It’s February once again, folks, which means St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Of course, the romance-centered occasion is also accompanied by a cavalcade of holiday-themed movies and TV episodes. And this year, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and more are getting in on the fun with Looney Tunes Cartoons Valentine's Extwavaganza!. The special puts the iconic characters in some pretty wacky situations, though they also include just as much love as hilarity. But what actually makes February 14th a great setting for the characters? Well, Eric Bauza, the voice behind Bugs, Daffy and many others, has some thoughts.
Over the years, Warner Bros.’ animated shorts have dabbled in a number of notable holidays. Christmas, Halloween and even Thanksgiving have been utilized by the iconic tunes at one time or another. Although Valentine’s Day has come up once in a while, it may not be the first holiday some would associate with the likes of Porky Pig or Tweety Bird. When I spoke to Eric Bauza over the phone though, the veteran voice actor emphasized just how important the concept of romance has been to the storied franchise:
It’s true that love, regardless of the holiday, has always played a key role in looney proceedings. Longtime fans can point to vintage cartoons like 1937’s “Porky’s Romance” or 1953’s “Of Rice and Hen,” featuring Foghorn Leghorn as prime examples. Even in recent decades, romance has played a role inthe stories. One of the most notable instances of this is in the Michael Jordan-led Space Jam, which sees Bugs Bunny attempt to woo the smooth Lola Bunny. That relationship even carried into the 2010 suburbia-set series, The Looney Tunes Show. And in that show, both Porky and Daffy also had partners of their own.
Of course, the franchise has also been aiming to depict affection in a modern and respectable way. This includes omitting dated characters and tropes that may not reflect certain values too accurately. These updates mixed with the core comedy of the characters create some wonderful characters that can both tickle one’s funny bone and warm one’s heart. And if you want get a taste of this, check out the trailer for the new special down below:
When it comes to these shorts, one thing you can count on is that whatever the occasion, Eric Bauza and his co-stars are going to bring their best. The actors seem to handle the pressure of voicing the major characters quite well. They can perfectly depict a humorous standoff between Bugs and Daffy but also beautifully act out a romantic encounter between Porky and Petunia Pig. The looniness will always be there, but let’s also hope that the love remains as well.
Looney Tunes Cartoons Valentine's Extwavaganza! and countless other shorts are now available to stream (opens in new tab) with the use of an HBO Max subscription. And if you’re looking for specific recommendations on shorts, be sure to check out CinemaBlend’s list of the best Looney Tunes cartoons to stream.
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