I stumbled upon a Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD 3 pack with some of my cartoon favorites like Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.
It was the best $7.95 I’ve spent in quite some time.
I popped it in the player at home and watched the Bugs Bunny disc but before I could watch any of the Foghorn Leghorn bits, the following disclaimer came on the screen:
Some of the cartoons you are about to see are a product of their time.
They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society.
These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.
While the following does not represent the Warner Brother’s “View of Today’s” society, some of these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.
Pretty heavy stuff for some cartoons, don’t you think?
Maybe we should reconsider tearing down Civil War statues with the same thought in mind.
I’m just saying.
I always thought the works of Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Friz Freleng, Charles McKimson, Carl Stalling and many others was amazing.
It made me laugh as a kid and it still does today
Bugs Bunny was such a wise guy and I wondered when and where he’d utter, “Uh, what’s up, Doc” as he began his mission to befuddle and confuse Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam or any of the other “villians and despots” he would encounter.
The official debut of Bugs was in the 1940 feature, “A Wild Hare”.
Foghorn Leghorn, humming “Doo-dah, doo dah” as he whacked George P Dog (Barnyard Dawg’s) behind with the ever-present wooden paddle or plied for the affections of “Miss Prissy” the widow hen while trying to get the attention of her son “Egghead, Junior”, they’re all classics. Foghorn had some great quotes, including “What’s it all about boy? Elucidate! and “He’s so dumb, he thinks a Mexican border pays rent.”
Can anyone forget the Chicken Hawk?
We all learned so much from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons that dominated afternoon kiddie shows and Saturday mornings in my younger days.
Bugs dabbled in humorous looks at historical events, somehow working a wise-cracking rabbit on board the Santa Maria and Columbus sailing to the new world.
I would hazard a guess that many youngsters had their first exposure to classical music through a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
One of my favorites all-time is Bugs and Elmer Fudd in “The Barber of Seville”.
We were first exposed to Latin (of sorts) in the Wile E Coyote (Dogius Ignorami) and Road Runner (Boulevardius Burnupius) cartoons.
Wile E. (Ethelbert) Coyote and Road Runner first appeared in the 1949 feature, “The Fast and the Furry-ous”.
And, who doesn’t know about the ACME Products company that stayed in business thanks to the numerous purchases made by that persistent coyote?
No matter how they were advertised, somehow the products never worked quite right and yet Wile E. kept ordering and ordering.
Wile E. (Ethelbert) Coyote and Road Runner first appeared in “Fast and Furry-ous” in 1949
The cartoons are vastly-superior in terms of animation and combined with the music and sound effects, they make modern-day offerings look and sound so lame!
I feel sorry for my grandkids and feel compelled to make sure they get to view some of my classics.
Years ago, I posted a picture on Facebook of my very young grandson Logan sitting on my lap and we’re both laughing out loud at a Simpson’s episode.
One of my church buddies gave me grief for allowing a 3 year old to watch the Simpsons.
While I enjoyed the themes and the characters, for Logan, it was just the animation hat caught his eye and gave us something we could both share but for different reasons.
I remember Captain Penny and Barnaby reminding all of the youthful viewers in northern Ohio that “while we laugh at the Three Stooges, we would never hit each other with a hammer like Larry, Curly and Moe do”.
I also never had the desire to use dynamite to kill a fast-moving bird or to smack a dog’s fanny with a wooden paddle either, despite seeing a a big rooster or a coyote do it on the tv.
I find it strange that Warner Brothers felt compelled to include the disclaimer on the cartoon DVD but their line “to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed” was pretty solid.
But I would also argue that these cartoon creators used humor to make us laugh because the characterizations they were depicting were pretty silly to begin with.
In today’s society where common sense is an endangered species and we need a road map to open a container of coffee creamer, I wonder where it will all end.
It seems we’d like to think that none of us are responsible for some of the stupid things we do.
It’s always somebody else’s fault.
That darn Acme Products Company, I had to laugh.
What’s it all about, Alfie?