Looney Tunes and the Merrie Melodies are the biggest set of cartoons outside of Disney. Everyone knows Bugs, Daffy, Porky and the rest. The whacked-out violence quota was so off the scales it was laughable (which was the point). While the Tunes themselves haven’t had a true-to-form show in years, there’s been plenty of spin-offs centering on the characters in different settings. Everyone knows Tiny Toon Adventures, but what is there beyond that? More importantly, are any worth the time?
First up is The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries. Granny, apparently a renowned detective, would travel the globe solving crimes with her pets, Hector the bulldog included. Sylvester would often try to eat Tweety during cases. I like to think of this as Murder She Wrote, but with pets. Other Looney Tunes would often make appearances. This ran for an incredible five seasons.
Next is Taz-Mania. When Fox was all about their cartoon shows in the early ’90s, this was one of the anchors. Taz was his typical uninterpretable self, though his family, Hugh, Jean, Molly, Jake, and Drew all spoke perfect English. Other new characters, like the staff of Hotel Tazmania where Taz worked, were also present, like Bushwhacker Bob and Constance Koala. Other Australian themed characters were created such as Digeri Dingo and Wendal T. Wolf. Running for four years, this was a lot of fun, and typically the one people remember the most. Also, the opening theme was pretty catchy.
Then there was Duck Dodgers, based on the short Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century. Daffy played the lead, with Porky as the Eager Young Space Cadet. Many of the Looney Tunes were parodied with space themes. Elmer was now known as “The Fudd” (like the Borg), and Wile E. Coyote was the Predator. Aside from Taz-Mania, this was one of my favorites. Works particularly well if you’re older and get the references.
Now we’re getting into some murky waters. Baby Looney Tunes aired in 2002, and was essentially Muppet Babies, only with Looney Tunes. The characters were all in baby/toddler incarnations, with Granny taking care of them. This is perfectly suitable for its target younger audience. If you watched Muppet Babies in your youth, you’ll easily notice the similarities. I didn’t really make a point to watch this one.
Finally, there’s Loonatics Unleashed. I’m not one to typically jump on fanboy wagons, but this is an atrocity. Taking place in the far future, a meteor hits Acmetropolis, giving some of its inhabitants superpowers. Descendants of Bugs, Daffy, Taz, Roadrunner, and Wile E. Coyote form a super team. Drawn in an anime style, they all have super powers and spiffy names. That sound you hear is me rolling my eyes.
There you have it. Those are just a few Looney Tunes spin-offs that I can recall. Taz-Mania is easily the best on the list for my money. I can give or take the rest, and will promptly ignore Loonatics, hopefully willing it out of existence.
What was your favorite? Any I missed? Comment below!
I had all the Looney Tunes/DC McDonald’s toys.