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.

Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

Status of the DC Looney Tunes Comics?

In the comments to Matthew's last post, reader "santarl" pointed out that the Looney Tunes comics are no longer listed on the DC Comics website. I had to poke around but eventually found them mentioned on this page. The last one listed is Issue 165 due out on August 6 (featuring a cover with a race between Speedy and the Road Runner).

However, poking around Google reveals some comic sites with information about Issues 166 and 167. Some sites are taking pre-orders, some say pre-orders have been cancelled. These two issues are nowhere to be found on the DC Kids website (which is usually right on top of this sort of thing). Is anybody out here connected with the comics industry and know the status of the LT comics? They haven't been the greatest lately, but it will still be sad to see them go.

Looney Tunes #166 - was originally announced for Sept. 3, 2008

Looney Tunes #167 - was originally announced for Oct. 1, 2008 - Witch Hazel celebrates Halloween in "A Witch for all Seasons" as Porky Pig signs up for a bad deal in "The Devil and Bugs Bunny."

Monday, July 28, 2008

David Alvarez: "The Postman Always Brings Mice"

Enough about bad Bugs Bunny cartoons. Let's take a look at a GREAT Sylvester and Tweety comic book story. This longer-than-usual DC story from Issue # 53 (June 1999) is written by Sean Carolan and Jennifer Moore, with wonderful artwork by David Alvarez. It's too bad they're not making them like this anymore!

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yosemite Sam Goes to Hell, Part 4

It's sad when one of the greatest animation directors of all time (I'd venture to say THE greatest) comes up with a real stinkeroo of a cartoon. But that's what happened when Chuck Jones directed "From Hare to Eternity" in 1997. Jones' new series of Warner Bros. cartoons, produced by "Chuck Jones Film Productions", were never given their due, thanks to Warner distributing them in limited theatrical release with some of the worst movies ever produced. Some of them went straight to video, like this one. "Chariots of Fur", the first of the CJFP shorts , is a certifiable masterpiece, but "From Hare To Eternity" is like watching paint dry. It's like watching the ghosts of Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam trying in vain to get a laugh, and falling flat on their faces. Greg Burson's Bugs Bunny is passable, but not great, and Frank Gorshin's Yosemite Sam sounds nothing like Yosemite Sam at all. On the bright side, the music and animation are beautiful, but the cartoon is frustratingly unfunny. But who was going to tell Chuck Jones his cartoon was lousy? Friz Freleng might have, if he'd been alive to see it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Let's take a break from Sam for a moment, to shine a spotlight on another LT character.

Pepe Le Pew was probably my least favorite of the Looney Tunes characters as a kid. However, as I got older I began to appreciate these cartoons more and more. The dialogue and mock French wordplay really is clever and funny. I can imagine Jones and Maltese had a great time coming up with that stuff. Sadly, Mr. Le Pew (like Mr. Leghorn) has been woefully underrepresented on the current Looney Tunes DVDs. I doubt I'd be able to sit through an entire disc of nothing but Pepe, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing more released. Anyway, in honor of Pepe here's a music video that Cartoon Network used to run as filler in-between shows titled "L'amour a une Odeur" by Pink Martini.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yosemite Sam Goes to Hell, Part 3

Okay. I've posted the good ones. Now, let's take a look at Yosemite Sam's early 60's failures. "Shiskabugs" (1962) is at least memorable for some good gags, and the memorable reference to an actual rabbit dish, "Hassenpfeffer", but the horrible music and Blanc's strained voice (notice Sam doesn't yell once here)hurt:

And Yosemite Sam LITERALLY goes to Hell in "Devil's Feud Cake" (1963). Oh, Warner cartoons had some bad moments in the 1960's. But this cartoon, a "cheater" using footage from three better 1950's films, and featuring Bill Lava's music at its worst and Mel Blanc's voice at its weakest, makes it the worst Yosemite Sam cartoon ever made. Maybe even the worst Bugs Bunny cartoon ever made. But I'll let you decide after you see the NEXT post in this series! Until then, enjoy (rather, suffer through) "Devil's Feud Cake!"

Don't say I didn't warn you. This is BAD.

Sure you wanna watch it?


You asked for it.

Yosemite Sam Goes to Hell, Part 2

Here's another good later Yosemite Sam cartoon, from 1960...with my comments.

But what I have in store to show you next...ohhhhh BROTHER!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yosemite Sam Goes to Hell, Part 1

I am still working on recording my many VHS tapes of classic warner cartoons to DVD, and I decided to do Bugs Bunny as a separate series, because I taped the entire "June Bugs" marathon the Cartoon Network ran for a weekend in 2001, and since it was chronological, I have been using it as a guide and replacing the TV versions of cartoons with better copies if I have them.

Having gotten through the last of the last in the Bugs series, (and that includes TV cartoons and 90's theatrical specials), I have to say that from 1959-1964, if you watch the films chronologically, it is possible to watch Bugs Bunny die. First came the real-life deaths of Elmer Fudd actor Arthur Q. Bryan. Then came the death of music composer Milt Franklyn. Then came a car wreck that reduced Mel Blanc to a body cast. From late 1959 to 1964, these factors combined to spell death for Bugs Bunny, and it's apparent on-screen.

Franklyn's death was worst of all for Friz Freleng and his signature character, Yosemite Sam. Freleng was a master of timing because he timed his cartoons to music, and when the music was no longer a factor thanks to Franklyn's incompetent successor, Bill Lava, Friz (and Sam) were sunk.

In this first of a series of posts, let's take a look at what I consider Yosemite Sam's last hurrah...(aside from one other cartoon I'll get to next.) It's Friz's 1960 "Horse Hare". Franklyn was still in the game, a good story by Michael Maltese helps, and the gags and dialogue are excellent. Sadly, Native American stereotypes have kept this film off TV and video for several years. But enjoy it anyway, it only gets worse from here, as we examine: YOSEMITE SAM'S JOURNEY TO HELL!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Everyone's a Critic

Apparently the folks put in charge of promoting Warner Bros.' 1998 animated movie Quest for Camelot couldn't find any REAL quotes from critics praising this thing. What to do? Why not take clips of the Looney Tunes characters and have them shill the movie? Unbelievable, but here it is...

the Bugs Bunny Show- Mexicali Schmoes

Here's another ultra-rare Bugs Bunny Show episode. This one comes from Jon's collection, and while it is far from perfect (lots of reused animation from the original "Mexicali Schmoes" short) it is an interesting curio. It's politically incorrect to be sure, and focusing on the most moronic Mexican-caricature characters ever created is something that would never happen today. And check out the Kool-Aid ad with some cringe-worthy Japanese caricatures. Still, this episode is pretty funny, and you won't see it on TV or DVD anytime soon. Take it with a grain of salt, and enjoy:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kids WB Bugs and Daffy Promo

Am I the only person who could not stand the obnoxious Kids WB announcer from the network's early days? You know, the one who sounded like he WAS YELLING EVERY DAMN WORD HE WAS SAYING.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Super Size Me, Doc

Going along with the theme of Matthew's post yesterday, here is some more Looney Tunes/McDonald's goodness for you. From 1995, here is a trayliner promoting McD's NBA/Looney Tunes All-Star Showdown, one of many such LT/basketball team-ups that pre-dated Space Jam. When you "super sized" your meal, you'd get a special extra-huge plastic cup for your soda featuring a team-up of a LT character with an NBA superstar. There was a series of live action/animated commercials at the time which also promoted the delicious-looking-but-likely-life-threatening McBacon Deluxe.

Is anyone else getting hungry?

Also, your supersized french fries would come in a special fry box. Smaller fries came in the plain ol' generic looking Porky one.

Later in 1995, the Looney Tunes teamed up with the NFL for a similar promotion at McDonald's. Also featuring LT/NFL team-ups on your 20 gallon plastic cup of soda. Here's the trayliner for this. Warner Bros. took the opportunity to plug a line of LT/NFL gear at the Warner Bros. Studio Stores at the time. You also got a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase. Not sure why I never used that.

On the backside of this trayliner was a listing of ALL the WB Stores at the time. There's also a 13 year old Mc-grease stain on the bottom. Eeew. Why'd I save this again?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McLanche Feliz Looney Tunes

Well, Warner Bros. may be on a health kick (see our previous post about their Safeway food tie-ins) but I guess that's only here in the good ol' U.S.A.! Check out the latest McDonald's Happy Meal from Brazil:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Golden Collection, Vol. 6

An early list of contents for the sixth (and final) DVD set in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection series has been posted, along with the cover art, over on TV Shows On DVD. It will be released October 21. There will also be 15 "bonus" cartoons that have not been announced yet.

I am not sure what to think of those contents... a very bizarre assortment of oddities and VERY stingy on the star characters (only TWO Bugs Bunny cartoons!!!? What...?).

UPDATE --- Well, after having the day to chew things over I thought I'd update this original post. My first reaction to the contents was, of course, "Where the heck are all the characters?". Stepping back, I figure I will appreciate what we ARE getting. After all, the character cartoons (Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Foggy, Road Runner, etc) are too famous to remain unreleased forever. Besides, a bulk of the material on Volume 6 has never been made officially available before, let alone restored. That's worth cheering about.

I hope we will find out what the 15 "bonus" cartoons are soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Look Before You Beep" (1966-1968)

Now HERE is something truly special, Looney Tunes fans. While converting his Warner cartoon collection from aging VHS tapes to DVD, Jon found a collection of original linking segments created for the 1960's "Road Runner Show". This series of gags was created by Robert McKimson, presumably after he made the first two post-Chuck Jones cartoons with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, "Rushing Roulette" and "Sugar and Spies". While 11 theatrical shorts (soon to be aired on this very show) were being directed at an outside studio by Rudy Larriva, McKimson was doing these Roadrunner Show interstitials, as well as most of the Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales cartoons of the time. It's interesting to note that Bill Lava's musical score for "Rushing Roulette" was "canned" and reused over and over again in the Larriva shorts, and also these bumper segments. It seems the irresistibly catchy theme was the designated "theme song" for the Road Runner at the time, regardless of who was doing the animation. The canned music, along with a constantly reused shot of the Road Runner running down the road, are the only cheats you'll find in these hilarious lost segments, edited together by yours truly into a full 7-minute short! This footage has not been seen in the United States in at least 20 years. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Honeymoon Hotel" (1934)

Here's a really rare and unusual cartoon. "Honeymoon Hotel" was the first Warner Bros. cartoon ever released in color (using the primitive 2-color process). Earl Duvall, a short-lived director we have mentioned before, directed this cartoon about cute little insects to the tune of a song heard in...I dunno, at least 50 Warner cartoons! But don't let the cute characters and happy little tune fool you, this short is actually pretty naughty, especially for 1934! A newlywed bug couple shack up in the Honeymoon Hotel, but it seems everybody from the maids to the moon are determined to deny them privacy! It's sex, bugs, but sorry, a sticky sweet chorus will have to provide the rock n' roll!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hallmark Season

Ah, the 4th of July. Time for fireworks, barbeques, and Hallmark's annual unveiling of their new Christmas ornaments. 2008 brings three new Looney Tunes ornaments:

Taz - "Naughty or Nice?"

Tweety & Sylvester - "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Bugs, Daffy & Elmer - "Tis the Season"

Each of them has a sound feature. You can actually hear the sound clips that each ornament plays on the Hallmark website. Be warned, the voice they got for Bugs & Daffy is possibly the worst I have ever heard. I know it's just a Hallmark ornament, but c'mon, why not at least lift the audio from original cartoon? Click here if you dare.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Warner Village Cinemas

I think we've shown a snippet of this in the past, but here it is in its entirety. The Warner Village Cinema chain of theaters outside of the USA kicks off their features with this short cartoon about movie theater etiquette with the Looney Tunes characters.

Thanks, Thad
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...