"Dynamite?" yells Jenna Elfman halfway through this film "Who has dynamite?". "Welcome to my world" comes Daffy Duck's reply. Yes indeed, welcome to the world of the Looney Tunes.
This film has been unfairly compared with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and, although not in that league at all, it has enough comedy and inventiveness to stand as a semi-classic in it's own right. At least it's not Space Jam.
I'm a firm believer that Bugs and co. can quite easily carry their own movie without the help of non-toons, but until then this'll do. For a Looney Tune fan such as myself there are plenty of character cameos and in-jokes to warrent several repeat viewings just to catch them all. The same goes for general movie fans (Roger Corman directs Warner's new Batman movie!?). Most, if not quite all, of the Looney Tune family get screen time with Daffy coming away with the lion's share. Other characters that are well served by the script are Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote and Marvin the Martian leaving the likes of Tweety, Sylvester, Taz and Elmer somewhat under-used - still, it's only a 90 minute movie. We also have a wonderful cameo from a suitably flat-looking Scooby and Shaggy - a joke against classic-versus-TV-animation for the keen-eyed!
A real high-light is the treatment that 'political correctness' gets in the script. We see Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzalez bemoaning P.C. attitudes (stutterers and racial stereotypes being somewhat taboo now) and, at one point, one of Sam's henchmen worrying that if he does indeed throw TNT out of the window "someone might get hurt". Sam's guns have been taken from him (although he's still allowed a cannon!) but at least Elmer Fudd has been allowed to keep his trusty rifle. Bugs Bunny's love of cross-dressing also gets questioned!
As with all of the other reviews for this film, I must mention the Louvre scene - Bugs, Daffy and Elmer running through a series of classic paintings. The DVD release allows a little more appreciation of this whole sequence with the use of freeze-frame. Other set-pieces that hit the spot are the Area-52 scenes (with lots of sci-fi fan pleasing cameos from classic aliens) and space-set climax.
The human actors are passable. Frazer and Elfman are not so bland as to be completely up-staged by the toons and Timothy Dalton proves he has a sense of humour by parodying his 007 character. I seem to be one of the few people who enjoyed Steve Martin's performance. Playing it ridiculously OTT, he is as close to a human-toon as possible - I think it works.
Overall, the script is funny enough although the 'plot' is incidental, the animation is excellent and interacts well, if not quite enough, with the real-world and, most importantly, all of the characters stay in character. But, as I said at the beginning, this ain't no Space Jam. Thankfully.