Bugs Bunny in the year 2000. Bob Clampett got it right.
Everyone loves the original Looney Tunes shorts, but when Termite Terrace closed in 1963, it was the end of an era. There have been dozens of new incarnations of Bugs. We grew up on the TV series in the '60's that ran for over two decades on Saturday mornings. Who can't sing the Road Runner theme? Specials directed by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng in the ''70's and '80's were largely disappointing. Sad compilation features, hatcheting classic shorts together using new, poorly matching bridging material and elderly Mel Blanc's tired voice. Then there's Tiny Tunes, because the '80's sucked that badly. Chuck Jones did some new theatrical shorts in the late '80's, but even they were homages to the past.
The live action/animated features Space Jam made no fucking sense. Looney Tunes: Back in Action was better, but still an homage to the past. I storyboarded on it briefly, and can attest that there was little interest in fresh gags. They wanted classic schtick, and didn't seem to know what to think of new gags. It really underscored the fact that we were monkeying around with someone else's creation.
There's a couple more TV incarnations that aren't even worth mentioning.
And now Wabbit is on the horizon; work for a lot of people. If it takes revisiting the past to create jobs, then so be it. I hope it's a hit.
Read more about Wabbit in Jerry Beck's fabulous blog: