Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam have to find another way to try and catch that wascally wabbit, Bugs Bunny, in HBO Max's reboot of Looney Tunes. Elmer's rifle, his longtime weapon of choice, is not a part of the new version of the classic cartoon series, and Yosemite Sam's hip is holster-free in the new take, too.
While this isn't the first time Bugs and the gang have been rebooted, this one is making a small stride toward modernization, the show's executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt told the New York Times. The change comes as a response to gun violence, but the show won't completely forgo the exaggerated violence Looney Tunes is famous for.
"We're not doing guns," Browngardt said. "But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in." He went on to add, "We're going through this wave of anti-bullying, everybody needs to be friends, everybody needs to get along. Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It's two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent."
Elmer Fudd still wields a weapon in the new show — in place of his gun, the reboot has given him a giant scythe, as seen above in Dynamite Dance, an animated short that premiered last year as a tease for the reboot and features Elmer and Bugs wrapped up in one of their usual chases and features many, many sticks of dynamite. Meanwhile, anvils and complicated booby traps are also a continued part of the new series, and in the premiere episode of the new Looney Tunes, Sam bears his literal arms (for an arm-wrestling contest) instead of brandishing his usual pair of pistols.
Looney Tunes Cartoons is available to stream on HBO Max.