Faster and More Intense
Wthe most-recent Looney Tunes reboot, hope show reflects amped-up production methods. By Karen Idelson.
abbit – A Looney Tunes Production promises to take on some fairly sacred territory as it reboots the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons generations of now-grown kids loved on Saturday mornings. Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote and Porky Pig are all on board for the series. Even Foghorn Leghorn makes a cameo.
“There are cell phones, there are ATMs, we’re modernizing the social context,” says producer Matthew Craig. “But Bugs’s personality is the same in that he’s usually clever, he doesn’t always get in direct conflict as much as he manipulates the situation he’s in to his advantage.”
The series debuts this fall on Cartoon Network’s Boomerang and features 26 episodes in total and each episode is made up of four stand-alone cartoons that are about five minutes long. This amped up the pace of the show in more ways than one. In the original Looney Tunes cartoons, each shorter piece was about eight minutes long, so producers had to find a way to get to the storyline quicker than ever.
They also had to find a way of working that would allow them to put each episode together at a pace that made sense and also conveyed the energy of the Bugs Bunny shorts of old.
“The way it worked was that we’d pitch the show at 10 a.m., then each artist would get a gag to draw and they’d be done by 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., then we’d organize and pitch the whole thing to the whole crew at 5 p.m. and if we didn’t get the laughs we wanted, we’d rework. But if we did, we’d move on the next story,” says Craig, who comes from the live-action background of Saturday Night Live. “I don’t know if that’s the best way, but it’s the way we did it.”
When stories worked, the producers took the art and the Post-It notes and dropped them into Toon Boom and they’d became the first pass at a particular story. The animators used these elements as they started their production process.
Craig and producer Gary Hartle think the frenetic production pace give a kind of authentic energy to the show, where Bugs Bunny is running the same gamut as the producers and never sure if he’s going to get to his goal in time.
“We’re still recovering but doing it that way made sense,” says Craig. [ Premieres Nov. 25 In this 70-minute movie based on the series, slacker groundskeepers Mordecai and Rigby go back in time and battle an evil volleyball coach in order to save the universe — and their friendship — after accidentally creating a “Timenado.” [
Breboots the classic series with all the expected elements, plus a new emphasis
on the classic characters. By Karen Idelson.
e Cool Scooby-Doo! is among the slate of Warner Bros. Animation classic reboots this season. The show brings together the classic characters – ScoobyDoo, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma – on a quest to solve mysteries once again. This time they’re also on a quest to solve their own personal dilemmas on top of chasing the requisite ghosts and monsters.
In each 22-minute episode, Fred battles his tendency to be a control freak and gets undone by the antics of the group, Velma struggles against her nerdy anti-social ways, Daphne finds herself almost too naïve to chase the bad guys, and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are just as attracted to the fabled Scooby Snacks as ever.
Producer Zac Moncrief ( Phineas and Ferb) wanted an update that felt true to the wellknown, beloved crew, but they decided to focus on the comedy of the characters, how they interact with each other and the personality traits of the characters, rather than the mystery or fear of chasing monsters and ghosts.
“We’re doing a show that’s character driven,” says Moncrief. “They’re still working on all the external problems but you see someone like Velma — who gets into every college where she applies — get scared when one college wants to interview her.”
The script-driven show, debuting this fall on Cartoon Network’s Boomerang, will have 26 episodes this season and also pays homage to the older look of the original Scooby-Doo animation. After exploring some options, Moncrief kept classic elements like Fred’s ascot and Velma’s glasses and a simple style of animation but with an edge that makes it more modern.
Familiar voice performers were also brought in for this take on Scooby-Doo. Frank Welker, who worked on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, voices Scooby-Doo and Fred. Grey Griffin, also a veteran of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, reprises the role of Daphne. And Matthew Lillard, who played a part in the Scooby-Doo feature films, is the voice of Shaggy.
Though the show is mainly character driven, Moncrief also kept the scares and the chases. They’re just shaped by the wackier personality characteristics of the crew. The veteran animation producer also kept two classic elements from the series: The references to Scooby Snacks and the line, “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.”
“Those things are important to anyone who has ever loved this show,” says Moncrief. [