Bugs Bunny refit.

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Bugs Bunny refit.

Postby poppycat » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:14 pm

Nip and Tuck for Bugs Bunny
And Friends on WB for Fall

By BROOKS BARNES
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
February 16, 2005; Page B1

Talk about extreme makeovers. Take a look at what's happening to Daffy and Bugs.

Hoping to breathe new life into its animated Looney Tunes franchise and prop up the WB television network's slumping Kids' WB line-up, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. is planning to launch a new cartoon series this fall based on "re-imagined" versions of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tasmanian Devil, Lola Bunny, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Warner Bros. has created angular, slightly menacing-looking versions of the classic Looney Tunes characters for its new series, dubbed "Loonatics" and set in the year 2772. Names for the new characters haven't been finalized, but they are likely to be derived from the originals: Buzz Bunny, for example. Each new character retains personality quirks of the original. The new Bugs, for example, will be the natural leader of the Loonatics' spaceship; the new Daffy will remain confident that he is the one who should be in charge.

Warner Bros. isn't sending the venerable original Looney Tunes cast into retirement. But it is trying to update the characters' appeal among modern kids. The classic characters were wisecrackers who rode their irreverent humor to stardom in the 1940s. The challenge now for Warner Bros. is to find a fresh way to tap the funny bone of an audience raised on Bart Simpson and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Image

Warner Bros.' classic Bugs Bunny (left) and the 're-imagined' version for fall


"The new series will have the same classic wit and wisdom, but we have to do it more in line with what kids are talking about today," says Sander Schwartz, president of Warner Bros. Animation. The plots are action-oriented, filled with chases and fights. Each character possesses a special crime-fighting power.

Sounds familiar? The format echoes a successful show Warner Bros. launched in 2003 on its WB network and Cartoon Network called "Teen Titans," about five teenage superheroes. The series, featuring dark, futuristic characters, based on such DC Comics personalities as Robin the Boy Wonder, quickly became a hit. It ranked No. 26 among kids programs for the fourth quarter last year.

With "Loonatics," Warner Bros. thinks it may have TV's next blockbuster cartoon on its hands. "The reaction by kids in test groups has been phenomenal," says Mr. Schwartz.

Given Warner's mixed track record over the past two decades with the Looney Tunes franchise, advertisers may be wary. Steven Spielberg sparked things up in the early 1990s with "Tiny Toons," a series in which new characters interacted with the originals. But a 2002 effort, "Baby Looney Tunes," has been a dud for the Cartoon Network, where it ended the fourth quarter ranked No. 104 among kids programs.

Efforts to juice up Looney Tunes on the big screen haven't fared much better. "Space Jam," starring Michael Jordan, turned a profit back in 1996. But "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" bombed last year: The movie, which cost $80 million to make, grossed just $21 million in the U.S., according to box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. (It grossed an additional $48 million outside the U.S., Warner Bros. says.)

It's a risky time to launch an expensive Saturday-morning cartoon. Kraft Foods Inc., which spent about $90 million on children's advertising in 2004, said in January it would stop advertising junk food to kids under 12. The company's decision, coming as the food industry generally is shifting kids advertising dollars to the Internet and videogames, is expected to result in softer ad sales. The kids "upfront" market, when $700 million to $800 million in national kids-TV advertising is sold to deep-pocketed marketers, kicks off today.

"It doesn't take a genius to look at the trouble in the toy business and what's going on in the food business to see that the overall kids market is particularly weak," says Jon Mandel, co-chief executive of Grey Global Group Inc.'s MediaCom.

It's not as if the Kids' WB has much of a choice about whether to be so aggressive. At a time when the behemoths of kids TV -- cable TV's Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel -- are gaining or stable, ratings on broadcast TV's Kids' WB have plunged.

So far this season, the network's Saturday-morning viewership is down 26% compared with a year ago among children from two to 11 years old, says Nielsen Media Research. Lisa Quan, an analyst for ad-buying firm Magna Global, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., says the network's average audience has shrunk about 40% compared with its peak two years ago, when cartoons such as "Pokémon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh" were white hot. "The WB has had a long, hard tumble from grace," Ms. Quan says.

David Janollari, president of entertainment for the WB, says he has no illusions about how much work the kids division has ahead of it. "We simply need a new crop of big hits," he says. "This audience is finicky and quickly gets itchy for something new." At the same time, however, the WB notes that it remains a strong No. 1 on Saturday morning among Saturday morning broadcasters -- Walt Disney Co.'s ABC is in second place -- and that ratings have improved recently.

Warner Bros. has been criticized for standing still during the late '80s and early '90s at a time when Disney was reaping huge profits from its cast of animated characters. But Warner has shown in recent years that it can launch new cartoons that rain profits: Warner released three "Pokémon" movies following the WB's successful 1999 launch of the cartoon series, along with an avalanche of toys and other licensed products.

"Loonatics" is part of a wider effort by Warner Bros. to boost classic franchises: A new Batman movie and a remake of "Superman" also are in the works. The potential revenue is massive: If "Loonatics" is a hit on Saturday morning, for example, it is likely to ripple through the company's merchandising, home-video and movie divisions. "That's the ultimate goal of all kids programming," says Mr. Janollari. "If we score, it's a gold mine."


Manage to read it all? Good...

I am not even sure what to say about this. I remember when I was really small (yes, I was small once) being allowed to watch only two things on the TV that I liked. One was Tizwaz and the other was Looney Tunes cartoons. My very favourite character was Bugs Bunny. I have seen TV change a lot since then with childrens programming getting gradually more devoid of character and entertainment but through all this Bugs has remained the same. He is the reason I still get excited when I hear the looney tunes music come on the TV. I will generally drop anything I am doing for a good cartoon:)

Words cannot and will not begin to express my complete and utter contempt for this new look Bugs, but since they seem intent on sexing him up for modern day kids then I'll play. Here is my design and I bet it would get a few more viewers than painting him black and shoving a magical rocket pack up his arse.

Image

I am assuming they have no kind of integrity so here we see the worlds biggest puller of viewers - porn:) The porn bunny comes complete with pliant breasts, shy schoolgirl look and a pikachu tail for maximum cuteness- Kawaiii!!! ^_^'

Failing that they could, I don't know, maybe come up with a new and original character that kids might find appealing rather than taking the things we loved in our childhood and roughly penetrating them from behind with a fiery baseball bat sans lube. Hell, we have been trying to get George Lucas to see this for years:P
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Postby Tom » Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:48 pm

<SPAM>
Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows 95 on my PC, I told him how happy I was with this operating system and showed him the Windows 95 CD. Too my surprise he threw it into my micro-wave oven and turned on the oven. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is unharmed.' After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: 'Take a close look at it.' To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw a inscription, an inscription finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:

1213AEBED4FA56F7D7E8EDE09402F9240EE0E50CC9D44AA08324

'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said. 'No but I can,' he said. 'The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:'

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them, One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them


Tom
My tiny penis woes
A gracious woman obtains honor, But violent men obtain riches.
</SPAM>

<I freely admit that in addition to being a spammer, I have a very very small penis. I spend sixteen hours a day at the penis pump to no avail. Woe, woe is me:(>
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Tom
 

Postby poppycat » Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:29 pm

Ooo new blood! Welcome to the bitching:D Are you planning on throwing it in a volcano anytime soon and if so, can you take Gilthanaz with you? :twisted:
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I'm sorry...

Postby ^rooker » Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:47 pm

Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that this "Tom"(Guest) is just a bot spamming the forum.
My assumption is based on the fact that this post is completely off-topic.

Nice trick, telling this anti M$oft legend and then putting a small link at the bottom...
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Postby poppycat » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:44 am

Blah, I have been an op in irc for too long. I just assume that people are stupid and smile nicely when they post off topic. Maybe I should bitch about that at some point when I have the energy to go RARRR!
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Postby poppycat » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:50 am

There, I have altered his post and linkup to better emphasise what I am sure he meant to say:)
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