There is this great quote that my friend Brother D found on Horrordvds. “When there’s no more ideas in Hollywood, remakes will walk the earth.” This quote is, sadly, very true. Do any of your remember the time when a remake was mocked in Hollywood? When directors and actors would turn their noses up at such things? Me either. However, I do remember when they stop calling them remakes and coined the term “re-imagining”. Damn you Bruckheimer and your Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
That’s not to say that some remakes aren’t well made. Take for instance, John Carpenter’s The Thing. That film is leaps and bounds better then the original. And, with the other exception of Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead, that’s about it.
Where am I going with this? I don’t honestly know…but, just follow.
Every generation tries to take something from the previous generation and make it their own. Lets use Star Trek as an example. (I know, you’re shocked I picked Trek). The original series is the show my mom fell in love with and while she enjoyed each and every episode of The Next Generation, she just didn’t connect with it the same way I did. It was still Trek and so it was familiar, but it wasn’t the show that touched her imagination as a youngster. And, as much as I am loathe to admit it, Trek fans that are many years younger then your friendly neighborhood Geek actually believe Voyager to be the superior Star Trek. I honestly think its an age thing. Anyway, my point, each one of those shows are Star Trek, but they connect differently with the fans of differing age.
If that’s the case and I am Zen with it…Why am I annoyed by the re-imagined Looney Tunes?
I don’t know.
I’ve been okay with previous takes on Looney Tunes. I will freely admit to loving Tiny Tunes. Sure, it was taking advantage of that early 90s trend of “young’ing” pop culture icons , but it did it well and had pretty sharp writing. (As opposed to the crap that was Flintstone Kids, A Pup Named Scooby Doo…and don’t even get me started on Muppet Babies). Maybe it was Spielberg’s influence that stopped it from being dung. Or, maybe it was because (like all good Looney Tunes shows) it was self aware. That’s always been one of the golden points of Looney Tunes, they were a post modern cartoon before anyone knew what post modernism was.
I do know for sure that one of the things that bothers me about these new Looney Tunes is that they are clearly being created as a way to sell toys. Look, I know how the game works. I know that most of my favorite cartoons from “back in then day” were nothing but 30 minute commercials. But, these re-imagined Looney Tunes were actually created and tested as toys FIRST and once the kids were down with new toys then Warner Bros. decided to run with the cartoon . Kids WB states that children better identify with these new and edgy Looney Tunes. Here in lies the problem with that statement. Looney Tunes, when done correctly, are already edgy. They also appeal to more then just kids, in fact, the original Looney Tunes episodes weren’t even written for children… It just happened that kids liked them.
Warner Bros. just doesn’t seem to get that. I am willing to bet that they interpret the previous Looney Tunes flops as evidence that kids can no longer identify with the characters. Most of the current Looney Tune writers rely on simple slapstick jokes. That is only funny in small increments…and even then it is limited to Road Runner and Ralph and Sam bits.
Then again, maybe this does all come back to an age thing. Maybe the new generation really is bored by “old” Looney Tunes. Am I showing my age by wondering how this could be? Oh well…
I gotta’ do it…
That’s all folks!