In response to what they perceive as a rise in gun violence in the US, animators working on the new Looney Tunes series developed ways in which rabiit hunting Elbert Fudd be more “creative” in his attempts to catch Bugs Bunny. As a result, he will use a scythe instead of a firearm. When was the last time you saw someone hunting with an agricultural hand tool used for mowing grass or reaping crops? Old bald guy in hunting gear, talking to animals and running around with a scythe… isn’t that usually reserved for horror films?
Is a scythe really a suitable replacement for a hunting rifle? Wouldn’t a crossbow or even a slingshot make more sense?
“We’re not doing guns,” said Peter Browngardt, executive producers of the series, in an interview with the New York Times. “But we can do cartoony violence – TNT, the Acme stuff.”
Michael Ruocco, who also worked as a storyboarder on the series in addition to writing for it, penned a series of tweets responding to people who reacted negatively to recent comments by Browngardt that guns don’t feature in any of the new animated shorts.
Did you know that Elmer Fudd only carried a gun because of his “flawed, challenged masculinity“? Sounds a bit like projection to me. And here I thought it was because he was hunting rabbits, with, you know, a hunting firearm. At least with his scythe, Elmer will be much more masculine and scary for sure… Of course the usual anti-gun crowd crowed in agreement.
Browngardt insisted that the cartoons would stay true to the originals. “I always thought, ‘What if Warner Bros had never stopped making Looney Tunes cartoons? As much as we possibly could, we treated the production in that way.” He continued “We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, ‘everyone needs to be friends’, ‘everyone needs to get along’. Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
The modern versions will reflect modern sensibilities, he said.
I’m not here to put words in other people’s mouths or anything, but as someone who worked for 2 years with these characters, I personally did not care or miss Elmer’s rifle. We got a lot more out of his personality and his lack of wit than any implement in his hands. Move on.
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) June 7, 2020
HBO Max’s just-launched kids and family programming includes new Warner Bros Animation-produced cartoons Looney Tunes based on the iconic animated shorts. The service includes the catalog of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated shorts featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and their pals that aired from 1930–1969, encompassing some 250 shorts in all.
Warner Bros Animation will produce the new Looney Tunes Cartoons. The new series will include 80 eleven-minute episodes, each comprised of animated shorts that vary in length and include adapted storylines for today’s audience. Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa) and Sam Register serve as executive producers.
My last word on the subject: pic.twitter.com/4nUUVydXle
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) June 8, 2020