Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run full movie review - These Melodies are Truly Merry, and the Tunes are Fantastically Loony
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Devoted fans of the classic 1940s and 50s "Merry Melodies" and "Looney Tunes" cartoons from Warner Brothers never know what they're going to get these days when they see their favorite characters revived in new, updated versions. It's pretty hit-or-miss since some current writers and animators get what made the old characters tick, while others, bless 'em, just plain don't.
The people behind the original feature-length, direct-to-video cartoon movie "Looney Tunes: Rabbit Run" get it. But to their credit, instead of simply recreating the old stuff, they've taken familiar characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian, and Speedy Gonzales, among others, and cast them in a dizzying screwball comedy that's a cross between a "Bringing Up Baby" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".
As a world-weary New York cabbie, Bugs gets to downplay his old wise-guy persona, and serve as straight man for Lola Bunny, a flighty, valley-girlish, amateur perfume inventor who hopes to take the Paris fragrance industry by storm with her intoxicating new formula. But when the military finds out that Lola's new perfume is also an invisibility formula, they'll stop at nothing to get it. The sight of Foghorn Leghorn as an overbearing Army general ordering around his minions, including agents Elmer Fudd and Cecil Turtle is refreshingly exuberant. The secret of the formula is also discovered by Lola's former department store boss, Giovanni Jones (the opera singer in the 1948 classic "Long-Haired Hare"). He follows her and Bugs all the way to Paris along with an avaricious Yosemite Sam (smuggling himself aboard the plane squeezed into an old lady's dog carrier) and everyone else who can't wait to get their paws on the precious formula.
Bugs and Lola make a great team and add their chemistry adds verve to every frame they're in, whether it be leading the bad guys in a frenetic car chase through the streets of New York, posing as stewardesses on a flight to Paris (Bugs manages to get into drag again, of course) during which they end up falling out of the plane, and finally being kidnapped by none other than Marvin the Martian and taken to his deep space headquarters where he plans something nefarious with Lola's formula.
More hilarity ensues with the appearance of those eternally giddy, stereotypically-gay gophers, Mac and Tosh, in their fabulous yacht. Their song-and-dance extravaganza, "Girl, You're Fabulous", is a hoot, as is Lola's big number "Smell in My Mind". The great Daffy Duck brings his own prodigious persona into the mix in fine style as a fellow cab driver unwillingly caught up in the action. Also appearing in lesser but no less welcome capacity are Speedy Gonzalez as Lola's landlord and Pepe Le Pew as an eau-de-cologne magnate.
For pure fun that's fun to look at, "Looney Tunes: Rabbit Run" is well worth getting caught up in for its 70-minute duration. It's made by people who appreciate the original Looney Tunes cartoons while easily avoiding being just a pallid facsimile of them. It's not your typical Looney Tunes plot, but if you love the old cartoons, in addition to appreciating the cockeyed appeal of screwball comedies, you should find yourself having a rollicking good time with this breezy, lightning-paced, lighthearted adventure as much as your kids. (Or if you're like me; somebody else's kids.)