The Origins of the Looney Tunes

Welcome the first official Looney Tunes month over the next few weeks I will be discussing the origins of Looney Tunes, the first three Looney Tunes Movies and three Looney Tunes videos games.

I will admit that is only scratching the surface of Looney Tunes media but in the future I might do more parts depending on how popular this one is, so with out further ado lets get into some of this rather complicated history.

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It all stared with Rudy Ising and Hugh Harman ex animators for Walt Disney in the 1920’s, when Disney’s animation studio moved to California Ising and Harman stayed behind in Kansas City where they attempted to start their own animation studio.

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Unfortunately this plan failed leaving them to work for Walt again on his Alice comedies and their biggest star at the time Oscar the Lucky Rabbit.

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Not long after this Disney’s Producer Charles Mintz (Pictured on the Right) left the studio and took Oscar the Lucky Rabbit With him, along with Ising and Harman who did a lot of work on the previous Oscar shorts, a few very successful shorts came from this decision but ultimately it all went down hill when Universal Pictures who owned the rights to Oscar the Lucky Rabbit started their own animation studio replacing Charles Mintz and leaving Ising and Harman unemployed.

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Ising and Harman in desperation to continue their dream of animating funded a live action- animation hybrid short about a black character named Bosco, this short paid off and got the animators working with Warner Bros.

Eventually Bosco starred in many of his own shorts under the name of Looney Tunes and as well as this the animators also made other various shorts with Warner Bros under the name of Merrie Melodies a name that was a parody of Disney’s popular shorts Silly Symphonies.

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After a disagreement on their contract Ising and Harman left Warner Bros and kept the rights to Bocso.

After losing Bosco Warner Bros made a new character to star in the Looney Tunes named Buddy.

Buddy was not as popular as Bosco was so Warner Bros hired new directors to help increase popularity in the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes  shorts.

Tex Avery, Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett where chosen and together they helped to make some very memorable shorts including what I consider to be one of the most important animated shorts of all time “I haven’t got a hat” this short introduced us to Beans the Cat and other animal friends including the first ever appearance of Porky Pig.

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Beans the Cat, Porky Pig and the other animal friends went on to star in their own shorts and while these were all very good, Porky Pig remained a fan favourite and the others were very soon forgotten about.

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In 1936 Mel Blanc was hired to voice some new Looney Tunes Characters that became popular between 1936 and 1944, these included Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck as well as others that became popular and beloved over the years. As the years went by more characters were added to the Looney Tunes family such as Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Pie, Wile Coyote, Road Runner and others.

These characters boosted the Looney Tunes to immense popularity making them a serious rival to Disney at the time, four of their shorts are now included in the national film registry which means that they will always be preserved and protected, these films are Porky in Wacky Land, Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and my personal favourite Looney Tunes short What’s Opera Doc.

While these characters kept up their popularity and went on to win many academy awards this is the brief history of how they originated and in the future I might discuss the more unique variations of Looney Tunes that came decades later but for now I will leave you some YouTube links to Looney Tunes compilations to check out and I will see you for the next part of Looney Tunes month where I will be tackling one of their many video games.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the origins of the Looney Tunes

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Rayman Origins (2011) (PS3,360,Wii,Vita,3DS,PC) Review

2530004-the_wacky_world_of_rayman_origins_by_cuddlesnowy-d4oli36It had been 11 years since a proper Rayman game had been released and for the longest time fans of the series accepted that Rayman was essentially dead and we just had to accept that those bloody Rabbids had taken over, but in November of 2011 we were all surprised and shocked when a new Rayman title hit retail store shelves.

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Rayman and his friends are chilling out and having a nap at the Snoring Tree, however they are snoring so loudly that they disturb the living corpse of an old woman in the Underworld which in this game is called the Land of the Livid Dead, in retaliation the old woman sends an army of nasty creatures to Raymans world, these creatures capture all of the Electoons and trap Betilla the Nymph (Not a fairy yet) and her sisters, of course Rayman manages to escape and its up to him to rescue all of the Nymphs and the Electoons so he can get back to his nap.

6936403695_fbcac3330f_bI was very pleased when I found out that Rayman was going back to being a 2D platformer because we haven’t one of those on a home console since the original and that came out in 1995, however the gameplay does differ from the original game and in Rayman Origins case that is a good thing, first of all you do not need to collect all of the Electoons in the game to face the final boss however there is another collectible in the game called Ruby Teeth and if you manage to find all 10 you will gain access to the Land of the Livid Dead which contains a bunch of secret levels and a secret boss, the game has 10 main worlds and each contain a bunch of levels and half of the worlds contain a boss fight, the majority of the levels consist of fast paced platforming where your goal is get from point A to point B as fast as you can while hunting for Electoons along the way.

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Some stages bring back our Mosquito friend from previous installments and he helps carry Rayman through side-scrolling, shooting segments, there are a lot more of these here than there were in the original game but they are a little bit easier which I think was a nice touch because lets be honest in the original Rayman they were much too difficult.

672667-rayman-origins-windows-screenshot-chasing-the-treasure-chestIn order to collect those Ruby Teeth I mentioned earlier you will need to complete a treasure chase stage and I hope your good at platformers because these are really tough to beat, you will need to sprint,jump and swim your way through all of these levels, they are side-scrollers that scroll really fast and you will need really quick reactions in order to survive each one, they last around 2-3 minutes long and if you die you go back to the start of the level every time.

You can play the game as multiple characters but honestly I didn’t find that any of them appealed more to myself than Rayman and a lot of the unlockable characters are just re- skins, these characters are not just for one person though as the game can be played with up to four players which is really cool and is a first for a Rayman Campaign.

 

This game without a doubt has the best soundtrack to any Rayman game I have yet to play, the music is upbeat and fun so it always keeps you wanting to carry on playing, every track has its own personality and the composers have used different instruments in every track to help shape its uniqueness and general quality, I have linked the entire soundtrack above so please feel free to check it out and I promise you wont regret it.

ubisoft_rayman_origins_09Rayman has had a re-design and I know a lot of people really like it but personally I do prefer how he looked in the first game however the world around him I really enjoyed looking at, the artistic detail is outstanding and the team behind the visuals need a reward for how fantastic this game looks, it honestly feels like you playing though a cartoon and with the games sense of humor and smooth gameplay it only goes to show how great a proper Rayman animated series could be, and yes I am aware that there was one in the past but like many people I don’t like to talk about it but maybe I will write a review of it at some point to show you just how insulting it actually was.

Rayman Origins is a great game which is to be expected with all of the praise it received upon its release, I had a blast playing through this game and I think anyone else would as well even if this is your introduction to the series, its not quite as difficult as the first Rayman game but it is still very challenging and is a promising renewal of the Rayman series, the only thing stopping this getting full marks is that the unlockable characters were not very special considering that they are your reward for beating all of the challenges including time trials and collecting all of the Golden Toons.

9.7/10

and yes a Rayman 3 review will be coming at some point

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman Origins

 

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com