If you're a fan of Looney Tunes and find yourself in the 181 Martell gallery space in Los Angeles this Friday (tomorrow), that's a good thing. A street artist by the name of Dr. Romanelli (a.k.a. DRx) was picked by Warner Brothers to create new designs of characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Sylvester and Daffy as part of a new urban marketing campaign that will eventually include T-shirts, toys, and a limited-edition Chuck Taylor sneaker. The new designs are said to reveal a darker, more insane side of the characters. You can see a couple small examples of what the new designs look like here and here. I'd really like to get my hands on those Chuck Taylors, those would be pretty sweet.
Oh yeah, a bunch of DRx's designs can be found here, too.
Good news for animation fans who are into that whole "high definition" thing. The September 26th HD-DVD release of The Adventures of Robin Hood, the 1938 classic featuring Errol Flynn in the titular role, will also include three Warner Bros. shorts in high def: "Robin Hood Daffy," "Katnip College," and "Rabbit Hood." It would be nice if they actually released HD-DVDs of these and other cartoons, but I guess we'll have to take what we can get for now. At least you'll be able to see Bugs' make-up and all of Daffy's plastic surgery scars. Apparently a Blu-Ray disc will hit stores sometime next year. To be honest, I'm rather indifferent to seeing these cartoons in high def. To me, seeing them in high def is like listening to an old jazz song on a CD. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but that's not really how it was meant to be experienced. Of course, these cartoons were originally created for movie screens, so I guess anything other than that would be "incorrect" so to speak.
[via Cartoon Brew]
Okay, we've looked at both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck individually, and now it's time to focus on some of the best cartoons in which the two cartoon heavyweights shared the screen (much to Daffy's consternation, I'm sure). Bugs Bunny didn't necessarily meet his match with Daffy, but the two characters played off one another in a manner that seemed more substantive than Bugs' usual battles with the likes of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. While someone like Elmer would simple come at Bugs with guns blazing, Daffy would often try to match Bugs on an intellectual level, and usually wind up having his bill shot clean off his face. These are my favorite Bugs and Daffy cartoons:
Rabbit Seasoning (1952): An ever-malleable Elmer Fudd finds himself repeatedly shooting Daffy, despite Daffy trying to convince him it isn't duck season. Actually, it is duck season, but Bugs uses reverse psychology and clever pronoun usage to trick Daffy into somehow begging Elmer to shoot him. There's also an important lesson for all of us in this cartoon, which is that a crazy man with a gun can always be thwarted by a rabbit dressed as a woman.
Bugs Bunny is by far the most unflappable character in cartoons, an insouciant thorn in the side of anyone who seeks to do him harm, and the only one able to maintain his cool while everyone around him is going insane. I've come up with five of my favorite Bugs Bunny shorts of all time, and it wasn't easy. I managed to pare the list from eleven down to seven, and finally, down to five. Here they are:
What's Opera, Doc? (1957): "Spear and magic helmet?" A later entry into the Looney Tunes library, this has come to be recognized as one of the best animated shorts of all time. The basic plot of Elmer hunting Bugs and Bugs thwarting his every attempt is still evident here, but it's amplified by the great musical score, Maurice Noble's amazing background art, and a tragic love story that's actually rather touching in its own unbalanced way. I also love this exchange between Elmer (as Siegfried) and Bugs (disguised as Siegfried's love interest, Valkyrie Brunhilde):
Elmer: [singing] Oh Brunhilde , you're so lovely.
Bugs: [singing] Yes I know it, I can't help it.
I don't have a bad life, but there are just so many characters on TV I'd love to be. Here are the top five:
- Rob Petrie (The Dick Van Dyke Show): Writer for a hit TV show in New York City by day, and then he comes home to an ultra-cool home at night to eat dinner with Mary Tyler Moore. I want to be Rob Petrie.
- Thomas Magnum (Magnum, P.I.): I'm not even a warm-climate sort of guy, but I can imagine being a private eye (sorry, private investigator, as Magnum himself would correct me) on Oahu, living on an outrageous estate with my own private quarters and a red Ferrari. Yeah, I can picture that.
- Bugs Bunny: Independent wise-ass. I'd probably put on some pants though.
- Kelly Robinson or Alexander Scott (I Spy): To travel around the world on someone else's dime, drinking and swingin' and fightin' spies. Sounds cool to me.
- Charlie (Two and a Half Men): This guy never seems to be doing his job (writing commercial jingles) because he's too busy drinking and bedding beautiful women, but he still seems to make a boat load in cash. Sign me up.
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