• wiley207
  • Advanced Member Topic Starter
I couldn't help but notice in recent years, Warner Bros. Animation does not seem to have much faith in the Looney Tunes franchise. There are a few instances where it appears that way:

For the most part, Warner did not get any of their better writers and creative team to work on "The Looney Tunes Show," only mostly relying on the Improv team of Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, etc. whom all didn't seem to know much about Warner Bros. cartoons. Instead, they sent their better writers over to "Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated," which was generally more well-written and better-animated. This is averted with "Wabbit," which has gotten better writers than "The Looney Tunes Show" did.
The voice casting for the Looney Tunes can often vary quite a bit. For "Rabbits Run," Marvin the Martian and Pete Puma were recast once again; even Lola Bunny! (Though with her it'd make sense, due to Kristen Wiig's availability or something.) Warner is more consistent with voice-casting with their other franchises, currently, with a few certain exceptions (like recasting Velma for "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo.") For "Wabbit," Wile E. Coyote was just cast to this new guy, J.P. Karliak, whom has very little experience in voice-acting.
Warner almost never makes any direct-to-video Looney Tunes movies, instead mostly focusing on Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. Though that may change with "Rabbits Run." But even so, it appears Warner clearly put more effort into "Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest" and "Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery" than they did with "Rabbits Run."
Warner also had "Rabbits Run" animated by Rough Draft Korea, whom didn't do that great a job animating it. Likewise, "Wabbit" is also animated by Rough Draft and Yearim, and for the most part isn't that great-looking. Now, usually Warner rarely uses Rough Draft, and not having this movie or the series animated by Toon City or even their more favored Korean studios Lotto Animation and DongWoo A&E, appears to be a sign that Warner shows little faith in the Looney Tunes franchise, sending it to be animated by a studio they rarely use (heck, not having "The Looney Tunes Show" animated by DongWoo or Lotto also appears to be the same reason.) Lotto has shown they CAN animate the Looney Tunes pretty well (better than Rough Draft, at least), though DongWoo's Looney Tunes experience seems mostly limited to "Baby Looney Tunes" and "Loonatics Unleashed" (blech.)
When it comes to home media releases, Warner Home Video has released nearly all of the Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry media out there (with a few exceptions, like the full 1975 "Tom and Jerry" H-B animated series, or the full "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue"), yet Looney Tunes stuff is another story. There are still a high number of theatrical shorts that haven't come to DVD or Blu-Ray yet, and a number of the TV shows have not completely been released on DVD yet (not even "The Looney Tunes Show," while its sister show "Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated" DID get the complete series released on DVD.)

This doesn't sound very good. It all seems to have started after "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" bombed and Warner considered hand-drawn theatrical animation "dead," and began to pull the plug on a lot of Looney Tunes stuff at the time.
It's all the more ironic because the Looney Tunes were what made WBA, so to speak. You'd think their "flagship" brand would be given more respect, not to mention time and effort (and people who know these characters particularly well) put into making truly good DTVs (if they have to make those at all, especially with the Looney Tunes, they could at least try to make something worth taking seriously).

Unfortunately, it could be that Warner Bros. thinks that the public as a whole is largely disinterested in the Looney Tunes, particularly the original shorts. Granted, "Wabbit", I've heard, has been getting good ratings...but it's not being used as a gauge for whether or not people would be interested in getting the rest of the classic films.
If I was working at WBA already, I would at least do a reboot of The Bugs Bunny Show that would feature 3 new Looney Tunes cartoons per episode done truly in the style of the classics. With the classic character designs, new and old school humor, and the classic SFX as the show's trademark (and yes, I would hire DigiPost TV to do the SFX).

It would hopefully show some faith to the Looney Tunes and at least have interests for WB to release more of the classic Looney Tunes on DVD and/or Blu Ray for the collectors.
I've been meaning to pontificate/rant on this for the past 5 or so months....and I think I can get my thoughts down now, especially since this looks like the thread to do it. If anyone is interested, feel free to absorb the excruciatingly long and pathetic information/opinions below. (You have been warned.)

If I was somehow hired as a supervising producer and consultant by WBA, I'd first wonder if the person who did so was insane (to paraphrase Mike Barrier)...but then I'd call a halt to ALL the projects WBA is working on. I'd begin production on a new Bugs Bunny Show (for Cartoon Network) with each episode consisting of three classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, with the films being presented uncensored, uncolorized, etc. in their Blu-ray masters (or newly restored, if that happens to be necessary!). They'd be bridged by new interstitials done to match the styles of the cartoons before and after it—much like Daffy Duck's Quackbusters! (Maybe a transition from black-and-white to color would take place during the interstitials between, say, "Puss n' Booty" and "I Taw a Putty Tat" in an episode, all while the characters themselves gradually go from Tashlin's style to Freleng's style.)

For these interstitials, I'd keep on the best people that have been involved with "Wabbit" (Michael J. Ruocco, Dave Alvarez, Richard Pursel, John McCann), and hire others who actually know these characters—you can bet I'd give Jerry Beck and Thad Komorowski high positions in the show and allow them to watch over every step of the way! I'd bring on folks like Chris Reccardi, Lynne Naylor, Bob Camp, Jim Gomez, Kent Butterworth, Mike Kazaleh, Tom Minton, Jim Smith, Eddie Fitzgerald, Mike Fontanelli, Jenny Lerew, and Bill Wray to make their respective (wonderful) contributions (assuming that they're all willing to work together again...). I'd appoint Tod Polson as production designer—he wrote this  book, after all!—and have George Daugherty  be the music director (with the music being played by a live studio orchestra!). I'd have as much of the animation (which will be traditional animation!) done in-house as possible—Mark Kausler and Eric Goldberg will definitely be involved in this regard—and anything that has to be outsourced will be sent off to either Bob Jaques  and Kelly Armstrong's Carbunkle Cartoons in Vancouver or Hans Perk 's A. Film in Copenhagen. And I'd tear open WB's archives in a desperate attempt to uncover the original recordings of Treg Brown's SFX and clean them up for use in this show and in future WBA films—no more having to rely on outside sound companies! (More on those future WBA films in a bit.)

I'd then have Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network really, REALLY promote the heck out of this show in the best ways possible—endless commercials for it highlighting great moments, perhaps!—and hopefully kids and adults alike, looking for something different from the stuff Cartoon Network usually airs, might tune in and find out they really like these classic cartoons! The opening and closing themes would be the original recordings of "This Is It" (with the closing version, of course, retaining the female "This is the Bugs Bunny Show!" chorus at the end), and just to make Cartoon Network less hesitant about showing the original cartoons uncensored, I'd probably have the show rated TV-PG. (Most of the network's shows have this rating and some terribly not-suitable-for-children content anyway...) The credits for each episode would consist of the original cartoons' titles and their credits (listed in the order the cartoons appeared in throughout the episode), followed by the credits for that episode's interstitials, and then those for the whole show (executive producer credits and other such stuff), and finally a special variation of the WBA logo.

This is where things get really interesting. With the large amount of talent now gathered under one studio, I'd relaunch WB's theatrical shorts program...but instead of trying to make new Looney Tunes, I'd allow said talent to actually make their own characters and animated films (and series) with support and positive reinforcement from each other (and me)! And I might even let in other folks and their ideas just to boost the creativity (Charles Brubaker , anybody? Or how about even some sojourns into stop-motion by getting Jan Švankmajer and Barry Purves involved with the studio?). All this would constitute my revamped WBA, and perhaps the animation industry (and animation as an art form) would be better off for it...even if my reign lasts only for a brief period, it would at least be the equivalent of Frank Tashlin at Screen Gems, Gene Deitch at Terrytoons, and Shamus Culhane at Paramount (in the 60s), all cases in which a floundering studio underwent a short-lived creative surge.

Unfortunately, the very chances of anything like the above happening are practically zero. The execs at WB certainly wouldn't allow practices as radical as making a new Bugs Bunny Show with the original shorts or restarting theatrical shorts using original characters, let alone completely overhauling the animation studio just for the sake of quality product. And at least a few of the talented folks mentioned above still haven't gotten over alleged "betrayals" on part of fellow artists (an ongoing result of the tragic, painful history of Ren and Stimpy). Chances are that this whole futile attempt to make Warner Bros. Animation (and present-day animation in general) worth taking seriously again will fail miserably, and (given the new Bugs Bunny Show's significant involvement in this endeavor) make WB trust even less in their own characters.

But it's still worth dreaming about nonetheless.

Warner Bros. seems to be more interested in cynically milking outside properties for all they are worth when it comes to animation, most notably Tom and Jerry (yeah, they cancelled the second Golden Collection, but they're still putting out DTVs on a more-or-less annual basis), DC Comics, and Scooby-Doo (and even the Flintstones and Jonny Quest have gotten respites from disuse lately!). But the way their animation studio is now, I can't say I'd like to see more all-new Looney Tunes either (I think "Wabbit" is enough at this point, its faults and virtues aside); just air the classics (with new interstitials) and release them on Blu-ray, and spend the majority of the money for new animation on original cartoons that nonetheless follow the same great principles that defined the Golden Age! (Solid drawing, great character animation, and an individual vision are a start. Regarding the latter, consider this a footnote: a Freleng cartoon, a Jones cartoon, and a McKimson cartoon all have different personalities behind them even when they use the same characters.)