Or that’s the impression I’d get from the clips Cartoon Network has released. They actually depress me more than “Loonatics Unleashed” did. At least that was legitimately trying to do something different, if pointless, and the characters were not exactly the same as the classic characters. These clips just turn Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck into bland sitcom characters, putting them in situations that almost any character could do and giving them lines that almost any other character could say.
The lack of music in the clips may contribute to the bland feel, though it may be a necessary part of fitting the characters in with the current Cartoon Network style. (Or maybe they’re just going to add the music later.) But that’s not nearly as big a problem as the almost total lack of anything that wouldn’t work equally well — or better — if you just crossed out the names “Bugs” and “Daffy” and wrote in new characters.
This one at least ends with some physical comedy, but not enough. And again, there is no particular reason for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to be here, except that Warner Brothers wants to make them marketable again.
What it all comes back to, of course, is that these characters were not marketable because they were cute or because they were inherently suited to becoming toys. They were marketable because from the ’30s through the early ’60 they appeared in a lot of really great cartoons, and those cartoons used to be on TV all the time, and kids loved the characters because they were so funny. Warner Brothers has been reviving these characters literally since the orginal studio shut down — a year later they commissioned an independent studio to make new, cheaper cartoons, leading to the Daffy/Speedy teamups and so on. But it never really works, because the core of these characters died when the original Warner Brothers cartoon studio did. Even the people who made the cartoons originally couldn’t quite recapture the same style and the same spirit when they made new cartoons with the same characters. It ended, they moved on, and anything else was like a reunion show: sometimes okay, sometimes bad, but never the same.
Which ultimately means that nothing Warner Brothers can do, no new project it can make (even if it’s not bad, like the “Duck Dodgers” show), can do much to revive the brand appeal of these characters. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to be working on ways to get the original cartoons before the public, and particularly younger viewers — instead of pulling most of the cartoons off YouTube and refusing to release them online themselves. Kids won’t love Bugs and Daffy if they watch those clips, but they will love them if they grow up with this:
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