Looney Tunes is one of those shows that we all grew up watching, it's a staple of any childhood if you're old enough; the wacky, extremely violent and beloved shorts graced our screens for several decades and are still replayed today. However, in recent years, their popularity has somewhat diminished due to the fact that they haven't been putting out a lot of new stuff. There was a time that Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters were more popular and well known than even Walt Disney's best known creations and over the past few years, Warner Bros. have attempted a resurgence of that - to introduce Looney Tunes to a new generation.
Now, I've always been a fan of Looney Tunes - I grew up watching that, Tom and Jerry and Ed, Edd n Eddy more than any other shows - but I'd never obsessed over it in the same way that I have over Disney, Pixar and animated features, however, I've been infatuated with it since seeing Happy Feet Two. As I mentioned in my review of the dancing-penguin sequel, the film was preceded by an all new CGI Looney Tunes short film, I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, starring Sylvester and Tweety.
The short (clip above) was absolutely fantastic and brilliantly encapsulated the genius of Looney Tunes in just a few short minutes. Using the archived song, I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, recorded back in the 50s by the late, great voice of Looney Tunes, Mel Blanc, the short feels wonderfully familiar, quirky and nostalgic and is a very fitting tribute to the animation legend. The short also features Looney Tunes mainstay, June Foray, as the voice of Granny. The characters are far more lively than they could've conceivably been with new voices, and although the CGI animation, in place of the old fashioned traditional animation, took a while to get used to, the wonderful, familiar characters, the charming style, the ridiculously violent comedy, engaging story and Mel Blanc's talented voice work made it an absolute delight.
Puddy Tat was directed by Matthew O'Callaghan - who previously worked at Disney on films like The Great Mouse Detective, as well as directing the feature film adaptation of Curious George. O'Callaghan has been leading the Looney Tunes revival in recent years, after directing three brilliant Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner shorts last year, including the Annie Award nominated Coyote Falls (above). He's also directed Daffy's Rhaspsody (another short, starring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd, featuring the voice of Mel Blanc - clip below) and another, as of yet untitled, Road Runner short, both of which will debut in 2012.
From what I've seen, so far, the future looks bright for Looney Tunes, as the beloved cartoons are being done proud by these all new, fun 3D shorts.