See Ya Later Gladiator (Looney Tunes)
See Ya Later Gladiator is a Looney Tunes short released in 1968 from Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. This short is widely considered by both fans and critics alike as the worst cartoon short ever made by Warner Bros.
In this short, Daffy Duck is annoyed by Speedy Gonzales' music, so he attempts to send him to Ancient Rome to unexpected results.
Why This Episode Needs To Go See Ya Later
- Very poor animation, as with any Seven Arts cartoon. There is even a notable error where when Daffy looks out a window, the same background is used twice even though the second time that background is used, Daffy is at his own house when looking out the lab window.
- As with the other shorts from the DePatie-Freleng and Seven Arts era, Daffy is now miscast as an evil antagonist due to very bad flanderization. In this short, he tries to send Speedy back in time just because of his "corny music". Yes, the writers couldn't come up of a better reason for Daffy to be going after Speedy other than Speedy's band. Worse, the previous two Daffy and Speedy shorts ("Fiesta Fiasco" and "Skyscraper Caper") at least tried to dial back Daffy's evil traits, but here, they were restored, and are much worse.
- Speaking of "corny music", the music itself sounds like stock music and doesn't fit in Looney Tunes. This is due to poor William Lava being forced to work a small orchestra.
- The cartoon also opens with an weird, off-key version of The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, which fortunately was only used on one more cartoon ("3-Ring Wing Ding") before the series went back to the version that had been introduced at the start of the Seven Arts era which is slightly better, but still rather oddball.
- Cringeworthy and cheesy dialogue, such as "You broke my fiddle; now I'm gonna break your neck!"
- Obnoxious use of Hanna-Barbera sound effects.
- The short is a large waste of potential. Previously, a 1955 Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam short of the same concept, "Roman Legion-Hare," crafted the Ancient Rome theme a lot better, with funny (and well animated) slapstick plus expert use of light and shadow to create tension. In this short, director Alex Lovy and his crew kept most of the backgrounds dead simple and limited the jokes to just the lion getting a haircut, eating a chili pepper and exploding fireworks out of its mouth. There is almost no slapstick in this short at all as well, which is unacceptable and dumb for a series like Looney Tunes, that often utilizes the use of slapstick.
- Speaking of which, this short is basically a rip-off of the aforementioned short, minus all the great comedic timing from that short.
- The pacing is extremely slow for a series that is normally fast-paced on the jokes, which completely kills the series' comedic timing.
- Very off-model art designs, with Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales being the worst offenders of this.
- Nonsensical ending where Nero is brought to the 20th Century, and then everyone acts as though he's trapped there, with no one explaining why they can't just use the time machine to send him back to Ancient Rome.
- It ended Daffy's and Speedy's career in the Golden Age on an awful note, and also ended the run of the classic characters abysmally.
- The concept of Speedy and Daffy going back to Ancient Rome sounded like a promising idea, but was wasted and executed poorly due to the reasons stated above.
- Giving what we call Rome its native spelling (then and now) of Roma is a nice touch.
- Mel Blanc does a good job voicing the characters, as always.
- The Mexican scientist, Nero and Speedy Gonzales are the only likable characters in this short. Speedy is at his much more sympathetic personality over here, unlike what happened five years back ago in "Mexican Cat Dance".
- Volus Jones provides some fair animation -- he handles the lion's reaction to the hot pepper and continues to Nero threatening Daffy and Speedy.
- A few mildly amusing gags, such as the scenes with the lion or the "Don't Walk" sign when Nero chases Daffy and Speedy.
- Speedy is kind to Nero at the end, letting the stranded emperor join his band. Alongside that, Daffy gets his comeuppance, as with almost every other Daffy-Speedy short.
- The music from the title card actually sounds very charming, and sounds better than the rest of the cartoon.