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LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION

Looney 101
"I owe a debt of gratitude to the original creators of the Looney Tunes cartoon shorts," says Looney Tunes: Back In Action star Brendan Fraser. "Whether I knew it or not at the time, they introduced me to classical music, comedy timing, the art of joke setup and delivery, and it all came together in an animated short. They were always in tune – pardon the pun – with what was going on in the day, politically and in pop culture. The cartoons are easily consumed by children, but the jokes are sophisticated enough that adults appreciate the humor, too. They entertained me in ways that I'm not sure if animation has really been able to recapture – until now, of course."

In 1930, Warner Bros. debuted the celebrated Looney Tunes series of animated film shorts in conjunction with cartoon producer Leon Schlesinger. While most Hollywood movie studios were producing pre-feature cartoon shorts at the time, none became as beloved as the series of irreverent six-minute comedy films featuring early Warner characters, including the unflappable Bugs Bunny, the extremely flappable Daffy Duck and stuttering swine Porky Pig, joined over the next four decades by Elmer Fudd, the Tasmanian Devil, Yosemite Sam, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Tweety Bird and Sylvester, and many, many others.

"Ah, those were the days," recalls Bugs Bunny. "I was so bright-eyed and bushy tailed…actually, doc, now is the days, too – my eyes are still bright and my tail has never been bushier."

Warner Bros. employed a veritable powerhouse of animation talent to bring the characters to life, led by such legends as Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Bob McKimson, voice character legend Mel Blanc and musical director Carl Stalling. These artists became legends of cartoon comedy, winning numerous Academy Awards and entertaining generations of fans throughout the world for over seventy years.

"Working with all of these legends was a real thrill – for them," Daffy Duck reminisces. "Oftentimes, they would be searching fruitlessly for inspiration, and I had but to walk into the room and the genius would spring from their pens."

Since the conclusion of the theater shorts program, the Looney Tunes have been featured in numerous television specials and film compilations, appeared as guest-stars in Robert Zemeckis' ground-breaking 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and most recently graced the big screen in the hit 1996 feature Space Jam, starring alongside basketball legend Michael Jordan. And of course, their early work can still be seen on Saturday mornings in the original shorts.

Continuing this distinguished tradition, Warner Bros. Pictures will release brand-new Looney Tunes animated theatrical shorts in front of a selection of the studio's feature films in 2004.

At the forefront of the Looney Tunes band of entertainers are wisecracking comedian Bugs Bunny and his famously jealous co-star Daffy Duck. Ever since Chuck Jones first paired them together in the landmark film short Rabbit Fire, Bugs and Daffy have endured one of the world's most entertaining and enduring screen rivalries. This rivalry – perpetrated primarily by Daffy – forms the foundation for Looney Tunes: Back In Action.

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