It’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?
Image courtesy Warner Bros.