Classic

Looney Tunes teach Phonics

The scene above obviously isn’t from the new Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network. It’s actually from a new set of Looney Tunes shorts being created for series of online Phonics lessons: Looney Tunes ClickN READ Phonics.

I can’t vouch for the lessons, but the cartoon segments are surprisingly good (they are actually making ten six-minute cartoons, in which excerpts are spread throughout the lessons). Considering that they are produced in Flash by a handful of people they are remarkable. True, there is no room for Clampett-style exaggerated action here, but they are as faithful as one can be to the originals considering the limitations.

The director of these is Rob Fendler, whose most recent credit was directing the MTV flash-animated series Popzilla. Looney Tunes comic book scribe Bill Matheny is writing the series, Joe Alaskey is providing the voices for all the characters, and the music – which I thought was needle-drop reuse of Carl Stalling – is actually newly composed by Hollywood orchestrator Milton Nelson.

The phonics lessons are given by a new character, a robot named Professor Wizbot, “created as the teacher character so that Phonics could be properly taught without an accent or speech impediment.” Check out the ClickNKIDS website to try a sample lesson and to see how the animation integrates with the educational content. Here’s a few scenes from the cartoons: