Only a few more hours until the Academy Awards, and I had a last minute epiphany. If it gets seen or not, before or after the Oscars, I don’t care. It’s just an idea I had to share. Obviously it spawned from seeing a number of people refer to Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” as Porky Pig. And I think I’d already made a reference in the past to “127 Hours” being similar to a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon. But can we equate all ten nominees for Best Picture with Looney Tunes characters? I think so. Let’s get the easiest out of the way first:
Porky Pig is “The King’s Speech”
Do I need to even explain why? Okay, fine. It’s because of this fan art.
Wile E. Coyote is “127 Hours”
I can’t recall any cartoons in which the Coyote pins only an arm by a boulder, but there are plenty in which he’s crushed by one or more giant rocks. See “Boulder Wham” or “To Beep or Not to Beep” for starters. Also see my old post on the live-action, human version of the Coyote vs. Roadrunner cartoons.
Bugs Bunny is “Inception”
Back when people were saying “Inception” was ripped off a Scrooge McDuck comic, a commenter at Cartoon Brew made the case that the film is also like “The Big Snooze,” in which Bugs invades the dream of Elmer Fudd and tries to convince him not to quit his gig with Warner Bros. There’s even a part with a train. Sort of. I’m not sure I get why someone did this side by side comparison between the “Inception” trailer and a Looney Tunes trailer.
Daffy Duck is “Black Swan”
A young Daffy (well, widely accepted as Daffy) is a kind of literal black swan in the “Ugly Duckling”-inspired “The Blue Danube” (part of the whole film “A Corny Concerto”), in which he tries to be a member of a swan family. A commenter on the blog Let’s Not Talk About Movies also likens the film to Daffy and Bugs Bunny’s “Show Biz Bugs,” in which Daffy literally kills himself in an audition to show he’s the bravest performer ever. When he dies and is ascending to heaven he notes that the performance can only be done once.
Foghorn Leghorn is “True Grit”
I guess it could be a toss up between Foghorn and Yosemite Sam, the latter of whom is a cowboy. But Foghorn is a rooster. I don’t even need a cartoon to reference. Maybe one of the shorts where he minds a young chicken? The fact that I still haven’t seen either version of “True Grit” gives me a handicap on this one.
Hippety Hopper is “The Fighter”
I haven’t seen “The Fighter” yet either, but I’m sure the most obvious choice is this kangaroo, who memorably competes in a boxing match against Sylvester in “Pop ‘im Pop!” I guess someone could also argue for The Crusher, who boxes Bugs Bunny in “Rabbit Punch.” But Hippety is much cuter.
Sylvester the Cat is “The Social Network”
If any Looney Tunes character was Mark Zuckerberg, or at least “Mark Zuckerberg,” it would have to be Sylvester. He’s always chasing after someone he can’t have and he’s often pretending to be friends with people he actually wants to screw over — by eating them, that is. Too bad Zuckerberg doesn’t also have a speech impediment.
Pepé Le Pew is “The Kids Are All Right”
I almost picked the amorous skunk for “The Social Network,” but I think he better fits the film in which a man pursues a woman who is mistaken for his kind. Of course, in “The Kids Are All Right,” the “lesbian” (cat) gives in to the charms of the heterosexual mate (skunk). I think maybe she does in the cartoon “Really Scent,” too. If only Mark Ruffalo had a French accent, this would be perfect.
Michigan J. Frog is “Toy Story 3”
If Friz Freling’s short “Beauty and the Beast” was technically a Looney Tunes work, I might have used one of the toys come to life in that. But I guess I’ll go with Michigan only because like him, the toys in the “Toy Story” franchise only come to life when there are no people around. Got any better ideas, let me know.
Papa Bear is “Winter’s Bone”
Not much else to choose from, I’m giving this movie to the patriarch of The Three Bears simply due to the fact that he fails his family in “Bear Feat” and the last we see of him is just his hand sticking out of water. Yep, I’m stretching thin at the end.
Well, “Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-… That’s all, folks.” Hopefully next year we can have some Best Picture nominees that remind us of Speedy Gonzalez, Taz, Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian and other beloved Looney Tunes characters.