Back in 2008, Tom Ruegger (producer of such Warner Brothers hit series as Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs!) pitched an idea for a potential new series that would feature the Looney Tunes characters interacting with classic characters from the Hanna Barbera studio (this became possible due to WB absorbing H-B studios in 1999). The series, had it happened, would have been called Mixed Nutz.
Incidentally, the pictures shown below are all cut-and-paste clip art. since Warner Brothers never greenlit the series, no actual footage was ever made.
This is just a sample of the fun that might have been.
This idea is certainly an interesting one, and it’s almost a shame that WB ultimately passed on it. However, despite the novelty of seeing the Looney Tunes interacting with H-B’s stars, I can’t get too excited about such a prospect. While I wouldn’t turn my nose up at this particular idea, I’m not sad that it didn’t happen.
The both of us are HUGE Looney Tunes fans, and unless you’re visiting this site for the very first time, you already know that. And while I like Hanna-Barbera cartoons OK, for the most part, I’ve never felt like H-B was ever on par with Looney Tunes. When I initially read about this series prospect, all it did was make me think about how much more awesome a Looney Tunes/Disney syngery would have been.
This is the cartoon collaboration that everyone wants to see! You want a WB/Disney show. I want a WB/Disney show. He wants a WB/Disney show. She wants a WB/Disney show. They want a WB/Disney show. EVERYONE wants to see a WB/Disney collabo!
TV Executive: We’re making a cartoon where Bugs teams up with Yogi Bear.
TV Executive: We’re making a cartoon where Bugs Bunny teams up with Mickey Mouse.
Bugs, Daffy and Porky teaming up with Mickey, Donald and Goofy? You’ve got my attention! Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck hanging out with Lola Bunny? Yes, please! Pete teaming up with Yosemite Sam? When and where? Chip ‘n’ Dale and Humphrey the Bear fleeing from Taz? I’m listening! Daffy Duck hanging out in Duckberg? Sign me up!
Imagine an entire series (or series of shorts like this):
Listen, I’m OK with Hanna-Barbera. Some of their cartoons have been entertaining. I won’t deny that. But Looney Tunes are in a different class entirely. It’s like the video game Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe.
Sure, it was a cool idea, and the game at least had the potential to be awesome (DC putting unnecessary restrictions on their heroes aside), but the game mostly just made me long for the fighting game team-ups that fans really want: Marvel VS DC, or Mortal Kombat VS Street Fighter, neither of which will likely ever happen outside of M.U.G.E.N.
The only thing that the prospect of Mixed Nutz did for me was make me want to see WB team up with Disney for a comedy cartoon series. I’d watch the heck out of that. Unfortunately, getting rival companies to work together is like pulling teeth: very hard. Such a series would likely be stuck in development hell for several years.
5 thoughts on “Brain Candy: Aw, Nutz!”
It does seem odd that Looney Tunes haven’t really been in that many crossovers (only The Green Loontern is the one I can think of where they were the host show) compared to the many times Scooby Doo or DC have done it. A Disney/WB crossover in this day and age would require a lot of legal red tape to make it work. One problem I see with this is that while WB projects don’t always have to air on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, straight up Disney projects (at least modern ones) can only air on Disney owned networks. Something like Batman Vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is legally possible since DC projects don’t always air on Cartoon Network (with 2013’s Lego Batman The Movie: DC Superheroes Unite frequently airing on Nicktoons Network), and Nick has sometimes aired PG-13 content before (the Michael Bay TMNT movies).
I imagine a WB/Disney crossover would have to be like a Mario & Sonic game that’s not an Olympic competition; representatives from both games have stated that such a game couldn’t feature Sonic in the Mario universe or vice-versa; a Sega rep once said that “Mario running around collecting rings just wouldn’t feel right”. They said that in order for a Mario/Sonic adventure/platformer to work, a neutral ground would have to be created so both sets of characters could freely interact. I suspect that a Disney/Looney Tunes crossover would have to be the same way: you’d have to decide on a neutral playing field for it to air. The internet, perhaps? It just couldn’t be either WB Online nor Disney’s streaming service.
As I see it, ownership rights would be the biggest obstacle. As it’s been established, Disney doesn’t do loan-outs. The Mouse House wouldn’t even allow their theatrical shorts to go into nationwide syndication during the 1970s and 1980s. If you wanted to see a Disney cartoon on TV, you’d have to either watch The Wonder World of Disney or buy/rent one the studio’s VHS or DVD sets, and later on, watch them on the Disney Channel after it was launched.
The Disney/WB rivalry was so intense that in order for the Looney Tunes characters to appear in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, both studios had to make sure that their star characters Mickey and Bugs each had exact same number of lines and neither studio was allowed to outshine the other.
WB and Disney eventually DID collaborate, and we got Right Now Kapow.
IMO, it’s a very underrated series.
I never saw that show, but I became aware of it after Chad Rocco (CR!) posted his review of the series on YouTube. It’s two creators previously worked on Cartoon Network’s MAD. That show was a one-and-done, if I’m not mistaken.