Looney Tunes Cartoons Guns Back

When HBO Max debuted their new series of Looney Tunes Cartoons featuring revamped versions of the classic Warner Bros. Pictures characters, there was one key element missing from two of Bugs Bunny’s most famous enemies. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam weren’t seen using guns despite always blasting away at the wascally wabbit/lily-livered, bow-legged varmint in the classic cartoons. However, Looney Tunes Cartoons season 2 has pulled back on that a bit by giving Elmer Fudd his trusty rifle back.

The lack of guns in the first season of Looney Tunes Cartoons was confirmed by executive producer Peter Browngardt not long after the first wave of animated shorts was released by HBO Max. Though he didn’t cite any specific motivation about the exclusion of guns for Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam, it was assumed that the social climate surrounding gun violence was likely an influence. As Browngardt said, “We’re not doing guns. But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”

It appears that Browngardt had a change of heart, because Comic Book Resources points out that the sixth episode of the second season, entitled “Rotund Rabbit,” features Bugs Bunny squaring off with Elmer Fudd again, but this time he’s carrying his trusty hunting rifle. In the cartoon, Elmer Fudd tries to blast Bugs Bunny, but the rabbit is so fast that the cartoon bullet stops in the middle of its trajectory, sprouts a mouth and arms, and exasperatedly announces that he’s quitting the chase. The bullet then tosses on a hat and grabs a suitcase and leaves.

Browngardt pointed out the change when a user on Twitter noticed the backtracking on keeping guns out of Looney Tunes, including the aforementioned clip in question:

Elmer Get Your Gun

Though there was a lot of backlash from certain Looney Tunes fans after it was pointed out that guns wouldn’t appear in the first season of Looney Tunes Cartoons, the inclusion of Elmer Fudd’s gun again may not be a reaction intended to appease that side of the crowd. Cartoons take a long time to make, and one of the segments included in the recently released second season, entitled “Mummy Dummy,” actually debuted at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2019. So perhaps bringing Looney Tunes Cartoons guns back was always something that would happen eventually.

Furthermore, it’s not as if those behind the Looney Tunes had actively abandoned the use of cartoon guns in the hands of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam altogether. Space Jam: A New Legacy marketing materials have clearly shown both of the characters wielding guns again, so there’s not an overarching mandate to keep them out of these shorts. As prominent of a problem gun violence might be, keeping them out of cartoons that have had them for decades isn’t going to fix the problem. That’s up to the incompetent fools in our government who are all a bunch of Elmer Fudds and Yosemite Sams.

The first and second seasons of Looney Tunes Cartoons are available now on HBO Max.

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