Friday, March 14, 2008

Looney Tunes Versus Silly Symphonies...


There's always been comparisons like this.

You're either an Elvis fan or a Beatles fan...

You're either an Apple fan or a Windows fan...

You're either a Coke fan or a Pepsi fan...

And naturally there is the saying that you're either a Disney animation fan or a Warner Brothers animation fan.

It's really apples and oranges for me. Well, at least the animation part. As for the others, I'm an Elvis man, an avid Mac user and I prefer Mountain Dew to either of those sodas...

Most might think since I have a blog with Disney the name that I prefer the Mouse's animation. Yeah, I do really prefer it. But not in a superior way. I just happen to love the Disney classics and tone of the shorts as compared to Warner's shorts. I happen to love Warner shorts though. I think they're far more edgy than the Disney ones. My favorite Disney character is Donald and my favorite Warner character is Daffy so I guess you could say I like the wild, irreverent characters that both studios offer, but I prefer Disney's more gentle and subtle prism of viewing life. But I have a great deal of Warner Brothers animation on DVD too. I love Bugs and Porky and all those zany Looney Tunes characters. In fact, I don't think there will ever be a character voice actor as good as Mel Blanc. Ever. He's simply amazing and irreplaceable. It's also a problem for me too, because when I hear the Warners characters voiced now(especially Bugs) they just don't sound right. It's not the same with Disney characters... whenever I see someone else do the voice I don't automatically think that it sounds different. Disney's celluloid characters are simply more replaceable and interchangeable when it comes to voicing. This isn't to say that people like Clarence Nash and Jim MacDonald aren't great voices, but there are people that can do great impressions of the Disney characters and pull it off successfully. For Warner, it's simply impossible to live up to the unique interpretations of Blanc.

As for the cartoons themselves, the stylings of Warner versus Disney shorts are quite different also. The insane and crazy, tone of the Warner shorts are far more carefree and wild in story and structure. While Disney chose to tell stories within the constructed narrative of American life, Warner chose to be the rebel... the non-conformists.

I grew up seeing more Warner cartoons than Disney... they saturated my childhood. Disney showed theirs far less so maybe it was the feeling of them being so special that they only played them in a limited environment that made them feel so important. Everyday I came home from school to turn on the tube and catch Foghorn Leghorn or some other character make me forget about the bad day I had had trying to do math or science. A Disney cartoon was rare on a Sunday night if I got the chance to watch the Wonderful World of Disney. But as I've gotten older I don't compare them... there's no reason you can't enjoy a slice of Bugs with your Mickey or vice versa.

The great opportunity kids have today is to actually own what I had to wait to see after school. We can now enjoy classic animation(Warner or Disney) anytime we want... be it when you get home from school or at three in the morning when you have insomnia. And with that said, there really is only one thing left to say...

That's all folks.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yay! Someone who feels the same way I do about their toons. While the "Looney Tunes" remain my favorite for their wild sense of humor (They're not called "Looney Tunes" for nothing, you know.), Mickey and his friends know how to let loose once in a while and just have a good time. Heck, they're the reason I visit the Disney theme parks. Hmm. If only we can bring the "Looney Tunes" to Walt Disney World. After all, there's no Six Flags in Florida.

NASAMan said...

Nice commentary, Honor! You speak for me.

Anonymous said...

And of course there's always "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"...

Spokker said...

Mickey Mouse was never funny on his own. It always took a Donald or Goofy to make a Mickey Mouse cartoon good.

Bugs, on the other hand, could stand on his own.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be The Stones vs. The Beatles? just wondering...

linklewtt said...

Interesting article, Honor. I too like the Warner toons for their unconventional style, though I prefer Disney's for the artistry and tone. Character-wise, I'm a fan of Yosemite Sam and Bugs, but none of the Looney Toons characters can comapre to the Disney ones. Disney's characters seem much more everlasting and timeless, perhaps because they have been lovingly cared for. The Looney Toons have been recently appearing in weird places, like the Roadrunner for Roadrunner Internet, the Six Flags parks, and other places. They've become too common and second-rate compared to Mickey, Donald, and the others.

Anonymous said...

Roger Rabbit did bring them together well. It would be great to see that worked out and happen again.
Maybe the new live action movie collaboration between Disney and Warner Brothers can bring some more of that again?

Honor Hunter said...

No, Beatles versus Stones would be a battle of British Rock Bands...

Elvis versus the Beatles is a contrast of generations and perceptions about what Rock & Roll is.

A battle over Mick & Keith or John & Paul is more like an argument over who best represents that British Rock at that time.

Also, if you have ever seen "Pulp Fiction" then remember the scene with Travolta and Uma where she tells him "an Elvis man should love it"... that actually refers to a scene that Tarantino cut which talked about the difference between an Elvis man and a Beatles one...

imtigger said...

linklewtt...

Keep in mind that Disney has "sold out" their characters as well. It was Eisners gift to the shareholders on the way out (I'm NOT an Eisner hater by the way). You can find Disney Characters(tm) now on raw fruit, diapers, paper towels, band aids, toothbrushes, baby food, wallpapers... etc.

Regardless, it comes down to a certain class that Disney characters maintain. They're animated using strict rules and story guidelines.

I love the Looney Tunes (and looney tunes babies, EXTREME! Tunes, etc..). I grew up watching Road Runner with my Grandmother. Just like with the Pink Panther cartoons, it was really cool having a 'silent' cartoon and just enjoying the antics that resulted from characters that had no such 'Disneyized' rules. Good stuff. :)

Great blog! 1st time viewer!

Dan B
Carlsbad, CA

Spokker said...

"They've become too common and second-rate compared to Mickey, Donald, and the others."

You've got to be kidding me.

As imtigger has already said, Disney characters are among the most sold out cartoon characters in the world. In fact the only place where they are not allowed to appear seems to be on the walls of orphanages. Luckily thats where Disney draws the line!