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Western Animation: Loonatics Unleashed

Loonatics Unleashed (2005-2007) is a controversial series about Funny Animal characters, based on the classic Looney Tunes gang, who become mutant superheroes (read: The Justice League though in format more like a Super Sentai team) in a dark Cyberpunk universe.

In the year 2772, a meteor strikes the City Planet of Acmetropolis, causing all six future Loonatics (and a number of their future adversaries) to gain super powers. The Loonatics are gathered together by their mysterious benefactor, a woman named Zadavia who has powers of her own, to protect Acmetropolis from a variety of villains.

The series is, shall we say, polarizing. Possibly what occurs when executives at Warner Bros., after witnessing the financial bombing of Looney Tunes: Back in Action, decided to copy that "Anime" thing they'd heard so much about and make something the kids of today "understood". The original trailer didn't go over so well. When the harsher designs and dark setting hit the mainstream, Looney Tunes fans around the world revolted, complaining about what they saw as a crass attempt to appeal to its demographic and utter disrespect for its source material. Some say that Loonatics could have been more well received if it was not for Warner Bros' advertising campaign, which claimed that Loonatics was a newer, better version of the original Looney Tunes. Warner Bros. greatly revised the show from its pilot, especially when the news media got wind of an internet petition against the show started by an actual 11-year old boy. The result led to the character designs being softened and the concept altered ever so slightly.

It should probably be pointed out that in the first season, the characters who were adapted from the original Looney Tunes were limited to the Loonatics themselves and an Expy of Foghorn Leghorn. Perhaps thinking the lack of links was part of the show's lack of success, versions of nearly all the other prominent characters from the classic line-up appeared in the second season along with other nods to the franchise's history. The other significant part of Season 2's Re Tool is that the characters were given more freedom to be funny, bringing the show nearer to being an Action Comedy instead of just Action. This still failed to capture interest, and the show was canned at the end of its second season.

Compare Road Rovers and The Mighty Ducks, two earlier Animal Superhero shows with equally ridiculous premises.

It also has its own wiki.


Tropes:

  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female on Male: Lexi brainblasts Danger Duck several times out of annoyance. Nobody ever made a fuss out of it.
  • The Ace: Ace Bunny is supposed to be this.
  • Action Girl: Lexi Bunny.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Zadavia stages an escape this way on Deuce's ship during "In Search of Tweetums, Part II".
  • Aloof Big Brother: Optimatus.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The Loonatics themselves have parallels with some of the X-Men.
    • Ace has Cyclops' eye beams, but his weapon fighting skills have a bit of Gambit and Deadpool in them.
    • Lexi is more or less Jean Grey.
    • Danger can be considered a mix of Gambit (kinetic energy) and Pyro (use of fire).
    • Slam, as The Brute, has the brawler tendencies of Colossus and Juggernaut. He also has Wolverine Claws, although those can be attributed to Beast as well.
    • Tech, as his name implies, is The Smart Guy. Aside from that, which draws parallels to Forge and Beast, he also has Magneto's magnetism powers.
    • Rev is Quicksilver. Nothing else.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Apocazons.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Although it does look as if they were hoping for a third season.
  • Animal Superheroes: In this setting, the descendants of the characters all have super powers granted by a meteor.
  • Animesque: More so in narrative feel than in art style.
  • Asshole Victim: The Royal Tweetums. Much like ancestor Tweety in his very first 1940s incarnations, Tweetums is a self-centered jerkass who runs around getting into danger, is very obnoxious, and causes all sorts of pain and suffering for his caretakers when he's not treating them like crap. When foe Sylth Vester comes along, his reasons for trying to take out the little bastard include having had his head shoved into a singularity. And the show wants you to believe installing him on the throne will prevent centuries of galactic warfare.
  • Badass Crew: The Loonatics, of course.
  • Bat Deduction: If the characters have absolutely no other way to find out something important, sometimes the writers will have Rev figure out the plot because apparently his brain works super-fast too, letting him do that.
  • Big Eater: Slam Tasmanian.
  • Big Good: Zadavia. Her twin brother, Optimatus, is her exact opposite... until his Heel-Face Turn near the end of the series.
  • Catch Phrase
    • Ace: "Let's jet!"
    • Duck: "I liked you better when you were [The other person's previous state of being]."
    • Zadavia: "Zadavia, Out."
      • The last one is frequently lampshaded.
      "Where does she go out to? Out to dinner?"
  • The Chew Toy: Fate seems especially cruel to Danger Duck.
    • Also, in one episode, the team used an EMP, which shut off all power, thus making the machines of their opponent useless. As celebration, they used their virtual reality machine to take a vacation. What was powering the virtual reality machine? Rev on an exercise bike. He hadn't even done anything punishment-worthy in that episode.
    • Tech also experiences this due to his Healing Factor. Although strangely a lot less in the second season, which leaned more sharply toward comedy.
  • City of Adventure: City-planet.
  • Circus of Fear
  • Clueless Aesop: In one episode the villain Sypher steals all the Loonatics' powers one by one. After the entire team's been Brought Down to Normal, Ace reminds the rest of them that they've still got their skills. This seems as if it's going for a "it's not the powers that make the hero" moral. But do the Loonatics get tricky and come up with a plan that plays to their remaining strengths or lure Sypher into a trap where his stolen powers do him no good? Nope. Tech whips up some Powered Armor that give them rough approximations of their normal powers and they stomp right in the front door of his hideout to beat him into submission like they would normally.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The team can be told apart without the colours what with being different animals and all, but despite this they all have distinct colours.
  • Combo Platter Powers
  • Competitive Balance
  • Continuity Nod: Of course, they occasionally reference the original Looney Toons, with phrases like, "You realize, this means war."
  • Cool Sword: The Guardian Strike Sword.
  • Cowardly Lion: Danger Duck is a craven coward when it comes to battles, yet his powers can be pretty damaging to his opponents, especially when he Took a Level in Badass in the second season.
  • Cute Bruiser: Lexi
  • Cyber Punk
  • Darker and Edgier meets Recycled In SPACE: Some years from now, this will stand comfortably as one of the most notorious examples of these tropes in action. When initial promos were released, it was going to be even more dark and edgy, with all the characters being pointier and more demonic looking, with Blank White Eyes. But after a large online protest led by a child, they decided to tone it down.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Slyth Vester
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tech E Coyote
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Adolpho wanted to kill all land creatures. Read his name a few times and let it sink in.
  • Double Standard: Duck involuntarily screwing-up something? Everybody is on his back (and sometimes,even when he doesn't...we're looking at you, Zadavia). Lexi involuntarily starting an interplanetary war? Everybody consoles and pities her and if you don't, you are a jerk.
  • Ears as Hair: Lexi ties her ears up in a ribbon.
  • Elemental Powers
  • Endless Winter: The Ice Vikings that invade Acmetropolis, home to the Loonatics Unleashed, are armed with "hammers of frost" and know to attack the power station to best plunge that world into a new Ice Age.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tech E Coyote. That is all.
  • Evil All Along: Pinkster (Porky). This is still true regardless of him being roommates with Duck at the orphanage, and Duck rigging the coin toss over who'd get adopted by the nice nuclear family.
  • Evil Laugh: The Ringmaster, though it is more of a chuckle than anything.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Polar opposites in what the exposition's about, though. The first one sets up the plot, while the Loonatics' powers are only mentioned as little two-word descriptions in the background. The second one rattles off their powers to techno-ish music, but does nothing to explain the setting.
  • Expy: After fans loudly protested the series' initial announcement, Warner Bros. hastily pointed out that the Loonatics were not actually the Looney Tunes. They are the Looney Tunes' futuristic descendants. While this doesn't exactly fix the problems many fans had with the concept, it does correct the misconception pushed by the mainstream media that these were actually updated versions of the classic Looney Tunes.
  • Extranormal Prison: Season One housed super-powered criminals such as Mallory Mastermind and the Sagittarius Stomper in the Acmetropolis Prison, miles below ground in a bedrock bunker. Season Two moved many of these criminals to a prison satellite in orbit, adding Otto the Odd and Massive to the inmate roster.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Sypher's being hailed as a hero and he says the Loonatics are just jealous he can do the job it took all six of them to do, and they should "go back to the petting zoo they came from." Whereupon his entire adoring crowd starts to jeer the Loonatics too. In the second season we also have Rev's parents being inherently distrustful of Tech and all coyotes.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Foe Yay:invoked The Vamp Black Velvet. Most of the male cast (and Zadavia of all people) agree that she is attractive. Later on in episode 3 when she kidnaps Tech they both exchange flirtatious insults, afterwards she brainwashes Tech she calls him various pet names.
  • Foreshadowing: The episode "The Comet Cometh," sets up for Optimatus' eventual showing as the season one finale villain.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: One second season episode is about protecting a special meteor that has the ability to take away the Loonatics' powers. It's treated as basically a death sentence for Acmetropolis, but forgets all about how there was a first season episode where they did lose their powers and Tech whipped up some Powered Armor that gave them pretty close approximations of their usual powers.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: The main characters.
  • Furry Confusion: While in shopping in Chinatown with Lexi, Duck makes sarcastic comments about eating duck. With duck sauce.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tech E. Coyote.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: All the time. In the first episode, Danger Duck effectively calls Lexi a bitch...
    Lexi: I'm picking up something...
    Danger Duck: Perhaps a high-pitched dog whistle?
    • Not to mention the several times Lexi's ass is on display.
    • Also in the episode "Apocalypso" the hot leader of the Amazon tribe explains to Lexi that the reason there is no men in their tribe is because they have all evolved into sentient plants...and then she STROKES one of them. Think about it.
  • Glowing Eyes: The Loonatics' eyes tend to glow when using their powers, but especially Ace, of course.
  • Healing Factor: Also Tech E. Coyote, for the sole purpose of preserving his former schtick. Good thing he can heal.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Optimatus near the season 2 finale.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Before receiving their powers, most of the cast were employed in various jobs where their superiors were mostly huge jerks... oh and human as well.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "Apocalypso".
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Dozens in every episode. Mainly from Ace.
  • Instrument of Murder: The Cosmic Guitar
  • Internet Backlash: The aforementioned petition.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One
  • Knight of Cerebus: Optimatus.
  • Legion of Doom: One shows up in the first season finale, although it wasn't their decision to join up and their alliance isn't an easy one. Mainly because one of the members is Sypher, who'd gladly steal the other villains' powers if he got the chance.
  • LEGO Genetics: The Magic Meteor that struck Acmetropolis released bizarre radiation that gave the Loonatics their superpowers. The episode "The World Is My Circus" has The Ringmaster and Otto the Odd bombard the Loonatics with their "sonic DNA scrambler," which mutates them in seconds into Mix-and-Match Critters with superpowers.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the original version, anyway. It seemed like the second season was trying to fix the show by taking this even further. One episode even has a throwback to the old Disguised in Drag bit.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: When we first see the villain Sypher, he steals the abilities of a pro athlete. After that the rule change to his power only letting him steal innate abilities (I.e., super powers), not skills.
    • Also, Rev's fast talking may or may not be a side effect of his powers. In "Sypher" it's how they notice he's lost his power; he's talking as fast as everyone else. In "The World is My Circus," he still talks fast and Tech talks normally even though they've switched powers.
  • Magic Meteor: A meteor strikes Acmetropolis, but instead of destroying the city, gives several characters strange superpowers, similar to the heroes' origin in Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!.
    • Also a small subversion as the villains and the many problems in Acmetropolis were also caused by the meteor. Such as: Most of the villains were just normal people who lost it and went insane. The meteor also caused the many problems associated with a planet being knocked out of orbit, such as the Always Night trope.
  • Male Gaze: There are a couple of episodes in which the first thing the viewer sees on returning from commercial break is Lexi's cotton tail and anthropomorphic female hindquarters.
  • Man-Eating Plant: "Apocalypso"
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The meteor strike.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Deuce's robot army.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The monsters in "The World is my Circus."
  • Moral Dissonance: In "Secrets of the Guardian Strike Sword" we have Ace calling out the villain for attacking him from behind. A minute later, Ace does the exact same thing to the same villain, and isn't called on it. Made more noticeable in that this battle supposedly proves Ace is a "true warrior" (I.e. not like the villain he fought, who's a treacherous backstabber) and worthy to wield the Guardian Strike Sword.
  • Motor Mouth: Rev Runner
  • Mythology Gag: Alien planets are named Blanc (after Looney Tunes voice actor Mel Blanc) and Freleng (after Looney Tunes director Friz Freleng).
    • Also, half of the main characters have powers based upon their ancestors.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: How exactly you pronounces Zadavia and Optimatus's names depends on who's saying it. Optimatus moreso.
  • Odd Couple: Tech and Rev, of course. They are constantly shipped together, and with good reason. For it to be more apparent, they'd need to be joined at the hip.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Tech. We've seen him be a physicist, mechanic, and linguist.
  • Opening Narration: During the first season.
  • Planetville: Acmetropolis is literally a city the size of a planet. Although it does make hearing about the Acmetropolis Zoo/Power Plant/Reservoir/Prison sound a little ridiculous with the city and planet being the same thing.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Looney Tunes IN THE FUTURE AS ANIMESQUE SUPERHEROES!
    • More like Teen Titans WITH LOONEY TUNE CHARACTERS!, since that's how it was pretty much described in the original PR announcement.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: "The Cloak of Black Velvet" has an interesting aversion, where the darkness-inducing villain brainwashes Tech at one point. However, it's actually his teammates, who are using nightvision, who have menacing, glowing red eyes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Two sets in the team.
    • Duck and Ace (much like their ancestors)
    • Rev and Tech
  • Rogues Gallery
  • Scary Black Man: Massive
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Danger Duck
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lexi is the only female Loonatic.
    • Subverted by the fact they have a female boss, Zadavia.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Road Rovers.
  • The Starscream: Danger Duck shows signs of this from time to time. However, given that he's based on Daffy Duck, this is somewhat to be expected.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In a sense. Rev's original Looney Tunes counterpart, the Road Runner, didn't speak. (Save for "beep-beep".)
  • Super Senses: Lexi has super hearing.
  • Super Speed: Rev Runner, which extends to his speech pattern. Although the show was a little inconsistent about whether the fast talking was a side effect of his powers or not.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: It didn't come up often, but when a bad guy needed to break into the Loonatics' HQ or hack their communications, they had no trouble doing so.
  • Talking Animal: The Loonatics and some of the guest stars. Oddly, most of the other characters are human.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Teleportation is one of Danger Duck's super powers.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Lexi's ear-bow.
    • Also, Lexi and Rev's mom seem to be the only animal characters with hairstyles.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Any time Danger Duck complains, his position is directly in opposition to the "Correct" one. And any time he agrees, it usually mans that the position he agrees with is incorrect. Even when he advocates something like it's better for one person to sacrifice themselves than to doom everyone.
  • Time for Plan B: They always have one. Lexi even becomes Genre Savvy in one case, where, after Ace spouts off the famous trope, she follows up with "Next time, let's start with Plan B"
  • Totally Radical:
  • The Un Favourite: Rev's kid brother, Rip. Even when he has a good idea, their dad gives Rev credit for it. Things are patched up by the end of the episode, though.
  • Unit Confusion: Prince Tweetums says he's only "Three Parsecs old," when a "Parsec" is a unit of distance, not time.
    • At least he didn't say he was three lightyears old.
  • Weapon Twirling: Ace and his sword.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Weathervane. She was an eager, young intern, verbally abused by her superior, Misty Breeze. Then, she got her powers...

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alternative title(s): Loonatics Unleashed
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