This week’s “Looney Tunes Show” episode, while not as funny as last week’s “Casa de Calma,” is still one of the funniest episodes of the series so far (possibly the next-funniest next to “Casa”). Similar to last week’s episode, actual slapstick, use of background music, some pop culture references, and clever dialogue all helped.
The plot (yes, SPOILERS): after he’s brought to a zoo in a sequence parodying the opening of “Jurassic Park,” the Tasmanian Devil is (as usual) on the loose, no thanks to zookeeper Pete Puma. (No high-pitched whine from Pete here, but he’s still dumb as dirt.) Taz somehow turns up on Bugs and Daffy’s doorstep; Bugs thinks Taz is a dog, while Daffy recognizes him as a dangerous creature. Naturally, Daffy gets left home alone with Taz, who (of course) tries to eat Daffy.
However, after a “dog training” session from Speedy (in a brief cameo), Taz goes from rather-sinisterly-feral to, well, more like his usual *merely* feral self (though behaving dog-like). Later, Bugs (the only one who thinks Taz is a dog) tries to enroll Taz in a dog show, while Daffy tries to warn Bugs that Taz is, well, dangerous. Hijinks ensue.
While I’ve heard this isn’t one of the pre-retooling episodes, the tone certainly feels more slapstick (in a good way) than the earlier episodes.
Besides Taz, other characters debuting include Sylvester, Tweety, and Granny. Granny is voiced by June Foray as usual, and here seems to be her usual self, albeit hard-of-hearing. Sylvester and Tweety act like their usual selves, fortunately, down to a variation on Tweety’s trademark line (used when Taz is after both Tweety and Sylvester). In this series, Sylvester, Tweety, and Taz are treated as “pets,” and thus they don’t talk to Bugs and Daffy (or Granny, presumably, though if she’s hard-of-hearing it probably wouldn’t matter).
Other high points:
- The Goofy Gophers return, as (annoying-as-usual) dog show judges.
- The scene with Daffy taking guitar lessons.
- Daffy “pretending” to be Taz.
- The entire scene of Daffy being terrorized by Taz around the house, with Taz looking rather sinister (and scaring Daffy by unexpectedly tearing through the walls, etc.).
As noted above, this episode has actual incidental music, another positive point. Too bad they didn’t throw in a few bars of the theme to “Taz-Mania,” though (“Animaniacs” and “Histeria” used a few snippets of the theme when Taz made cameos…). The title “Devil Dog” is similar to the title of a “Tiny Toon Adventures” short named “Devil Doggie,” which featured Taz’s protege, Dizzy Devil. Dizzy in said short, like Taz here, is also adopted as a pet, albeit the pet of animal-abuser Elmyra.
No Merrie Melody this week, but we do get a Road Runner short. The Coyote uses a rocket car to try to catch the Road Runner… which results in a funny “Back to the Future” reference.