Retired Looney Tunes
For decades the popularity of the Looney Tunes has remained a constant in pop culture. Bugs Bunny, Daffy, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and the rest have undoubtedly achieved iconic status. But not every character introduced in these cartoons have gone on to this same level of fame. Over the course of nine decades certain Tunes have inevitably faded away. For better or worse these are some of the retired Looney Tunes.
Pepe` Le Pew: The most recent, and well-known, addition to this list is a certain romance-minded French skunk. Drawing inspiration from actor Charles Boyer and singer Maurice Chevalier, this Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese creation spent more than 75 years chasing down a poor cat who constantly finds herself with a white stripe on her fur. However, in recent years people have pointed out that Pepe` Le Pew may not set the greatest example in how to treat women which is what ultimately led to his being retired from further looney adventures.
Yoyo Dodo: While this character may mostly be recognized by his Tiny Toon counterpart, Yoyo Dodo debuted in a 1938 short considered one of the most important in Looney Tunes history “Porky in Wackyland”. In search of a dodo bird, Porky Pig ventures to Wackyland where he encounters Yoyo who seemingly has the power to manipulate reality in this strange realm. Eleven years later Porky and Yoyo would encounter each other once again in “Dough for the Do-Do” for what would be the final major appearance for the wacky bird who, aside from some brief cameos, has largely been retired.
Claude the Cat: When we think of famous Tune cats inevitably we think of Sylvester and his constant pursuits of Tweety. But in 1943, two years before Sylvester’s first appearance, Chuck Jones created another feline for “The Aristo-cat” to be made a fool of in pursuit of mouse duo of Hubie and Bertie. During Claude the Cat’s nineteen year run legendary voice actors Mel Blanc and Joe Alaskey both lent their vocals to the character with two very different takes on how he should sound. But by the early sixties, animators had grown bored with Claude and even his own creator had decided to move on because he had found more success with other characters. In the current Looney Tunes series Looney Tunes Cartoons he was allowed a rematch with Hubie and Bertie in one short but other than that nothing new has happened for Claude the Cat.
Cecil Turtle: As classic fables teach us, a dynamic and fast-paced rabbit needs a slow and steady turtle to play off of. For Bugs Bunny he seemingly found this foil in 1941’s “Tortoise Beats Hare”. It is not often the carrot-munching smart-ass is made to look like a fool but Cecil Turtle and his cousins did just that. Inspired by the character of Droopy Dog, Cecil was a slow-witted turtle voiced by Mel Blanc in what could best best described as a prototype of the Barney Rubble voice he would use eighteen years later. After 1947’s “Rabbit Transit” the powers that be decided to retire Cecil, however in recent years cartoonists have been making moves to bring him back into the fold including prominent spots in New Looney Tunes and Looney Tunes Cartoons.
Inki: By simply looking at the image above it is easy to figure out why Inki has not been featured beyond five cartoons from 1939 to 1950. Influenced by the disgusting racist minstrel shows of the past, Inki was a young boy in Africa who often found himself in trouble during various hunting trips. While Inki has understandably been banished the a vault beneath Warner Bros. studio, his sidekick minah bird has made sporadic cameo appearances in different Tune projects.