Looney Tunes Cartoons is the latest HBO Max animation to drop on the streaming platform. Split across 10 episodes which are broken up into two or three different animated skits, Looney Tunes retains the original feel and tone of the wildly popular 80’s cartoon while delivering something fresh and new for 2020.
Most of the episodes use the same conventional ideas as the original, playing on a couple of different gags and using two or three characters across each segment. Whether it be Bugs Bunny and Elma Fudd or Wile. E Coyote and Roadrunner, all the usual suspects show up here across the different episodes.
Funnily enough the ones that really shine are those that don’t actually feature Bugs Bunny. The Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote skits are excellent as are some of the Daffy Duck and Porky Pig segments that crop up. There are a lot of fourth wall breaks too with each of the different characters speaking to the audience and while these are entertaining, they do crop up a little too frequently and lose their authenticity.
Visually, Looney Tunes Cartoons tries to retain the same aesthetic that was inherent throughout the original while updating the character models for a fresh audience. There’s a combination of hand-drawn backdrops here that work well against different characters that have been given a fresh visual design while staying true to their original design.
For obvious reasons a lot of the violence and different gags from before have been watered down so don’t go into this expecting any jokes about smoking or gags littered with an abundance of serious violence. The changes do work relatively well though and one of the standout moments that nails this perfectly involves Porky Pig and Daffy Duck both at the library together. This entire skit is cleverly written, using small bites of violence throughout but mainly playing on the idea of sound.
The show includes the same splash screens between episodes, catchy music, sound effects and voice acting throughout which combine to make Looney Tunes Cartoons the most authentic adaptation of this material since the 80’s. In that respect this is actually a really good show to watch as a family, with the adults playing on the nostalgia factor and kids enjoying the colourful, vibrant skits and new wave of humour.
With each episode clocking in at around 10 to 12 minutes there’s certainly plenty to like and with only 10 available right now there’s also lots of scope to expand from here. While it’s unlikely to be labelled the best animation of the year, Looney Tunes Cartoons is a reminder of just why this was such an endearing show back in the day. It’s not perfect but it is as close to the original Looney Tunes as we’re likely to get, making this well worth watching.
Published: 28 May 2020 at 11.50 am on TheReviewGeek.com