STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $19.98
RUNNING TIME: 271 minutes
Loonatics Unleashed: Villain Invasion Challenge

The Pitch

The Looney Tunes gang are back… sort of… and they’re, um… African Americans…

The Loonatics

Ace Bunney, Danger Duck, Lexi Bunny, Slam Tasmanian, Tech E. Coyote, Rev Runner.

"Oh look, it’s Mickey Mouse’s descendant, Max Mouse. Oooh."
"God I hate that asshole."
"Yeah, guy thinks he’s the shit ’cause he’s got a theme park. Jerkoff."
"Friggin’ douchebag."

The Nutshell

In the year 2772, a meteor strikes the planet-city Acmetropolis (i.e. Earth) and causes all sorts of damage and weird occurrences, among them changing six of the descendants of the original Looney Tunes characters into ebon superheroes. Ace Bunny (Bugs’ descendant), Danger Duck (Daffy), Lexi Bunny (Lola), Slam Tasmanian (Taz), Tech E. Coyote (Wile E.), and Rev Runner (Road Runner) all are endowed with superpowers as a result of the meteor strike and join together as a team under the direction of the holographic Zadavia to fight villainous threats to Acmetropolis.

The Lowdown

I can remember that prior to the launch of this show, there was somewhat of an uproar over the re-imagining of the classic Looney Tunes for a new generation and some issues that rose up over not only them being more extreme, but black as well. It was the typical PC crap that pops up whenever some jerkoff is offended and thinks he needs to make a global case out of the whole thing. I thought the redesign was unusual, but never gave much thought to it after that. Anyway, Loonatics has been described as an action comedy that pays homage to the classic Looney Tunes shorts that we all grew up on, while putting new action stories into the mix as well; and I’d say they’ve managed to do that fairly successfully.

"You’re desp-, you’re despic-, you’re despic-…what I’m trying to say is get fucked.

First of all, the animation for Loonatics is sharp and it looks great on the screen. Apparently there’s some Anime inspiration to it, but it doesn’t seem to dominate the style. They also do incorporate some of the characteristics of the original Tunes characters into these modern versions, especially Danger, Slam and Tech. As for the stories, they’re fairly entertaining and I can see how they would appeal to little kids, with a lot of modern lingo and fun action, but they’re still accessible to older kids (like thirtysomethings).

The first episode, “Loonatics on Ice” finds the heroes going up against some giant space Vikings arriving in town in a giant iceberg and looking to put the whole planet in a deep freeze. And “Attack of the Fuzz Balls” has them dealing with the latest craze to sweep into town: cute, fuzzy little fur balls that start out like Gizmo and end up like Stripe on a Barry Bonds cocktail when they eat chocolate. “Going Underground” involves the evil Dr. Dare who sinks major sections of Acmetropolis underground, and “The Comet Cometh” has another, much larger meteorite similar to the one that gave them all their powers the year before heading on another collision course with Acmetropolis. And the two part season finale, “Acmegeddon” has the team facing off against their big bad for the season, Optimatus, who is revealed to be responsible for the two meteors first hitting and later threatening Acmetropolis.

No one was more surprised than Slam that Parker Pig, Porky’s descendant,
wasn’t quite the pussy that he appeared to be…

Loonatics Unleashed is by no means in the same league as the original Looney Toons shorts from 50 years ago, but that’s to be expected because this is a completely new take on the characters, and the original incarnations are of course icons. But the show is kind of like a weird cross between Looney Tunes and Justice League, and at the very least, it’s different. This isn’t the best cartoon to come down the pike in the last few years, but it’s watchable, even fun at times, and I found that I didn’t mind it all too much.

The Package

The show looks good on a crisp transfer and there’s the boilerplate Dolby Digital Sereo. The only special feature is the Villain Invasion Challenge, an interactive game to shoot meteors falling out of the sky. I liked the game better when it was called Asteroids.

From the upcoming April 2773 Maxim issue.

6.0 out of 10