Boomerang and Crunchyroll: Of Old Cartoons and Fresh Anime


Bugs Bunny in “Rhapsody Rabbit,” from 1946. The new streaming service Boomerang has a host of Looney Tunes episodes featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and others.

Warner Bros.

Animated movies can be great movies. Still, the classic animated shorts that movie studios put out in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s don’t get enough recognition for the influence they had on some more adventurous strains of cinema. I teach a college class on film language, and in a session on self-consciousness in cinema, I usually begin by pointing out the gags in the Tex Avery 1946 short “Northwest Hounded Police,” among them, the pursuit of a wolf by the sardonic, slow-moving but indefatigable basset Droopy (a hugely popular character in the ’40s). The wolf runs so fast that he skips out of the film frame and ends up hiding out in a movie theater where, to his chagrin, the first picture is a Droopy cartoon.