HBO Max Removing Looney Tunes Is a Shameful Decision

inside Looney melody short “Duck Amuck,” Daffy Duck does something rare for a cartoon character: He breaks the fourth wall.

What else does he have to do, when the off-screen animators are clearly playing tricks on him? Within two minutes, Daffy was ejected from a Three Musketeers parodies garden scenes, then winter wonderland, and finally Hawaiian paradise—before the setting completely disappears.

“Look, Mac,” he says to the camera. “Let’s organize around here. How about some landscapes? A pencil appeared, drawing some simple buildings. “How about some color, you idiot?” Daffy, unsatisfied, asks for the next one. A brush sweeps blue paint over him, then erases his body and replaces it with something Seussian: a polka dot body with a flower around his head.

This meta hilarity continues throughout the entire anime, as Daffy fights against the animation curator. Starring in cartoons is Daffy’s job, and this off-screen spoiler is making that job impossible.

This is one of the boldest, funniest animated short films in the history of modern animation. Kids love it because of the silliness of Daffy fighting with pencils, paintbrushes, and the general rules of filmmaking. Adults love it for its self-awareness, making for a surprisingly fun jaunt out of the animated action itself. And now it’s gone.

Thank you HBO Max Looney melody collection, families were able to share “Duck Amuck” and hundreds of other classics Looney melody toons, together for what may be generations to come. But after that Warner Bros merger. Discovery is controversial happened and with it came complete devastation to the history of animation. Yet perhaps no loss is felt more profoundly by animation scholars, fans, and newcomers than January 1. discard the decades value of Looney melody cartoon—including “Duck Amuck.”

The platform’s Looney Tunes collection now includes less than half of what it boasted in 2022, as Warner Bros. Discovery has scrapped over 200 short films released between 1950 and 2004. It’s a confusing decision that can be considered all-inclusive. other HBO Max deletions and cancellations in recent months, financial reasons. But Warner Bros. already owns Looney Tunes — how much money does the company actually save by removing its own hugely popular content from the platform?

Unfortunately, that’s a question that fans of Warner Bros.’s other new shows. western world been requested for weeks. There are no good answers and no idea when we’ll get the chance to easily replay our favorite shows and short films. What is especially heartbreaking when so many of those shows have now been lost to digital ether is animation; Warner Bros. pulled dozens of animated series, movies and short films from HBO Max, which was once a haven for the medium. The future of these shows, including important favorites like Infinite train and Close enoughis currently in the balance, leaving fans and creators feeling disgruntled.

In particular, it makes the loss of “Duck Amuck” extremely painful. Looney melody is one of the most popular franchises in animation, if not media. (How many other cartoons can get away with producing not one, but two spin-off movies combined live-action/animated co-stars with basketball stars?) “Duck Amuck” is one of Its most revered episode, was touted by animators and animation enthusiasts as an early example of the form’s potential to be as boldly narratively bold as its live-action counterparts. It’s a surreal comedy masterpiece, animated or not. I am even in the National Film Registry.

And “Duck Amuck” is just a big loss for the homeless Looney melody short. Other fans might point to “What’s Opera, Doc?”, Richard Wagner’s iconic parody starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in ludicrous costumes, as an even throwback. even more shocking. In a survey in 1994 of 1,000 animation workers, “What is Opera, Doc?” named “Duck Amuck” the best animated film of all time, and Its image is still unforgettable.

The similarly beloved “One Froggy Evening”, the musical comedy short introduced iconic Michigan character J. Frog, is also considered one of the saddest losses — it, like the other two cartoons, is also on the National Film Registry. Michigan was even the WB’s mascot for several years. What a way to fire someone!

Here’s the problem when it comes to streaming: All content is up to the whims of the content owners. This is always true, even if DVDs and videotape make it easier to forget about it. But if you still don’t own your old one Looney melody and want to see (legal, high-quality) versions of some of the best works in the history of animation, now you’re out of luck. Until Warner Bros. find a new way to attract you cash to let you review them, that is.

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