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As 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' draws nigh, non-furry Twitter processes its feelings for cartoon rabbits

Edited by GreenReaper as of 23:51
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Lola Bunny's New Look. As of this article's writing (~7:30 P.M. CST, Thursday, March 4, 2021), basketball-playing Looney Tunes character Lola Bunny was second on Twitter's local trends list, behind only NBA professional Lebron James. Both will be playing basketball together in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, of which new details were revealed today; hence the reason for the trending (James is also making his seventeenth appearance in today's NBA All-Star Game, boosting him over his lapine teammate.)

Lola trending, of all the Looney Tunes making an appearance in the movie, is a bit unique, because it's for particularly furry reasons. She was introduced in the original Space Jam, so there was never any doubt she was coming back. But with the first real good look at the new character designs, people have noted changes. They aren't that drastic. But noticeable.

To put it bluntly, she's just not as sexy this time.

The design changes aren't all that much compared to her redesign for 2011's The Looney Tunes Show. If anything, the new design is a reversion back to her original look, and the biggest change is to her costume. She's switched out her old short shorts and midriff-baring top for an actual athletic uniform. Physically, she does seem to have had a reduction to her bust size.

If Warner Bros. thinks giving smaller breasts and a less revealing outfit to a rabbit will stop anyone from, shall we say, creating inappropriate fan-art, well, Judy Hopps from Zootopia has news for them. However, Judy hasn't actually appeared in much of the recent "hot cartoon rabbit" Twitter discourse. Most comparisons are to a character from another live action/animation hybrid movie, Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (a "human" toon, but a rabbit by marriage). Alas, there's been very little about where Bugs Bunny in drag fits into non-furry rankings of furry rabbits in this recent conversation.

Finally, yes, the "less sexy" aspects of the new design are on purpose. I'm sure we can discuss whether this is political correctness gone amuck, a necessary step in the direction of progress, or whatever in the comments with politeness and dignity.

Comments

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For those trying to replicate this at home: Twitter trends are tailored for you based on "who you follow, your interests and your location"; even if you turn that off, they're subject to regional or national selection - which may, of course, be purchased.

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Okay, Twitter's preview image is a hard crop of basically Lola's crotch. Seriously, Twitter, her eyes are up there. (She still has hips!)

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Sorry guys, I missed the real story: vaporotem, the artist I featured in my last Space Jam article, has drawn a new Penelope.

You're welcome!

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Lola Bunny story on Google Discover Twitter got some stick for its cropping algorithms; maybe it's overcompensating by going for the centre. Regrettably, this doesn't always work well. However, Google Discover seems to have managed OK.

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Honestly? I'm paying less attention to her body than I am just curious what they do with her personality this time around. In the first movie she was vapid (like everything else about that movie), while in the TV series she morphed into a self-important jerk (like everyone else in that series).

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Bugs: Ready for a little one on one, doll?

Lola: *panicing* Did you just call me doll?

Bugs: *Nods*

Lola: *Grabs his shirt* Don't ever call me doll! Do you realize what you have just done?!

*Gymnasium door busts in with multiple executives in suits escorting a cartoonist with a cartoonishly large pencil, it being held with the eraser outward*

Executive: Alright, take the boobs.

Lola: Nooooo!

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Twitter Looney Tunes discourse has moved on to whether or not Pepe le Pew is "canceled" or not after a New York Times opinion piece pointed out he's an example of "rape culture". Well, I mean, "duh" and also "so what?" We've known Pepe was "problematic" for decades now; the piece isn't saying anything new (I'm not linking to it because we don't really need to, and also I'm lazy). Also, don't worry, not doing an article on that; I mean, one article on stupid Twitter shit that just happens to involve the Looney Tunes is fun. Two in a row is a bit much. And this one isn't even that much fun.

Of course, if you're worried Pepe and/or the other "popular but problematic" Looney Tunes character, Speedy Gonzalez are "canceled", well, don't blame the NYT article. They were already canceled, if you were paying attention. Setting aside the whole "Speedy is banned from Cartoon Network" thing that happened over a decade ago (I cannot stress enough how not new this conversation is), I mean, when HBO Max released with a bunch old Looney Tunes shorts, Pepe appeared in a grand total of four shorts, and Speedy was only in one. And Pepe's four are odd ducks; one is a seconds long cameo in a Sylvester and Tweety cartoon, one where he's a generic skunk battling a dog trying to steal his house/den, one where the cat does like Pepe and the humor is about trying to date someone who smells, and only one real example of "Pepe harasses a cat".

The Speedy one is fairly generic, but kind of weird, because it was really late in the Looney Tunes line. I don't think it was one of the terminal "Seven Arts" era cartoons, but it was at least "Depaty-Freleng" late. Had the "bing-bong" opening credits, anyway. Kind of a weird choice. The thing about Speedy Gonzalez, even setting aside the "problematic" issues, I mean, his shorts are not usually considered the best of the Looney Tunes to begin with. I mean, if you're going to give the guy just one short, maybe, I don't know, the one he won an Oscar for? (Pepe's one "generic" short was also not his Oscar winner, either, but most of Pepe's shorts are Chuck Jones in his Imperial phase, so it doesn't matter as much.) Anyway, that was off topic, I distracted myself there.

On the other side, there was also that pointless scene in Back in Action (which, oh, my god, that was a suck movie!) where Speedy and Porky Pig complain about being canceled. Porky fucking Pig!? Nobody wants to cancel Porky, and besides, complaining about that sort of thing is actually kind of out of character for him, anyway.

But anyway, I did point out that Pepe and Speedy were noticeably absent from promotional images for Space Jam: A New Legacy, so Warner Bros. has already canceled them, is what I'm saying. Pay attention. (And just to be snarky, seeing as how the series of shorts was discontinued in the 60s, well, the Looney Tunes are literally canceled and have been my entire life.)

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Not the only skunk to get 'cancelled' this year. We had one at IB who… I guess I'd describe it as delighting in visions of violent retribution; like vivid descriptions of torture deserved by those who "pushed this shamdemic" — two days after the Capitol was stormed. Pepé has big issues, but at least he's usually getting himself beaten up - and didn't care about ending up with a dog.

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That link to YouTube actually makes another point; "cancelling" doesn't actually make anything any less available. I'm sure Mr. Skunky Q. McTortureporn has already found new places to publish his ... "literature" (I was gonna say "e621", but then I realized, oh, yeah, you guys do stories a lot, and "vivid description" implies this wasn't visual media). And you can find all the Pepe le Pew and Speedy Gonzalez and Elmer Fudd with a gun and the Censored 13 and you want somewhere on the Internet real easy, often right there on YouTube.

"Problematic" is not a one-size-fits-all label or necessarily a condemnation of an entire work of art. Nor is it a way of dividing movies into Good vs Bad or placing yourself in a morally superior position. It's just an enlightening way of re-seeing films. Happy viewing!-Mark Harris, film historian

I don't know if I've said this before, but Speedy Gonzalez was actually my favorite as a kid. Now, Pepe's usually pretty funny, and definitely stars in the better animated and paced shorts of the two. At least they have excuse of being, you know, over a half century of cultural changes old (unlike the aforementioned Mr. McTortureporn).

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Journals, thousands of them – they went to LiveJournal. Arguably where political rants with no connection to the fandom belong. And yes, you can usually find another host, but it becomes harder to be heard; so such actions should be rare, and restricted to what is necessary to address the problem.

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Well, we're actually talking about multiple different things that have been lumped into one under the label of "cancel culture"; Warner Bros. deciding not to show a couple of shorts they own when they literally have 100s of others right there that don't make a large portion of their audience uncomfortable and are otherwise just as good, if not better is not the same the same thing as you banning a guy for his unhinged, violent political ranting.

Warner Bros. is "curating" their slightly dated product to try and appeal to a modern audience; you actually "censored" the guy. (Obviously, for the record, I don't really care; guy sounds like a douchebag and also you didn't do it lightly or on a whim.)

While I'm here and on a roll, pointing out Pepe le Pew is problematic is also not the same thing as calling for Pepe le Pew to be censored which is also not censorship. Now, the first can be used as evidence for the arguments of the second, which can also force the people who actually have the ability to censor something to actually pull the trigger and do it. So, a consequence of pointing out Pepe le Pew is problematic, yes, via slippery slope, can be his "cancellation", it isn't necessarily the goal. But, as our local expert on censorship, freedom of speech, and cancel culture, Rakuen Growlithe, likes to point out, we shouldn't worry about the consequences of speech, so who cares?

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Ah, but haven't you heard? If you're not paying, you are the product; so perhaps it's not so different, after all. Let's just hope Pepé finds some way to get his voice out to his fans — and doesn't end up like that other Pepe. Or that skunk.

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Well, it's HBO Max. I am paying.

But that doesn't mean I'm not product. Product paying to be product is probably actually the goal. But I think we've wondered into a whole new thicket of ... stuff, here.

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Well, let me move it back again by noting that a WikiFur colleague has contributed to the world not just baby versions of Pepé and Penelope, but:

…conceptual character concepts for the character Lola Bunny, plus movie poster designs (domestic and international) for Warner Bros. Feature Animation's 1996 animated feature, Space Jam.

And here's one of Lola - and a hint of what was to come with her, though it seems she still had some chest in 2014 - while digging for Bugs. It's a small world, after all!

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Yeah, Guthrie's work with the character started the rumor than an active furry "designed" or "created" her; of course, credit for what was essentially corporate collaboration is kinda iffy to begin with.

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Speaking of availability: you maybe already knew this, but it turns out they were still putting Pepé in comics, and they've appreciated significantly in the last few weeks.

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Deadline has more on a cut scene involving Pepé the overly-amorous bartender, and what sounds to me like assault – although for a toon it's probably less of a big deal.

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I'm thinking just cutting him out entirely is probably the way to go; I'm not sure a sequel to freakin' Space Jam is the best place to have a conversation about sexual harassment/assault. (Also seems to sound like the Casablanca scene got cut, but, like, oh no.)

However, it does sound like at least some of the characters besides Daffy and Bugs will get some kind of introduction, and if they are searching for Lola, sounds like she may be fairly important to the story. (Also, that Penelope might actually have more to do than replace Barnyard Dawg on the bench.)

I wonder if Speedy's really completely cut, too. I think the argument has been made that he's heroic enough himself that most actual Mexicans and/or Mexican Americans like him, even if he is a bit stereotypical. His shorts and the other Mexican mice, however, not so much.

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And, while we're here, remember when Max Landis was supposed to be writing a Pepe le Pew movie? (Full disclosure: I used to follow him on Twitter and I don't what it says about me that Landis was the one #MeToo revelation that most disappointed me.)

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I'm afraid I must have missed that bit, as well as the denouncement of whoever that is. I don't really know movie stars, let alone their writers. Good article though.

The National Review has stepped into the debate with their own view, comparing Pepé to Dr. Seuss and Cookie Monster.

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Well, I brought him up in this article (scroll to the bottom); he wasn't that big of a celebrity, but it might explain why he was in my wheelhouse. Also, the, uh, "revelations" came like a month after I wrote the article, making the ending perhaps even more tragic (or maybe just embarrassing, I don't really know).

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Apparently, Speedy is still somewhat with us - a fact Pepé highlights in his Saturday Night Live appearance. Perhaps the secret is that Mexicans (or at least some of them) are big fans, while Pepé’s biggest fans are of a kind lately getting turfed out of matinees and award ceremonies.

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Speedy does appear in the latest trailer as a character Bugs lists for James to get for the team; we don't actually see him with the team, but he's probably going to be at least on the bench in the background of a shot at some point.

As I noted elsewhere, the trailer goes out of its way to show Yosemite Sam shooting guns, which was another "Looney Tunes vs. cancel culture" talking point about a year or so ago.

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Oh, I just found out Speedy has a character poster, so definitely part of the team.

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Am I the only one who prefer her not having a body that is just copied and pasted from a human and is recolored? I honestly prefer that many two-legged anthropomorphic characters look more natural from their own species rather something that feels less natural.

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Don't say I never did nothing for ya'!

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There is still people who think making "less horny" versions of anthros make them less hot?

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I don't mind her redesign at all, just the wonky proportions of her head. I'm holding onto hope that they were trying to draw her head tilted slightly back and it just didn't translate well, cuz otherwise...yeesh.

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Yeah, she's just kind of making a funny face in this one piece of artwork. Honestly, maybe they just should have gone with the DreamWorks face. They know how to draw that one.

But, tracking on e621 seems to show an early crop of "you can't cancel her tits" fan-art (which mostly gave her a cup size that dwarfed the actual original model), with a "I'm wearing a magical sports bra" jokes abounding, followed more recently by the possibly inevitable backlash to the backlash that embraced her smaller size to the point where said smaller size has become its own fetish object, with a smattering of "actually, butts", "The Looney Tunes Show version, you guys!", the usual collection of cartoon fetishes that really don't have anything to do with the character and are just applied indiscriminately, and that one piece of art I posted under Diamond Man's comment.

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She has breasts... the furries cry and complain in 1996
She has no breasts... the furries cry and complain in 2021

Maybe give her a dick so she has a package/bulge. That would be fap-worthy?

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Looks like Lola aged a bit.

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a red fox

New teeth. That's weird.