Ironically (okay, fine, earnestly) watching Space Jam at 2 a.m. is fun, but that glorified Hanes commercial has nothing on the original Looney Tunes shorts, which are brilliant.
And violent, and hilarious, and whip smart, and beautifully drawn, and, occasionally racist, but, um, did you know Daffy beat up Hitler once? You won’t see that on SpongeBob SquarePants. It’s a shame Looney Tunes isn’t on TV as much anymore, because they’re timeless — even if you couldn’t pick Peter Lorre’s bulging eyes out of a police lineup, Birth of a Notion is still funny.
“Chuck Jones: The Evolution of an Artist,” from Every Frame a Painting, explains why that is. Jones wrote and/or directed over 200 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts between 1938 and 1964, as well as How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and he was nominated for eight Oscars, winning three times. Simply put, without his genius, animation might not have caught on the way that it did, depriving the world of The Flintstones (and, subsequently, The Simpsons).
That is not a world I want to live in.