Looney Tunes: Back in Action (6/10)

 Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley

 The last animated film I saw was Ants. I swore Iíd never see another.  Even with Woody Allen it was a bore. How can an adult sit through a feature length cartoon without squirming?

 Even so, I went to see Looney Tunes because it was a hybrid, with cartoons and live people, including Steve Martin and Brendan Fraser, both of whom I like (even though Iíve never seen Martin in a good film). And I liked the Looney Tunes comic books and cartoons of my childhood. To cut to the chase, although this is entertaining, I squirmed and fought sleep. Ninety minutes is just too long for this adult to sit through a cartoon. The old-timers at the studios, circa 1930s-Ď50s had it right. Five minutes is about the correct length for a cartoon.

 In Looney Tunes, Daffy Duck (playing himself) is fired by the brothers Warner. DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser), a security guard at Warner Bros., is instructed to get him off the lot. Bugs Bunny (also playing himself) is trying to get Daffyís job back. Damien Drake (Timothy Dalton), an actor in spy films, is DJís father and is being held prisoner by evil Mr Chairman (Steve Martin) of ACME Corporation in order to find the Blue Diamond, so then suddenly itís Raiders of the Lost Ark. But a few moments later weíre in outer space. Hey, itís a cartoon!

 One thing I didnít like is a blatant promotion for Walmart. In the old days labels were covered up so no particular product was favored. Now theyíre displayed, in return for a hefty fee, and it redounds to the discredit of the films that succumb to this temptation. Itís bad enough to walk into a theater and have to sit through advertisements before watching the movie. Now we have to see them in the films themselves!

 Daffy Duck and Steve Martin give exceptional performances. Martin lights up the screen with his quirky interpretation of an evil CEO. There are cameos by lots of favorites like Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, The Roadrunner, and others. Iíve seen Bugs in better form, though. This is funny and entertaining, even though I had an extremely hard time staying awake. No more feature length cartoons for me.

 November 14, 2003

 The End