According to this New York Times article, Warner Brothers is concerned about the low awareness rate among kids of the Looney Tunes characters, so they’re launching two new projects.
The first is The Looney Tunes Show, a half-hour series airing on Cartoon Network in the fall. Bugs and Daffy will be roommates, with the other characters as their neighbors, which sounds like a traditional sitcom setup.
The new series, still awaiting a premiere date, will be broken into bite-size components. There will be three six-minute stories that relate to one another, along with a two-minute “Merrie Melodies” component — in which characters perform in music videos (one features Elmer Fudd singing a love ballad to a grilled cheese sandwich) — and a two-minute Road Runner chase.
In theaters, three 3-D short cartoons starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner have been approved, with possible plans for three more. This image from that effort is getting positive buzz from cartoon fans.
Notable from the article is Warner’s admission of how badly managed previous revamp attempts were, including the much-maligned Loonatics, which were too scary-looking. Sometimes the fans are right when they complain about such things, not just “hating change”. In the latest effort, they’re sticking to what made the characters famous, their original personalities.
Ugly, scary Loonatics
(I am sorry to hear that Looney Tunes Back in Action flopped. I like it. It’s wacky, just like it should be.)
Note that the Looney Tunes are in no danger of disappearing just yet. Even less well-known among children, they still make over $1 billion annually through licensing. Warner just wants to make more. And while they want more products, one executive says, rightly, “We have to invest quite a bit of money in the content first.”