It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…
That’s right, my first is review is of the Legendary classics Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies!
If I could set a bar to the quality needed for cartoons, the Jurassic Park, the Halo, the Godfather, the Super Mario Bros, etc. it would have to be these shorts.
I know there are classics like Tom & Jerry and other MGM favorites (like those made by Tex Avery) but I’ll get to those when I do.
Looney has a rich history, I had no idea that Porky Pig was the first character to still be around today, but that’s not what I’m here for, I just talking about my experience with the series.
To begin with, they always seem more hilarious now than they did when I was a kid but the cartoons were originally made with an adult audience in mind. It only stands to reason an adult would get more out of it than a child. (Could be why the networks messed with it but didn’t they want viewers other than kids anyways?).
With daffy I feel that the crazy one is more likeable than the current jerk one but most toons were like that back then so the difference was needed. It also depended on directors: when chuck did jerk daffy it varied a lot but he did all the best ones. Fritz’s jerk daffy was insufferable, but he did a decent crazy daffy back in the day.
You may ask, why is it that when Daffy is being unapologetically awful, it’s hilarious, but when Bloo or Rigby or what have you are being unapologetically awful, it’s annoying and tiring? Maybe cause Daffy is the antagonist, and he gets what he has coming, often in an immediate and satisfying fashion. Characters like Bloo on the other hand, are presented as the protagonist, the individual we are often supposed to root for. This frustrates us as often they either do not face repercussions for their actions or when they do, it is part of some moral play that is both patronizing and forgotten by the next episode.
So what Happened?
Around the 60’s, I’ll admit they were losing it and running out of ideas then. The rise of limited animation and television, along with the fall of animation studios, didn’t really help too much neither. The other problem with looney tunes seemed to have been during the 90’s when they were doing new tv toons with limited rehashes of the old shorts. A few like quackbusters were okay but most bombed. Then there were the looney tunes movies Space Jam and Back in action. Most kids I knew liked those movies but apparently they still did too poor for WB to keep it up. The new looney tunes show was made as a sitcom to do something with the characters that wasn’t a hopeless rehash.
What made it so popular for you ( or me…)?
All in all, its success lies in the fact that (good) Cartoons are the only medium capable of doing slapstick and making it timeless. Any other medium, you have to settle for the reaction having less impact. Comics only get a few panels to work with and live action can’t have great reactions without very talented actors or a lot of post-production work. Though Charlie Chaplin and the 3 Stooges do slapstick justice as well. I’m sure there are others but their names are lost to me right now.
Or Maybe?, there’s just something about the simplicity of the show that no animated show since then has been able to really do as beautifully as old Looney Tunes. Some have been as funny, but in other ways, and others have been close… but Looney Tunes is still the best of its genre. There are a few shorts made in the early 2000s that were actually kinda funny without seeming tired, now found on DVD’s. And if the success of the Duck Dodgers series in 2003 showed anything, it’s that looney tunes still has potential in the modern world.
Still I love when they do caricatures of classic Hollywood stars. That is something really downplayed today except in the Simpsons. You know kids these days actually know who some celebrities on TV are, you know. With all the tween shows on Disney Channel and Nick it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Oh, and even get me started on cartoon network’s relationship with those type of shows in 2009. Remember CNREAL?!
I mean at least cartoon network is trying nowadays
Here’s what we get now
Not bad, but nowhere near as good.
The originals can be seen in the afternoons along with Tom & Jerry so it’s all good once again.
See y’all next time.