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Should Bugs and the gang "get with the times" or stay "classic"?

Discussion in 'Back To The Inkwell - Classic Cartoons Discussion' started by CartoonSage, Oct 13, 2007.

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Can the Looney Tunes be truely resurected again?

  1. No! Never! The Looney Tunes are a Godley force that can be recreated the same way again!

    31.6%
  2. With the right talent and ideas we can make Looney Tunes TV shows/shorts in the with the same classi

    68.4%
  1. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    I fall on the side of common sense.

    Modern technology can be implemented gradually into newer Looney Tune shorts. The fact that DC still publishes a Looney Tunes monthly suggests that the creative personnel on the book are trying to retain the manic spirit of the classics, but having not read the book in several years, I'm not sure if they've slipped in too many modern appliances in recent times. In fact, the last LT story I really got into was the Superman-Bugs Bunny miniseries. Back in Action was OK, but not great.

    I was a fan of Loonatics, and felt that they were short-changed by biased critics virtually from the go. I saw it as a funny-animal Justice League satire, set in the future, even further down the line than Duck Dodgers, and Duck had the good fortune to meet Green Lantern!

    WB Animation gave up on DD & LU too soon, IMPO. Give the classic characters to someone who understands them (Paul Dini, maybe?), and turn 'em loose on a new generation.
     
  2. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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  3. DrTooth

    DrTooth Active Member

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    Loonatics was not well done. If they wanted to go with Satire, they could have actually made the show a satire. Instead, they opted for generic superherodom. I tried watching it a couple times and saw one or two good things in it (The second season where they were fighting other Looney Tunes) but not enough to say it was worth it. it seemed Duck Dodgers got right what Loonatics got wrong. They turned it into a satire of space opera, like the original cartoon was, while managing to be hip. That was where they went right.
     
  4. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras SUGAR RUSH!!!!

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    Well,good point actually "Dr.Tooth", (believe it or not) BUT the problem was the snubbing of other directors (though Jones had probalymuch more to do with that than the yiunger generation of directors---incidentally, the point here I was trying to make though was that Bob Clampett was the major
    creator of those and that Jones had it really in big time, for supposedly taking credit for everybody's contributions, for Clampett.

    (It's a continually-discussed issue of course, this apparent animated animostty between directors. A little irony at the bottoom)..

    The issue of Beany and Cecil would be the only place where the detractors of Bob Clampett WOULD be right, but that's outside Warner Brothers animation.Incidentally, just a little irony and coicidental anecdote-or two- after that first pupppet verison Jones twenty years later became president of ABC's children's programming department..even producing "Curiousity Shop" (am I right or was that CBS?) in 1971--with animation while his rival'sBeany and their old WB shorts were stillon SYNDICATION (1971)!!) and ABC themsevles had ironically (after KTLA broadcast the live one) broadcast the later versions of Beany--the 1949-1954 live and later 1961-1967 animated version-- and ABC later syndicated the OTHER WB cartoonists's Beany show's 1960s cartoon version!).

    Ironically the several time used more extremeversion of that was interesting Friz Freleng, who usually used a more symphatetic version but made Daffy even worse..in "Show Biz Bugs" (1957)with the tap dance as an exception and definitely in a earlier one "A Star is Bored (1956)...UGH(it was a short step to the first WB cartoon produced in-house in 1967 since earl 60s,."Rodent the Stardom" (1967)with Speedy in the Daffy role, even Eric B, who liked Tiny Toons admitted that the adult Daffy had gotten horrible by then.)

    (Therer were a few that DID however,on positive note try to recreate 1940s Daffy--"Hollywood Daffy" (1946), which Friz Freleng notrotiously directed with no credit due to it being removed due to fowl temper!!!(noted for that aspect-Yosemite Sam was suppsoedly based on him!) and "The Great Biggy Bank Robbery",directed by Bob Clampett, one of his last and at least with his name on it (the animators's head producers JackL.and co. not being too kind on those who had left or started arguments, if those directors wanted their name on the cartoons!) in the Tiny Toons series..few and far between ring a bell? :rolleyes:

    However, it was still the 1960s era Daffy of the Daffy/Speedy Gonzales shorts were the worst and something like that thankfully wasn't repeated.

    Just my humble opinion.:cool:

    BTW just for the spinning record (or CD if you prefer), Bob Clampett let the
    criticismby Chuck against him be one sided and had nothing but good words for all his fellow "Termite Terrace Warner cartoonists" and really could not understand the animosity directed at him (or at the other director and animators.)

    As for Loonatics, we all seem to definitely agree on that--IMO Duck Dodgers also was stretching a already wellknown short too far but it did have the space hero Daffy who was just trying to be a hero...(and the original short (1953)is a actually good one, a companion of shortslater to Bob McKimson's "Ducking the Daffy" (1957), since respectively Marvin the Martian (who debuts, by the way,in the last "associated artists productions" (ex-pre 1948 lineup issued to theatres in the 1950s and in syndication) rerun package short, "Haredevil Hare"(7/27/48)", and Tasmanian Devil costarred with Daffy for once, and not with Bugs",(the next after "Haredevil Hare", interestingly, in release, being Jones'sreturn to Henry Hawk, "You Were Never Duckier" (8/7/48),the first of the "post-48" Warner shorts and for years only on Saturday Morning TV, and with Daffy in one of his best Jones roles with Henry Hawk's (of McKimson Foghorn Leghorn fame) dad!) .
     
  5. Neon Noodle

    Neon Noodle New Member

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    It is gonna take some brave souls to get the same lasting quality. Especially now that we all are drowning in Political Correctedness. I think a fearless bunch of YOUNG rebel artist with enlighten and sligth;y warped writer could pull it off.
     
  6. DrTooth

    DrTooth Active Member

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    Much as I do hate overly political correctness, I feel it's mostly the problem of 2 sources. Entertainment exces and parental groups. One side just wants to throw things together for profit without caring about quality, while the other side wants everything dumbed and toned down so their kids (if they have any-which I'll go into another time) won't become the very same violent disrespectful people that they turn into anyway.


    Yeah, and those 1970's Cool Cat ones were pretty Lame as well. I like how they incorperated him into the Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries show. That was about it.

    I do agree that comparing Tiny Toons to the original classic WB cartoons of the 40's and 50's is like comparing frozen Pizza to Gourmet fresh baked stuff... but tne again, any and all cartoons, no matter how much I love them pretty much fall flat. These were the greats. You can never duplicate them, no matter how hard you try. It's like The Muppet Show vs Muppets tonight. While MT falls flat against the original, it still has a charm to it, and it keeps things fresh. I say those shows embody the spirit of the older cartoons for a new cartoon era. Even the newer LT toons have that sort of fun, albiet in a different extent.

    Loonatics, as I said was the wrong execution of the wrong idea. DD made them Daffy and Porky superheroes, but they managed to keep a cartoonish silliness to them. Where as Loonatics was trying to shove their personalities into superheroes, without letting the show become anything more than a routine Super Hero show, and a cliched and bad one at that. If they did something in conjunction with DC comics (like the Green Lantern episode of DD) and made the Looney League of stupor heroes or something, they would have had something.
     
  7. SPTO

    SPTO Member

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    Personally i'd love to see the Looney Tunes done the right way (I.E. Like the classics) however with this super sensitive politically correct era we live in it'll never happen.

    There are 3 things that Looney Tunes did so well that can't be done today

    1. They had truly unique characters with hm how can I say this, mental deficiiencies. Daffy was a nutjob who went into fits of anger and wackiness, Porky was a stutterer (ok not mental but you get my point) Yosemite Sam always used violence and had anger management issues, Bugs (at least in his best cartoons) was a cunniving Bas**** who took to wearing womens clothes when he needed to and finally Pepe Le Pew was a skunk on the verge of raping a cat in every one of his cartoons!

    2. LT did a great job of lampooning just about every popular figure and the pop culture of the day. I'm sure they can continue to lampoon pop culture but the continual poking fun of celebrities would have to be toned down to the point that it loses its effectiveness. Hell, even back then the guys at Termite Terrace was facing heat what with Bing Crosby threatening a lawsuit against WB!

    3. The writing was sharp, clever and fun. You combine that with some of the best animators to ever work together and you can see why it'll never work today. Animation today is way too homogenized. Yes I know the guys at Termite Terrace had their own signature styles but they broke the conventions of animation of that period. Warner Brothers is too concerned with their image to allow people to be that creative much less hire guys who can come up with crazy but fun stories.
     
  8. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Steve, you were right after all. Curiosity Shop aired on ABC (1971-3). I remember seeing a couple of eps at least, including one where Pam Ferdin sang "The Windmills of Your Mind". IMPO, it was ABC & Chuck Jones' attempt at copying the success of Capt. Kangaroo, but didn't have the staying power.
     
  9. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras SUGAR RUSH!!!!

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    Hey,the first option should have had a negative adverb or adjective; BOTH suggest that the cartoons CAN be recreated!!!
     
  10. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras SUGAR RUSH!!!!

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    In reply to:
    1. The problem as we know and as I've said...the characters went through a series of persona;ity quirks as they developed..can you imagine Daffy a Commando against Osama Bin Laden today unless they give him some USA support again, heck even in WOrld War Two years he was both a commando (Friz,1943?) and "Draftee Daffy" (Clampett,1944)! Bugs would be to some of the animation insiders and others who support classic animation (the Spumco folks and some others) rather, uh shall we say,effeminate to be a virile fighting rabbit,unless of course he's dressed in a hoodie as a street hood but that was pretty mcuh ten years ago.

    2.You probaly don't know how right you are on the impressions or how far back that kind of suit went...Bing Crosby's suit was back in the thirties before any star characters were really established, and both Jay Ward (Bullwinkle) and Hanna-Barbera (several of their key chararters),were said to have faced legalaction (Bert Lahr versus Snagglepuss! in cartoons and a Kellogs ad)

    3.You got that right but a fourth reason (drumroll please)

    4.Mel Blanc (and narrator Robert C.Bruce, wild villian Billy Bletcher, June Foray, Bea Benadaret,Stan Freberg, Daws Butler, comic impersonator Dave Barry-a Las Vegasand Ed Sullivan regular, not the younger namesake who is a humorist), Sarah Berner, and Mr.Elmer Fudd himself Arthur Q.Bryan et al.) were all from radio, honing their great skills..

    Plus
    5. Theatrical cartoons would probaly be the best tradition for them but there's no market for that..

    6.Even with digital projection and stuff and apparently ALL the labs (Technicolor, CFI, DeLuxe--a very troubled one like CineColor and Pathe! used to be and TruColoe really long long ago) getting much better Technicolor IB and before Technicolor 3-color was used for old shorts so new ones wouldlook just so bad that well...future compilations would have the seams showing (then again there were those 22 Cinecolor shorts at Warner and later teleivison prints were in dusty Eastmancolor of the "a.a.p.
    "Warner shorts!:p BTW remember old black and white home movie 8mm and 16mm prints of COLOR shows??)
     
  11. DrTooth

    DrTooth Active Member

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    Well, the Daffy thing goes back to the Chuck Jones change, from him being wacky to him being a broken down cartoon star who thinks he's better than he is (personality wise, I feel this is the case). Porky's Stuttering doesn't seem like it causes too much controvery now. They didn't have trouble with his stuttering in DD, and that was after the controversy that made him "politically incorrect". All those other things can be overlooked, actually. I've seen quite a few cartoons dress in drag since the whole "let's over simplify things and call it a sexual thing" movement. You know they "OMG bugss is gayyy" bit which makes me furious. Comedians used to dress in drag all the time.

    I dunno... Animaniacs was pretty brutal sometimes. They can still do that sort of thing, but they still have to change the celebrity names to a parody version.

    That I agree with Dead on. Everything has to be animated in Korea. There are no more big animators anymore, and I doubt WB would want to open up a studio and higher expensive indie animators, when they can cut costs to the nub and do everything overseas- and by companies that make everything look the same. As for writers, I think that there are people who can write sharp, witty clever scripts that capture the spirit of LT. Problem is, most of these people are fans, and franchises NEVER hire fans. And while a lot of professional writers can do that sort of thing, there aren't too many that aren't snots and would rather write unwitty sitcoms or incomprehensible screen plays.

    I feel a lot of the LT voice actors they have now really got the characters down. Joe Alasky (sp?) has a nice classical grain to his voice. I love his Daffy, Tweety, and Sylvester. I really dislike the inconsistant voice actor choices though. It's like they have several offical voices of each character. They all do good jobs with their respective characters, yes... but I really just want to see a consistancy. like Joe is our Official Daffy. Billy West is our official Bugs. Jim Cummings is our official Taz...etc.

    There hasn't been a market for them in YEARS. Yeah, a few cartoons will surface before a film now and then. Yeah, I saw that Mickey Mouse "Brain Panic" (or whatever it was called) cartoon before Geroge of the Jungle. And there were a couple others. But the problem outright is that they do NOT want to make cartoons before movies for multiple cost reasons, and the fact that tyhe cartoons have to be paired with specific films. Not just run interchangably with different films. That's what's missing from my movie going experiance. I don't want to see a theatrical version of a 30 second Coke ad stretched into 5 minutes. I wanna see Bugs, Daffy, Mighty mouse, Goofy. Someone like that. I will say, it would be a smart move to intergrate characters like that into theater advertisements though. I loved what Loews did with AAAH Real Monsters and (not a cartoon, but to serve my point) The Sesame Street Gang. If they can do that with Bugs or something, that'll be a step in the right direction.

    Seems there's a reason 7

    7: There's no market for them anywhere. WB wants to get out of making cartoons that aren't DTV, cable stations want to run nothing but flash in the pan pop shows, and there's no local syndication money. Other than that, I can't think of too many other sources, unless they make internet cartoons. Which is their best bet now, IMO.
     
  12. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Fourteen Years!

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    The only overseas animation studio I've seen that sort of captures an old school feel and would change in tone depending on the person animating certain scenes was Disney's television animation studio in Australia. It was always possible to see the animation change scene to scene and they always had a great sense of style, movement and comic timing which is completely missing in todays animation, where everything has to move and look the same. In the Disney Australia stuff, the characters would pop on and off model, move in some crazy spastic ways and make full use of the animated medium. It's a shame that they were toned down when Disney moved them off of television work only to be closed down a few years later.
     
  13. CartoonSage

    CartoonSage What's the matter, Scared?

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    They do have interweb cartoons and... ugh... Just check out "All new toons"
    http://looneytunes.warnerbros.com/web/toons/toons.jsp
     
  14. John Pannozzi

    John Pannozzi Still Gritty after all these years

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    They use the Looney Tune characters in theater ads at the Warner Mycal Cinemas in Japan.
     
  15. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras SUGAR RUSH!!!!

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    Cummings is too much a dead on soundalike of live actors for me, and many felt after he stole Pooh and Tigger's voices away from them at Di$ney, and Billy West after he help John Kricfalusi fallfrom Ren and Stimpy by staying with Nickelodeon, taking over Ren (heck, even claiming his voice) the chihuahua, lost me long ago.(And others as well.Again.)

    Almost makes me appreciate the great one-voicers of old (like the name suggests, like most celebrities they have one voice.) Mel Blanc made a habit of (usually) NEVER doing impressions (well, several like Lorre and radio comic actor Kenny Delmar for Foghorn Leghorn) and if he'd lived (he died in 1989, aged 81) to see Jim Cummings(?) (sorry, Disney, but Tigger's voice..for
    me Paul Winchell'sthe only one, and Holloway is Pooh to me!) and others
    who imitate vocal acotrs's characters of celebrities without their permission
    mentioned in his class he would DEFINITELY have a heart attack and die. (One person mentioned on rec.arts.animation that Blanc, at the poster's college in the 1970s, bashed on other actors and "Steve Worth/Bigshot" of Spumco claimed, as most felt, it was because others did impressions of others. Curiously one of these was Daws Butler who IMO strayed away from thin ice and broken eggshells with this (his "Frank Fontaine/Pete Puma" for Sam the orange cat of Tweety fame and the lion Crazy Leroy of Hucklebrry,among others, is deep voiced unlike the Stan Freberg voice of Pete Puma!)-"Cowardly Lion" comic actor ("The Wizard of Oz"!!)Bert Lahr didn't feel that way, though...:))

    That was panned by some (the authors of 1998's Disney:The Mouse Betrayed) as a out of character Mickey even though it was the comic strip
    version of him (and of course Disney retired that version).

    Good point and I have heard awful things about those, and the attempts they did at made for video and theatrical shorts. I'll stick with the 1940s-early 50s ones for now.:p
     
  16. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Fourteen Years!

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    What are you talking about? Didn't Paul Winchell retire in the late eighties, allowing Cummings to step in and take over the voices of Tigger and Zummi Gummi from The Gummi Bears? I've never heard that Cummings stole anything from Winchell. In fact, I've heard that Cummings and Winchell traded Tigger back and forth before Winchell retired, so obviously there wasn't any bad blood. Paul's daughter April voiced Peg alongside Cumming's Pete on Goof Troop and also is the official voice for Clarabell Cow. So as far as I'm concerned Cummings stole nothing from Paul Winchell. It was a natural progression. And spelling Disney with a $ had gotten really played out.

    And I'd like to add that the more time goes by and the more John K becomes a know-it-all pompous ass the less I feel bad that his creations were taken from him and put in the hands of others. Nick owned the characters of Ren and Stimpy and John K was unable to adhere to their guidelines and get work out on time. I truly believe he had no one to blame but himself for what happened to him. Billy West had to do what he had to do by sticking with the show and voicing Ren.

    So Jim Cummings lost respect from people by voicing characters that were given to him by an retiring voice actor in the first place? Yeah, I don't believe that for a second. I Billy West may have lost some fans among John K purists, but he's still a very talented and accomplished voice actor. They both are.

    And finally, since this whole thing started with a mention of Cummings voicing Taz, I'd like to point out that his Taz sounds very little like Mel's. He's made that character his own.

    Sounds to me like your a purist regarding the original voices of cartoon characters. But if we retired characters after their original voice actors died or retired all the classic Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbara characters would have been mothballed somewhere for decades. Same with the Muppets.
     
  17. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras SUGAR RUSH!!!!

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    Sorry :cool: My bad. But over in readnews groups there WAS form insiders anger over the Jim Cummings versus Paul Winchell issue (I'm not sure about the Sterling Holloway issue--Hal Smith had done Pooh I beleive for the famred out one Disney did back in the eighties for Rick Reinert Productions of Captain O.G.Readmorre 80s TV fame and also I agree the Disney with a dollar sign HAS beed played out and that is the rare case of ME using it.Sorry..:))

    Anyway, John K. was the original Ren yet Billy West, love or hate John, went on Howard Stren from what I've read in another unrelated messageabord that I subscribe to, and took credit for the voices. (Who knows? He may have created the voice of Ren..of couirse we can thank Peter Lorre, Kirk Douglas, and even Burl Ives for influencing the voice in the first place..).

    But I think a lot of people spoke forme and for themselves when they felt if the originmal voices or any other creator died, the characters in their series should be retired. (Like Charles Schultz in comics, and in that medium also Krazy Kat creator George Herriman in WWII though I was suprrsied but how much I used to like Krazy Kat King Features Kartoons (to keep with the near alliteration) as a kid, but then that was in a different medium..for whatever that's worth.

    Incidentally, when Elmer Fudd's voice Arthur Q.Bryan died, a couple of others, including Mel Blanc, tried the voice, to varying degrees of success :rolleyes:
     
  18. aalong64

    aalong64 Active Member

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    Exactly, they didn't retire the character. And it also means that Mel Blanc himself did that whole "imitating another actor's voice" thing, too. It seems sort of hypocritical to attack others for doing the same thing.
     
  19. goofygraffix

    goofygraffix Such a silly boy...

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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
     
  20. Gary L Thompson

    Gary L Thompson Active Member

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    My vote was "yes", though I understand possible is never the same as likely. The only reason there's a chance at all is because Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Fritz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Frank Tashlin, Bob McKimson, Carl Stalling and Mel Blanc set such a high bar for succeeding generations to aim at. And the originals did not have unbridled creative control, they were under some pretty strict budgetary restrictions and strict deadlines to produce a seven-minute cartoon (eight minutes were too expensive, and six minutes theaters would not accept) by a certain date. But if they satisfied those, the head honchos would pretty much give the cartoonists free reign, even if they didn't always understand the material. That probably explains the excellence of LT/MM, the tight restrictions explains why they never veered into the pomposity, crudity, anarchy or unfunny violence that marks today's creative efforts, while the freedom they had otherwise explains why they were never paint-by-the-numbers stuff that marks today's product made strictly for commercial reasons. (WB never really understood Termite Terrace and tended to treat it with a benign neglect, actually. The only difference today, Time-Warner execs do have some notion of the commercial value of the Looney Tunes characters, which unfortunately has led to counterproductive corporate interference).

    I think the market is still there. What killed theatrical shorts was that while production costs rose, theaters would not pay any more for a short than they would before. Walt Disney went into features as early as the 1930s because he saw that income from theatrical shorts would always be limited, which led to live-action features and then to theme parks, and so on....

    However, TV revealed that theatrical shorts had the potential of providing limitless income for years on end. LT/MM, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker and Tom and Jerry have gained fans generation after generation; Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Casper the Ghost, Mister Magoo and Pink Panther enjoyed shorter runs, and even lesser lights like Van Buren studio product enjoyed brief hit status in the early days of TV. This certainly indicates that theatrical shorts make financial sense--trouble is, it would take intelligent planning for over a 10-20 year horizon, something modern entertainment corporate thinking seems incapable of.

    Amen. Like I said, the old WBs avoided those two extremes.

    To be fair, "Loonatics" was vastly improved in its second season. Still, it has to rank as the weakest Silver Age WBA series, except for the wholly-misguided "Baby Looney Tunes".
     

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