Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Back in Action Alternate Opening


I really wanted to like 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action more than I did. I remember buying into the hype of how this was finally going to be the modern-day LT project that brought the characters back to their roots and would finally wipe away the stench of the likes of Space Jam, Baby Looney Tunes, et al. Well, the release day finally came and it still stands out in my mind as one of the most depressing movie going experiences I have had in recent memory. Sure, Space Jam has aged terribly and I will probably never own the DVD, but I remember seeing it in a packed house with an audience who was really in to it. On the other hand, I saw BIA in a nearly-empty theater (maybe five or six others, including some rather uninterested kiddies). I think you could have heard the crickets chirping (a la "Show Biz Bugs"). What went wrong?

The movie had some super talent on board, folks who cared about the Looney Tunes characters like director Joe Dante and animator Eric Goldberg... but the plot of the movie is where it crashed and burned. Despite the dozens of rewrites, the whole thing felt half-baked and overloaded with too many smug, Hollywood in-jokes for its own good (see also - The Rocky & Bullwinkle Movie, many Animaniacs cartoons). It's no wonder it didn't catch on with mainstream audiences. Don't get me wrong, there are some bright spots in the finished film... but for every bright spot, there are also embarrassingly unfunny scenes like the one with Brendan Fraser prancing around with midgets in Yosemite Sam masks. Another problem was how the LT characters took a backseat to the uninteresting live-action lead characters. The finished film feels like a Brendan Fraser/Jenna Elfman movie that just happens to have some cartoon characters in it. Perhaps a mostly animated "buddy" comedy starring Bugs and Daffy (minus the hammy human co-stars) would have made a more satisfying final product.

Anyway, I bring up the movie since I discovered someone posted the complete original opening (Daffy envisioning himself as the star of a Batman-like action movie) to YouTube. It was released as an excerpt (with Daffy's "commentary") on the official DVD, but here it is in its entirety. I actually think it's funnier than the rehash of "Rabbit Fire" that ended up kicking off the finished film.

value="http://www.youtube.com/v/02Ovye7tdAM&hl=en">

9 comments:

Nic Kramer said...

I admit that the live-action parts wern't really good, but the animated parts were a hit about 96% of the time. Did wish they also used this opening. Bugs's line about toilet humor was really funny.

J.E.Daniels said...

This scene, plus others in the production stage, can be seen if you take a look at the CD ROM features of the DVD.
They really cut out a lot of funny stuff. Too intense for kiddies? Maybe, but still the final product could've been a lot funnier.
Another scene had Daffy chasing Marvin out of Area 52 in spaceships while engaging in a canyon battle.
The proposed "booby trap" scene seemed kind of over-the-top violent, but it would've been entertaining nevertheless. The swinging blades looked really nasty!
The one thing that ruined the movie for me, is the fact there is hardly any actual interaction between the Tunes and humans. Bugs and Daffy just seem 'placed' in the scene...

Jon Cooke said...

The CD-ROM extras weren't compatable on my Mac, which explains why I never saw this before I caught it on YouTube. Thanks!

J.E.Daniels said...

I'm a fellow MAC user myself, but my fiance has a PC. Hope you have a chance to check out those scenes in the future...

Brandon said...

Hey, Jon! I'm the one that posted 7 of the 10 deleted scenes on YouTube. Just check under my "Ninski" account and you'll see them all.

I actually don't mind BIA, but I do dislike all the things you mentioned. The video game adaption is actually better since it focuses soley on Bugs & Daffy.

In one of the deleted scenes, Bugs actually comments, "Wow, you movie execs sure know how to hack things up." Dispensing commentary on what might have been going on behind the scenes.

Martin Juneau said...

I remember see this alterned opening of this so-sad movie. It's just bad than they replaced by a rip-off of the trademark "Rabbit Fire".

Glowworm said...

This is hillarious! I've seen the Daffy commentary version-but this is even better.

"It's a bird.It's a plane."
"No,it's a bird."XD
Elmer being a crazy psychopathic villain-I could not stop laughing.

Truthfully-I liked this movie much better than Space Jam.(although I adored that one as a child.) It was definately the cartoon parts that made me laugh the hardest though. Maybe they should have just animated the whole thing instead.

Matthew Hunter said...

Notice that Bugs addresses people in the boardroom as "Chuck", "Bob", "Mel", and "Leon".

And I LOVE the Elmer bit..."I don't wanna pway a cwown! I'm AFWAID of cwowns! Wahhhh!!!" If Billy west sucked as Bugs Bunny, this movie at least proved that he's the best Fudd voice since Arthur Bryan, bar none.

Mattieshoe said...

Seeing this makes me realise just how good the animation under all of that Photoshop 3-d live-action crap is.


why would you possibly want Cartoon characters to look like 3d models?

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