Thursday, February 17, 2005

It Can't Be ...

Here it is, folks ... the demon seed of Warner Bros. ... the spawn of anime and bad judgment ... I give you ... Buzz Bunny. No no no ... not the vinyl, vibrating bunny of love ... the newest addition to the Kids WB Lineup slated for release in the Fall of 2005.

As I wrote yesterday, Warner Bros. has announced they're giving their most beloved character a radical face lift. Extreme makeover, anyone? According to Sander Schwartz, President of Warner Bros. Animation, it was time for a change. "What we're doing is taking Bugs Bunny, a classic, and changing him for the kids - making him fresh, cool and hip."

Loonatics, starring Buzz Bunny and friends, will be set in the year 2772 and ... although WB claims that the characters will display the same wit and humor as the classic cartoons ... Bugs/Buzz will now have laser-beam eyes and a flair for the martial arts. Daffy Duck ... remember good ol' Daffy? He's now cyber-fied with built-in sonar.

Warner Bros. is apparently proud of this new superhero bunny ... but what they're failing to grasp is that Bugs Bunny always was a superhero. Created in 1938 by Ben (Bugs) Hardaway and later perfected by Tex Avery, Bugs stood up for the little guy. He always won ... even in "What's Opera, Doc?" Bugs got the last laugh ... and included us in on his joke.

Bugs is now 67 years old ... and I'll be the first to admit that some of the shorts don't hold up well over time. A few have even been "banned" due to racial tones that, while completely inappropriate today, were a regrettable part of the culture back then. Sure ... "All This and Rabbit Stew" isn't something we'd like to remember ... but how about "Rabbit Fire," "Little Red Riding Rabbit," "Rhapsody Rabbit," or (my personal favorite) "Rabbit Of Seville?"

Let's make this perfectly clear ... I'm all for new, innovative ideas. I believe creativity is one of the blessings of God. However, do we need another Yu-Gi-Oh, InuYasha, or Xiaolin Showdown? Is that what passes for new and innovative these days?

Mr. Schwartz was quoted as saying, "These are cartoons. Lighten up!" Hmmm ... well, here's what I say to that ...

Mr. Schwartz, if you want to make a new animated superhero series, more power to you. But in my eyes, the character of Bugs Bunny is a classic ... a happy childhood memory in a bottle ... and if you tarnish that memory, there's a good chance you're going to lose more than you're counting on ... the respect of all the fans out there for instance and, I'm sure more importantly to you, the consumers who love Bugs and want to keep seeing him just as we remember him.

Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time

David Bowie - Changes