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February 17, 2005 4:22 PM   Subscribe

"What we're doing is taking Bugs Bunny, a classic, and changing him for the kids – making him fresh, cool and hip." By fresh, they mean he will be a martial arts expert. By cool, they mean from the future. By hip? Laser eyes.
posted by Simon! (86 comments total)

 
Dithpicable!
posted by mervin_shnegwood at 4:25 PM on February 17, 2005


Bugs Bunny doing martial arts.... that's something new, I gotta say
posted by gregb1007 at 4:26 PM on February 17, 2005


doublepost (though it's hard to tell from the original post):
http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/39661
posted by crabcakes at 4:28 PM on February 17, 2005


My apologies, I looked but didn't see that one.
posted by Simon! at 4:29 PM on February 17, 2005


It seems like WB is doing this to counter the Japanese derived cartoons out now that are created to sell Merch.

Why now? What is it about today's (crappy) cartoons that made Warner Bros. studios sit up and say "we need to compete with that" ?
posted by splatta at 4:30 PM on February 17, 2005


Another Cory Doctorow screed on copyright law in 5...4...3...
posted by felix betachat at 4:35 PM on February 17, 2005


"We'll need to revamp him... make him proactive, you know? Really push that paradigm out of the box."
posted by Krrrlson at 4:37 PM on February 17, 2005


Bugs Bunny doing martial arts.... that's something new, I gotta say
WB is doing this to counter the Japanese
Feel if an adult wanted to keep up with today's youth, he or she may want to learn the Japanese language. As I'm meeting many US youths who teaching themselves the language.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:38 PM on February 17, 2005


As long as "buzz" dresses up in space-drag once in a while I'm happy.
posted by philscience at 4:38 PM on February 17, 2005


Another cokehead entertainment exec's career implodes in 5...4...3...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:39 PM on February 17, 2005


2...3...3...3...6...5...

Dammit, stopwatch is broken again.
posted by Bugbread at 4:39 PM on February 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Hey, where's Poochy?
posted by loquax at 4:40 PM on February 17, 2005


Man that sucks.
posted by nixerman at 4:42 PM on February 17, 2005


*begins browsing ACME catalog for anvils and catapults*
posted by jonmc at 4:43 PM on February 17, 2005


Oh man, Bugs so totally jumped the shark.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2005


I predict this'll sink like a stone with everyone but the under-6 "Space Jam" set.

Which is probably the whole idea.
posted by BoringPostcards at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2005


I hadn't seen it either, it was very difficult to figure out in the earlier post. at least you explained what the hell your post is about, don't apologise Simon

anyway the new design totally sucks, it's badly done fake Manga. I bet the kids will hate it too, technically it's... lame.
posted by matteo at 4:45 PM on February 17, 2005


I bet the kids will hate it too, technically it's... lame.

I agree. Part of the reason old-school cartoons like the Warner Brothers gang and Popeye remain popular is that they are timelessly enjoyable (since love of animated vilence knows no generational boundaries). My youngest sister, now 18, would be considered way too young to enjoy them but as a toddler in the late 80's she couldn't get enough of 'em. She even went around the house saying "Sufferin' Succotash," all the time.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on February 17, 2005


The swoopy hands and gritted teeth say 'extreme'.
posted by anthill at 4:50 PM on February 17, 2005


This sort of thing is why I long ago became a secret agent for the aliens intent on destroying humanity in a glorious roseate flash.
posted by freebird at 4:52 PM on February 17, 2005


Well, this and all the darn fascists.
posted by freebird at 4:53 PM on February 17, 2005


freebird, you mean like Invader Zim?
posted by Specklet at 4:54 PM on February 17, 2005




Oh...man. This makes me so sad. I love Bugs Bunny. What the hell is the matter with people?

"Making him cool, fresh, hip."

Those words don't mean anything!!!

Sometimes it's just to easy to spot the soulless ones.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:54 PM on February 17, 2005


Seems like there's lots of Buzz Bunny merch out already!
posted by svenni at 4:55 PM on February 17, 2005


jonmc, yeah, even now I'll find myself drawn into an old Bugs Bunny cartoon once in a while.

I hate it when companies let marketing wonks make the decisions.

Smart Dalek, Batman Beyond is one of my favorite newer cartoons! Great stuff, for an action hero character, totally wrong for Bugs Bunny.

Someone needs a slap upside the head.
posted by fenriq at 4:56 PM on February 17, 2005


Heh, see it on Fox News...2 mins later, see it on MeFi.

It's very, very sad. But they're just experimenting with raping the franchise, and it may not last long.
posted by cosmonik at 5:00 PM on February 17, 2005


baby_balrog: "cool" is actually the opposite of "fresh" and "hip."

Truly cool things and people (like say Humphrey Bogart or Miles Davis) don't need to be fresh, they're eternally cool. "Fresh," is a word best applied to vegetables, and like vegetables, fresh celebrities have a short shelf life. Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Kid & Play and Shaun Cassidy were all once considered "fresh."
posted by jonmc at 5:00 PM on February 17, 2005


tiny toon adventures, yes. animaniacs, yes. this, hell no.

also, the uncut batman beyond movie is some truly good stuff.

... piece of bread / wakko's head ...
posted by dorian at 5:05 PM on February 17, 2005


jonmc: thanks- I'm copying that to my desktop image. :) Anyway, what I really meant was, "These words are meaningless coming from the mouth of a soulless executive whose purpose (it seems) is to wreck cartoons for me."

Hip, as I recall from an earlier meta FPP, means 'anti-establishment'. Perhaps the original Bugs was as hip as possible - insofar as he was constantly foiling the dastardly plots of Elmer Fudd, a character who, in my mind, will forever represent The Man. Bugs was hip. He has always stood up for the individual - ah! I just remembered something from the Illuminatus! Trilogy. Don't they all vote for Bugs Bunny, or something? Doesn't Bugs actually embody the "truest" freedom? Where's a R.A.B. scholar when you need one?!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:08 PM on February 17, 2005


Simon, I liked your writeup of the post.
posted by Hildago at 5:09 PM on February 17, 2005


Jonmc, here's your ACME anvil.
posted by donovan at 5:13 PM on February 17, 2005


It's stupid to mess with Bugs Bunny's shtick. Bugs is Bugs, and the meddling with his image by these imbeciles only detracts from his legacy as a classic cartoon character. How dare they?
posted by VP_Admin at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2005


Of course you realize, this means war.
posted by mathis23 at 5:15 PM on February 17, 2005


Well, I discussed it with my wife, and, as he often does, she came up with this wonderful observation...

Why don't we watch it and see.

She mentioned "Tiny Toon Adventures" with Buster abd Babbs and the whole gang.
She was resistant to the whole baby looney toons idea.. until she watched it.

It was full of masked adult humor, as well as puns on popular culture.. Well written puns with clever execution.

There will always be old Bugs, but maybe there is room for another..??
posted by Balisong at 5:17 PM on February 17, 2005


As She often does.. damn preview!!
posted by Balisong at 5:19 PM on February 17, 2005


Reading this makes me wish I was soulless and could make money by substituting excrement for thought.

Bring back Poochy!
---------
Baby_Balrog - Bugs was a sort of hybrid tsathoggua there.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:20 PM on February 17, 2005


Buzz Kill Bunny

p.s. I've seen "Tiny Toon Adventures," and I personally wouldn't consider that a good precedent.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:23 PM on February 17, 2005


I'd really like Chuck Jones to rise from the grave and drop the biggest anvil of all time on the souless fuck responsible for this.

Disgusting.
posted by keswick at 5:25 PM on February 17, 2005


I hope this goes over like New Coke!
posted by lobstah at 5:28 PM on February 17, 2005


Doesn't this idea eerily echo the "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" episode of "The Simpsons"? ...

[Silverman draws a standard dog]

Myers: No, no, no! He was supposed to have attitude.

Silverman: Um ... wh-what do you mean, exactly?

Myers: Oh, you know, attitude, attitude! Uh ... sunglasses!

Lady: Could we put him in more of a "hip-hop" context?

Krusty: Forget context, he's gotta be a surfer. Give me a nice shmear of surfer.

Lady: I feel we should Rasta-fy him by ... 10 percent or so.

[The resulting dog is rather ... "proactive"]

[All stare at it without any expression]

Myers: Hmm ... I think he needs a little more attitude.

[Silverman blackens in Poochie's sunglasses]

All Three: [Variously] Oh, yeah, bingo! Yeah, that's it!

There it is, right there! I love it!


And we all know how that one ended ...
posted by New Frontier at 5:31 PM on February 17, 2005


I'm not sure which is worse--autonomous military robots patrolling the streets or this.

Ok, the robots are far worse., but still.
posted by sourwookie at 5:31 PM on February 17, 2005


Bugs was already old school by the time I became acquainted with him and he remains my favorite classic cartoon character. I don't really think it's his ability to entertain that has the suits worried, It's that somebody in marketing has calculated that "Buzz" will be a better sugar water salesman.
Real life imitates the Simpsons once again.
posted by 2sheets at 5:35 PM on February 17, 2005


I object to this change in his appearance and will have none of it. They want to make Bugs Bunny a martial arts expert? Bugs has always been a martial arts expert! He has used hundreds of fighting styles to defeat his enemies for years - even drunken monkey style! The rabbit has reached physical, comedic and mental perfection. What nerve to tamper with him now!
posted by hojoki at 5:36 PM on February 17, 2005


Poochie ... that's the first thing I thought of.
posted by Relay at 5:37 PM on February 17, 2005


Warner Brothers should read their own goddamn web site:
No character -- much less a rabbit -- has captured the American moviegoer's imagination as thoroughly and uproariously as Bugs Bunny. And no character has dominated the medium of animation for as long as the unabashedly bold Brooklyn bunny.

Bugs Bunny is arguably the most popular and recognizable cartoon character of all time.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:38 PM on February 17, 2005


Hear, hear, kirkaracha.
posted by hojoki at 5:40 PM on February 17, 2005


I mean, it's not like we are going to soil his reputation..

I also remember Bugs making fun of Arabs at one time or another...

When is the last time they have made a real live Bugs Bunny cartoon...?
It's been since you and I were kids.
The same jokes have been hashed over and over so many times..
There HAS to be a new generation..

Ya know what? Bugs is OLD.. So is the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.
If I see another "Taz" tattoo, I think I'll puke.
Did you know that Speedy Gonzales the mouse got pulled because of his ethnic stereotyping? Lazy I believe..

But all this is moot, because if it sucks, kids won't watch it, they'll tune in something else, this will loose money, and it will be heaped on top of the failed experiments pile.

but maybe, just maybe, someone writing the scripts, or the visual artist that worked on the piece, or the First Best Boy will go on to something great, and this will be the stepping stone.

I know a couple people trying to get into the comic book industry (writer and artist) and I'll say, it's brutal.

If this breathes fresh blood into saturday mornings, I say all the better!!

(As long as they are not used as a propaganda tool to promote future wars...)
posted by Balisong at 5:48 PM on February 17, 2005


Hey, everything is more awesome when you put it in space and add ninjas and lasers. Look at To Kill a Mockingbird!
posted by schroedinger at 5:50 PM on February 17, 2005


I'm all for reimagining classic character. The brilliant Tiny Toons recast the Looney Tunes mainstays and teachers (or professors, or whatever), and I think it worked well with their archetypes.

This, however, just sounds dumb.
posted by deafmute at 5:50 PM on February 17, 2005


Poochie recycles....TO THE EXTREME!
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:51 PM on February 17, 2005


Recycle --- TO THE EXTREME!
posted by undule at 5:51 PM on February 17, 2005


on preview, what the kid who stayed in school said

lol
posted by undule at 5:52 PM on February 17, 2005


Smart Dalek: Read my mind, though I didn't like that show one iota.

So if Batman Beyond liberally ripped off of Akira, which anime is this new show going to mimic?
posted by May Kasahara at 5:53 PM on February 17, 2005


This editorial from Cartoon Brew sums it up better than I possibly could.
posted by O9scar at 6:01 PM on February 17, 2005


Well. At least those responsible for this are essentially cartoons themselves, so there's some entertainment value.

My god, he said freshhipcool. Isn't that the point where you say to yourself "hh my god, I have become the embodiment of all the worst stereotypes of my profession - time for the noose"?
posted by kavasa at 6:08 PM on February 17, 2005


From Cartoon Brew:
Oh Buzz... Buzz Bunny... oh... yes... OH GOD!
posted by anthill at 6:30 PM on February 17, 2005


I thought the whole point of extending copyright was to allow these companies to maintain the rights to these characters, not change them so that they're unrecognizable. I mean, you can smack the Thunderbird label on a focus, but that doesn't MEAN anything to anyone with half a brain...

Hmm. I wonder what kind of copyright protection you could get if you took an oldie like Bugs and started dressing him in various guises to ursurp other styles and whatnot -- so that thirty years (or three!) down the road, their lawyers can say "nonono, your Magna character looks like our Bugs character from 2005, so it violates our copyright that goes back to infinity plus! Nyah!"

Lately my comments are deteriorating into nonsense at the end. I need a snack.
posted by davejay at 6:30 PM on February 17, 2005


Can't they just leave the original characters alone? Those "examples" of the made-over characters look soulless and evil. Apparently the last few threads of American culture (albeit cartoons) are taking a crap. Where is Chicken Little? Who is next? Scooby? Popeye? Yogi Bear?

Oh wait, here comes Fred Flintstone in his "Furry" gear doing something very strange with Dino.

Personally, I blame Samurai Jack and Cartoon Network. If I had my way my kids would only have access to Old Yeller, and all that other Disney stuff Kurt Russell was in.
posted by snsranch at 6:37 PM on February 17, 2005


Maybe this is a good thing. Re-branding classic figures could lead to some interesting results. I'm seeing this idea expand. You could take for instance Elvis, give his music a cool new electro beat, and maybe put some lasers into his eyes too. Re-brand him Elvix™?
posted by svenni at 6:46 PM on February 17, 2005


Uh, it's been done.
posted by keswick at 6:49 PM on February 17, 2005


Another abomination brought to you by commitee decisions and marketing people!

(Couldn't they have just design around the 'comedy styles' and personalities of Tex Avery era Bugs and Daffy, instead of redo the characters from practically ground up?)
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:09 PM on February 17, 2005


freebird, you mean like Invader Zim?
I love that cartoon...pity it was cancelled.

Buzz Bunny scares me. This seems so surreal .... Why are they "updating" him again? Aren't there enough crappy cartoons out there?
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:23 PM on February 17, 2005


Umm...has anyone else googled "buzz bunny" to get more info? The new Bugs also shares his name with a group of "special" toys. NSFW if you do decide to try it.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2005


I for one welcome our....uh....whatever.

Throws rope over the rafters........
posted by snsranch at 7:43 PM on February 17, 2005


Could they goddamn update Mickey Mouse instead?

MAJIN MOOOUSE!

Science-fiction Popeye, now that would be pretty cool. Ackackackackack! Beeyowww.
posted by furiousthought at 8:05 PM on February 17, 2005


Make Bugs cool? Bugs is how we DEFINE cool.
posted by QuietDesperation at 9:37 PM on February 17, 2005



But all this is moot, because if it sucks, kids won't watch it, they'll tune in something else...


You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding. Have you seen the dreck kids will fall for?
posted by Evstar at 9:59 PM on February 17, 2005


Buzz Bunny is as much Bugs Bunny as Buster is. That is, not. Think of this as an alternate-universe version of Looney Tunes. It might well be fun.

On the other hand... the Duck Dodgers series was dreadful.

Whatever happens, the originals will always be around, undiminished.
posted by kindall at 11:20 PM on February 17, 2005


I really don't see Buzz Bunny dressing up in women's clothing like Bugs, so what's the pont.

'Rest assured that I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.'
posted by isthisthingon at 2:24 AM on February 18, 2005


A lot of Bugs Bunny's schtick was lifted off of Groucho Marx, but it was still funny. Maybe ripoffs of Bugs will be funny too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:10 AM on February 18, 2005


This will make for some frightful Underoos.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:18 AM on February 18, 2005


Why must people rape my childhood so brutally?
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:36 AM on February 18, 2005


Remember when they brought back Looney Tunes a few years back and they were all buddies, with Mel Blanc's son doing the voices? That space-jammed shit sucked right? I'd rather see this latest incarnation than tinker with the classic Bugs. This superhero-izing only cements the classic Bugs further into history.
Anyone remember tuning into Tom & Jerry and they'd throw in that strange new awkward one in the middle of the Fred Quimbys? Remember when Mighty Mouse changed and you thought "who's that asshole"? It's part of things changing over time. It's what happens to archetypes. And it's part of getting old, and wanting things to stay the same. But they won't. No big deal.

That said, I don't even know why they bothered to connect this darkened-style bunny to the old Bugs (besides sheer greed). It seems different enough that it could almost be it's own new thing.
posted by hellbient at 8:49 AM on February 18, 2005


Science-fiction Popeye, now that would be pretty cool.

It exists: Popeye and Friends in Outer Space.

You can pick up a copy over on Amazon for 24 cents.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:50 AM on February 18, 2005


Warner Brothers does All New Toons (in Flash) with the classic characters.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:04 AM on February 18, 2005


>>Whatever happens, the originals will always be around, undiminished.

except everytime I watch a classic WB cartoon, all the objectionable funny content has been excised. I grew up watching these things. Never once did I eat a birthday cake with dynamite candles or jump off a cliff with springs on my feet. Unless kids are a whole lot dumber these days, I don't see why we need to 'clean' these things up.

Buzz Bunny will be less objectionable than censoring the existing toons...

posted by login at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2005


I just listened to "Flaunt It" again last week, and I thought it held up pretty good actually. Up to "She's My Man" anyways...
posted by stinkycheese at 10:18 AM on February 18, 2005


> Unless kids are a whole lot dumber these days, I don't see why we need to 'clean' these things up.

Kids aren't dumber. But the lawsuits are bigger.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2005


I hate to say it, but that Daffy Duck looks kinda cool. Take a look at the single bad image we've seen, though, and think back on other conceptual art you've seen.

If you haven't, go check out a good animated DVD, like (not to start another war) the Clerks cartoon. Look at how the characters went from quick pencil sketches to the finished, Korean-powered animation, changing a little and a lot along the way.

Wait until they make some test footage available. Then you can write the whole thing off. But wait until then. There will be another FPP about it soon enough, I suspect.
posted by codger at 11:47 AM on February 18, 2005


Who is next? Scooby? Popeye? Yogi Bear?

Too late. John K. (of "Ren and Stimpy" fame) gave Yogi and Boo-Boo an...update...back in 1999, though practically no one ever saw it. This may or may not be a good thing.
posted by Vervain at 11:53 AM on February 18, 2005


Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin.
posted by rocketman at 1:30 PM on February 18, 2005


Balisong: Slow poke Rodriguez.
posted by andendau at 11:22 PM on February 18, 2005


'Poochie' - argh, I spelled it wrong!

Couldn't they have just design around the 'comedy styles' and personalities of Tex Avery
That would require creativity instead of pimping, er, marketing.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:38 AM on February 21, 2005


heh...triple-post, i think.
but this definitely warrants an ongoing discussion. maybe some web-surfing marketing suit will see all the negative buzz this is getting and think twice...
posted by es_de_bah at 6:37 PM on February 28, 2005


The teaser trailer's online. [.mov]
posted by Gucky at 3:45 PM on March 10, 2005


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