When HBO Max launched late last month, the new Time Warner Media streaming platform included some of the first new Looney Tunes shorts in years, recreating the spirit of the original classic shorts. There was one big difference though, as Bugs Bunny's immortal rivalry with Elmer Fudd no longer included guns. Yosemite Sam will also no longer use the weapons either. The decision sparked conversation online, although some longtime fans pointed out that other recent depictions of Elmer Fudd have not included guns.
In a world where theatrical animation has long since ditched traditional animation, Looney Tunes Cartoon showrunner Peter Browngardt told the New York Times he approached the Looney Tunes revival as if Warner Bros. never stopped making them at the end of the 1960s. "As much as we possibly could, we treated the production in that way," he explained on May 29. In fact, the new adventures of Bugs, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and more are all 2D animated.
The new shorts still include the famous over-the-top violence inspired by Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and other legendary filmmakers before them, Browngardt said. However, there is some adaptation to the times. "We’re not doing guns," Browngardt said. "But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in."
Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will always have their Pulp Fiction reference in Space Jam right?? pic.twitter.com/S8kUSXofCk— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) June 7, 2020
Time Warner ordered more than 1,000 minutes of cartoons for HBO Max, which equals about 200 individual shorts. They did not hold back in many of them. Browndgardt said his team might have actually "gone a little too far" in some, and they might have to be released under Cartoon Network's Adult Swim label. They also worked in some of the lesser-known Looney Tunes characters, like the giant orange beast Gossamer and the mice Hubie and Bertie.
Bugs Bunny learning that Elmer Fudd won’t have a gun anymore. pic.twitter.com/EtPcmpezzl— Houston (@H0ustonPa) June 7, 2020
Indie comics artist Johnny Ryan, who created Angry Youth Comix and Prison Pit, is one of the unique talents brought onto the project. "We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along," Ryan acknowledged to the Times. "Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that,” he continued. “It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent."
I CAN'T BELIEVE THE NEW LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS *cough* which are actually great, go check them out *cough* WON'T LET ELMER FUDD USE A GUN.
ELMER'S ONLY CHARACTER TRAIT IS A GUN. THAT'S IT. THE ORIGINAL CREATORS WOULD NEVER MAKE A CARTOON WHERE HE DIDN'T USE A GUN AT ALL-June 7, 2020
In addition to the new Looney Tunes cartoons, the HBO Max library includes a selection of the original classic shorts. The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts originally ran from 1930 to 1969. Since then, Warner Bros. has included the Looney Tunes characters in several movies and television shows. They are set to appear in theaters again alongside LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
I can't believe this needs to be said, but Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd were never responsible gun owners anyway. pic.twitter.com/4dgJ83WVgu— Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich (@jackiantonovich) June 7, 2020
anyway, anyone who is mad about them taking away Elmer Fudd's hunting rifle probably has not watched any Looney Tunes media in the past 10 years where he rarely has it and also once was implied to have regular sex with a grilled cheese sandwich. pic.twitter.com/w3PdBbomrA— Hey FizzyJay (@hey_fizzy_jay) June 7, 2020
Not sure what's funnier: Warner Bros taking Elmer fudd's gun as some sort of weird empty gesture about gun violence or the people getting genuinely upset over it and saying that they're gonna unsubscribe pic.twitter.com/kqF2JLnhHJ— Please Social Distance.🌠🌃🌌💙 (@nightandtime) June 7, 2020
Um... y'all. Elmer Fudd hasn't had a gun proper in years. The Looney Tunes Show had an entire episode dedicated to Yosemite Sam having to cope with a court order prohibiting his use of guns because he was a danger to the community. It was hilarious.
This is neither new nor news. https://t.co/a0cvkfzIN2— Jonathan H. Gray has... ✪ unplugged 4 self care ✪ (@jongraywb) June 7, 2020