Thursday, November 12, 2015

On The Air: wabbit-A Looney Tunes Production (2015)

A year and a half after it'd been originally announced by Cartoon Network, the Looney Tunes gang returns in an all-new series. That's the good news.

The bad news is that wabbit-A Looney Tunes production suffers from the same problem as fellow frosh Be Cool, Scooby-Doo in that the character designs on some of the beloved icons don't look right. Considering I've only seen a small sample, it may not be entirely fair to judge on that sample alone, but seeing Yosemite Sam (Maurice LaMarche) missing some teeth, and being portrayed as even more of a bumbling oaf than before, troubles me.

For example, in the short, "World Wide Wabbit", Sam escapes jail to rob a bank, only to find that, in this modern era, the bank he's picked has one singular ATM machine, a satirical commentary on the gradual erosion of the human element in this kind of business. Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman), as usual, plays Sam like a fiddle, but at the end of the day, the attempts to domesticate Sam as a well-meaning-but-bumbling neighbor on The Looney Tunes Show came off better. Yes, they needed to update Sam for the 21st century, but not like this.

While I haven't seen Gossamer, the big red monster from the last series, his potential replacement is a child-like, brown-furred Bigfoot. Bugs tries to be a mentor to the kid, but it frustrates him that Bigfoot isn't learning as quickly or as well as he should. Gossamer, at least, was fun to have around.

Each "episode" is the now-standard-for-CN 15 minutes, meaning they can cram 4 shorts into a half-hour, which is good, but the pacing isn't up to the standard of the classic shorts. And does Bugs have to be in every short? I don't know.

All we can provide for now is a promo ad from CN:

Luckily, the jabronies behind Be Cool and Teen Titans Go! (i.e. Michael Jelenic) aren't involved in this show. Former comics artist Gary Hartle, who had worked on Johnny Bravo as a producer, is in that capacity here. Boomerang has the show airing in primetime, which isn't good, considering the options on the broadcast networks on a given night. CN had it in a early evening berth, but it's currently on hiatus there.

Rating: B-.


Goldstar said...

Some of the character designs of "Wabbit" are indeed a Yosemite Sam's design in particular, takes some getting used to. Despite this, "Wabbit" is actually pretty good. Not perfect, but at least we're seeing the Looney Tunes characters engaging in actual LT style humor again.

In addition to Bugs and Sam, we've gotten appearances by Wile E. Coyote and a brief cameo by Foghorn Leghorn, and "Wabbit"'s producers have promised upcoming appearances by Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, who they claim will be "totally nuts" in this series. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Daffy on this show, since he's always been my favorite Looney Tunes character.

Silverstar said...

While Sam almost looks like a character from a John Kricfalusi cartoon, and overall I'm not crazy about the Bigfoot shorts, as they're basically one joke (Bugs gets abused by this giant clueless man-baby) again and again, but those little hiccups aside, in terms of the humor, style and writing, I think that "Wabbit" is closer to what LT fans were expecting "The Looney Tunes Show" to be.

hobbyfan said...

What bothers me more about Wabbit, guys, is that CN/Boomerang is running it nightly, as it suggests that they used the long lead time (more than 18 months) to have all the episodes available. What is wrong with being a weekly show in this day & age @ CN, anyway?

I do have to catch up, though......

Silverstar said...

I agree, a show should hit the 52 episode mark before a network starts airing it nightly, but that's how networks like CN/Boomerang think: it's something worth running, then it's worth running into the ground.

hobbyfan said...

Nickelodeon's been doing that for 25 years and counting, so Disney & CN/Boom follow in lockstep, and we viewers suffer.