It’s been ages since we’ve seen a classic cartoon character computer-generated for the big screen. Oh, no, wait, it hasn’t. In fact, they did that very thing with Garfield and its sequel, with Alvin and the Chipmunks and its Squeakuel, and they’re on their way toward doing it with Yogi Bear.
Indeed, it seems that Hollywood won’t be satisfied until every single character in cartoon history gets the classiest CGI reinvention possible. Now, according to Vulture, they’re doing it with one of the stranger Looney Toons characters in the pantheon, the far-too-romantically forward Pepé Le Pew. I think I speak for everyone on planet Earth when I squeal with delight—sarcastically. (Charlie Brown, you're next!)
Of course, it would be way too easy to hire any old top-notch voice actor to perform the part of the suave, French skunk who won’t take no for an answer, so Warner Bros. has instead hired Mike Myers, otherwise known as Shrek, otherwise known as the Love Guru, otherwise known as Austin Powers, otherwise known as Charlie Mackenzie, otherwise known as Wayne from Wayne’s World.
Now, I have nothing against Myers—truth be told, I've loved his work on occasion—but in my opinion, his is a voice that’s far too recognizable on its own to bring the equally recognizable Pepé to life. Listen to Mike Myers’ portrayals of Stuart Mackenzie from So I Married an Axe-Murderer, Fat Bastard from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Shrek from every Shrek movie ever made—back-to-back and out of context—and just try to differentiate them, I dare you. You can’t. It’s impossible. Because they all sound exactly the same—like a Scottish Mike Myers.
Pepé Le Pew, like the Garfields, the Chimpunks, and Yogi Bear before it, will primarily be a live-action movie with computer-generated animal characters: Pepé, the titular role, and Penelope Pussycat, the perpetually-terrified feline who refuses to be manhandled by Pepé (with ample reason!). Basically, it’s being made using the Who Framed Roger Rabbit school of filmmaking, only without the awesome two-dimensional animation interspersed with the live-action. Oh well.
Check out this classic Pepé Le Pew short, wherein the tables are turned on Pepé and he runs for his life, to see how bizarre and hilarious these cartoons could be:
No word yet on when production starts for Pepé Le Pew. Hopefully, Warner Bros.' attempt to reinvigorate one of the more creepy Looney Toons will be more creatively successful than all the other recent reinventions of classic cartoons.
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