REVIEW: Looney Tunes Cartoons Is A Throwback to Animated Anarchy

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes Cartoons

Looney Tunes Cartoonsdeveloped by Peter Browngart for Warner Bros Animation (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge), is an HBO Max original series consisting of several shorts. A new take on the classic Looney Tunes characters, the shorts consist of several scenarios. These include Bugs Bunny (Eric Bauza) outwitting several foes including Elmer Fudd (Jeff Bergman) and Foghorn Leghorn (Fred Tatasciore); Tweety Bird (Bauza) avoiding Sylvester’s (Bergman) attempts to make a meal out of him; and the misadventures of Porky Pig (Bob Bergen) and Daffy Duck (Bauza).

The most notable thing about the series is how it straddles the line between the classic aesthetic of the Looney Tunes’ golden age and a modern-day setting. Characters use cell phones and there’s a joke involving liberals. The biggest change involves Elmer Fudd; due to concerns about gun violence, he’s traded in his signature rifle for a massive scythe. The character designs are where the golden age influence is the strongest. Bugs even wears yellow gloves in a nod to his first appearance.

Browngart and his fellow writers and animators have a clear love of the Looney Tunes universe.  The animation sees characters explode, turn bright red with rage, or stretch and shift into various forms. Each character also sounds like they’re supposed to; Bugs Bunny utters familiar phrases like “What’s up doc?” It’ll bring a smile to viewers’ faces.

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in Looney Tunes Cartoons

Speaking of Bugs, it’s clear that he’s the standout of the series. Bauza manages to capture the cadence of Bugs’ voice perfectly, and the shorts featuring him fully display his chaotic tendencies. Whether it’s swimming in Elmer Fudd’s pool or dodging Yosemite’s Sam’s attempts to turn him into a hat, he’s always one step ahead. Viewers can expect copious amounts of dynamite, head trauma, and Bugs turning the tables on his enemies.

The second most prominent shorts feature the duo of Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. The two are polar opposites; Porky is shy, stammering yet polite. Daffy, on the other hand, is crass and chaotic. It’s rather fun to see them bouncing off of each other; the best example of this is the “Shower Shuffle” short. Viewers can see the contrast between Porky’s immaculate apartment and Daffy’s run-down, filthy hovel of a home. This helps to underline the difference between both characters and makes for several hilarious hijinks involving the plumbing.

If there is one issue I had with the series, it’s that the other Looney Tunes characters don’t get that much screentime. Segments featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner are few and far between. Likewise, Marvin the Martin only shows up in brief segments. I understand that Bugs, Daffy, and Porky are the most popular characters, but in the interest of variety, I hope the second season features a greater variety of characters.

There’s also the entertainment value to consider. Some of the segments are genuinely hilarious, especially the “Vincent Van Fudd” short. However, some of the shorts are far too short and don’t have an impact. Again, I feel like if Marvin the Martian had a longer short then the writers could have run with his “alien invasion” shtick.

Though it’s somewhat hit and miss, Looney Tunes Cartoons manages to capture the irreverent spirit of the classic cartoons. Hopefully, the second season manages to keep what works, as well as expand the role of other characters involved in the show.

The first season of Looney Tunes Cartoons is now streaming on HBO Max.


Looney Tunes
8/10

TL;DR

Though it’s somewhat hit and miss, Looney Tunes Cartoons manages to capture the irreverent spirit of the classic cartoons. Hopefully, the second season manages to keep what works, as well as expand the role of other characters involved in the show.