Jenny Slate is writing an adorably wacky Looney Tunes movie for us

Looney Tunes is slowly making a comeback, having debuted their reboot on Cartoon Network last year and earned themselves an Emmy nomination this year, and now, Warner Bros. is going to have another go at the big screen. But it's the writer they put in charge of the screenplay that has me pretty giddy. Jenny Slate, creator (and voice) of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, has been chosen to write a full-length Looney Tunes movie that will be a combination of live-action and CGI. So, it will be like a hipper, more internet era-friendly, less '90s version of Space Jam. Hopefully moreso than 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which resulted in very little box office action.

Slate's Marcel was a huge viral hit for its understated and sweet sensibilities, two qualities that made the little shell with big problems a fan favorite that spawned a sequel and a children's book. And while that particular approach might not be suited for the slapsticky style of Looney Tunes, Slate proved she can go more frenetic and over-the-top during her (criminally short) time on Saturday Night Live and in her standup act with Gabe Liedman. And whether we like it or not, she has previous cartoon character experience, playing Zoe in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Between Marcel and Chipwrecked, Slate has proven her ability to entertain a family-friendly audience while maintaining a subtle hipness (as evidenced in the former, at least). Bonus: She might get to write lines for her former SNL colleague, Kristen Wiig, who voices Lola Bunny on the Cartoon Network show.

Warner Bros. could really use a Disney-level success with their classic characters, and it would be really fun to see Bugs, Daffy, & Co. infiltrate pop culture a bit more. With a producing lineup that includes David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows), plus David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford (Harry Potter), I would be really bummed if this flick didn't get the attention it deserves. Sean O'Neal at AV Club compares Slate's hiring to Jason Segel taking on The Muppets, which went pretty well, if you enjoy understatements. And if Slate can be the fresh, smart, young brain that puts the Looney Tunes back into the spotlight, then that's good news for all of us.

But please -- no jocks as actors, unless it's Peyton Manning. And only for a cameo. Or Seth MacFarlane's dumb Ryan Lochte.

Photo credit: NBC

Warner Bros. trying yet again with a Looney Tunes movie written by Jenny Slate [AV Club]


  1. Creator of a popular short film has been tapped to write a feature length film for a franchise whose largest popularity came in the form of short films.

  2. Oh, that Looney Tunes opera movie was pretty good. I was trying to remember Slate’s name not too long ago: she did a great short in support of Women’s Issues just before going on SNL. Isn’t she also the one who kind of let a swear go on her first day (not her fault, it was a line that anyone could have blown)?

  3. I watched a little of the Emmy-award-winning Looney Tunes Cartoon.  Bugs Bunny and the rest wandered around suburbia and chatted with each other, instead of killing each other with anvils.  Major misinterpretation of the characters and their primary motivations.

    1. If you compare the earliest Daffy with later Daffy, he changes a lot. Earliest Bugs compared with later Bugs, he changes a lot. Like most characters depicted by ever-changing teams of creators over several decades, there’s going to be some change. The new tv show isn’t exactly capturing the feel of Chuck Jones or Tex Avery, but it’s the least worst version in a long time.

  4. Team Jenny Slate.  She can handle this.


  5. No sweet sentimentality for Looney Tunes, for heaven’s sake. Looney Tunes are hilariously brutal, innuendo-laden gagfests with superb musical scoring, not touching stories. I don’t want to hear sad-voiced Bugs pleading for anything unless he’s trying to trick Fudd into an anvil death.

    It seems like every time a modern person remakes something funny from their childhood, they have to make it hopelessly treacly, maudlin and self-referential, like a bunch of intolerable stretches of the last Muppet movie.

  6. Her short films are pretty good.  She should get funding to produce short films. A “Looney Tunes” reboot?  You know how many years they have been talking about that?  Who cares. It’s of another era. And it seems like a “hack” move for her to work on such a project. It really helps nobody.

  7. Oh, please. They tried a Looney Tunes movie in the early 90s. Other than kids watching it relentlessly on VHS when their parents needed piece & quiet the movie held no one’s interest. If they’ve got to do it, which they think they *must*, then I pray they realize the best Looney Tunes gags were designed for grown-ups.

  8. What the hell is it with everybody in the entertainment business wanting to try to re-spark classic cartoons or Muppets or whatever it may be, rather than coming up with their own characters and situations? Easy money, perhaps?

    I say let the original characters rest in peace and enjoy the entertainment that they brought us.  I still chuckle at old Tex Avery and Chuck Jones cartoons. What I thought DID work was stuff like Animaniacs which was clearly inspired by older WB cartoons, but had original characters and very rarely relied on former world-famous characters like Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. Animaniacs was damn good.

    When property changes hands, the impact can be dreadful.  I still dislike many of the 60s cartoons that sprung up from those that were so popular (and considered superior) in the 1940s.  
    When Disney took over the Muppets and made the recent Muppets movie, I thought it was the worse thing I’ve ever seen.  It has none of the original wit, humour or love that the original show that Henson produced.  Terrible.

    I just wish producers and screenwriters and such would just leave things are – and remember what inspired them rather than to try and re-invent the wheel again.  Leave.  It.  Alone.

    But nobody ever does.  Sigh.

  9.  Not that I have ever seen the Emmy as any great measure of quality, but the fact that the recent incarnation of Loony Tunes won one leaves me to wonder if there are any animators at all on the award’s selection committee. 

    I also realize that the good name of the Loony Tunes has been dragged through the mud countless times over the last thirty or forty years for the sake of making a quick and easy buck.  Just please don’t hand out trophies for it.  This show is representative of the most lazy, cost cutting and prophet maximizing side of studio animation today. 

  10. Ooops.  Well I guess they haven’t won one yet, and the nomination is for an acting credit, but anyhoo…  the show really stinks.

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