HBO Max’s LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS May Be Too Violent for Children

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HBO Max’s LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS May Be Too Violent for Children

By Carmen Capoziello, Contributing Writer

LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS debuted with the launch of HBO Max on May 27, 2020. The series is Warner Bros. latest installment in a franchise that began in the 1930’s and has since spawned many animated television series, movies, merchandise, a themed amusement park, and rides. Characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Tweety Bird have become globally recognized icons.

LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS was created by Peter Browngardt and features the voices of Eric Bouza, Jeff Bergman, and Bob Bergen. The first season includes ten episodes, which run for about 12 minutes and include multiple 1-7-minute shorts. The stories depict updated renditions highlighting characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, and Sylvester the Cat.

All of the episodes of LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS are rated TV-PG, except for two which are rated TV-Y7. The new series prides itself on the fact that no guns or gun violence are depicted in any of the episodes. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam both traded their traditional rifles for sickles and knives.

The series is comically violent and graphic. There are vivid images of characters beating each other to the point where blood, bruises, and multiple missing teeth are revealed. An arm falls off of one character. Another is chopped in half. There are multiple scenes depicting characters losing their skin and walking around as skeletons.

Some parents may view these antics as par for the course for cartoons. Other parents may not be comfortable with their children watching some of the violence. Above all, Movieguide® recommends parents watch the shorts first and practice discernment before showing the cartoons to their families.

There is no foul language in LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS, but there is an incredible amount of crude humor and nudity. Circumstances cause characters like Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, and Elmer Fudd to be seen shirtless or nude on multiple occasions. Bare behinds are frequently seen. These images are often very detailed and accentuated. Crossdressing, whistling, and deceptive flirting amongst male characters regularly occurs as a form of humor. A male monster dressed in heels does provocative poses for a photo shoot.

An Occult-like and New Age worldview is presented. Images of skulls and crossbones appear in many episodes, sometimes even in the background as part of the scenery. These types of images are especially prevalent in a carnival episode featuring a roller coaster called, “The Murderizer.”

In another sequence, Sylvester the Cat mistakenly believes that he is being haunted by the ghost of Tweety Bird. He tries to exorcise the ghost GHOSTBUSTERS style, only to die and find himself haunted by the spirits of his nine lives. The Devil and a not very jolly Santa Clause also briefly appear in another storyline.

Some of the content in LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS may be too sensitive for certain audiences- especially in light of recent world events. A not very bright Detective Elmer Fudd is very violent and domineering towards Bugs Bunny during an interrogation. In another short, a mishap from Daffy Duck causes levees to break and flood out an entire village. It should also be noted that one story features an intellectually challenged character as the brunt of the humor.

The series does have a few redemptive elements. Elmer Fudd feels remorseful when he believes that he has severely harmed Bugs Bunny. Porky Pig tries to be kind to an unruly Daffy Duck. Characters who are friends look out for one another. There are occasions when battling characters move beyond their differences.

The characters of LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS and their stories have both some similarities and differences from the originals. Wile E. Coyote still pursues the Road Runner, Elmer Fudd still butts heads with a mischievous Bugs Bunny, and Sylvester the Cat is determined to make a snack out of Tweety Bird. What’s more, the loud mouthed and boisterous Daffy Duck still has misadventures with his timid pal, Porky Pig. What makes these exploits different is the focus on the violence and aggression between the characters. LOONEY TUNES characters have always battled, beat one another up, banged their heads, and played with explosives.

What is unfortunate is that the fights no longer have the slapstick feel and presentation of the earlier cartoons of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Characters are more hostile towards one another and the visual repercussions of these clashes are emphasized and graphic. Fans may not remember so many continuous and graphic depictions of splattering blood, bruises, and other images representative of pain and death. Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat have also been drawn to look meaner, and their fangs are more prominent. There is also more of an emphasis placed on nudity and cross dressing amongst the characters. In the earlier storylines, such instances were brief and not accentuated.

Parents should decide if this series is appropriate for their families.


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