HBO Max released new Looney Tunes cartoons on Thursday, including two featuring obscure characters rarely seen in the Looney Tunes family. In one, Petunia Pig, Porky Pig's long-lost girlfriend, will star in her first solo Looney Tunes short. The Gremlin, who made Bugs Bunny's life difficult in the 1943 short "Falling Hare," will also appear alongside Bugs again in a new short. The shorts are part of the Looney Tunes Cartoons shorts, which all preserve the look and feel of the classic 1930s and 1940s Looney Tunes cartoons.
In Petunia's short, which was previewed over at BuzzFeed, she goes to excessive lengths to take a picture of a squirrel, even tightrope-walking along telephone wires. Petunia made her first appearance in the 1937 short "Porky's Romance," but the character quickly faded into the background when Bugs and Daffy Duck became more popular than Porky. She was intended to be seen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit alongside Porky, but her scene was cut. In recent years, Petunia has been seen on Baby Looney Tunes, The Looney Tunes Show, and New Looney Tunes.
The Gremlin is even more obscure than Petunia. The only classic cartoon he appeared in was "Falling Hare." After that, The Gremlin was not seen until he popped up in four episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures and an episode of Animaniacs. Both The Gremlin and Petunia had cameos in the Looney Tunes Cartoons short "Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny!"
Looney Tunes Cartoons launched alongside HBO Max in May 2020. Before episodes were released, the series gained some notoriety because Elmer Fudd is depicted without guns, although many other Looney Tunes projects in the past decade have shown him without a firearm. In an interview with The New York Times before it launched, showrunner Peter Browngardt said the show would still be heavy on the cartoonish violence the original Looney Tunes shorts are known for, just without realistic guns. "We’re not doing guns," Browngardt explained. "But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in."
Curiously, even though WarnerMedia owns Looney Tunes projects outright, the company is still removing some content from HBO Max. On Friday, The Looney Tunes Show (2011-2014) and New Looney Tunes (2015-2020) will both leave the streaming service. The movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) is also being removed. The Looney Tunes characters will be featured prominently in Space Jam: A New Legacy, which opens in theaters on July 16, the same day it will be released on HBO Max.