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Looney Tunes: Mel Blanc Voices New Warner Bros. Cartoons

Looney TunesIt’s been 22 years since the death of voice-over legend Mel Blanc. He used to perform almost all of the Looney Tunes characters but today, no one person holds a lock on characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Sylvester the Cat. Word is that the studio holds auditions for each new project, requesting voice-over actors to audition for character roles they may have just played in another project. As if that wasn’t bad enough, some of those talented individuals have just lost out on a couple jobs to Blanc.

Warner Bros. Animation is producing three new 3-D cartoons that will feature several of the classic Looney Tunes characters. They’ll be shown in theaters before some of the studio’s new movies, much like the classic cartoons were used back in the 1950s. The new cartoons are being directed by Matthew O’Callaghan. According to the LA Times, two of these new cartoons will feature voice tracks recorded by Blanc many years ago.

The first, Daffy’s Rhapsody, will feature Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. In the short, Daffy will explain why he’s “daffy, and so gosh-derned riff-raffy, and so screwy and laffy, is because those hunters won’t leave me alone.” The original Blanc voice track was initially recorded for the 1950 cartoon called Daffy Duck’s Rhapsody.

The second cartoon is called I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat and will feature cute little Tweety as he tries to escape from his usual adversary, Sylvester. Blanc recorded an album with a song by that name in 1951.

The third animated short will follow super-genius Wile E. Coyote as he tries to once again capture the Road Runner. It hasn’t been indicated that Blanc’s voice will be used for this cartoon but it seems like it certainly could be since the only vocals in the original shorts were typically just the bird’s trademark “Meep meep!”

As neat as this may be, don’t get used to hearing Blanc’s classic vocals in new projects. Sam Register, an executive vice president at Warner Bros. Animation, said, “This will probably be the last time that Looney Tunes fans will have an opportunity to see an original Mel Blanc short featuring these characters.”

The new Daffy short will be released on November 18th, along with the Happy Feet 2 theatrical. There’s no word on when we can expect to see the other two.

What do you think? Do you like that Mel Blanc’s old tracks are being used in new cartoons? Are you looking forward to seeing the new animated shorts?

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John K. February 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Warner Bros Animation shall cancelled its successful lame attempt The Looney Tunes Show and get Larry Doyle to continued working on his unfinished WB cartoons back in 2003.

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ACcountryFan July 10, 2011 at 2:25 am

I don’t mind it. It’s great that they’re going to use Blanc’s definitive vocalizations. What would be even better, though, is if someone “discovers” cartoons made in the ’40s and ’50s which have never been released to the public…those cartoons, if they exist, would certainly create a lot more media hype. Not to put a damper on things but a lot of the modern-day depictions of the Looney Tunes characters obviously lack Blanc’s vocal touch.

It’s one thing to keep the characters in the public eye (which I’m glad that they’re doing) but at the same time the characters need to have voice actors who come near-perfect to Blanc’s voice. At the present time Bob Bergen and Joe Alaskey are the only two that sound similar to how Blanc voiced the characters. Some of the artists who perform the role of Bugs Bunny put too much emphasis on trying to sound Brooklyn-Bronx and they end up over-doing it or they come off sounding nothing like Bugs Bunny and more like a stereotypical New Yorker.

I’m guilty of it, too, and it’s probably unfair but a lot of people judge new Looney Tunes cartoons NOT on the actual storyline but on how close the vocals are to Mel Blanc. Nothing makes a new Looney Tunes cartoon grow on me quicker than if the vocalizations are in the tradition of Mel Blanc. Animators and the musicians can re-create the look and sound of the classic cartoons but, for me, I tend to pay attention to the vocalizations, too. If the vocalizations aren’t satisfactory it tends to put a dark cloud over the whole thing.

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