It's wabbit season! No, it's duck season!
Actually, it's both. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and all the old-school Warner Bros. animated characters are coming back for 'The Looney Toons Show,' a series on Cartoon Network consisting of all-new half-hour episodes and shorts starring the classic cartoon characters.
TV actor and comedian George Lopez has been tapped to provide the voice for the beloved Speedy Gonzales in a new big screen movie adaptation of the beloved Warner Brothers 'Looney Tunes' franchise.
Now I understand that big names bring big bucks to the box office, but this really the first time in my mind that a famous Looney Tunes character is being re-voiced by a star instead of a trained voice actor who can mimic the immortal voice of the late Mel Blanc. Voice actor Billy West, an outspoken critic of celebrity voice over characters, once described it in an earlier interview I did with him for Arriviste Press magazine as "most artless, bloodless, Godless idea I've ever heard."
Everyone, I need your attention! I am about to do something that rarely pops up in my life and, I'm guessing, in yours as well. It might be a little shocking, so I want to make sure that you're near a chair. Deep breath, here it goes...
I want to thank my cable provider. I'll wait until you can sit down. Need a drink of water? Breath of fresh air?
I'm being serious here! I know that it's rare that someone publicly thanks the utility that sucks their money away and provides little if any variety, but I think this time it's merited. You see, for years now the networks have been lacking a very important series of programs that are important to the proper education of our youth. I speak about Looney Tunes cartoons.
Prepare to be spellbound by our account of the sweetest, meanest, best and worst witches ever seen on TV.
From animated to old school, from toddlers to teenagers, we've used our magic potion to uncover these top 20 TV witches.
Watch out ... something witchy this way comes.
It's that festive time of year when children put tinsel on the television antennas and hang mistletoe over their favorite DVDs. Where celebrities check into rehab to spend the holidays with all their celebrity friends. And where the rest of America is invited to corporate non-specific, non-religious, non-alcoholic generic winter holiday luncheons where they can mingle with their co-workers and say things like "Remember when this company used to have real Christmas parties?"
But while political correctness may have ruined most holiday functions, nothing can ruin Festivus! That magical season in which TV Squadders hope and pray for televisions dreams come true. And I know just what I want...
Here's some cool animation stuff I found over the past week or so:
Cartoon Brew has a lot of cool stuff, so I'll start there first. First of all, Jerry Beck has a new book, The Hanna Barbera Treasury. The book will focus mostly on the Hanna Barbera series created in the '50s and '60s. It comes out in October.
Also via the Brew comes this documentary about the life and work of animator Tex Avery, the man who was arguably the one most responsible for putting the "looney" in "Looney Tunes," and later brought that same magic to MGM. The doc is from 1988 and is split into several parts.
My generation grew up with GI Joe, Voltron, Thundercats and He-Man, so we're not exactly strangers to action-based cartoons, but we also had reruns of Looney Tunes shorts and early Hanna-Barbera (Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, etc). These days, it seems cartoons are all about action, and those old cartoons have either disappeared completely, or have become more difficult to find (Boomerang excluded). It's quite a shame, because my own nieces and nephew, regardless of being generations removed from the likes of Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry, absolutely love those old cartoons. Sure, they still love Avatar: The Last Airbender and Shaolin Showdown, but they also know what funny is.
Nevertheless, someone, somewhere felt that Bugs and his pals needed to cash in on the popularity of anime and anime-inspired action cartoons, and the result was Loonatics Unleashed, a cartoon set in the future, featuring descendants of the classic Looney Tunes characters with super powers and crazy gadgets and weapons. The first season will be out on DVD this March, and if you see your kids walking towards it in the store, I suggest you kick them towards the classic Golden Collection DVD sets instead.
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