DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Not Rated
    Available on DVD April 28
    Official Kids WB site
    Studio: Warner Bros.

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Back in 1981 when Warner Bros. had long since stopped making cartoon short subjects to be shown before feature films, the studio compiled some of their classic Looney Tunes shorts into a feature film. The result was “The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie,” which included new animation to match the old style, tying together the otherwise disparate stories. The wrap-around story started as a pseudo-documentary about the animation process, which eventually turned into Yosemite Sam trying to get out of Satan’s grasp when he perished in a scrape with Bugs Bunny.

The 80-minute theatrical film featured the whole Looney Tunes gang and included the following classic episodes edited into the story: “Hare Trimmed,” “Devil's Feud Cake,” “Roman-Legion Hare,” “Sahara Hare,” “Wild and Wooly Hare,” “The Unmentionables,” “Golden Yeggs,” “Catty Cornered,” “Three Little Bops,” “Birds Anonymous,” “High Diving Hare” and “Show Biz Bugs.”

I remembered seeing this film in the theaters when I was about ten years old, and back then it was a treat to watch the Looney Tunes characters on the big screen. It’s still a treat, considering that it is quite rare for a cartoon to be projected nowadays, with the availability of most of them on home video or in broadcast reruns.

The great part of this film was the original cartoons, my favorite of which happens to be “Three Little Bops,” which doesn’t even feature the classic Looney Tunes characters. Considering the fact that Warner Bros. has released much of their Looney Tunes library on DVD already, these cartoons are not particularly rare or hard to find. However, they can be a treat to see, especially if you want to show some old favorites to your kids.

Because it was compiled in 1981, “The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie” hadn’t been completely sanitized by political correctness. I’m not sure if the overly nervous Hollywood system of today would allow such cartoons replete with guns, explosions, animated violence and even the Devil himself, but it’s great to have this film in hand from a less sensitive (and thereby more sensible) time.

The classic cartoons featured throughout “The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie” are the highlights of this film. The wraparound story, not so much. The studio did as good of a job as it could matching animation style and flavor from the 1950s and 1960s, although the trained eye of someone who has watched the Looney Tunes since childhood can tell the difference.

There was something about how these cartoons were made from fifty years ago that just isn’t quite reproduced perfectly, even in the early 1980s. Where the original cartoons themselves are classic, the interstitials seem artificial in a way.

Still, this wraparound story was necessary to make a feature-length Looney Tunes movie for theaters in 1981, so it’s forgivable.

The disc includes three bonus cartoons from the 1990s, which saw a resurgence of theatrical shorts from the Warner Bros. studio. “Box-Office Bunny” from 1990 was the first short released since 1964, and the other two were from the mid-1990s: “From Hare to Eternity” and “Pullet Surprise.” These aren’t as great as the original shorts, but they’re still pretty enjoyable from a historical perspective.

Looney Tunes fans and kids of all ages.

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