Looney Tunes return to Filmhouse

My column from this week’s Edinburgh Evening News has slipped through the cracks in the digitial floorboards and not made it to the website is now on the website. I’ve also published it here instead, so if classic cartoons are for you then please read on:

There’s a chance to relive your youth this weekend at the Filmhouse as the cinema screens a series of classic cartoons featuring the exploits of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and my favourite, Daffy Duck.

Created as a result of Warner Bros needing to promote their music back catalogue, the first Looney Tunes short was 1930’s Sinkin’ in the Bathtub starring the long-forgotten Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid.

Continuing with characters such as Buddy and Beans the Cat, Porky Pig became the series’ first major star following his first appearance in 1935’s I Haven’t Got a Hat. Porky started out as a young child in this cartoon and it’s interesting to see how minor a role he has among characters such as Ham and Ex and Oliver Owl.

Of the ten shorts being shown on Saturday and Sunday, perhaps the most famous is 1953’s Duck Amuck, directed by Chuck Jones. In this one, Daffy Duck is tormented by an unseen animator who keeps changing the background and his own image as our hero becomes increasingly exasperated.

It’s bizarre even by Looney Tunes standards, making Daffy and the viewer question his existence, something we don’t usually see in cartoons. Duck Amuck has remained popular over the years and in 1999 it was selected by the US Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Film Registry.

Daffy’s back with Porky in 1941’s in The Henpecked Duck, where the pair go to court as Daffy tries to save his marriage.

It’s not only Looney Tunes represented in the line-up, with the Merrie Melody A Corny Concerto (1943) and MGM’s Bad Luck Blackie (1949) also showing.

The cartoons can be seen from 1pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday.

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