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.

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