Well, it’s not like a gun ever really helped Elmer Fudd take down that scwewy wabbit.
There’s a new Looney Tunes on recently-launched U.S. streaming service HBO Max – and there’s a bit of a change in store when it comes to weaponry. “We’re not doing guns,” executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt has said in an interview with The New York Times.
The huntsman character of Elmer Fudd will no longer have a rifle. Instead, Fudd will be looking a little… grim; he’ll have a scythe. The change in the character’s key weapon and the decision to remove all firearms from future Looney Tunes shorts is in response to the long-waging gun violence that has plagued the US. As for the toon’s violence, that’s still a go.
“We can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
An example can be seen in this toon short released by Warner Bros. in 2019. Featuring Fudd with a scythe… and Bugs Bunny retaliating by putting dynamite in the hunter’s mouth.
As story editor Johnny Ryan told The New York Times, there’s no beating around the basic fact that Looney Tunes plots generally revolve around clashes. “We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along. Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
The new Looney Tunes Cartoons made its HBO Max debut on May 27th. There will be 80 eleven-minute episodes, including adapted storylines for today’s audience, plus upcoming holiday specials planned as well.