January 22, 2022

CROSSOVER: LOONEY GOOLIES

 
            At a time when Warner Bros. didn’t have their own animation facilities (having long since shut them down), they typically contracted outside studios mostly run by former employees to produce cartoons for them. However, there was one rare instance where they loaned out their Looney Tunes characters to another studio for their own production.

Daffy with Drac and Frankie.

            Filmation was that studio, and that production was one of their offerings for The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie: Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies, with the Looney Tunes crossing over with the titular Goolies. The hour-long special saw Daffy Duck (Mel Blanc) in Hollywood producing a movie about King Arthur starring himself when a ghoulish being identified as The Phantom (Larry Storch) threatened to destroy every production Daffy worked on. Frankie Frankenstein (Howard Morris), a big fan of Daffy’s, decided to go to Hollywood to help along with the other residents of Horrible Hall. Naturally, the Looney Tunes coming face-to-face with the monstrous Goolies did not go smoothly at first, but after the dust settled production was back underway with the Goolies helping out. Unfortunately, The Phantom, disguised as Hauntleroy (Morris), made off with the film into “Mad Mirror Land”, where a live-action chase ensued; partially utilizing the stop-motion pixilation technique writers Len Janson and Chuck Menville had used on short films previously (home video releases would edit this sequence out, but they would be repurposed as the Goolie short “The Haunted Heist”). 

Daffy gets on Hagatha's bad side.


            Along with Daffy, Blanc voiced Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Tweety, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn, while Jane Webb (as Joanne Louise) voiced Petunia Pig in her first appearance since the 1930s. Blanc famously hated the experience working on this short, particularly with how they incorrectly pitched Daffy, Tweety and Elmer making them sound off. This was the first and only time he ever worked for Filmation, spending the majority of his career between Warners and Hanna-Barbera.

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