In LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, Daffy Duck is fed up with all the attention going to Bugs Bunny, and he’s on the bad list of the Warner Bros. Vice President, played by Jenna Elfman. So he quits Hollywood, teams up with recently fired stuntman Bobby Delmont, played by Brendan Fraser, and embarks on a big Las Vegas adventure. Their mission is to find Bobby’s actor/spy father and his missing blue diamond. . . and stay one step ahead of Bugs and the studio execs on their trail! If they don’t, the strange and diabolical president of Acme (Steve Martin) will undoubtedly be able to fulfill his evil plan of world domination.
The movie is fun, frantic, and full of laughs. The combination of animation and live action is fascinating, and the production quality and all-star cast shows off the movie’s obviously huge budget. Brendan Fraser is great as the fired security guard/stunt man wannabe, but Jenna Elfman is rather unbelievable as Warner Bros.’ Vice President of Comedy, and there is little chemistry between her and Fraser. Steve Martin, usually hilarious, comes across as more strange and over-acted than funny.
The voice talent of Joe Alaskey playing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Pie, Sylvester, and Marvin the Martian is sheer brilliance. However, no expense was spared in delivering to an audience bigger-than-life action and chase scenes. The writers also toss in allusions to many earlier Warner Bros. cartoons and movies, and even recent movies such as FINDING NEMO. Some members of the audience were guffawing so loudly it was almost distracting.
The problem with LOONEY TUNES is that it has a Las Vegas, gritty feel to it. Heather Locklear plays a Las Vegas showgirl who starts out looking like Little Bo Peep, but then strips off her frumpy outfit to reveal a skimpy, leather outfit with a garter strap around her leg. She dances a seductive dance and sings a song that encourages men to find themselves “bad girls.” The billboards in Las Vegas are loud and overwhelming, as are the shows, gunfights, and car chases. There are a few mildly crude scenes depicting body humor, and there are a few depictions of alcohol, such as the martini Bugs is served – complete with a carrot. There are also a few mystical, occult elements seen in the storyline of the blue diamond and its powers that can turn people into monkeys.
LOONEY TUNES is the antithesis of peacefulness, and my middle-schoolers and I got splitting headaches from the frenetic pacing of the action. Our 8-year-old loved it, though we had to cover his eyes during the Heather Locklear dance. Overall, moral audiences will be drawn to the movie because it’s a star-studded cartoon that brings back so many childhood memories, but when they get there, and the headache commences, and the children’s eyes have to be covered, they’ll perhaps wonder, as did we, why the producers felt necessary to make a children’s cartoon into a sometimes gritty, often frantic PG-rated movie.
Please address your comments to:
Barry A. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
SUMMARY: In LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, Daffy Duck and a fired Hollywood security guard search for a missing father and the mythical Blue Diamond that could destroy the world. A cute, high-dollar, star-studded cartoon/live action combination is marred by a gritty, Las Vegas tone and a seductive showgirl dance scene.
(Ro, H, O, FR, L, VVV, S, AA, M) Romantic, cartoonish outlook with real people and animated characters interacting in a frantic, dizzying race, with motivations ranging from greed to heroism, and some humanistic overtones with all the worldliness of the Las Vegas scene, and some occult-type, mystical elements with blue diamond able to turn people and characters into monkeys; about three light obscenities, but some crude body humor; heavy cartoon violence with both humans and cartoon characters getting smashed, crushed, burned, shot at, flattened by anvils, tied on railroad tracks with oncoming trains, blown up with dynamite, hooked up to electrical machines that cause them to hit themselves in the head, and/or general Acme/Road Runner-type violent inventions; some elements of sexiness with Heather Locklear singing and dancing a provocative song about getting oneself a “bad girl”; no nudity; some cartoon portrayals of alcoholism; and, kidnapping, lying, stealing, cheating, and corruption, most of it rebuked.