What's Up, Doc? Bugs Bunny Returns in Wabbit—A Looney Tunes Production
Hare ye, hare ye! The age-old question “Eh…what’s up, doc?” is about to get a fresh answer courtesy of Wabbit—A Looney Tunes Production, a new animated series that brings cartoon legend Bugs Bunny hopping into the 21st century. “The concept is classic Bugs Bunny in modern-day situations,” says producer Matt Craig. “He has the same energy and spontaneity he did in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, but we’ve time-traveled him.” (Think cell phones, tablets, and the occasional storyline about coal mining.)
Each of the 26 episodes will be broken down into four stand-alone shorts, and Bugs—sporting a squatter, more pear-shaped physique—will appear in every one. Which is not to say that he’ll always play the hero: “He gets beat up a lot,” says Craig. “He’s no longer aloof and above it all.” His revolving roster of sidekicks includes Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig—now making a living doing odd jobs—and even longtime nemesis Elmer Fudd. “Instead of being a hunter, he’s a bit more innocuous,” Craig says. “The stakes are low. In one cartoon, he convinces Bugs to come to this spa, and it turns out to be a petting zoo.”
Bugs will also be joined by new pals, such as a kindly foil named Bigfoot and a squirrel named Squeaks, who speaks in—you guessed it—squeaks. “They’re best friends who come to each other’s rescue but sometimes play tricks on each other,” Craig says. “Squeaks is not as smart as Bugs, but he’s smart enough to manipulate him. His main function is pulling Bugs into situations.” Character designer Jennifer Hoffer calls the rodent’s aesthetic a throwback to 1920s and ’30s animation. “It’s that rubber-hose look with wiggly arms and legs,” she says. “It’s a fun style for slapstick comedy.” Let the gags begin!
Wabbit–A Looney Tunes Production, Premieres this fall, Boomerang