Looney Tunes gets a reboot (Part 1): How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom — By Rocky Coyote
by Dogpatch Press Staff
Meet “Toon Furs” in Part 1: Duino Duck, RomeTwin, and James the Duck. This story features the side of fandom where you can watch NEW cartoons with classic animal characters, and even turn into one! HBO Max has 80 eleven-minute episodes of fresh-but-faithful animation from WarnerMedia. Furries discuss their influence in this 3-part story by Rocky Coyote. (Rocky previously covered fandom in America’s biggest city on his tag here.)
Looney Tunes gets a reboot: How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom.
Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang found a new home on May 27 as WarnerMedia launches its newest streaming service HBO Max.
Looney Tunes Cartoons is the latest show to marquee the iconic characters that have entertained viewers around the globe for over 80 years. Unlike recent reboots such as The Looney Tunes Show (2011) and Wabbit (2016), HBO’s series will closely resemble the format and art style of the original shorts crafted by the likes of Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson.
Naturally, the show’s wacky yet lovable characters have had an influence on the furry fandom, but this goes beyond the cartoon’s anthropomorphic nature. Shows like Looney Tunes paved the way for a subculture within the subculture, where furries create their own characters in the ‘toon mold.’ This includes big eyes and exaggerated body proportions, personalities that range from goofy to outright insane, and a penchant for slapstick comedy aided by an endless supply of mallets, dynamite and anvils.
To get a better idea of Looney Tunes’ impact on the furry fandom, Dogpatch Press reached out to a number of self-identified toon furs and let them describe how the series influenced their love of cartoons and helped them find a place within the fandom.
Think about it. There are ZERO downsides to being a toon.
-full of energy
-powered by laughter
-can play ANY instrument
-cute as a button
“But Duino, what about all the bad stuff that hap-“
Bud, if you don’t think having a piano dropped on you would be KINDA fun, you’re wrong.
— Duino D. Duck (@MainMandarin) May 13, 2020
Duino Duck is a writer for the Plotsburg Press and a slapstick aficionado. The self-described cartoon antagonist recalls how Looney Tunes forged his passion for all things animated.
Cartoon Network used to air an hour of Looney Tunes from noon to 1 p.m., and I’d watch them every time I was home sick. All I did on those days was watch TV, and Looney Tunes was a welcome reprieve from the slow-paced Nick Jr. and Playground Disney kids’ shows. I watched them and Tom and Jerry a bunch on the weekends, too. A lot of it blurs together, so I don’t have a thorough knowledge of the library of shorts. But I always remember feeling a wave of satisfaction wash over me as the first orchestral swell hit come noontime.
I loved cartoons growing up, but was raised in a strict and serious household. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be academically successful, so cartoons with this antithetical escape- nonsense, zaniness; freedom, in a way. I wanted to watch them, make them, BE them. It felt like making up for lost time.
There was also a level of intelligence that went into the shorts. I’m not going to call them educated entertainment, but there’s an incredible level of finesse and style involved in pulling that medium off. Making characters who you like, but don’t mind seeing blown up in an abandoned mine shaft. Witty one-liners that perfectly contextualize why this person is getting knocked on the head repeatedly. Mindful violence.
Soup to nuts, I’m a toon. I walk funny, I talk funny, I can’t stop talking about dropping bowling balls on my friends. I fell in love with larger than life comic characters, and I want to be one myself. I’ve been yelling about toons for years now, and most people recognize me as “that slapstick bird” which I take as high praise.
(For the new reboot) cautious optimism feels like the best way to put it! I was apprehensive upon the announcement, but the clips I’ve seen thus far have been entertaining in their own right, and it certainly lets me know there will be some real treats in store. I’m very skeptical of reboots since… well, we all know how many of them go. But there’s clearly a lot of care, talent, and passion thrown into these, and it’s looking like it’ll pay off!
Gwen “RomeTwin” Romer, creator of the “Paper and Plastic” comics, talks about the show’s wit and how the character design influenced her art style.
Though I was born in 1996, I watched Looney Toons as often as it was put in front of me; which was a lot as a kid. My grandparents recorded the shorts on VHS, and my parents were keen on having me watch classic cartoons like Popeye, Under-Dog, Tom & Jerry, etc.
The show was very particular in that while Tom & Jerry also used slapstick humor, Looney Tunes was very witty in its dialogue and visual gags that helped shape an idea of what made cartoons funny for me. Even as a kid I appreciated how clever it was and it never felt patronizing. I feel that the shows I grew up on (though I hold them close to my heart) needed to be loud for the sake of holding my attention, and Looney Tunes never needed to do that.
The show had no influence for my fursona personally. However, Wile E. Coyote and characters inspired by him have had an influence on how I draw my canines! That and Pepe Le Pew. They had the PERFECT snouts.
This is much more faithful than any Looney Tunes project I’ve seen in a long time. I was a kid when Lunatics Unleashed was on the air and even then I didn’t really get it. The Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network was fun, but it was trying to be its own thing; whereas this new show attempts to be faithful to a T and I’ve loved what I’ve seen of it so far.
James the Duck discusses how the show developed his affinity for toony mallards.
I watched it quite a bit growing up. I didn’t really get into them until I was around 8, when they had the Looney Tunes New Year’s Day Marathon on New Year’s 2010. Being a child of the 2000’s, you couldn’t really see Looney Tunes unless you were home from school for some reason, or it was summer vacation. During the summer, I’d always watch Tom and Jerry at 1:00, and then Looney Tunes at 2:00 on Cartoon Network.
Looney Tunes did have an influence on my love for cartoons. Personally, I’m more of a Fleischer/Famous Studios type of guy, but Warner Brothers is a close second. My favorite era is from 1935 to 1948. I love the music, and the fluid, detailed animation, as well as the somewhat “adult” humor. Back then, cartoons were made for adults as well as kids, and it really shows.
My favorites are The Daffy Duckaroo (1942), Nasty Quacks (1945), and Mexican Joyride (1947).
Daffy Duck was my “gateway drug” to my love for birds, especially toon birds. I love the bills and webbed feet. I’ve always secretly wanted to be one and mess around in a surreal universe. When I decided to join the furry fandom, I knew what I wanted to be.
I honestly don’t know much about the new version, but it looks great! I especially love how they seem to have reverted Daffy to his 1940’s “Screwball” personality. I never liked the post-1951 Daffy. They made him so unlikable then, and it hurts to see how that’s the Daffy that everyone knows now. So it’ll be great to see more love for his funny and likeable screwball incarnation! The animation also looks really good. I almost can’t tell it from the 1940s cartoons!
Meet ten Toon Furs in Parts 1-3 of Rocky Coyote’s story.
Looney Tunes Cartoons is among the countless shows, movies and features available for HBO Max subscribers at $14.99 per month. A handful of trailers and episodes, however, can be viewed by anyone on WB Kids’ Youtube channel.
- NY Times: Bugs Bunny Is Back, and So Is the ‘Looney Tunes’ Mayhem
- Vanity Fair: HBOMax’s Modern Looney Tunes Keeps the Spirit of the Classics
- Forbes: HBO Max Brings Back Bugs Bunny And The Looney Tunes Gang In Classic Style
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Bugs wearing YELLOW gloves?! Is there no respect for tradition?! Seriously, talking about tradition looks like they’re going back to older, 1940’s-ish models for Bugs & Daffy.
Didn’t see Pepe in that trailer, hope they don’t leave him out. (Doesn’t really make a dif – I’m not going to subscribe to HBOmax anyway.)