Bugs Bunny’s foe Elmer Fudd will not wield a gun on HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons, the reboot of Warner Bros’ classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series.
In an interview with The New York Times, Peter Browngardt said the new “no gun” policy is inspired by rising concerns of gun violence in the country.
This rule means in the new episodes, the clueless rabbit hunter will have to find a way to capture Bugs Bunny without his cartoon rifle.
However, fans can still expect to see plenty of over-the-top cartoonish mayhem involving dynamite and crazy ACME Corp-style contraptions.
Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and the pugnacious pistol-wielding Yosemite Sam are all “gun-free” in the reboot of the Warner Bros’ Looney Tunes cartoon series.
The new series premiered on HBO Max on Wednesday, May 27.
2020 Looney Tunes: "Gun violence has inspired us to take away Elmer Fudd's signature hunting rifle."
2012 Looney Tunes: pic.twitter.com/qadEBaAd07
— NeonManta (@NeonManta) June 7, 2020
Elmer Fudd armed with scythe in Dynamite Dance
The rabbit hunter chases Bugs Bunny with a scythe in the new animated short, Dynamite Dance. Bugs Bunny easily outsmarts him, repeatedly hitting him with dynamite.
Showrunner Peter Browngardt says ‘we are not doing guns’
Series executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt revealed in the interview that there will be a lot of goofy violence in the new episodes of the HBO Max cartoon series, but it won’t involve the use of firearms.
“We’re not doing guns. But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
However, Browngardt said that, despite the absence of firearms, they strived to retain the original series’s feel and flavor.
“I always thought, ‘What if Warner Bros. had never stopped making ‘Looney Tunes’ cartoons?’ As much as we possibly could, we treated the production in that way.”
He also explained the new series would take into account the ongoing anti-bullying campaign.
“We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, ‘everyone needs to be friends,’ ‘everyone needs to get along.’ Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”
Fans react on social media
Although Browngardt promised that the producers intended to preserve the original series’s feel, some fans took to social media to protest the new “no gun” policy.
Many fans can’t imagine Looney Tunes without guns, while others display how ridiculous the complaints sound.
— ?? The?FOO ?? (@PolitiBunny) June 7, 2020
The anti-gun forces find their new target. https://t.co/XXo8WAhd7z
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 8, 2020
One Twitter user suggested that “taking a gun away from Elmer Fudd is like taking spinach away from Popeye.”
Popeye is the classic sailor cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Sega, who eats spinach to gain the super-strength he needs to rescue his love interest, Olive-Oyl, from his burly arch-rival, Bluto.
Taking a gun away from Elmer Fudd is like taking spinach away from Popeye. https://t.co/4UyIYSZVEC
— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) June 7, 2020
But others said the fact the cartoon characters won’t be carrying firearms made no difference to them. Some social media users poked fun at people who appeared upset about the no-gun policy.
I CAN'T BELIEVE THE NEW LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS *cough* which are actually great, go check them out *cough* WON'T LET ELMER FUDD USE A GUN.
ELMER'S ONLY CHARACTER TRAIT IS A GUN. THAT'S IT. THE ORIGINAL CREATORS WOULD NEVER MAKE A CARTOON WHERE HE DIDN'T USE A GUN AT ALL-
— Weird-O (@Wierd_o78033920) June 7, 2020
Do you guys SERIOUSLY care whether or not Elmer Fudd has a gun in our shorts? You know how many gags we can do with guns? Fairly few. And the best were already done by the old guys. It's limiting. It was never about the gun, it was about Elmer's flawed, challenged masculinity.
— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) June 7, 2020
Not sure what's funnier: Warner Bros taking Elmer fudd's gun as some sort of weird empty gesture about gun violence or the people getting genuinely upset over it and saying that they're gonna unsubscribe pic.twitter.com/kqF2JLnhHJ
— Please Social Distance.???? (@nightandtime) June 7, 2020
HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons, produced by Warner Bros Animation and executive produced by Pete Browngardt and Sam Register, features 80 eleven-minute episodes.