Bugs, Daffy, Porky and the lot are headed to the French-Swiss border where they will open the 2019 Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival, in what the festival has announced as the world premiere of new episodes of the rebooted franchise titled “Looney Tunes Cartoons.”
They will screen ahead of the previously announced opening film “Playmobil: The Movie.”
Last year’s Works in Progress presentation by Warner Animation Group and Warner Bros. Animation at Annecy was among the best received in recent memory. For a few brief minutes, the audience of industry pros, animation students and press were transported back to Saturday mornings spent on the living room floor eating dry cereal out of the box in their pajamas. The laughter was raucous and persistent throughout the brief screening.
The clip screened was a spoof on the “Indiana Jones”-type tomb-caper, and shown in animatics. “The Curse of the Monkey Bird” featured Daffy Duck and Porky Pig venturing into a jungle temple, in search of its allegedly-cursed treasure. The Annecy audience ate up in particular one inspired sequence where, thanks to Daffy’s ineptitude, Porky was, in rapid succession: Shot by paralyzing arrows, punched by a giant boxing glove, crushed by a mace, blown up and made victim to a trap floor, plunging to a subterranean level – where Daffy, unscathed, joins him.
“I wanted to go back to the ‘40s ‘Looney Tunes,’ late ‘30s, early ‘40s,” said executive producer Peter Browngardt, displaying character designs from different artists for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, among others. “Super irreverent, super bananas, high energy. They pushed the surrealism, the high physicality of the animation, the expressions in the animation.”
The new cartoons will be 1-6 minutes in length, with WBA producing 1,000 minutes in all. The content will be multi-platform oriented, including digital, mobile and traditional broadcast. The series features veteran “Looney Tunes” voice cast members including Jeff Bergman and Bob Bergen, and newcomer Eric Bauza taking the reins as Bugs.
In addition to opening the festival, “Looney Tunes Cartoons” shorts will also participate in Annecy’s popular open-air screenings on Monday June 10, offering the general public a chance for a first look at the revamped classic.
On Wednesday June 12, Browngardt will present once again to Annecy, this time to “to showcase the most ambitious ‘Looney Tunes’ content initiative to date,” according to a press release. He will be joined again this year by Audrey Diehl, vice president of series at Warner Bros. Animation, as well as Looney Tunes Cartoons supervising producer Alex Kirwan, and Sam Register, president at Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series. There, the quartet will screen additional shorts as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the production.