Sunday, February 14, 2016

RR Baby Looney Tunes

There's been various shows based around the Looney Tunes over the years. Spinoff parodies, sitcoms, mystery series, reimaginings, reboots and completely new concepts born from them!

So of course all that was left were either a Muppet babies-version or an action-packed extreme take on the license!

Let's check on the baby incarnation first!

Name: Baby Looney Tunes volume 1: Playday Pals
Created by Jeffrey Gatrall, Michael Hack & Scott Heming
Original run 2001-2006
Genre All-age children comedy animated series

Do you remember a fad back in the late 1980s/early 1990s when every cartoon seemed to revolve around baby versions of famous characters? After the success of Muppet Babies they kept churning out baby-versions of all kinds of popular cartoons like The Flintstone Kids, Tom & Jerry KidsA Pup Named Scooby-Doo and finally the only good attempt to have ever come out of this trend Tiny Toon Adventures - heck I'd even count The Rugrats as a similar subject. 

After a brilliant renewed interest in Looney Tunes, following a cartoon renaissance of the 1990s, there were several good shows based around the Looney Tunes propriety. Each trying its own thing. Like a mystery-based series, Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, a sitcom parody, Taz-Mania, and finally a tribute to golden science-fiction serials, Duck Amuck. Of course this wouldn't last and we were bound to get something uninspired soon enough.

Coming about two decades too late on this whole baby-ification fad, the folks at Warner Bros. decided now was a good time to make a Baby Looney Tunes show aimed at children.


The show was directed Jeffrey Gatrall, Michael Hack and Scott Heming, and clearly aimed at the all-age crowd, you know, for kids. It was launched in 2001 on Kids' WB.

Like the kiddie versions of popular franchises I mentioned above, we find our familiar yet baby-fied cast living in a nursery now, run by Granny

In this world, all our familiar Looney Tunes are now baby. I mean, I suppose Tweety was already a "chick", wasn't he?

Bugs is the oldest and the smartest baby. He tends to butt heads with the tomboy-sh Baby Lola - remember her? One of the rare few female Looney Tunes, who was introduced in Space Jam. And Daffy is always complaining. But there's also Babies Sylvester, Tweety and several other Looney Tunes getting cameos here and there such as Speedy or Porky.

Each new adventure see them playing and goofing around, taking naps, learning lessons and using their imagination. 

The stories are definitively kindergarten-oriented.

Each episode is composed of two short adventures as well as a singalong song number.

This first DVD pictured above, "Baby Looney Tunes Volume 1: Playday Pals" only contains the first 2 episodes (!!), which means a total of 4 shorts and 2 songs. A story about Taz breaking toys, another about Tweety's birthday, Sylvester losing his blanket and Daffy afraid of swimming.

Yeah, so like I said this show is clearly meant for kids. That said, you have to wonder why they would even use the Looney Tunes for a baby version for apparently no reason.

Baby Looney Tunes is not really that good. It's as cliché as these type of children programming can be, which is what the original LT always stood against and playfully mocked.

I suppose it works for kids, it is clearly targeting young children. It's pretty silly and works if all you're looking for them are bright moving colors on screen. But adults will no doubt ignore this, it gets really tedious and pretty annoying pretty fast.

The show featured an all-new voice cast for the occasion, sort of mimicking the type of voice you would expect for this take on these characters. Baby Bugs and Daffy are both voiced by Samuel Vincent. He's okay, I suppose. While Baby Lola gets a completely new voice by Britt McKillip - she never really settled on a definitive voice type so far. We also have Ian James Corlett, June Foray, Janyse Jaud, Terry Klassen and Chiara Zanni.

I admit, I'm clearly not the target audience here, I didn't even was back when this first aired. So it was really difficult to sit through these. I also remember how annoying those already were back when I was younger back then.

Older fans won't really find anything really enjoyable. It's such a boring generic execution. They could have make so much more with the idea. I mean, simply look at Tiny Toons!

There's nothing really remaining from the heart of the real Looney Tunes here, to be frank. The result speaks for itself: it's bland, boring, generic and it comes so far off anything resembling the original concept which was, I remind you, created for adults first and foremost.

The music on the show is easily the best part since it comes from veteran animation composers Steve Bernstein and Julie Bernstein. Although the silly intercut song numbers were pretty bad (apart from one in the second episode which seemed closer to what you'd expect from the LT) and the main theme song is really awfully cheesy, written and performed by Lisa Silver and Patty Way.

Overall, Baby Looney Tunes is a pretty bad children cartoon. All-age or not, it's such a disposable series, even if it's harmless enough.

You have to wonder why they even made the show, I'm sure they could have sold plushes and toys without the cartoon to back it up. It's downright stupid, bland and almost insultingly cheesy for children as well. Sure toddlers might enjoy it, but you might as well put them in front of a light show! I'm sure some kids liked it, but it's not a particularly good product.

The show would strangely run for 2 seasons for a total of 53 episodes. A first Season aired from 2001 to 2003 on Kids' WB! for 38 episodes. Which would be followed by a Easter special movie in 2003, Baby Looney Tunes Eggs-traordinary Adventure. Finally a Season 2 would follow from 2004– to 2006 on Cartoon Network for the remaining 12 episodes. 

You can say it completely lost point and focus on what the LT were all about. It's really surprising, since the Looney Tunes were clearly created for adults in the first place!

It's without a doubt easily one of the worst LT productions! If you want some good children cartoon based around the Looney Tunes, also aimed at both kids and adults alike, just watch Tiny Toons instead!

Skip this one! If you're a fan, there's plenty of better alternatives.As for children, just show any of the other Looney Tunes cartoon from the 1990s instead.

This was just made for quick money. Sure, the characters look cute as babies, but it was either that or making an extreme version of them. Speaking off... we'll talk about that one next time...

I give it:
0.5 / 3 Felixes!

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I remember seeing Baby Looney Tunes on merchandise LOOOONG before this cartoon adaptation came out. Just figured I'd mention that.