You play with a universally loved property at your peril, since any fiddling will usually send fanboys into a frenzy. Loonatics Unleashed did just that when it was first announced six months ago. Now that the premiere is upon us, animation fans all over the Internet will be asking the same question: “Is it any good?”
The answer, disappointingly, is no. Unless you’re such a huge Batman Beyond fan that seeing its backgrounds (with a different color scheme) used in the series’ premiere episode will send chills down your spine, you won’t find much to enjoy in KidsWB’s latest Saturday morning offering.
To point out all the flaws of Loonatics would be a daunting task. And a painful one, so it might be wise to focus on its positive quality. (Note: Yes, its single positive quality.) That’s the above-mentioned Batman Beyond-esque appeal of the concept, as it’s always exciting to see a favorite character placed in different settings. But this isn’t enough. Loonatics producer Ron Myrick also helmed Avengers: United We Stand, and like that earlier series this show incompetently handles a compelling concept. It’s a shame that this show premieres with a jumble of weak characters and concepts, subpar animation—though that’s hardly Dongwoo’s fault, as the show’s main design elements were changed at the last minute—and weak voice acting. “Loonatics on Ice” comes off as completely forced and is a perfect example of how low Warner Bros. Television Animation has fallen since its glory days of the 1990s (with the exceptions of Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited).
Probably the most jarring of failures is the show’s attempt to adapt the basic personalities of the classic Looney Tunes characters. While they take a crack at transferring some key characteristics, it comes off as annoying and clichéd. The worst example just might be Danger Duck, who only has a subtle lisp, which can be quite maddening for those expecting the character to operate within the confines of his established personality. If the creators were intending to retain one of Daffy Duck’s most famous traits, subtlety shouldn’t have been an issue.
Avoid Loonatics Unleashed at all costs. It seems Warner Bros. has forgotten that an authentic diamond that requires a certain amount of hard work to obtain is far more precious than an artificial one cooked up in a lab.