On May 3, 2011, Cartoon Network debuted Warner Bros. Animation’s reboot of the classic Looney Tunes series. The all-new program, The Looney Tunes Show, puts the whole gang of characters in a suburban setting, with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck rooming together, Odd Couple-style. It’s more like a sitcom, with funny antics spinning off from common scenarios. Think more along the lines of Seinfeld than Chuck Jones. Old school Looney Tunes fans have been somewhat divided over the change in approach, but non-purists will likely find much to enjoy in the new series.
Warner Home Video began releasing The Looney Tunes Show on DVD long before the first season’s finale aired on Cartoon Network in February of 2012. The first three volumes contained a rather skimpy four episodes each, collectively accounting for the first 12 of 26 episodes. There Goes the Neighborhood collects the remaining 14 season one episodes on two DVDs. It’s a great value for fans who were understandably frustrated with the multiple-volume release pattern. Each episode contains a primary story plus either a Merrie Melodies animated music video or a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner short (sometimes both in the same episode). The Merrie Melodies shorts feature brand new songs, while the Road Runner segments are distinguished by their computer animation.
The plots for each episode are creative and often quite unpredictable. When Daffy’s morning newspaper goes missing, he instigates a neighborhood wide search that culminates in the hosting of a dinner party in which the invited guests are all “suspects.” Another episode finds Daffy getting pulled over for running a stop sign. He doesn’t have a license, so his car is impounded and he’s forced to take a driver’s test. When a DMV employee offers him a study guide, Daffy blurts out, “I don’t need your propaganda.”
Later we glimpse a clever show-within-a-show pastiche starring Daffy’s hero, Leslie Hunt, called Off Duty Cop. He and Porky Pig visit Hunt at an autograph signing, where Daffy is dismayed to discover Hunt is not actually Steve St. James, the character he portrays. Daffy decides to embody the St. James character himself, trying to arrest Bugs for a “crime” involving the energy drink Yosemite Sam has been peddling. If these sound like bizarre scenarios for the Looney Tunes gang to find themselves in, they are. The out-of-left-field stories are exactly what keep the show so addictingly entertaining and fresh.
The voice acting is superb, with Jeff Bergman handling a number of characters including both Bugs and Daffy. Bergman also voices Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, and Tweety. There are a couple of well-known names among the voice cast as well, including Kristen Wiig as Lola Bunny and Fred Armisen as Speedy Gonzales. Wiig received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, as did Bob Bergen for his voice work as Porky Pig.
The Looney Tunes Show is consistently inventive, often hilarious, and never less than amusing. The real-life situations the characters are thrown into de-emphasizes the slapstick and visual gags of the classic Looney Tunes shorts, refocusing the show on subtle wordplay and absurdity.
The winner of The Looney Tunes Show - There Goes the
Neighborhood two-DVD set is Chi. Congratulations, Chi! Please email full name and U.S. mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org within 48 hours or another winner will be selected. Thanks to all who participated.