A collection of shorts was released as The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1996’s Space Jam that the much-loved cartoon characters got their own feature-length film. This second adventure for the gang, which again mixes live action and the animated characters, was actually conceived as a straight follow-up to Space Jam and was originally dubbed ‘Spy Jam’. However, Hollywood rumour has it that director Joe Dante (best known for Gremlins) hated Space Jam, because he felt it didn’t stay true to the Looney Tunes characters, so he dubbed this movie ‘anti-Space Jam’ while it was being made.
It’s certainly a better film, packed with Hollywood in-jokes for grown-ups (including a Psycho spoof and numerous sci-fi references) and lots of cartoon fun for the kids. The plot’s not exactly Shakespeare – Daffy Duck is tired of being second best to Bugs Bunny, so quits working in films, but Bugs, a studio vice president (Elfman) and a security guard (Fraser) realise his worth so head to Las Vegas after him – but it romps along at a fair old pace, with favourites like Sylvester, Tweety Pie, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd and Speedy Gonzalez (along with ‘live’ stars Steve Martin, Timothy Dalton and Joan Cusack) popping up along the way.
Is Looney Tunes: Back In Action suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...