Sneak Peek: New Looney Tunes series on Cartoon Network this May!

This is simply too good not to share. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in a ninja battle to the death in the desert…

The new Looney Tunes show already premieres on Cartoon Network on May 3rd. I think I’ll be watching if this clip is any indication of the quality of the new cartoons. The 3D CGI takes a bit of getting used to, but this cartoon made me laugh out loud – so I can hope!

Thanks to Bleeding Cool for this clip. Check out the link for more clips!

–Fitz

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DVD Review: Bugs Bunny’s Easter Funnies

Hey all…

Yes, I’m a cartoon junkie at times. But not the cartoons you might think. Case in point is the recent release of Bugs Bunny‘s Easter Funnies on DVD. I’m a huge Bugs Bunny fan and have loved all of the classic cartoon characters from the 1940s and 1950s, even though I grew up in the 1970s – Bugs, Sylvester, Tweety, Granny, Pepe Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and all the rest. But starting in the 1970s, the cartoons I saw were compilations of bits and pieces from those earlier classics mixed with bridging clips for continuity of a particular story or theme.

As a kid, I didn’t catch on that the studios were doing this and I just enjoyed the shows. But as I got older, I noticed that the voices weren’t the same for the characters in some places or that the animation style was slightly different here and there. And to see Bugs Bunny’s Easter Funnies on DVD after all this time, it really drives home how weird those bridging segments really were in a few places. (It originally aired in 1977, which makes me feel really old!)

This collection is focused around the Easter Bunny, who is sick and can’t deliver eggs to all the good little boys and girls who expect such things on Easter morning. EB calls Granny, who tries to find a suitable replacement. Bugs of course comes to mind, but he’s required by contract to finish a few cartoons and won’t be free in time to help. But together, Bugs and Granny hunt for someone else who might work. Daffy Duck of course thinks he’s the best replacement and eventually steals the job (though Granny and Bugs know it’s him), but along the way they watch several cartoons from other possibilities.

So if you were a fan of some of these collected shows, I apologize. This one is tough to complain about because it includes segments from some of my favorite WB cartoons of the classic era.

Sylvester and Tweety appear in a clip from “Birds Anonymous,” which features Sylvester trying to go “on the wagon” and swear off our fine feathered friends. Obviously that doesn’t go very well and Sylvester tries to eat Tweety. And when Sylvester’s friend from Birds Anonymous tries to help but falls off the wagon just as quickly. This short won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1957.

“Knighty Knight Bugs” sends Bugs Bunny on a quest for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to retrieve the stolen “Singing Sword” from the Black Knight (Yosemite Sam) and his vicious dragon. Though Sam puts up a valiant fight, in the end Bugs saves the sword and sends his foe to the moon. This short also won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1959.

Also included were clips from “Robin Hood Daffy” where Daffy Duck pretends to be Robin Hood and Porky Pig as Friar Tuck laughs uproariously at his antics. Even today, I still laugh when Daffy tries to use his “dollar and a quarter” quarter staff to protect himself. His “ho haha guard turn parry dodge spin ha thrust…” where he smacks himself in the head with the staff makes me giggle just to think about it.

Also included are clips from “For Scent-imental Reasons,” “Sahara Hare,” Rabbit of Seville,” “Hillbilly Hare,” “Tweety’s Circus,” and “Little Boy Boo.” And you get a bonus short – “His Hare-Raising Tale” – and a set of interactive puzzles on the DVD.

Now if the DVD just included each of those classics in their entirety, I would have called this a great bargain. But you only get snippets of each pasted together with this forced plot of finding a replacement for the Easter Bunny.

However, if you have kids, Bugs Bunny’s Easter Funnies isn’t a bad way to have them spend about 50 minutes to have a good time. I know my two daughters enjoyed it and they hadn’t seen it before. Look for it at your favorite rental or retail store. But if you’re looking for the full versions of these classic cartoons, I’d look for the Looney Tunes DVD collections on DVD.

–Fitz

p.s. Pick up some of these great Bugs Bunny shows on DVD!

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DVD Review: Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases, Vol. 3

Hey there!

Tom and Jerry deserve to go down in the great cartoon duos with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Scooby Doo and Shaggy. Created in the 1940s by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom is a blue-gray tomcat and Jerry is a little brown mouse who seem to have had it in for each other since they were drawn together.

Since their debut with the 1941 short “The Midnight Snack”, the dynamic duo of cat and mouse have destroyed lives, homes, and each other in more than 150 shorts between 1941 and 1967. Hanna and Barbera directed shorts in the 1940s and 50s. Gene Deitch directed a few in the 1961 and 1962. Chuck Jones directed shorts between 1963 and 1967… So Tom and Jerry have undergone a few changes over the years.

Personally, my favorites are from the Hanna and Barbera era, and all of the 14 shorts included in Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases, Vol. 3 collection are from that era. There were even a couple that I don’t think I’d ever seen, which is odd considering the number of cartoons I’ve watched in my life!

Three of my all-time favorite Tom and Jerry cartoons are included on this DVD, which absolutely made by day.

The Two Mouseketeers” (1952) and “Touché, Pussy Cat!” (1954) are both set in the France of Alexandre Dumas book The Three Musketeers, featuring Jerry as a “Mouseketeer” and a young, enthusiastic mouse. In “The Two Mouseketeers”, Jerry and his young companion decide to take advantage of a lavish banquet guarded by Tom.

“Touché, Pussy Cat!” acts as a prequel to “The Two Mouseketeers,” explaining how the young mouse came to become a Mouseketeer. Sent to Jerry to train by friend François Mouse, the young mouse is originally turned away. But as with all things, the youngster proves he has the heart of a Mouseketeer and helps Jerry beat Tom in a swordfight.

My third favorite is “Pecos Pest” (1955) when Jerry’s Uncle Pecos comes to visit and practice playing his guitar before appearing on a television program. When a string breaks on Pecos’ guitar, the nearest replacement happens to be one of Tom’s whiskers, which causes all kinds of issues for Tom and Jerry.

Somehow I managed to miss “Blue Cat Blues” (1956) and “The Flying Sorceress” (1956) after all these years, but it was fun to see them appear in this collection.

Once again, Warner Brothers has done a great job of pulling together a fun collection of 14 classic Tom and Jerry cartoons in Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases, Vol. 3. Be sure to look for it (as well as Volume 1 and 2) at your favorite online or local retailer or rental store!

–Fitz

p.s. Pick up Volume 3 and other Tom and Jerry greats on DVD from Amazon below!

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