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Warner Bros. not showing much faith in the Looney Tunes anymore?

Discussion in 'Warner Bros.' started by wiley207, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. wiley207

    wiley207 Intern Forum Member New Member

    Nov 10, 2013
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    Man, things are really sleepy on this forum, compared to, say, ten years ago. So maybe I'll post about a topic that's well worth discussing here...

    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 surprisingly hasn't been discussed here yet!) 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 unavailability 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." Additionally, "Rabbits Run" used the "Looney Tunes Show" designs for the characters, while the other two movies I mentioned kept their respective characters in their original designs.
    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. However, the complete "Looney Tunes Show" IS available on iTunes and Amazon, at least.)

    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.
  2. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Nov 3, 2013
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    Wow, that's a lot on the table, there, doc. Let's see, being brief:

    * The Walt Disney Company outright bought ABC-TV in 1994, and bulldozed The Bugs Bunny Show off the airwaves.

    * Desperate to be back in the spotlight, the Looney Tunes played on Warner-owned cable channels, to a much smaller audience.

    * Nike sneakers commercials featuring Bugs Bunny alongside Michael Jordan played well, so Warner Brothers Media decided to make a movie around this pairing: 1996's Space Jam, which reviled critics but raked in a respectable income. However, much of that was the draw of Jordan, not Bunny. It also introduced the fan base-breaking character Lola Bunny.

    * Joe Dante, with delusions of creating a new Roger Rabbit media-blending feature, foisted Looney Tunes Back In Action on theaters. This fiasco bombed massively, torpedoing Dante's career and making Warner Media rethink their cartoon franchise.

    * Meanwhile, Disney was climbing out of its funk with The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, plus Pixar had become a rising star in the animation universe. Never had Warner Brothers looked so much like Pretenders to the Throne than at that point.

    * Warner Media began printing compilations of classic Looney Tunes cartoons on disc, which are the Golden Collections. Volume One sold well, Volume Two less well, and subsequent volumes fewer and fewer, until Volume Six was the project's swan song. The nostalgia market was dwindling, and their cash cow franchise was drying up. There's not much point sinking funds into a tapped-out well.

    * Tony Cervone, one of the animation directors from Space Jam, proposed a fresh take on the Looney Tunes, based on Jessica Borutski's fan art. By design, The Looney Tunes Show was a departure for these characters, since recycling their old material / scenarios had gotten ... old. Cervone's efforts generated buzz, certainly, but also further fractured the fan base. Much of this was Cervone's pet project, with Warner Media granting him license, and meager funding.

    Ultimately, it's the Disney Empire versus the Rebel Looney Tunes, made worse by Disney partnering with Pixar Studios and annexing Lucasfilm Limited and its Star Wars franchise. Disney has legions of animated characters to throw into the battle, whereas Warner has only the badly battle-scarred Looneys, who've gotten long in the tooth, plus the Tom and Jerry pair and the Scooby Doo outfit, inherited from the Turner Entertainment merger. The last challengers to the mighty mouse empire are circling the drain.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. estherholly01

    estherholly01 Newbie New Member

    Nov 11, 2016
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  4. MrCleveland

    MrCleveland Inbetweener Forum Member New Member

    Mar 1, 2014
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    I think it's a corporate thing...it seems that LT isn't making money, so...Warner lets it go into obscurity!

    And LT/MM is VERY popular! Not as popular as Scooby Doo, but still...
  5. LuckySailFish

    LuckySailFish Newbie New Member

    May 12, 2018
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    oneuglybunny nailed it.

    Disney started putting distance between the Looney competition years ago when they made a slew of full length animated movies with memorable music that could be enjoyed for decades.

    If LT ever gets another show, maybe they should try telling stories with more character driven narrative. Keep the goofy cartoon slapstick they're known for, but use it to tell slightly longer stories that uses and explores lots of characters, and not just five minutes of the Bugs outwitting a rival formula. And don't do movies, since LT seems best in shorter doses.
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