Annecy Attendees Go Looney for ‘The Day the Earth Blew Up’ at Its Annecy Premiere

Last night at the Annecy Animation Festival, Warner Bros. Animation’s “The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Film” premiered to a raucous reception at the Bonlieu Grande Salle.

Directed by Peter Browngardt (“Looney Tunes Cartoons”), the new Looney Tunes film marks the franchise’s first fully animated feature. An introduction from Browngardt, who won the Annecy Cristal for best series in 2012 with “Secret Mountain Fort Awesome,” and Warner Brothers Animation president Sam Register stressed the legacy of the Looney Tunes characters, and as such, the film pays plenty of winking homage to their long history.

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“The Day the Earth Blew Up” follows Porky Pig and Daffy Duck as they attempt to thwart an alien invasion of Earth, at the same time trying to raise enough money to rescue their destitute house from demolition. Along the way, they meet Petunia Pig, a scientist working at a local factory central to the invasion and an equally awkward love interest for Porky.

Drawn in traditional 2D, it played to an enthusiastic reception from a crowd full of career animators and students. Many were delighted by both its nostalgic nods and the quality of its production.

Xinzi, a student at Gobelins, loved the film for its “combination of really old-school animation and more modern jokes.” Mario, a character design student, similarly highlighted the synthesis of old and new techniques, “We love how they brought the old style to the modern era. It was really thematically tight; everything was really well brought together.”

Others pointed out how well the film tied the past and present together. Rasmus, a second-year character animation student, said: “From my point of view as a character animator, it felt really well-thought-out, and it was nice to see 1930s designs work so well in this modern style”.

One particular character, Farmer Jim, the adoptive parent of Porky and Daffy, was a particular highlight.

“We were laughing a lot at the Farmer Jim scenes – the animation is really good,” praised Deivy, a character design student. “The walk cycle for Farmer Jim was incredible.”

The character is emblematic of the film’s playful philosophy, all in service of the next ridiculous sight gag. Diletta, an animator, said, “It was nice to see how much you can push animation, to see how far you can push a key pose and make it click.” She added, “When I saw the Warner Brothers treatment, it really brought me back to when I was a kid.”

Others also enjoyed the film’s nostalgic qualities and how it felt true to Looney Tunes’s absurdist ethos. Character animation student Natalia said, “I love the random jokes all over the place. I expected it to be very Looney Tuney, and I got what I expected.”

The film’s pursuit of classic cartooning went over well with the animation-educated audience as well. According to animator Santiago, “That’s what animation is about; it’s to have fun. They took technology to make the animation super over the top. It makes me wish more people wanted to watch 2D animation because you can’t do something like this in 3D.”

The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie will be released in cinemas later this year, although a specific date has not yet been announced. Read Variety’s full review of the film here.

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