Don Bauder 8:42 p.m., May 23
Mel Blanc: T-h-h-hat's Not All, Folks!
When Heckle told Jeckle (or was it Jeckle doing the talking?), "We're cartoon characters! We can do whatever we want," the anthropomorphized magpie didn't envision the day would come when a dead man is called upon to breathe new life into an equally cadaverous animated franchise.
Mel Blanc, the Dean of the Kollege of Kartoon Vocal Artists and "Man of a Thousand Voices," will make a postmortem appearance as Daffy Duck and other venerable animated all-stars in three new 3-D Looney Tunes theatrical releases.
Blanc speaks from the grave in two of the shorts, Daffy's Rhapsody and I Tawt I Taw a Puddy-Tat. Rounding out the trio is a yet-to-be titled cartoon featuring The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, who last year starred in Warner Bros. first three CG cartoon shorts. Matthew O’Callaghan (Coyote Falls) will direct the triad.
Blanc's "performance" will consist of swatches of dialog from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies past, as well as children's songs he recorded in character in the 1950s. Don't expect the same frantic, richly detailed, squash-and-stretch splendor normally associated with the Golden Age of Termite Terrace. These cartoons are being handled by the television end of Warner Bros. Animation, the same folks who bring you the Cartoon Network's The Looney Tunes Show.