentally, the short the 2 of them are watching as Freak says this is “Who, Be Gone!” from 1958.

-Stay out of your father’s underwear drawer!

-Eating carrots gives you X-ray vision! (In the background, we see a horrified Steff running out of the room)

-Diane Sawyer seems sincere, but she’s actually faking it.

Dexter even tries to keep Bo-Ron, but hiding a giant bulbous green alien in his house proves difficult.

NTPA 6

When Dexter tries to pass Bo-Ron off as a ‘rare Peruvian spider monkey’, he says “Pretty Amy. Good monkey.” This is referencing Frank Marshall’s 1995 film Congo, which featured a gorilla named Amy who had been taught human communication. Ruegger, Rugg and McCann had gone to the theater to see Congo during production of the show, and found it amusingly terrible.

Finally, Dex’s parents tell him no, and Freak informs Bo-Ron that while he’d like for him to stay, “It’s gettin’ kinda funky” and he has to call his fellow beings to pick him up. Bo-Ron reveals that he’s never picked out a carrier or a phone plan…

Aerial Dogfight

…Leading to an aerial dogfight between phone companies!

Eventually, a winner is chosen…

NPTA Gif

This is a reference to actress Candace Bergen, who was then spokeswoman for Sprint.

And Bo-Ron phones home. (You knew it was coming.) At first, he gets the machine, which according to him is “always on. You’re there! I know you’re there! Pick up! PICK UP!”

NTPA 7

But eventually, his ship arrives. Bo-Ron bids farewell to his friend “Red Underwear Man” and leaves Dexter with something special: a whopping huge phone bill!

Warner Sibs 2

Ultimately, Spielberg and the crew agree that Animaniacs reruns are the better bet after all.

Thoughts:

Not much else to say about this one, except that it’s a fun romp. Nothing big or spectacular, just an E.T. parody featuring Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron, a ton of in-jokes and Freakazoid’s in it. What you see with this one is what you get.

My rating: 3 out of 5.

Next up is a glorious one-shot, Toby Danger. Stay tooned.

Toons & Tunes: Cock of the Walk

Today’s Toons & Tunes comes to us courtesy of The Looney Tunes Show. (I’ve been in a Looney Tunes vibe recently, as you could probably tell.) The loudmouthed Southern rooster Foghorn Leghorn has always been a legend in his own mind, so what better way to illustrate that point than having him belt out a country tune where he brags about all of his alleged accomplishments? Here’s “Cock of the Walk”.

(It’s there, trust me. Click on it.)

-Look for cameos from Pepe LePew, the Instant Martians and Miss Prissy!

Big Ideas: Acme Oop!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Those of you who have stuck with us from the beginning may, as you read this, think “Didn’t they post this already?” Well, yes and no. I originally typed this entry while we were on Blogger; when we imported the site over to WordPress, I recently discovered that this particular article had gotten “lost” somehow; long story short, the original copy of this article is floating around in Limbo somewhere. While this idea is a couple of years old, I still think it’s a good one, so for posterity’s sake I thought I’d type it again, since the original one couldn’t be retrieved.

Hey, remember The Looney Tunes Show?

the_looney_tunes_show

The Looney Tunes Show was an attempt by Warner Brothers Animation to introduce the Looney Tunes franchise to an all-new audience, and as such, it did its’ job well enough, lasting 2 seasons with 52 episodes in total, however, TLTS was also a very polarizing show; while some people enjoyed it, a lot of Looney Tunes purists derided the series, feeling it lacked the teeth and anarchic glee of the original shorts, as the show lacked the slapstick and “squash-and-stretch” physics of the original cartoons. This was due to the show’s executive producers, Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, feeling that they weren’t capable of emulating the shorts’ style. As a result, The Looney Tunes Show was more reminiscent of Seinfeld than the original theatrical cartoons.

Me? I felt The Looney Tunes Show was just OK. I liked the show, but I didn’t love it. I’d like to love a Looney Tunes show again. The Looney Tunes Show was all right, but didn’t ignite my fandom the way, say, Tiny Toon Adventures did.

That last particular thought gave me an idea: why doesn’t someone at WB make a Looney Tunes show Tiny Toons style? I came up with a hypothetical series done just that way. I call this series Acme Oop!

acme-oop

Tiny Toons fans will remember that Acme Oop! was the title of the new show that Warner Bros. was holding auditions for in the episode “Two-Tone Town”. I couldn’t have been the only one who, when they saw this episode, wished that Acme Oop! was a real show. Sorry, but forget the Two-Tone plot, an Amblin produced Looney Tunes show? I want to see that cartoon!

freakazoid

“The name makes me happy!”

Like on The Looney Tunes Show, Acme Oop! would place nearly all of the major Looney Tunes characters in a singular setting, in this case Acme Acres. Like on Tiny Toons, Acme Acres is like a world in microcosm (where of course, EVERYTHING is named Acme), housing several diverse locations and areas to accommodate the various characters. There’s Acme Forest, home to animal characters such as Bugs, Lola, Tina (or Melissa, whichever you prefer), Mac and Tosh, Pepe, Squeaks the Squirrel and Daffy.

daffy-duck

Speaking of Daffy, the Acme Oop! version of Daffy would have more in common with the 30’s and 40’s versions of the character than the later 50’s and 60’s version. In short, this Daffy would be”totally nuts” rather than greedy and selfish.

As for Lola, another VERY polarizing element to The Looney Tunes Show, the Acme Oop! version of the character would be a mash-up of the scatterbrained motor-mouthed version from TLTS…

lola-the-looney-tunes-show-23091595-1280-1024

…And the hyper-kinetic version from New Looney Tunes…

Lolabunny

…Definitely NOT the attractive but bland cipher from Space Jam

MSDSPJA EC025

We like the Looney Tunes Show and New Looney Tunes versions of Lola. We prefer funny Lola over hot Lola. Deal with it, ya nerds.

bugs_bunny_and_wile_e-_coyote_wabbit

As on Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production, Wile E. Coyote would be the pompous, technology-obsessed next-door neighbor to Bugs, with a vast desert-like expanse stemming from his side of the fence. This would be the gateway to the Acme Wild, home of characters such as Wile, the Road Runner, Taz, Pete Puma and Beaky Buzzard.

tlts-cul-de-sac

The human characters would live in a suburban cul-de-sac called Acme Oaks, again not unlike on The Looney Tunes Show. As on that show, Granny would live in an old-style manor, with Tweety, Sylvester and Hector the bulldog as her pets, Yosemite Sam would live in a dilapidated shotgun shack, Witch Hazel and Gossamer would live in a Gothic style haunted house, plus I’d add Elmer Fudd there as well, since I thought it was kind of wrong how he was given such a small role on The Looney Tunes Show.

elmer-fudd

The Acme Oop! version of Elmer would be a “big time game hunter” and host of a hunting show where he shows off his hunting prowess (except for a certain wabbit who somehow keeps eluding him). Just to make things more interesting, Fudd here would also be a millionaire, owning “a mansion and a yacht”.

porky-pig

Porky, whose always been a “border line case”, would live on the outskirts of Acme Oaks adjacent to Acme Farms, where Foghorn Leghorn, the Barnyard Dawg and Henery Hawk reside.

Now, you may be wondering:

question_block_art_-_new_super_mario_bros

Aside from 1 or 2 changes you made, how is this different from The Looney Tunes Show?

I’m glad I pretended that you asked that. What sets Acme Oop! apart from The Looney Tunes Show is its’ tone and presentation. Acme Oop! would a variety of shorts per show, ranging from 90 seconds to 6 minutes in length, some with a common theme and some completely unrelated (you never know–anarchy!).

In addition, between the shorts there would also be song segments, the Merrie Melodies.

merry_melodies_the_looney_tunes_show

These would be the same as the ones from The Looney Tunes Show. No need to fix something that isn’t broken.

There would also be a recurring segment called “One-Shot Wonders”. These would present the characters in more unusual settings, like genre parodies or period pieces. (The One-Shot Wonders would be rendered in CGI to show that they’re different from the “actual” continuity.) There would also be the occasional one-shot featuring new, never-before-seen characters.

The other major difference would be that Acme Oop! would contain slapstick. A lot of it. There would be “squash-and-stretch” gags, Bugs donning disguises and breaking the 4th wall (Bugs could even freeze the action to address the audience a la Zack Morris; to keep him special, Bugs would be the only character who could do this), Elmer and Yosemite Sam would once again wield their trademark guns, but now they’d fire cartoon props and effects such as popping corks, paint balls, suction darts, land mines, springboard boxing gloves, custard cream pies, etc., Witch Hazel casts a lot of spells, Gossamer causing collateral damage with his massive strength, lots of “BOOM”s, “CLANG”s and “POW”s and falling anvils.

Finally, Acme Oop! would feature character-specific sign-offs; they would depict a different character opening the WB trademark shield like a vault door and giving a farewell greeting to the audience. Some would be the ones previously used in Tiny Toon Adventures and The Looney Tunes Show, others would be new and some would be specific to a particular episode. Among the recurring sign-offs”:

TLTS Signoff

  • Porky: “Th-th-th-That’s All, Folks!”
  • Bugs: “And that’s the end.”
  • (Bugs and Squeaks) Squeaks: (chatters incomprehensibly) Bugs: “Eh, what he said.”
  • Daffy: (Hammy Shakespearean style) “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
  • Daffy: “Hey! Wanna see my butt tattoo??” (The vault door slams shut on him) “Woo-hoo!”
  • Daffy: “It’s been surreal!” (He pulls out a TV remote and switches the image off.)
  • Lola: “‘That’s all what?” What are ‘folks’? (Points off-screen) “He’s crazy.”
  • Lola: (a la Humphrey Bogart) “That’s all, folks!”
  • Lola: (leaning in the doorway) “That’s all, f…” (She falls from the doorway and lands off-screen with a thud)
  • Lola: (a la Tracey Ullman) “GO HOME!”
  • Elmer: (in full hunter’s garb) “It’s been a bwast!” (He drops his rifle and it blasts a hole though his hat. He shrugs and gives his trademark Fudd laugh.)
  • Sam: “It’s over. Now git!”
  • (Bugs and Lola) Bugs: “Say goodnight, Lola.” Lola: “Goodnight, Lola.”
  • (Bugs and Porky) Porky: Th-th-th-th-th-th…(Bugs covers his mouth) “That’s a wrap!”
  • Taz: &%$#@#^%^#! (gestures as though he’s saying “That’s all, folks!”)
  • Taz: “Show over!” (He proceeds to devour everything on the screen until he’s left standing in a black expanse, then plummets off-screen.)
  • Speedy: “iHasta luego, amigos!” (“See you later, friends!”)
  • Mac & Tosh: (in unison) “That’s all..Oh, after you. No, after you. After you. After you. After you. After you…(etc.)
  • Sylvester: (Roars like Leo the MGM lion, then puts his paw over his mouth) “‘Scuse me!”
  • Witch Hazel: (as though she’s reciting an incantation) “That’s all folks, that’s all folks, that’s all folks!” (She vanishes in a puff of purple smoke, hair pins and bat wings.)
  • Pepe: “Au revoir, mon petit potato du couch!”
  • Pete Puma: Duh, let the show begin!”

looneytalkback

Hey, I’d watch a show like this, wouldn’t you? How about it, Warner Brothers? Make this happen.