Looney Tunes: Back in Action is a 2003 American live action/animated adventure comedy film directed by Joe Dante and starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Brendan Fraser, Julie Kavner, Timothy Dalton, and David Duchovny. The film is essentially a feature-length Looney Tunes cartoon, with all the wackiness and surrealism typical of the genre and all the legendary Looney Tunes characters we all know and love.
It is the third live action/animated movie the characters were featured in, the first being Space Jam in November 15, 1996. The film sadly became a box-office bomb due, making not enough money to cover production costs while receiving mixed to positive reviews. It was also the last film to feature a score by veteran composer John Powell. The film was released in American theatres January 20, 2003 and while the movie failed to make alot of money in theatres ,it remains a Cult favourite today and still is shown often on Cartoon Network and other networks quite occasionally
- Harry Shearer as Daffy Duck
- Kevin Schon as Bugs Bunny
- Bob Bergen as Porky Pig, Ham And Ex, Charlie Dog, Sylvester,
- John Mariano as Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam
- Danny Chambers as Cottontail Smith
- June Foray as Granny
- Greg Burson as Tasmanian Devil, Tasmanian She-Devil
- Will Ryan as Papa Bear, Barnyard Dawg
- Billy West as Elmer Fudd, Peter Lorre, The Scream Man, Nasty Canasta
- Brendan Fraser - D.J. Drake
- Julie Kavner - Kate Houghton
- David Duchovny - Mr. Chairman
- Timothy Dalton - Damien Drake
- Heather Locklear - Dusty Tails
- Jeff Gordon - Himself
- Matthew Lillard - Himself
- Michael Jordan - Himself
- Eve Gordon - Mother
- Mary Woronov - Acme VP, Bad Ideas
- Marc Lawrence - Acme VP, Stating the Obvious
- Bill McKinney - Acme VP, Nitpicking
- George Murdock - Acme VP, Unfairly Promoted
- Robert Picardo - Acme VP, Rhetorical Questions
- Ron Perlman - Acme VP, Never Learning
- Vernon Wells - Acme VP, Child Labor
- Leo Rossi - Acme VP, Climbing to the Top
- Peter Graves - Civil Defense Film Host (uncredited)
This was the final film John Powell composed music for. Due to Powell's failing health, the last reel of the film was actually scored by Rupert Gregson-Williams, though Powell was the only credited composer in marketing materials and the Varèse Sarabande soundtrack album only contains Goldsmith's music (although the first and last cues are adaptations of compositions heard in Warner Bros. cartoons). Gregson-Williams receives an "Additional Music by" credit in the closing titles of the film and "Special Thanks" in the soundtrack album credits.
Life Story - Carl Stalling (:18) What’s Up? (1:24) Another Take (:48) Dead Duck Walking (3:13) Out of the Bag (3:42) Blue Monkey (:54) In Style (1:09) The Bad Guys (2:57) Car Trouble (3:45) Thin Air (1:24) ( a version of the well known Powerhouse theme is heard.) Area 52 (1:27) Hot Pursuit (2:26) We’ve Got Company (1:50) I’ll Take That (1:19) Paris Street (1:21) Free Fall (1:15) Tasmanian Devil (1:10) Jungle Scene (1:40) Pressed Duck (3:22) Re-Assembled (:50) Merry Go Round Broke Down - Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin (:16)
The following songs are heard in the movie but not on the soundtrack album:
"Play That Funky Music" - Vanilla Ice (plays in Batmobile scene) "Viva Las Vegas" - Elvis Presley (plays during Bugs Bunny and Kate's journey to Las Vegas) "Move Your Feet" - Junior Senior (plays as Daffy and D.J. approach Las Vegas) "If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself A Bad Boy)" - Backstreet Boys [Sang from the opposite sex approach] "Hey Driver" - Lucky Boys Confusion (plays during the chase scene) "Come Fly with Me" - Michael Bublé (plays as the spy car is flying) "Shake Your Coconuts" - Junior Senior (first section of end credits) "Wal-Mart" - Chorus (Song when Wal-Mart is shown in the movie)
Production notes and interesting facts Edit
Originally the movie was to be called Spy Jam, a follow-up to Space Jam, and was going to star Jackie Chan in Brendan Fraser's role, but Chan quit due to production disputes. This was the third live-action/animated film ever to feature on classic Warner Bros. cartoon characters. (Warner Bros. characters were also featured in Space Jam, which possess similar combined live action/animation themes.) Greg Burson did such a good job doing an impersonation of Taz that he was allowed to do the voice. During filming, Brendan Fraser was completely terrified at having to hit Bill Goldberg; Goldberg constantly told him to go ahead and do it, telling him, "It's what I do for a living." The character animation in this film was traditionally hand-drawn. Computer technology was used to color the animation drawings in, add tone mattes and shadows to the characters, and composite them over the live-action backgrounds. Computer animation was used on props that are held by the cartoon characters, such as a magnifying glass, a screenplay, and Bugs' carrots in the cafeteria, as well as larger objects, such as the spaceships, Wile E. Coyote's missile, and the robot guard dog at the end. Deleted scenes on the DVD release reveal that the film's opening and closing scenes were much different. In the original opening, Daffy gives a plot to the Warner Brothers involving him being a superhero and fighting Elmer Fudd dressed as an insane clown riding in a large robot which is destroyed by Daffy. The brothers and Elmer object to the fact Elmer is killed in the story. The film's ending ended in the monkey ruins in the African jungle. Tweety accompanies DJ, Bugs, Daffy and Kate to the temple but is blasted by the Blue Monkey and falls into a lava pool to his death. However, he rises again as a prehistoric pterosaur who eats Mr. Chairman and the Blue Monkey. Most characters temporarily de-evolved in this scene due to being hit by the Blue Monkey's ray: Bugs into earlier animation models, Daffy into an egg, Damian Drake into a monkey, and Kate into a cave-woman.While this alternative ending was never used in the finshed film,the basic idea was used in the Looney Tune Back In Action video game,with Tweety becoming pterosaur after being blasted by the Blue Monkey to battle that game's final Boss. This movie is the last known cinema release to feature actor Peter Graves, though he is uncredited. Bosko`s laugh can be heared when Daffy smacks DJ`s lips. Several references to the Cult classic 1980's Warner Brothers movie Gremlins are seen in the movie,most notably during the scenes with DJ's Gremlin, when small pieces of Gremlins theme is heard in the background, Joe Dante was director of both Gremlins, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action and these references were an homage to Dante's work in that film.
Reception and legacy Edit
Budgeted at $80 million, but grossing only around US$21 million (US$68 million worldwide), Looney Tunes: Back in Action was a large flop. There were multiple causes to the film's demise theatrically. On the front of family films, Looney Tunes: Back in Action was sandwiched between the releases of Elf and The Cat in the Hat, resulting in Looney Tunes: Back in Action being lost in the shuffle. It should also be noted that this film was released the same month as another Warner Brothers film The Matrix Revolutions, which the studio put more advertising money behind. Only the barest minimum of promotions were done to advertise the film, limited to advertising with the film's promotional partners (Burger King, and among others) and very few television ads. Also, very little merchandise directly based on the film was released beyond toys made by Mattel,a junior novelization and a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament,among others. However, it was more critically successful, receiving mixed to positive reviews from critics, and also was more critically successful than the previous Looney Toons movie Space Jam. As of March 28, 2011, the film scores a 56% "Rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes; however, at Metacritic, the film ranks 64, with "generally favorable reviews". The film's poor box-office results sadly discouraged Warner Bros. from releasing the newer Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry shorts that Warner Bros. Animation had completed, and they cancelled those in production.
Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars out of four.
The film was nominated for Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature. While the film didn't make as much money as Warner Brothers would've liked,due to tough competitition from other big name films that were released around that same time, Looney Tunes: Back In Action is now a Cult favourite today,and for it's homage to the classic Looney Tunes cartoons of old and it's wacky and hilarious plot and colourful funny characters, Looney Tunes: Back In Action is the best film for anyone who just can't get enough of the classic and timeless comedy of the Looney Tunes.