Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Looney Tunes



I was in conversation with a man wearing a flamboyant tie with a picture of Wile E Coyote. The critter was always engaged in a fruitless battle against Road Runner in the deserts of the American west. I can see the look of weary resignation with large ears back as yet another plot fails and the coyote gets its comeuppance. Its usually in the form of a boulder that causes the animal to fall hundreds of feet to the desert floor, a puff of smoke denoting where he hit the ground.

My personal favourite was Foghorn Leghorn a large bird a " good ol boy” Southern speaking style , and a penchant for mischief. He had great lines “This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse at a burlesque show” and That dog's like taxes: He just don't know when to stop”.

I was introduced to the Looney Tunes cartoon characters in the Saturday club at the local cinema. I went to one at the Esseldo at Stoke. My recollection was that it was a fraught occasion for the middle aged man who fought a loosing battle against the hordes of kids who threatened to over run the place. The fare at the Saturday Club was standard. A serial usually a western with Randolph Scott, something from the Children's Film Foundation. A comedy short which meant The Three Stooges. Now I am aware that The Three Stooges have currently attained some form of cult status but to us kids back then they were somewhat disturbing. Larry, Curly and Moe seemed to to me to be three inmates that had been released too early unsupervised into the community and not taken their medication. It was the cartoons however that were the main draw. Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck as well the afore mentioned Foghorn and Wile E Coyote.

I watched a Looney Tunes cartoon again the other weekend with my daughter. It was a pastiche of a Wagner with Elmer Fudd as the Wotan and Bug's as Brunehilde. It was cleverly done with Elmer singing “ kill the wabbit” to the “Ride of the Valkyries”. With some very impressive graphics the cartoon ends to Bugs being carried off to the strains of Siegfried's Funeral march. He opens one eye “ What did you expect in Wagner a happy ending”?