Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Warner Cable vs. Viacom, and Happy New Year!

Cartoon Brew reports that if an agreement between Time Warner Cable and Viacom over money is not reached by midnight tonight (here in Texas, that's in one hour) Time Warner Cable customers will be ringing in the New Year with no Nickelodeon, no Comedy Central, no MTV, and no Spike TV, among others. That gives 'em no excuse not to watch Cartoon Network's Looney Tunes marathon!

We at Misce-Looney-Ous want to wish you all a very happy New Year.

Rose Runner and Bootleg Bugs

A quick post with a couple links of interest before we say goodbye to 2008.

  • A float of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote representing the state of New Mexico will be featured in the annual Tournament of Roses parade on New Years Day. For more pictures and information, check out Jerry Beck's post over on Cartoon Brew.

  • The Undiscovered Playthings blog takes a look at series of incredibly awful bootleg Space Jam action figures.
  • Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    Mel Blanc reference in "Super Mario Bros. Z"

    While this has nothing to do with Looney Tunes per se (sort of like the Johnny Bravo/Scooby Doo cartoon in one of my previous entries) it does feature two classic vocal effects from the great Mel Blanc.

    "Super Mario Bros. Z" is an epic Youtube series created by a fellow named Mark Haynes, also known as "Alvin Earthworm". A couple years in the making and still ongoing, it is an all-out tribute to classic video games, with a plot modeled after the ridiculously long-winded and twisting plots of the anime series "Dragon Ball Z". If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you'll be pleasantly surprised...this thing is truly a work of art. Animated mostly in Flash and using graphics from old video games, the story chronicles a clash between the worlds of "Super Mario Bros." and "Sonic the Hedgehog". Sonic has a fight with an evil mechanical clone of himself over control of the "chaos emeralds", a bunch of gems from the Sonic games that, when combined, give their holder ultimate power. Sonic casts them into the Mushroom World of Mario to keep them out of the mechanical monster's reach, leading to a meeting of the Sonic and Mario "universes". It goes on seemingly forever, but it's entertaining as all get-out!

    Anyway, the latest installment features a clever use of Mel Blanc's Yosemite Sam mutterings and Daffy Duck screams. See if you can catch them, and then check out the rest of the series, that is, if you have a lot of time on your hands!

    Just in case you need another reminder...

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    UPDATE - Cartoon Network rings in 2009 with a Looney Tunes marathon!

    A follow-up and update to Matthew's post from the other day. I have confirmed the information with the folks at Cartoon Network, and the rumors are true. There WILL be an all-day Looney Tunes Marathon on New Year's Day! They even sent along a complete schedule which I have posted over on the GAC Forums.

    Be sure to spread the word and tune in! This is a one-day special event. The viewership of this marathon will determine if CN will do more with the Looney Tunes in 2009.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Family Guy riffs on Speedy Gonzales

    I don't think we ever posted this clip before. This is a gag from a fairly recent (within the last 2 or 3 seasons or so) episode of "Family Guy". As obnoxious as the cutaway gags in this show can be, this one cracked me up. That's Jeff Bergman as Sylvester, by the way.

    Saturday, December 20, 2008

    "Bravo Dooby Doo"

    This post has little to do with Looney Tunes, but it DOES have something to do with classic animation. And I'm not even talking about "Scooby Doo" or even "Johnny Bravo", per se. It just serves as sort of a follow-up to the announcement of the Cartoon Network Looney Tunes marathon this upcoming New Years' Day. In its heyday, Cartoon Network had a huge respect for classic animation, and so did the creators of their original "World Premiere Toons", later known as "What A Cartoon" and "Cartoon Cartoons".

    This particular cartoon short from the "Johnny Bravo" series is a brilliant parody of the original Hanna-Barbera "Scooby Doo: Where Are You?" TV series, but it also has three brilliant classic cartoon references: Keep a lookout for the reference to Disney's Donald Duck/Chip and Dale classic "Donald Applecore", and the Tex Avery "door-chase" gag from MGM's "Lonesome Lenny". If that isn't enough, there's even a reference to Joe Barbera. Sadly, in just ten years since this was made, Cartoon Network has devolved past anything this clever.

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    Looney Tunes New Years' Day Marathon on Cartoon Network

    According to multiple sources including Toon Zone and Cartoon Network's schedule, Cartoon Network is giving classic cartoon fans one heck of a New Years' present! An all-day (14 hours) marathon of Looney Tunes shorts will air on CN January 1st, 2009. It is unclear whether or not CN and Warner Bros. have reached an agreement permanently, but this is good news for these shorts even if it's only a one-day stunt. While only a small fraction of the schedule has been listed, it appears that the majority of the shorts will be from the original Turner pre-1948 package, but there are also a couple 50's classics thrown in, "Gee Whizzz" and "Bunny Hugged". Also included are some black and white Porky Pig classics: "Porky in Wackyland" and "You Ought To Be In Pictures"...but odds are that they will be colorized versions.

    This thing screams "ratings test for possible relaunch", much like the "Scooby Doo, Where Have You Been?" stunt early this past fall. I hope that's the case. Even if it's a one-time stunt, January 1, 2009 will be the first time in nearly four years that kids can tune in to a major TV channel and see Bugs Bunny. I hope they enjoy it as much as I will!

    (They'll get bonus points from me for reviving this great intro, too!):

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Chwistmas Chopsticks

    As a follow-up to the post below, I have found another track from the "Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas" album. This is Elmer Fudd doing "Christmas Chopsticks". I believe Fudd's voice here is the late Greg Burson, who also did Elmer Fudd's voice for several episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as Bugs Bunny's voice for this very same Christmas album and a number of commercials and animated cartoons during the 1990s. Mr. Burson passed away on July 22nd of this year at the age of 59. The preceding link is to the only obituary I've seen for him, thanks to animation writer Mark Evanier of "Garfield and Friends" fame. This Christmas album performance proves what a wonderful talent he was. This ties with Billy West's Elmer in "Looney Tunes Back in Action" as the closest I've ever heard to Arthur Bryan's original voice. We'll miss you, Greg Burson.

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    I Tawt I Taw Ol' Tanty Claws

    Our friend Bob Bergen's Holiday greeting reminds me: one of the finest non-Blanc performances of the Warner Bros. characters I've ever heard is a track from the 1990s "Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas" CD. It has Bob as Tweety and Joe alaskey as Sylvester, and it's called "I Tawt A Taw Ol' Tanty Claws". He dunno I got a baseball bat....

    Porky Claus is Comin' to Town

    Bob Bergen sends us some holiday cheer --- Thought I'd send you a personal holiday contribution. This (just under) 6ft Porky statue was an Ebay item I purchased about 10 years ago. I dress him as Santa for the holidays. Which, being a nice Jewish boy is oh so wrong on many levels!!!!!!!

    (Thanks, Bob!)

    Sunday, December 7, 2008

    "I Taut I Taw A Putty Tat" sheet music on ebay

    Here's an interesting little item I found while browsing on ebay. Mel Blanc's Capitol Records recording of "I Taut I Taw A Putty Tat" was so popular in 1950 that sheet music was released for it. This particular copy comes from Australia...a real testament to just how wide-spread these characters' appeal really was.

    Friday, December 5, 2008

    The Bill and Buster Blog

    Greetings, Looney Tunes fans! This is a rare non-Looney Tunes entry, rather, it is a shameless self-promotional advertisement. Over the years, I have been developing my own characters, with the hope of someday turning them into a published comic strip. The syndicates haven't been calling, mainly because I haven't really contacted them...but I do have an offocial copyright from the Library of Congress and an arsenal of 3-and-6-panel comic strips that I've been drawing since 2002, featuring a group of characters I've been drawing and developing since I was 12 years old. Those of you who have followed from the beginning will recognize Bill and Buster, who appeared along with "Roscoe and Ruby" as part of "G.A.C. new Funnies" a few years back.

    I encourage everyone reading this blog to check out this new "Bill and Buster Blog", send a link to everyone you know and expect frequent updates. For starters, I have done 3 posts: An introduction of the characters and every comic I've drawn this year, a compilation of the "war on Early Christmas" series I did for friends on Myspace in 2006, and a couple of doodles from a high school textbook 10 years ago. More to come, including tons of gag strips and drawings!

    The Bill and Buster Blog

    The Three Bears (1952)

    Here's another Three Bears story from Dell's "Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies". This comes from issue #3 from 1952, a year after the "Bear Feat" adaptation. Interestingly enough, this story also has nothing to do with Christmas, but it's a wholly original story and would have made a decent cartoon. It has no title, simply "Warner Bros. Cartoons Inc. Present The Three Bears". This time, Paw, Mama and Junyer try to play football, with hilarious results.

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    Wednesday, December 3, 2008

    "Bear Feat" (1951)

    Here's another rare gem from the Dell Comics "Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies" annual series. This particular story comes from "Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies" # 2, 1951. It's based pretty faithfully on Chuck Jones' 1949 3 Bears short "Bear Feat",in which Paw and Junyer Bear see an ad in the paper for a trick bear act, only to find out too late that it was a really OLD newspaper!

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    For reference, here's the original cartoon this story is based on. You'll notice that a couple of the gags are slightly different, and the ending is changed. Suicide attempts must not have been considered good material for comic books intended as stocking-stuffers for the kiddies in 1951!

    An Introduction

    Hello all, my name is Jack. Recently, Jon and Matthew allowed me to become a contributor to the Misce-looney-ous blog, after having a bit of an extended absence from Golden Age Cartoons. I am going to use this as an opportunity to post pictures of some of my own Looney Tune collectibles, as well as other items of interest. I have never in my life posted on a blog, so this is very new. For my first post, I have a pair of metal figures I purchased several years ago. Both are from the 1940's and were manufactured by the Moss Metal Company. Moss made a series of Looney Tune and Merrie Melodie banks, planters, and pencil holders using six characters: Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, Sniffles, Beaky Buzzard, and Porky. The banks and holders were always in the form of tree trunks, barrels, and wash-basins.

    The two I own depict Bugs and Daffy standing next to tree trunks. Bugs' tree, being squatty, seems to be a planter originally. All of the paint on it is original, but Bugs unfortunately had broken off of the base (which is why I snagged it for cheap). Daffy's tree, being taller, makes for a nice pencil holder. While the metal was in better shape, all of the paint was gone from it, save for the stump, so I repainted Daffy and the green base.

    The figures tend to go for a lot of money on ebay, so I was lucky to find these two. I have a special fondness for Looney Tune merchandise made when the cartoons themselves were new.

    As a final note, one of the advantages to the Bugs figure having separated from the base is that I can pose Bugs and Daffy together:
    Thanks for reading!

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    "The Hurry-Up Hold-Up" (1957)

    Here's a real treat for fans of classic comic books. This rare Speedy Gonzales story from "Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies #8" (1957) involves Speedy Gonzales visiting Little Pancho Vanilla and his family. There's nothing inherently "Christmas" about it, but as far as I know, it's one of the few times Speedy ever appeared in the Western Publishing/Dell comics prior to 1960. The Pancho Vanilla character was a semi-regular in the Dell Looney Tunes series, based loosely on the character from Frank Tashlin's "Little Pancho Vanilla" short from 1938. The comics gave Pancho a stereotypical Mexican family, most notably a father who was a (lousy) bullfighter.

    This story reveals that Pancho and Speedy are friends, and Speedy visits the Vanilla family to find that things aren't going so well for them. Enjoy this rare comic book classic!

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    Sylvester figure from 1968

    Here's a really cool item I picked up over Thanksgiving. It's a vinyl Sylvester figure from 1968, made by Dakin Co. and copyrighted by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. The tail , arms and head are "poseable", that is, the head rotates, the tail swivels and the arms move up and down. It still has the original tail and whiskers, and aside from a little wear here and there, it's in pretty good shape for its age. It's unusual to find Warner character merchandise from the late sixties that is actually "on model", but this is a nice exception.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Looney Tunes still "Eating Right"

    Warner Bros.' alliance with Safeway grocery stores must be fairly successful, because more "Eating Right Kids" products with the Looney Tunes' familiar faces have appeared. A whole series of ready-to-eat vegetable snack packs (I saw Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Tweety and Wile E. Coyote) plus a bunch of pastas in both cans and microwaveable bowls, with several different characters (Foghorn, Taz, Daffy, Tweety, Sylvester). Here are a couple of items I bought to give you an idea. Nice artwork, eh?

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Classic Nickelodeon Bumper Commercials

    This is totally off-topic for this blog. Or is it? In the days when I was growing up, Nickelodeon was possibly the most-watched TV channel in my household. When I found this collection of old Station ID bumpers from the early 1990's, I was amazed at how many of them were still ingrained in my mind. It's no wonder that "Looney Tunes On Nickelodeon" was so successful...because it's clear that the people behind these clever ads were well versed in their classic animation. You will see the influence immediately in several of these, most notably the "Picnic Ants" sketch at the 1-minute mark on this video, and the "chicken house" bit at the 1:20 mark that's undeniably influenced by the classics of Bob Clampett.

    But that's not all! Nick also had other creative, wonderful stuff. For example, these two absolutely wonderful independent shorts, (Two of many they used to run between programs!)

    And just to keep it on the subject: We've posted it before, and we'll post it again! The wonderful "Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon" opening from the same era.

    Turn on Nickelodeon now, and I dare you to find anything as good as all this stuff. Hell, I dare you to stomach the channel for 15 minutes. Ditto Disney Channel or Cartoon Network. This isn't just nostalgia talking, it's fact: cable tv, especially in the "kids" market, has taken a real downturn since then. Whut Hoppen?

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Wise Quackers (1949)

    Here's a very funny Friz Freleng-directed cartoon from 1949 starring Daffy Duck and Elmer. It is a somewhat rare cartoon... getting very limited exposure on television obviously due to its "slavery" theme. It hasn't aired on television in the United States since the early '90s when a slightly edited version played on the syndicated Merrie Melodies - Starring Bugs Bunny & Friends show (trimming Daffy's "I's a-comin' massah Elmer" bit). Believe it or not, it was officially issued on VHS in the USA by Warner Home Video in 1992. Try to track down a copy of Daffy Duck's Tales From the Duckside while we wait for this one to pop up on DVD (don't hold your breath!).

    Also, check out the comic book adaptation of this story on Duck Dodgers' Classic Cartoon Blog!

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    "Road Runner's Desert Demolition" Sega Genesis Game

    If you were a 90's kid, chances are you remember the Sega Genesis video game system. Most of us either had a Super Nintendo or a Sega, and both Nintendo and Sega were always trying to "one-up" each other. I always stuck to the Nintendo, but there were a few Sega games that I was always curious about and never got to see. Sure, we all had that friend down the street who we played Sonic the Hedgehog with, then they'd come play Mario with us.

    But both systems had cartoon games. I did a post on this blog ages ago concerning Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, one of the best games ever for the Super Nintendo. While browsing Youtube for "Looney Tunes", I was thrilled to see a run-through of the Sega Road Runner game that I always wanted to see and never did.

    Now I know why I never saw it. This thing has some of the most annoying sound effects and grating music I've ever heard, and that's not good when we're talking about Road Runner. As I recall from the way it was advertised, it was 2 games in where you played as Wile E. Coyote, the other as the Road Runner. Here's the run-through of the Sega game as the Coyote, if you can stand it:

    Now compare it to this footage of "Road Runner's Death Valley Rally" from Nintendo:

    I think Nintendo's take wins. I'm biased, but I still think the backgrounds and "animation" on the Super Nintendo game were the closest any video game has come to the classic Looney Tunes style...and the fact that most of it was based exactly on original Chuck Jones animation gave it a real edge. Thoughts?

    PS: The same company that produced the Super Nintendo Road Runner game also did "Bugs Bunny's Rabbit Rampage". Here's a run-through of what I thought was its most difficult (and cool looking) level: the fairy-tale land. Watch for appearances by the Big Bad Wolf and 3 Pigs from "The Windblown Hare", as well as the Goofy Gophers and Witch Hazel. Dare you to forget the music!

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Brach's Bunny

    While we're on the subject of Looney junk food, the Brach's candy company did a few Looney Tunes candies in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Most notably were their tie-ins with Bugs' 50th birthday (such as this Christmas tin from 1989).

    From 1989, here's a bag of Bugs Bunny and Friends "Mellowcreme Candies". I actually recall eating some of these once back in the day... but have no memories of what the things tasted like.

    And from 1990, here's an advertisement for a weird promotion.

    (Thanks, Tim Hollis for the pictures)

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Talking Christmas Plush & Upcoming Vinyl Figures

    I had to document these before I forgot (or before Christmas passed). Hallmark is among one of the few companies left that actually still turns out new Looney Tunes merchandise on a regular basis. Of course, it's usually greeting cards and ornaments... but available now at Hallmark Stores are these two talking LT plush dolls. Pepe flirts with whoever pushes his paw for a kiss under the mistletoe. Tweety recites a verse from "The Night Before Christmas".

    Another company that continues producing interesting LT products is "Funko". Their products include the "Wacky Wobblers" bobbleheads and "FunkoVision" vinyl figures. Check out this concept artwork for two upcoming additions to their product line, scheduled for release in Feb. 2009. A "Robin Hood Daffy" set and the "Falling Hare" Gremlin! You can pre-order them over at Entertainment Earth.

    Sunday, November 9, 2008

    Just because it has Sylvester on it...doesn't make it good!

    We haven't done a Looney Tunes merchandise post in a while, so I dug into my box-o-random stuff and found an item that brought back horrible memories. That's rare, because Looney Tunes stuff almost always brings me happy memories. Not this time!

    In the late '90's, the Looney Tunes characters were everywhere. Before Warner Bros' recent decision to become health-conscious and only license their characters to healthy foods for kids at Safeway affiliate grocery stores, the Looney Tunes adorned dozens of candy and junk-food items. One such item was one of the worst things I have ever eaten. It was awful. Tasted terrible, even DIGESTED terrible, and I will not elaborate any further on its trip through my digestive system, in the interest of decency!

    I saw this at a grocery store in Fort Worth, Texas when I was in high school. For the record, the store is now a CVS pharmacy, probably because its constant battle with cricket infestation, weevils in the cereal aisle and the dead rat someone found behind the chip-and-cheeto shelf in its final days lost them half their customers.

    Anyway, a large gummi candy shaped like Sylvester seemed like a good idea at the time. Never mind that it was produced by the "American Candy Company" yet made in Spain. Never mind that when you're 15 years old, the last thing you read on a candy package is the list of ingredients. And it was cheap too.

    Needless to say, I have never seen a product like it since. Thank God!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    "A Squeak in the Deep" (1966)

    Here's another one of the infamous, widely-reviled Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales cartoons. This one isn't near as off-putting as many of the others. A lively music score by Walter Greene (who also worked on the Pink Panther cartoons) and a better-than-average story with a believable motivation for Daffy make this one a winner in my book. Mel Blanc steals the show as Speedy singing "Her Name Was Hula Lou".

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Daffy Duck For President

    With the Election tomorrow night, I thought it would be fitting to post "Daffy Duck For President". This short cartoon was written and storyboarded by Chuck Jones, and later turned into a great book illustrated by his original drawings. However, Jones passed away before the cartoon itself was ever made. As a tribute to Jones, Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone took the reins and made a great little short that was included on the second Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD. It's very faithful to the original storybook, almost pose-for-pose, and is impeccably voiced by Joe Alaskey.

    Hey, I'd vote for him!

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    The Yellow Mic with Joe Alaskey

    Joe Alaskey was recently featured on the YouTube "show", The Yellow Mic. I don't know much more about it than that. He gives an interesting overview of his career/voices and interviews random people on the street (in the voices of various cartoon characters)... amusingly, or sadly, most of the people he talks to don't seem to have any idea what the hell is going on or who the Looney Tunes even are.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Shameless Shilling

    I am sure everyone is busy watching their brand-new copies Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 6 which was released yesterday. What?? Don't have a copy yet?? Look no further than the Amazon link box thingy on your right! Or, if you head to a Best Buy store, they have a version of this DVD set packaged with an exclusive pocket-sized edition of Jerry Beck's book Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide. (Yeah, I am sure most of our readers already own the full-size edition, but the freebie could make a nice stocking stuffer this holiday season).

    When your eyeballs need a break from all those cartoons, head on over to the annual Golden Collection Talkback thread on the Golden Age Cartoons Forums.


    I don't THINK you need much convincing to buy this DVD set if you're reading this blog, but just in case you haven't snagged a copy yet, here are some images that will remove any doubts you may have! On the left, the old VHS and TV versions we all know and love(d). On the right, the new DVD!

    (click images to enlarge.)

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Lego Hazel

    Now this is cool. Check out this gallery of images of Witch Hazel made entirely of Lego bricks.

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Little Blabbermouse

    Here's an interesting little character who never gets much recognition. He's interesting for two reasons: One, he starred in two cartoons by the same director (Friz Freleng) with virtually the same plot in the same year. Two, the character was eventually merged into Chuck Jones' Sniffles the Mouse series, first as the basis for a talkative bat character the following year ("Brave Little Bat") and then Sniffles himself from "Unbearable Bear" (1943) through the characters' final cartoon in 1946.

    Both "Little Blabbermouse" and "Shop, Look and Listen" have the same premise, and the same crew behind them. My guess is that they came up with too many gags to fit in one cartoon, so they made two seperate cartoons. In both, A W.C. Fields caricature leads Blabbermouse on a guided tour of a department store full of unusual, funny and futuristic items. It's a rather unusual melding of Freleng's inamimate-objects-and-packages-come-to-life obsession, and the Tex Avery style of blackout spot-gags and puns. Also notice that the idea of W.C. Fields as a mouse would turn up again 27 years later as Merlin the Magic Mouse...and the connection may very well be Cal Howard, writer of the first Merlin short who was a frequent collaborator with Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton in the early 40's. Both Hardaway and Dalton appear in the credits for the Blabbermouse cartoons.

    "Little Blabbermouse"

    "Shop Look and Listen"

    "Unbearable Bear"

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Presto Change-O...Commentary by Bugs Bunny

    Here's another commentary with me playing around with vocal impressions. This time I tackle Bugs Bunny, as Bugs looks back at a very early role of his.

    "Presto Change-O" (1939)

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    LT Golden Collection, Vol. 6 - Coming Soon!

    Just a friendly reminder... pre-order this DVD today!

    Saturday, October 4, 2008

    "Feather Finger" (1966) Commentary by Daffy Duck

    Just a little voice-recording experiment. Here's a commentary by Daffy Duck (Wonder who voiced him?) on a 1960's cartoon of his. Let's see what Daffy has to say about it...

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Looney Tunes "Eating Right" Safeway products

    As we previously mentioned, Safeway grocery stores have teamed up with Warner Bros. in an exclusive promotion to help kids eat healthier foods. Over the past several months, I've snagged a few of the cereal and granola bar products (They're very reasonably priced and actually pretty good!). The artwork on these things is excellent, reminiscent of the old 60's/70's/80's cartoon cereal tie-ins. I particularly like the Road Runner and Coyote artwork and the "Duck Dodgers" one. Also, I highly recommend the Foghorn Leghorn raisin bars (delicious) and recommend you avoid the Pepe Le Pew strawberry ones (kinda nasty.)

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Cartoon Network Fancy Anvil Awards

    From 2002, in five parts, are the wraparound segments from Cartoon Network's Fancy Anvil Awards Show. This mock Oscar special was a spot-on spoof of overblown award shows and, looking back at it now, a fond reminder of the tongue-in-cheek humor Cartoon Network used to be known for. In fact, this was one of the final such productions from CN (others included the yearly "Big Game" Super Bowl parody marathons). Lots of classic Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera characters make guest appearances including a surprisingly touching tribute to Bill Hanna, Maurice Noble and Chuck Jones by Porky Pig and a "dance" montage featuring a cavalcade of clips from vintage black-and-white WB shorts.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Looney Tunes Christmas...from Hell!

    While the subject matter is not very timely (considering Christmas is a full three months away and Halloween isn't for a month, either) but I saw this on Youtube and am amazed by how shockingly, eye-stingingly, ear-pollutingly bad it is. This is a Christmas show that Six Flags theme parks put on, and from what I understand, they've been doing roughly the same routine since the mid 90's. The song will sound familiar if you have the Christmas album "Christmas With The Looney Tunes", and the costumed characters are no surprise either.

    But something new has been added! Apparently Six Flags decided to show some Christmas spirit (sadism) and give some failed broadway actress a job (Career-dooming gig). That's right kids, reach for the stars. Aspire to become an actor, and someday you, too can entertain millions (Okay, maybe just a couple hundred) with the magic of your own beautiful (American Idol-rejected) voice, accompanied by 4 people in Looney Tunes costumes lip-synching (Wait...they don't have moving lips) to a 15-year-old children's Christmas album.

    Don't say I didn't warn you.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Sometimes, you just gotta watch the Road Runner

    Here's a cartoon that isn't on DVD yet. The fact that it isn't is a crime that should be punishable by flying firecrackers. In fact, I'm not sure it was ever on an official VHS release, either. "Lickety Splat" (1961) is one of a string of Road Runner cartoons that Chuck Jones directed before calling it quits at the Warner Bros. studio. This particular cartoon is about as pure Chuck Jones as you can get, considering he recieves both direction and writing credit.It's one of my favorites and always manages to make me laugh. So if you need a Roadrunner fix like I did today, here's the cure for what ails you!

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Rare Cartoon Alert:

    I have nothing to do with any of the videos uploaded to video sharing website, but I would suggest that any Looney Tunes fanatic type in "Looney Tunes", Merrie Melodies" or "Warner Brothers Cartoon" in the search field. There is a ton of rare and interesting stuff on there, and much of it is worth a look. There are some color-redrawn versions you will want to avoid, but there's also rare stuff like this:

    I wouldn't bet on these showing up on TV anytime soon, and many of them are extremely hard to see. Check this stuff out before it's gone!

    I Tawt I Taw Some Putty Tats

    What a Character! is a fun website that sells vintage merchandise of any cartoon or movie character you can imagine. It's fun to spend a few minutes just to look at the pictures. Here are three amusing Sylvester toys I found while browsing WAC recently...

    Here's what happens when you cross Sylvester with Snagglepuss...

    Isn't Sylvester Jr. adorable?...before he gets mauled to death by your dog...

    And finally, this Sylvester teaches you about the dangers of anorexia...

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Porky's Last Stand (1940)

    From the "great cartoons that still aren't on DVD" department, here's a funny and often overlooked Bob Clampett cartoon from 1940. It is one of those cartoons that features Daffy at his daffiest. Plus, a music score with songs that will be stuck in your head for days.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Happy McBirthday

    To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Happy Meal in 1994, McDonald's ran a promotion where they offered 15 different vehicles that, once hooked together, would form a "birthday train". They really went all out, licensing a who's-who of favorite kids characters who had been featured in past Happy Meals. Ronald McDonald was featured, of course, but so were Snoopy, Barbie, E.T., the Muppet Babies, Sonic the Hedgehog, the Little Mermaid and others. Bugs and Daffy also got their own vehicle (and a quick cameo at the end of the commercial below). When pushed, Bugs would repeatedly smash Daffy's head between a pair of oversized cymbols. Anyway, here's the commercial for the promotion where Ronald and a bunch of familiar faces prepare to celebrate 15 years of greasy goodness.

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Golden Jubilee VHS Intro

    Hey, remember this? I know it brings back memories for me. It's the short animated intro that was on the Looney Tunes "Golden Jubilee" VHS tapes from the mid-1980s. In fact, I am shocked we haven't covered this on the blog before.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    "Rabbit's Kin" (1952) normal-speed audio

    Here's something clever...someone on Youtube has found the technology to slow down the "chipmunk" voice of the young rabbit in Robert McKimson's Bugs Bunny classic "Rabbit's Kin" to get to the original pitch of Mel Blanc's recording. If you've seen the original, it's darn near impossible to understand the little bunny's jabbering...but here, you can! Pretty cool if you ask me.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Guess what? ANOTHER Road Runner commercial!

    I think it's now safe to say that the Road Runner is probably the most-used Warner Bros. character ever in advertising. Candy, credit cards, cars, food, batteries, soda, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Here's his latest appearance, again for Time Warner Cable's Road Runner Internet service. It's actually a pretty clever ad. Too bad it's impossible to find a Road Runner cartoon on any channel Time Warner Cable provides.

    Update: Here's another one!

    Launch of the WB Network

    Here it is, the clip of Michigan J Frog officially launching the WB Network on Jan. 11, 1995 with special appearances by Bugs, Daffy and Chuck Jones, himself.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Back in Action Sprint Commercial

    Somehow I must have missed this commercial for Sprint cellphones when it originally aired back in 2003.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    "Hey Hey Fever" (MGM, 1935)

    Normally I wouldn't talk about a 1930's MGM cartoon here. For the most part, I detest them. Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising left Warner Bros. in 1934 to pursue greener pastures (and greener wallets) at MGM, and set out to copy Disney. One of their first efforts starred Bosko, in his original WB design, in color cavorting and singing in Mother Goose-land. I had never seen it until today, and I was rather disappointed. Bosko lost his edge. He's no longer funny here, at all. After this, they'd do one or two more Bosko cartoons using the traditional design, then morph him into a stereotypical black kid in a fomulaic series about him trying to keep a bag of cookies away from evil frogs.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Coyote Credit

    Just when you thought we had posted every single Road Runner commercial ever made... we dug up another one. Who knew they were issuing credit cards to roadrunners?

    Bosko the Dentist

    In reply to Matthew's previous "Coyote Welding" post, reader Jim sent in this picture of a dentist's office in Paddington, Australia.

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Coyote Welding

    Here's an ad I stumbled upon by accident in the Austin, TX yellow pages. Apparently Mr. Rudy Escobar never heard of copyright infringement. I do believe that the gas tank to the left of "Wile E." looks a little like, uh, well, you be the judge!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Bugs Stays at the Holiday Inn

    Let's travel back to 1990 again for yet another tie-in with Bugs' 50th birthday. Here's a commercial for the Holiday Inn where Elmer and a goon from a rival hotel are attempting to capture Bugs (since nobody is staying at their hotel since everyone wants to be at Bugs' bash at the Holiday Inn). Note that Elmer is made even less menacing than usual by being armed with a cork gun.

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    "Goin' To Heaven on a Mule" (1934)

    I've mentioned it before, but I didn't DARE upload it myself. Someone else has taken that risk for me. It's one of the rarest Warner Bros. cartoons of all time, and for damn good reason!

    What is the most racially insensitive, politically incorrect, jaw-droppingly bad Warner short ever made? Well, a couple of the infamous "Censored Eleven" might fit the bill, but here's one that escaped that list. It's worse than all of those cartoons combined. Not only is it racist, it's a bad cartoon on top of that! It's Friz Freleng's "Goin' To Heaven on a Mule".

    DISCLAIMER: if you're easily offended by African-American stereotypes (or cartoons that just ain't funny) this probably isn't the cartoon for you!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Bugs and Speedy sing Calypso

    There's a mysterious stop-motion skit that has surfaced on the internet recently, though only as a short clip in black and white. This version gives us more, and in color yet. Apparently it was taped off of a show called "Blue Peter" in 1982. The sketch is a Stan Freberg takeoff on Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song", in which "Belafonte" (Speedy Gonzales) and his bongo player (Bugs Bunny) have a disagreement in the soundbooth. Why they used likenesses of Bugs and Speedy, I have no idea. Maybe Warner Bros. never knew about it, or Freberg was somehow able to get permission (not surprising considering his voice-work for Warners' cartoons.)

    This thing's origin is a mystery, and it's a definite piece of "WTF" randomness. Enjoy?

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Looney Pez

    What's better than a Looney Tunes toy? A Looney Tune toy that spits out candy! Here are some Looney Tunes Pez dispensers that I have in my collection.

    Older and newer versions of Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, and Sylvester, Speedy, Merlin Mouse, Road Runner, Taz, and Yosemite Sam. Also, a series of "Cool Looney Tunes" Pez.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Chuck Jones' "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" (1975)

    To give a better example of Chuck Jones' later work than the aforementioned "Father of the Bird" or "From Hare To Eternity", I'd like y'all (yes, I'm a Texan, I can say 'y'all') to check this out. This TV special from 1975 was independently produced by Chuck Jones. It has nothing to do with Looney Tunes, but I consider it one of Chuck Jones' finest works. To call it a "cult classic" may be a stretch, it's more of a "classic nobody ever talks about".

    Chuck Jones loved literature, written for both children and adults. In the 1960's and 70's he did several animated adaptations of stories by the likes of Theodore "Dr. Seuss" Geisel ("The Grinch, "Horton Hears a Who"), Rudyard Kipling (this piece and a few others) Charles Dickens ("A Christmas Carol") George Selden ("The Cricket in Times Square") and Norton Juster ("The Phantom Tollbooth"). I'm not sure if he ever tackled Mark Twain, whom he constantly cited as a source of inspiration, but I digress.

    Some of these specials were wonderful, others were surprisingly boring. But I'd rank this one, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", right up there with with his Seuss adaptations as the best of the lot. I'll warn's faithful to Kipling's dark story, so if you are looking for something like Daffy Duck or Road Runner, you may be surprised by this. Enjoy the wonderful animation, and the narration by Orson Welles, and experience the "serious side" of one Charles M. "Chuck" Jones.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    300th Post : Father of the Bird (1997)

    Welcome to the 300th post on the Misce-Looney-ous Blog! In honor of the milestone, we dug up a fairly recent cartoon that has gone largely unseen. 1997's "Father of the Bird" turned out to be the final cartoon to come out of Chuck Jones Film Productions in the 1990s. While the rest of the CJFP cartoons either got attached theatrically to some horrible family movie, released onto home video, or surfaced on television... "Father of the Bird" somehow got lost in the shuffle. Outside of a limited run in Los Angles for Academy Award consideration, this short has never been available since. While nowhere near a disaster of Larry Doyle proportions, sadly, the cartoon isn't that good. The cartoon itself is a bizarre hybrid of the plot of Friz Freleng's "A Mouse Divided" and the overused cliched "baby in peril" plot that was done to death during the 1990s (think Roger Rabbit & Baby Herman or the Mindy & Buttons cartoons on Animaniacs). Like all the CJFP shorts, the animation is nice enough... for the rest, well, as you watch pay attention to how many of our Rules of New Looney Tunes this cartoon violates. You'll also notice that Chuck Jones didn't direct this one, rather it was directed by Stephen Fossatti.

    Well, you probably noticed this cartoon's biggest flaw. Sylvester talks... and talks... and talks... and talks. It feels like a bulk of the screen time is just Sylvester talking to himself.

    We hope you enjoyed our first 300 posts here on Misce-Looney-ous, and here's hoping everyone sticks around for another 300. As always, thanks for all the comments and support.

    Looney Tunes #165: Road Runner races Speedy Gonzales...AGAIN

    The latest DC Comics issue of Looney Tunes was released as scheduled, after all. And it's not near as good as it should've been! It's just...ok. There is a twist ending to the main story...Speedy and Roadrunner tie for second place in a race, and I won't give away who beats them. (It's not Wile E. Coyote or Sylvester). Scott Gross, current series cover artist and the illustrator of the worst story I've ever seen in the series handles this story, and it's very model-sheet heavy, but it's miles better than I've seen him draw before. Decent gags in the story help, thanks to writer Sholly Fisch.

    Also in this issue: a Duck Dodgers story by David Alvarez (writer: Frank Strom) poking fun at Comic Book Cons, and a Yosemite Sam story (Art by Pablo Zamboni, also written by Strom) in which he tries to marry Petunia Pig for money.

    Not a bad issue, the welcome Alvarez contribution helps...but the headliner could have been a lot better!

    A little technical quibble...does anyone notice a problem with the Roadrunner's coloring on the cover?

    Saturday, August 9, 2008

    Could a new "Bugs Bunny Show" really happen?

    Thanks to John Kricfalusi for responding to my last post and easing my fears a little bit. Essentially, his idea is to pitch the idea to Warner Bros. of creating new wraparound animation to showcase the classic cartoons in a show not unlike the original "Bugs Bunny Show". His version, though, would go for more of a 1940's/Bob Clampett-esque feel and include more of the earlier shorts. (For those who don't know, Warner didn't have access to their pre-1948 library in 1960, so Jones, Freleng and McKimson were unable to include any of that stuff in the original show.)

    Disney did a pretty decent job with their characters on "The House of Mouse", though they also created new cartoon shorts to go along with it, with only the occasional classic thrown in. But nobody's tried a new Bugs show, aside from some awful clip-show specials in the 1980's. If done right, it could definitely work. A Las Vegas roulette game offers better odds than those of this actually happening, but it's fun to imagine, whether it's Johnk K., or Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, or Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, or somebody else entirely.

    And I couldn't resist drawing my own ideas...

    Friday, August 8, 2008


    Looks like Rule # 7 of my last post was a jinx! John Kricfalusi, who has said in the past that he didn't want to do a revival of Looney Tunes, has just contradicted himself. (He seems to do that a fair amount.) I thought all we had to worry about was we have to worry about the real thing!

    Now, before this turns into some overblown rumor or controversy, keep in mind that these are just doodles Kricfalusi has posted on his own blog, mentioning the possibility of pitching an idea to Warner Bros.. As you can tell from the drawing above, it's clear that John's style is better suited to his own characters...just look at those arms and legs on Bugs! I'm sure he has great respect for these characters, he's been trying to imitate Bob Clampett his entire life. But having seen what he did to Hanna-Barbera's Yogi Bear and George Jetson, my greatest fear is that, should Warner take him up on the offer, he'll do the same to Bugs and Pals. I don't want to see that happen!

    With "Ren and Stimpy", Kricfalusi's only significant contribution to animation, he brought farts, boogers, puke, and kinky sexual innuendo to animation. (Well, I guess the kinky sex credit belongs to Ralph Bakshi, but John K. was no stranger to it.)

    I doubt John reads this blog. But John, if you read this, please, I beg you: Please be respectful of these characters. If for some reason you succeed in this diabolical plot, do your hero proud. Make Bob Clampett smile, rather than solving the energy crisis by turning him into a grave-spinning power generator!

    To see more drawings and read what Mr. K. has to say about them,

    Read his Blog.

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    Jon and Matthew's Rules of New Looney Tunes Cartoons

    Jon and I were kicking around ideas on IM last night about the possibility of Warner Bros. creating a new Looney Tunes TV series similar to "Tom and Jerry Tales". If Tom and Jerry can be turned into TV shorts that are halfway decent, there is no reason a series of cartoons with the classic Warner gang couldn't work. Warner Bros. seems cursed...every time they create a new "Looney Tunes" project, whether it's a TV show, a movie, or a new short, they always make the same mistakes. When will they learn that we don't want babyfication ("Baby Looney Tunes"), a whole series based on one character with an uninspired supporting cast ("Taz Mania"), or futuristic superhero overhauls ("Loonatics Unleashed").

    "Duck Dodgers" and "Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries" weren't bad ideas, but they ran out of gas quickly. These characters just work better in 6-minute cartoons, and they have to be done RIGHT. Here are some rules we came up with...and those of you reading this are welcome to suggest more!

    RULE #1 --- Don't go cameo crazy. Keep the cartoons limited to 2 or 3 characters, you dont need EVERYBODY in EVERY cartoon

    Rule # 2: ---There shouldn't be a mallet and/or anvil in every cartoon

    Rule # 3---There are more Looney Tunes characters besides Tweety and Daffy Duck. USE them.

    Rule #4 ---Don't try so hard to make the characters "hip" or "edgy" or spew out a bunch of lame pop-culture references that will be outdated in a week

    # 5--Come up with new ideas not based on what Chuck Jones and Mike Maltese did 60 years ago.

    #6 --- Keep the character designs of the original cartoons, dont make them look like animated 1990s clip art

    #7--John Kricfalusi is not not copy him

    # 8---Elmer Fudd is an idiot, but he's not a worthless character

    #9--- Sylvester can do more than just chase somebody

    #10 --- Pay attention to TIMING, not every cartoon needs to feel like watching a Looney Tune in fast forward (ie Box office Bunny, Pullet Surprise)

    # 11-- don't make Bugs Bunny gay.

    # 12-- Daffy Duck doesn't have to be mean ALL the time

    #13 -- Maybe experiment with different character combinations that have never been explored before like in the comics (ie - Foghorn and Taz; Pete and Sam; Beaky and the Snowman, etc)

    # 14: Warner Bros. has the rights to lots of contemporary music. If you wanna be contemporary, use music! (like Carl Stalling did)

    # 15: Tweety is a boy.

    #16 - DON'T rely on Modern day reality TV/movie parodies as a crutch for plots (like the earliest webtoons)

    # 17: Don't use 3-D "shading" (ala "space Jam" and "Back in Action") to excess, if at all. CGI, too, should be avoided at all costs.

    # 18:---Don't just script some dialogue and send it to Korea. WRITE and DRAW the bastard, then give someone with talent in your own country a JOB

    #19:--You can make fun of current celebrities, but don't do it every time, and when you do, make sure it's someone people will remember 10, 20, or 50 years from now

    #20 --- Another important one - characters don't need to TALK nonstop, let them DO something too

    # 21When casting someone as the voice of Yosemite Sam, try to keep in mind that Sam DOESNT NEED TO YELL ALL THE TIME

    Bugs Bunny Hates You

    From 1990, here's a clip from The Earth Day Special. A Time Warner produced, celebrity cameo-filled primetime special celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. Here is the short cameo by the Looney Tunes characters where Bugs complains about how mankind has destroyed the Earth. Starstruck Tweety and Porky don't seem to care about Bugs' rant and run off to meet Meryl Streep instead (seriously). The clip below cuts off Bugs' final line: "This was a great place to live until MAN set foot on it!"

    I have no idea if Bugs reappears later in the special to apologize to all mankind or not, but if you are brave enough this whole special can be found on YouTube. This was also one of the first appearances of the LT gang after Mel Blanc's death (here voiced by Jeff Bergman).

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    DC Looney Tunes Update

    Just a quick update to this post about the future of the Looney Tunes comic book. Well, Looney Tunes #166 has been added to the DC Kids comic book website. I guess they are now only posting them to the official site on a month-by-month basis. So, it looks like LT funnies are safe for now and we can blame this false alarm on DC's weird website redesign.

    Time For Some More Frog

    Hey, why not sit back and watch another old WB Network promo. This time around Michigan J Frog tries to convince us in song that watching the WB's sitcoms is much better than having a social life.

    As an added bonus, here's a video of a 1996 singing frog alarm clock. The perfect gift for someone you hate...

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Marvin: The Movie?

    This just in from Variety. A live action/CGI Marvin the Martian movie is now "in development" at Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment. The plot? In the pitch, it's "a Christmas story, with Marvin coming to Earth to destroy Christmas but being prevented from doing so when he’s trapped in a gift box."

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    David Alvarez: "Prospects Don't Look Good"

    Here's a rather odd pairing that actually works: Yosemite Sam and Pete Puma, Bugs Bunny's one-shot opponent from Robert McKimson's "Rabbits' Kin". This story comes from Issue #133, Feb. 2006. I know of at least one other Pete/Sam story from around this time, also using Sam as a prospector.

    What interests me about the best of these comics is that they try new character combinations never explored in the cartoons themselves. As with the cartoons, they work best when only 2 or 3 characters are involved, as opposed to the awful "all-star" type stories they've been known to do. Talented writers like Earl Kress, Dan Slott, Frank Strom, Sam Agro, Brett Koth, Sean Carolan, Jennifer Moore, Jesse McCann, and many others who have contributed stories over the years really seem to understand these characters.

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