As all my readers know, I’m a Looney Tunes freak. Key word: freak. I know this about myself. And of course, I’m old school Looney Tunes.
There is a new Looney Tunes Show with new animation techniques that I don’t like and voices that try to sound like Mel Blanc but don’t, so I just shunned it altogether.
Now, I thought it’d be okay for today’s generation of kids. If you’ve never heard the “real” voices of these characters – as brought to life by Mel Blanc – could you really tell the difference?
So, one day I walked into the living room to find my daughter watching the show, and I decided what the heck, I’d give it a try.
I admit, I got hooked on the characters. This modern-day Looney Tunes is more of a soap opera than what us “old folks” are used to, but still, it was okay. Not as bad as I thought and certainly more enjoyable than I thought possible once you got used to the animation and the voices.
But then, Lola Bunny came on the scene and my jaw just dropped with shock. Admittedly, I was forewarned by my daughter about Lola’s character, but I was still surprised by how awful her character was. Awful. Let me explain.
Lola Bunny was first introduced as a love interest for Bugs Bunny in the 1996 movie Space Jam (you know the one, where Michael Jordan is transported into the animated world of the Looney Tunes, and has to help the “Tune Squad” play basketball against the “villainous monstars”).
Let me quote Wikipedia about Lola’s character: “She is a tough talking, no-nonsense woman who is extremely independent and self-reliant. She is highly athletic while also incredibly seductive in her behavior.” Okay, so we can do without the seductive part, but the rest was a pretty good role model for kids watching the movie.
Next was a show called Baby Looney Tunes. In this cartoon Lola – like all the other characters, portrayed as a baby – is still intelligent and somewhat of a tomboy.
Now, contrast that with her characterization in the new Looney Tunes Show.
All of a sudden, she has become this complete and utter airhead who exemplifies the “blonde” jokes that are so often bandied about…and then some.
Let me quote Wikipedia again (because, you know, you may think it’s just me over-analyzing these cartoons, but it’s not! Anyone who watches the new Looney Tunes Show can see the complete destruction of her character): “As opposed to her personality in Space Jam, she is portrayed as a scatterbrained, indecisive, gabby young woman who tends to obsess over Bugs, whom she refers to as “Bun-Bun.” She is very dedicated to achieving goals but oftentimes tends to forget what she was doing. She’s unable to settle on a decision, even for something as simple as what she wants to drink. …she is overly talkative to the point of irritation.”
WTF? What happened?
All of a sudden Lola has been reduced from a strong female character to the “comic relief,” and not even good comic relief. At least being demoted for the purpose of decent comic relief would be somewhat acceptable. Yes, I get it, it’s the Looney Tunes Show, but she’s not LOONEY. She doesn’t have Bugs’ obnoxious charm or Daffy’s egotistical flair. She doesn’t even have Taz’s glorious rage. Instead, she’s just a stereotypical dimwitted, airhead female character (cause that’s just what we need more of on t.v.) – and just what is she telling the young boys and girls that are watching this show?
She’s telling girls that it’s okay, even expected, to be dim and uninformed about the world around you and to natter on, chattering about absolutely nothing of importance, because you’re a girl, and if boys like you they’ll put up with it. And they’re teaching boys that girls have nothing whatsoever important to say, so just kind of humor them because, after all, they’re just girls and what more should you expect?
And why is this funny? Someone, tell me – why is this funny?