Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Fresh Hare" Commentary

With Bugs Bunny's birthday the other day, I thought it would be fitting to comment on one of his earlier appearances...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More from Bugs' 50th

A follow-up to the Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout post. A look back at some of the many tie-ins to Bugs' 50th in 1990.

A funny review of the embarassingly terrible (and now embarrassingly outdated) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUGS! TV special courtesy of "PlatypusComix".

Warner Bros. left no stone unturned. Practically every major company you can think of did some sort of Bugs-themed birthday promotion that year.

Shell Gas Stations

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Misce-Looneyous Commentaries: "Lady Play Your Mandolin"

Here's the very first Merrie Melodie from 1931...and what I have to say about it!

The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout

As Bugs' 67th birthday quickly approaches, I thought it'd be a good time to bring up this video game that was released to tie-in with Bugs' 50th birthday in 1990. Warner Bros. made a HUGE deal out of Bugs' 50th that year, there were literally hundreds of tie-ins and the characters and cartoons were everywhere promoting the event.

The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout was released by Kemco for the Nintendo Entertainment System and is one of the NES games I have fond memories of wasting hours of my childhood attempting to defeat. It was a fun (and frustrating!) game that was very reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 2. The plot has Bugs on his way to his 50th anniversary party, but his fellow Looney Tunes stars are all jealous and attempt to kill him. It's not just Elmer, Taz, Daffy and Sam trying to kill Bugs either, but also Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester and Junior, Pepe Le Pew, and even Tweety (even though an angry Porky is on the box, I honestly don't recall him being in the game... but keep in mind that I am relying on foggy seventeen year old memories here).

The ending of the game was incredibly lame. I doubt anyone will mind if I spoil it. After reaching his birthday party, Bugs finds all the Looney Tunes characters there to greet him. The very same "friends" who just spent the entire game trying to murder you and now wishing you a Happy Birthday and saying there were just fooling around.

More Screen Shots can be found here.

This brings back memories...

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Road Runner in 3-D

Another great post courtesy of J.E. Daniel's blog. Click the link to see some cool images taken directly from a 1960s Road Runner ViewMaster reel:


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Misce-Looneyous Commentaries: "Trick or Tweet" (1959)

Here's a later Tweety and Sylvester cartoon that doesn't seem to get much attention. Let's take a look...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mel Blanc Does The Andy Panda Polka!

I know, I know... we're supposed to be a Looney Tunes blog, but I think everyone will enjoy this one. I just wanted to do something to tie in with the upcoming release of the eagerly awaited Woody Woodpecker & Friends DVD set.

Here's a track from an obscure kiddie record from the mid-1950s, Woody Woodpecker's Family Album (released by Decca Records). It features some catchy original tunes by Clarence Wheeler (who was the musical director of the Lantz shorts at the time), dialogue written by Lantz storyman, Homer Brightman and featuring the voices of Grace Stafford as Woody, Gloria Wood as Chilly Willy and Mel Blanc as... just about everyone else (see? it ties into this blog after all!).

Here's Mel doing the voice of Andy Panda (!) who has invited Woody over to his house to watch "Prof. Flutengluten" (also Blanc) perform "The Andy Panda Polka"... a hilarious piece of audio that you can listen to on your iPod on your way to buy the Woody DVD on Tuesday.

Enjoy! The Andy Panda Polka MP3

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Misce-Looneyous Commentaries: "Claws for Alarm"

Disagreeing with John Kricfalusi is not uncommon among classic cartoon fans. Yet, for whatever reason, he was chosen to do a DVD commentary on this particular cartoon, and somehow his extraordinarily negative take on it was approved by Warner Bros. I think his commentary sucked, so I decided to do a better one. I think this is a "cool looking" cartoon (as I state often in this video) and John K. can go eat some "Gritty Kitty".

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Baseball Season

If you head over to J.E. Daniels' great blog, you can see a selection of Upper Deck's "Comic Ball" Looney Tunes cards from 1990. These cartoons, when collected, would form an original baseball-themed comic book story written and drawn by Chuck Jones. As Daniels points out, Upper Deck did three more series of "Comic Ball" cards but the later series didn't have the Jones artwork, but instead had the LT characters interacting with real-life baseball stars like Reggie Jackson.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kool-Aid, Anyone?

Nothing like some Kool-Aid on a hot summer day.

Here are some assorted highlights from Bugs' time as Kool-Aid spokesrabbit during the 1960s and 70s. I believe this first commercial was made by Tex Avery's Cascade Productions.

A couple print ads featuring Bugs and the gang from 1965-6.

Finally, everybody do the Kool-Aid Kool!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Misce-Looney-Ous Blog Commentaries: "Tin Pan Alley Cats"

Here's a true classic that ought to get more attention than it does. Bob Clampett's 1943 Merrie Melodies short "Tin Pan Alley Cats". I figured by doing this one you'd forgive me for the Daffy/Speedy entry last time!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You Oughta Be in Pictures

Here's an interesting clip that has just shown up on YouTube... a very poor quality clip (obviously recorded by somebody's cell phone camera) of the Looney Tunes apparently telling the audience about movie theater etiquette before the picture begins. It originates from Japan (the user who posted it on YouTube says it ran before a showing of "Shrek the Third"). No idea what they are saying, but it makes me jealous that some folks get to see the LT characters before the movie begins... and all I get to see here are endless Pepsi and car commercials.

Anyone have more info? Or a higher quality clip?

Mel Blanc Prevents Burns

Mel Blanc appears in the following public service announcement as himself (and also provides the voices of the tub and pot of hot water) to alert people of dangerous burn hazards in their homes. This appears to be another PSA that used footage from the longer 1982 "An Ounce of Prevention" educational film (much like this Bugs Bunny spot we posted awhile back).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Misce-Looney-Ous Commentaries: "Well Worn Daffy"

Here's my take on one of the worst of the Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales pair-ups of the 1960's. I like many of these entries personally, and try to be fair even to this one.
You may notice that I don't seem to be sure if this is #4 or #6 in the series...after checking my references it's #4, but if you count comic book appearances and a "Bugs Bunny show" episode, it's the characters' sixth meeting. If I can get a good video file of one, I'll try to post what I think is a GOOD Daffy/Speedy, so you can see the difference.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bugs & Daffy in Gremlins 2

Here's one of the more unusual appearances of Bugs & Daffy. Director (and Looney Tunes fan) Joe Dante had Chuck Jones create an animated opening for his 1990 sequel Gremlins 2 - The New Batch to help set the more comedic tone of the movie. Daffy, tired of Bugs hogging the spotlight, tries to open the film by riding on the Warner Bros. shield... without much success. Daffy would reappear during the ending credits to heckle the audience ("Don't you people have homes?") and finally attempt to take over Porky's "That's all, folks!" before being smashed by another WB shield informing us Chuck Jones had provided the new animation. All the characters were voiced by Jeff Bergman. Here is the opening to the movie as it appeared in theaters:

These Looney Tunes segments are sometimes edited out when the film is rerun these days on cable TV (I know they were edited when this movie ran on cable's Sci-Fi channel).

Just moments ago, I found this on Wikipedia:

"The DVD includes a longer version of the cartoon short. In it, Daffy mistakenly writes the title Gremlins 2 as Gremlin Stew and then attempts to rename the film The Return of Super-Daffy Meets Gremlins 2 Part 6: The Movie. This material was removed from the film because early audiences expected a live-action film and were bewildered by the lengthy animated sequence."

I never knew this! I guess I will have to rent the DVD now.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Well, if this is becoming the "Commercials and tie-ins featuring the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote Blog", why stop there?
I've been experimenting with a program called Windows Movie Maker. Most of the time I would like to kick Bill Gates in the you-know-where, but hey, this is a cool program. I won't disclose my secret of how to download videos from YouTube, but I can do it, and using MovieMaker I can actually record narration to a video. You know those commentaries on recent cartoon DVD releases? Well, I wondered what I could do with one. Here's me giving my observations on 2 later Road Runner shorts that have never been released to video or DVD. I hope they get released someday, because they're brilliant. Yeah, I know I laugh through them. I can't help it. If y'all readers like these, I'll do some more cartoons. That is if I can figure out how to get rid of the annoying sound every time I say a "P" word into the microphone.

Reader Mail Spectacular, Part 4

Michael Bailes writes us about the Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf video game.

I found another Looney Tunes game (I like the Road Runner posts)!

i was at Gamestation and found, and bought, "Sheep, Dog 'n Wolf" for PSOne.

The Key of this game is to get all the flock with certain items like a Magic Flute to Hypnotise Sam or lure the Sheep with Lettuce!
The Characters in the Game are mainly Ralph Wolf, Sam Sheepdog, the Sheep and Daffy Duck (the Host of this TV Show)! but there are appearences by Porky, Elmer, Gossamer, Marvin and the Bull!

Not only is it a great game, it got 9/10 rating by the Official Mag for Playstation! And there are some funny stuff you can do to Ralph, eg. Fall Down a cliff or eaten by Piranas!

Here's a screenshot:

... and a video showing the 3rd Level

Reader Mail Spectacular, Part 3

Our "Reader Mail" weekend continues.

Greg Method sent us some photos and information about another tie-in Warner Bros. did for their short-lived "Tweety's Global Patrol" concept. It was a live stage show performed in the Six Flags amusement parks in early 1990s:

I also looked up info on Six Flags' "Tweety's Global Patrol" stage show. I couldn't find much on it; just a mention of it in the Six Flags Great America guide book from the 1992 season (no artwork, unfortunately). What I do remember, though, was it primarily used rewritten pop songs such as "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and "The Twist" ("C'mon baby, do the Recycle Twist!"). The costumed characters involved were Bugs, Daffy, and Sylvester. Tweety was interestingly enough not an actor in a costume but rather an in-scale puppet (complete with his Global Patrol ranger hat), situated inside a giant bird cage in the back of the set against the stage curtain. And of course, two adults, a male and female member of Tweety's Global Patrol, were also involved with the show. The plot centered on the guys trying to get a rather stubborn Sylvester to start recycling. Eventually, through the magic of song, Sylvester proudly declares that he's had a change of heart. IIRC, Jeff Bergman provided all the voices on a prerecorded tape, and of course the two humans spoke and sang live.

Greg also sent along some prizes that were packaged in the Tyson Looney Tunes frozen dinners:

A while ago you guys were asking if anyone had anything from the Tyson frozen meals. I knew I had kept a few items, so I dug a little into my boxes and found them.

I have "Wile E. Coyote Goes out of This World!", a mini activity book that invited kids to rub a penny on blank spots of the pages to reveal different planets that Wile E. was interacting with. This seems to have been from the 1990 assortment of meals, and on the back there's a list of the other "Magic Fun Books" available in the other meals.

I also have three different trivia activity cards that were included in the meals in 1991. These were two-piece items, composed of a card with questions and answers on the front and back and a sort of dual-sided envelope with a window near the top that one would slide the card through to reveal one question at a time. All one had to do to see the answer was turn the whole thing over, where a window on the reverse side revealed it. Each trivia card offered two different sets of questions, one about a specific Looney Tunes character and another about a general topic. The ones I have feature Bugs (with the other questions being about presidents), Daffy (with questions about the human body), and Sylvester (science).

Friday, July 6, 2007

Reader Mail Spectacular, Part 2

Alex Sentenat sent us a Road Runner-themed commercial to add to our ever-growing collection:

"I'd like to share with you this ad from Brazilian TV featuring our fast, feathery friend, the Road Runner. It's for a courier service by the name of Sedex (not to be confused with Fedex, although I don't know if they could be an international division.) "

Alex also wrote about his feelings on the later Rudy Larriva RR shorts as well as his search for commercials from a RR and Coyote ad campaign for the Yellow Pages:

"Among Termite Terrace's esteemed stable of characters, I personally enjoy the Coyote & Road Runner 'toons the most, as I'm sure a good number of toon fans out there (including a select group of Harvard's past and present illuminati), and I'll admit, I even keep a soft spot in my heart for the Rudy Larriva-produced ones from the 60's, so don't feel too guilty for harping on them so much. I hadn't been aware of the existence of the 60's shorts until I'd seen them on "The Bugs Bunny Show" back in the late 70's. Even if some 'toon critics agree that the 60's versions were nothing more than cheapjack imitations of the classic characters all LT fans have come to recognize and endear themselves to, I will say that, at least, the 60's "Wile E." was somewhat less "ugly" in appearance (the stereotype that's usually applied to all coyotes in general, although even nature lovers would agree that real-life coyotes have a beauty all their own) than Chuck Jones' more popular version. In fact, in certain scenes where, i.e., he's in a state of wanderlust over how a certain Acme product performed to expectation, he shows a kind of "cute" side of himself. Maybe it was just unintentional on Larriva's part, but that's just one reason I found this particular coyote to be so charming, I guess, as well as for moments of utter failure where I can't help but feel heartfelt sympathy for the poor creature.

On that note, let me get back to my reason for posting. In one of those articles concerning the desert deuling duo, you focused on the many TV ads of the past that featured Wile E. & RR. Coincidentally, I've been busy searching videoblog sites all over for a particular ad campaign that featured them. It was for Pennsylvania Bell's Donnelly Directory, which were shown on certain stations in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and perhaps other markets throughout Pennsylvania (I particularly recall watching them on Philadelphia's then CBS affiliate, Channel 10). The campaign even included printed ads in Yellow Pages directories, and billboard ads, featuring Wile E. As far as I can fathom, it is possible that other states at the time also had their own Donnelly Directories. So, chances are, I'm willing to bet someone out there has either an old Donnelly hiding somewhere in their attic, in a crawlspace,or in an office desk, or even an old Yellow Pages with a Donnelly ad in it, or, much hopefully, an old VCR tape with at least one of the TV ads. I'd sure appreciate it if you could help me out in this search. Who knows? You guys might have better luck than me. At any rate, I'll keep forging ahead undaunted."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Reader Mail Spectacular, Part 1

I have been cleaning out the ol' Misce-Looney-ous e-mail box the past couple days and have found a lot of great stuff submitted by our faithful readers over the past few months that we just haven't had to chance to showcase yet (but have been meaning to!).

First up, a follow-up to the post about the Looney Tunes Collector Dolls from the WB Stores from Chris Ferguson:

Attached is a photo of the three Looney Tunes Collector Dolls (Rocky, Mugsy and Junyer) I mentioned on your blog. The only other one I had bought was Gossamer, but after seeing the photo of the others, I wish I had picked up more when the Warner Bros. store still existed. I have fond memories of going to those stores; they were much better than Disney stores (although Disney stores used to have cooler stuff than they do now). I guess I didn’t pick up the rest of the “dolls” because I’ve always been more interested in the “supporting characters” of the Looney Tunes cartoons (i.e., Beaky Buzzard, Charlie Dog, Claude Cat, Henery Hawk, Marc Antony, Ralph Phillips, etc., etc.). Man, wouldn’t be cool to have a Ralph Phillips figure, with changeable costumes.

But, I digress. Hope you like the Collector Dolls photo.

Speaking of the late, great Warner Bros. Studio Stores, Dan Cunningham sends us this photo of a large promotional banner he recently sold on eBay that was used to promote the release of the Sylvester & Tweety postage stamp in 1997:

Keep checking back all weekend for more reader submitted stuff.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wile E. vs. Energizer Bunny

From 1994, Wile E. attempts to catch the unstoppable Energizer bunny...

Thanks to Michael Bailes for sending us the link.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Speedy Gonzales...Latino music video star?

Hispanic hip-hop group "Kumbia All Stars" (aka "Kumbia Kings") have remade the Pat Boone classic "Speedy Gonzales" Spanish with a club beat. As if that wasn't odd enough, they have the Speedy character in the video, in some nice new animation.


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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Beep Burp

Here's another ad for a product I have never heard of. Obviously not from the United States, it's a commercial for a soft drink called "Trina" featuring the Road Runner and a trio of Coyotes. No idea when it was made (looks like it was probably mid-90s).

This brings the number of Road Runner-themed commercials featured on this blog to approximately 8,000.

Sylvester & Tweety Show

Here is the rarely seen intro to CBS' short-lived Sylvester & Tweety show from 1976. Thanks to "ReyFamily" for posting this clip. (Warning - turn down the volume on your computer, the clip's audio is kind of loud)

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