Saturday, November 30, 2013

What's the Pedulum of Doom Doing There?

I don't get people sometimes.

Many people remember fondly the film "Space Jam", a movie that nearly destroyed the image of the Looney Tunes by making them basically do a two-hour basketball commercial.

Yet when a good director captures the essence of the classic Looney Tunes nearly perfectly, while updating it for the modern age and adding some of the better (though admittedly not quite best) live-action/animation mixing since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," it not only flops but goes down as a synonym for "bad Looney Tunes picture".

It's not fair.

"Looney Tunes: Back in Action" turns 10 this month.

The director in question is Joe Dante, director of such other classics as "Innerspace," "Small Soldiers," and my personal favorite, "Gremlins" (I may have audibly squeed at the masterful reference to the latter in this film). Anyone who has seen any of those films will know that Dante has a sensibility similar to the classic Warner Brothers cartoons anyway, so this was really a match made in heaven.

The Tunes themselves are great. Completely in-character, most of them sound perfect (Yosemite Sam's a little off, but what are you going to do?). The Human cast also does a good job. The always underrated Brenden Fraser is a good straight man, as is Jenna Elfman. And Steve Martin seems to be auditioning for a role as a Tune himself. Both the human and Tune cast are supplemented by a great list of cameos.

But most importantly, it's funny! It follows a lot of classic Tune humor styles, and even throws in a number of good curveballs (the chase scene between Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer in the Louvre as they hop from painting to painting taking on the art styles as they do is some great animation).

I honestly don't understand why this one isn't better remembered. Why did it flop? Why did everyone turn their backs on it? Even if, as Dante claims, it was originally even better than the final product, it's still an amazing Looney Tunes movie! Any Looney Tunes fan worth their salt should nab this film right away!


  1. I have this on a old VHS and it is a very underated film, it even has Daleks in it!