Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special

“Beware! Beware!”

Producer: Hal Geer; Directed by David Detiege, Abe Levitow and Maurice Noble; Story by Cliff Roberts; Music by Harper McKay. A TV special aired on CBS on October 26, 1978.

Halloween is such a fun time of year. You can be as macabre as you want and nobody bats an eye. Having any excuse to eat nothing but chocolate is also a bonus. And unlike other holidays, this one doesn’t have any deeper meaning anymore, and is used solely as a fun excuse. And naturally, there are plenty of cartoon treats on the side.

This special consist of clips from other “spooky” themed Looney Tunes and edited together with some new footage. (Sort of like Frankenstein’s monster.) Even if you aren’t the expert on these shorts, like I am, it’s not hard to tell where edits were made. Voices sounding different and animation not syncing up properly.

We start with a bit of “A-haunting we will go.” Right after Daffy’s nephew warns of the real witch, and his uncle drags him out to prove him wrong, we cut to a snippet of “Broom Stick Bunny.” Hazel still invites Bugs in, but doesn’t explain why she is giving him a tea designed to un-uglify someone. Even more confusing, after Bugs reveals himself to be a rabbit, she still wants him to drink, as she sees “that witch” as a threat. (You’ve lost me. Can a rabbit be a witch? And if the two are combined, will that spell the end of all witches?)

Bugs refuses to drink her tea, saying that he only will drink the kind his doctor makes. So, now we jump to a “Hyde and Hare” clip. While Bugs is chased by Hyde, his screams wake up a sleeping Sylvester, and we next jump to an abridged “Hyde and go Tweet.” After that, Bugs has somehow managed to escape Hyde and samples his formula. Now properly scary, he leaves to try and frighten Hazel. She is immune, turns him back to normal, and that makes him fall asleep. Next up: “A witch’s tangled hare.”

After all that, we finally catch up to Daffy arriving at her place, with most of that short being played. It cuts right after Daffy leaves. (Here’s an omission I never noticed before: when Speedy tries to make Daffy drink, the table is gone. But there is still a chunk of Speedy’s clothes missing that is table shaped.)

After all this, Bugs is still not impressed with Hazel’s attempts at being scary. She decides to show him, by frightening the cat that is accompanying Porky who is coming to stay at her house, since she put up a vacancy sign. (She now lives amongst some other buildings? Magic works fast!) So now, we get a mishmash of “Claws for alarm” and “Scaredy Cat” playing. And despite Hazel saying SHE is going to be the one scaring the cat, he runs off when Porky orders him to get out. (Not to mention, was she doing anything? Were all those mice under her control?)

I guess Bugs is convinced, as he offers to team up with her to frighten people, and proposes a toast. Upon drinking she turns into Count Bloodcount and “Transylvania 6-5000” plays. To be fair, they put in some new dialogue here, with Bugs wondering where the witch went, and Hazel speaking instead of the vampire. (But they don’t explain why Bugs is dressed as an umpire suddenly. Unless you’ve seen the original, you’re going to be confused.)

Once back to her self, she chases Bugs as she has had enough of him. (I do love the face he makes as he runs away from her.) This leads to our last clip from “Bewitched Bunny.” This time, once Hazel is transformed, Bugs doesn’t make a sexist remark, and just notes that no one wants to be alone on Halloween. The two then go to share Hazel’s brew.

This special is kind of a mess. The cartoons don’t always flow together neatly, and will probably confuse anyone over the age of five. I’m sure little kids will love it through and through, but that doesn’t include me. Here’s wishing any of you REAL people who read this, a happy Halloween. (Seriously though people. Stop leaving your spam on my website. You’re just wasting your time.)

Bewitched Bunny

She is a witch, and means to eat you for her supper.

 Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1954
Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, and Ben Washam; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1954

Chuck Jones really enjoyed the Disney character, Witch Hazel (from the 1952 short “Trick or Treat”) and so he would create his own, and this was her first appearance. (Let’s be honest. His has way more personality)

Bugs is reading the story of Hansel and Gretel. Much to his surprise, he finds he’s part of the story and has just come to the part where the witch invites the kids into her gingerbread house. (It doesn’t look like gingerbread, but let’s be fair: it wouldn’t last long) The kids are your stereotypical German kids, and as such they have thick accents and hefty appetites. They accept her offer for more food and follow her inside. This looks like a job for the masked Avenger! (Iron man?) But since he’s not around, Bugs’ll have to do. Inside, the kids are chowing down and are oblivious to the fact they are sitting in a large pan. Hazel (who is not voice by June Foray in this short, but rather Bea Bennederret) is glancing over the various dishes she can make with the kids. (Urchin Pie is a great delicacy, speaking personally) Bugs arrives dressed as a truant officer and finds the kids. (He also realizes what a weird name Hansel is) He warns them of their impending fate. They waste no time believing him and hightail it out of there. (Personally, I’d stick around. This house is cool! Look at that decor! The window curtains are painted on, and there’s a picture of a boat labeled: witchcraft. Genius!) Bugs takes off his disguise as he accomplished his mission. But it might have been better to wait until he was outside as Hazel decides to have rabbit instead. She mounts her broom (that channels the spirit of Charlie Chaplin) but crashes. Good thing she is a witch. Magic works wonder! And she happens to have several sleeping potions on standby. (Did you know that worm sweat residue is one?) She cooks up a brew and fills up a carrot with it. (She has a jar of nice on the shelf. If she only wasn’t out of sugar and spice. She could make girls from scratch.) Bugs catching a whiff of food cooking comes in and delivers my favorite line he has ever said: “I get to lick the po-ot! I get to lick the po-ot!” Hysterical. Hazel shoos him out while she finishes. She then finishes. Bugs sits down to dine while she prepares a bed for him. (Bet you didn’t know that Rabbits sleep in piles of root vegetables) Upon learning the carrot he ate was poisoned, (no it wasn’t. Drugged maybe, but not poisoned) he falls asleep. Hazel goes to get some relish. (You can’t eat rabbit without relish. It’d be like eating urchin pie without gravy.) And then a handsome prince arrives. (Or at least what many girls consider handsome. I’m not gay so I’m not sure.) He awakes Bugs with a kiss. The rabbit is grateful, but points out he should be looking for Snow White. (The prince for the record also realizes what a weird name Hansel is) Hazel resumes the chase and Bugs appears to be trapped. Finding some magic powder that is to only be used in emergencies, he hurls it at her. She turns into a rabbit doe, and the hallway gets a romantic makeover. Bugs immediately falls head over heels for her. As they walk away, Bugs take note of our obviously skeptical faces. He knows it may be a little creepy, but aren’t all women witches inside? (Please note: The views expressed by Mister Bugs Bunny do not accurately reflect the opinions of the author of this blog. Only some women are truly witches and they are easily identified by cackling at things that are not funny. Like their idiot boyfriends. However one thing we all can agree on is this: Hansel is a weird name. Don’t name your sons Hansel unless you wish to have the whole world mock them.)

Transylvania 6-5000

Rest is good for the blood.

 Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ben Frommer, and Julie Bennet; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. Released in 1963
Directed by Chuck Jones; Co-Director: Maurice Noble; Story by John Dunn; Animation by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson; Layouts by Bob Givens; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc, Ben Frommer, and Julie Bennet; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. Released in 1963

A pretty late entry for Bugs, and the last time he’d be directed by Chuck Jones. (In the golden age at least.) Said bunny is burrowing through what he thinks is Pennsylvania. Obviously enough; by the title we can tell he’s on the other side of the world. (Tough luck on his part. Vampire pencils aren’t nearly as dangerous as humanoid ones.) He pops up and asks directions from someone who I think is the most unusual specimen (and that’s saying a lot) of all Looney Tunes. This is Agatha and Emily. (Voiced by Julie Bennet. Who was well known for voicing Cindy Bear)  I’ve read that they are supposed to be a two-headed vulture. Okay. (Vultures have BALD heads, but their necks don’t really lend itself to any other species I can think of. Vultures it is.) They don’t really have much of a point in this short. They don’t even help Bugs, they just go on talking about eating him I think. (They talk like he’s not even in front of them.) Bugs opts to go ask for help at a building he mistakes for an motel. They don’t even follow him. But they’ll be back. (Seriously, why two headed?) It’s really a castle and the sole occupant is one by the name of Count Bloodcount. (Nice name, but a little redundant don’t you think, nice name?) I like how his pupils can travel in between eyes. I bet that’s useful. He welcomes Bugs in. (He’s voiced by Ben Frommer, who you might remember as the Hitchcockian narrator in “The Last Hungry Cat.”) It’s a nice place. Complete with piano from “Super Mario 64” pictures of his relatives, (bats) and even a time when he was a leader of some Ghoul Scouts. (I hear they sell great cookies) Despite Bug’s clearly stating that he just wants a telephone, the Count shepherds him into a room saying he can do that tomorrow. Bugs eventually agrees and tries to get some sleep. But it’s no use, he just can’t fall asleep in an unfamiliar bed. (I’ve been there.) He decides to try some reading. Selecting a book that contains magic spells. He doesn’t notice the vampire just behind him. (Who doesn’t really have teeth, just teeth shaped lips. Just like Hassan. Mr. Jones, what is going on?) Apparently “Abracadabra” is indeed a magic phrase. (Even though Bugs says it as “Abacadabra” Close enough I suppose) The word changes the vampire into his bat form, which Bugs mistakes for a mosquito. (And swats.) The dazed bat flies out of the window to escape, but Bugs tries another phrase: “Hocus Pocus.” This turns him back to normal and he plummets into the moat. Bugs goes for a walk and the Count reveals his true self. Using his new tricks, Bugs turns himself into an umpire. Not wanting to be one-upped (I think that’s the reason) Bloodcount turns into a bat. Bugs does too. A baseball bat. (And he has no qualms about hitting a bat wearing glasses) The count slips under a stone and changes back to human shape. Now he has a weapon to crush Bugs with-Bugs turns him back into a bat and he is crushed. This goes on for a few more times. (At one point, the Count looks angry until he reverts to full height, at which point he just looks dizzy. Repeated crushings can’t be healthy for someone who can’t even be killed that way) Bugs then switches things up and trys out “Abakapocus.” This turns the count into a vampire with a bat’s head. Turning it around and saying “Hocuskadabra” makes him a head with Bat wings. And Newport News, (wait, that’s magical too?) Turns him into Witch Hazel. (Nice cameo. And that counts as an appearance. So she makes my five appearances rule) And it turns out Walla walla is also magical. (That must be a fun place to live.) This turns the count into… a two headed vulture. (what is wrong with one head?) Remember the female one/s? Bugs calls them over and it’s love at first sight. For the girls. The count/s is terrified (and I guess speechless now) and takes off with the lovebird/s in tow. (Ugh. It’s confusing) Bugs meanwhile has finally found a phone. He calls for his travel agent and hums the song “It’s magic” to himself. Only he puts one of those magic phrases into it. And since there’s no one there but him, the magic turns his ears into wings. (Seeing as he’s a mammal, he gets mammal wings. And seeing as how the mammal that can fly is a bat, he gets that model) He’s not bothered though. He tells the operator to cancel his call and flies home instead.

A-Haunting We Will Go

“I told ya, there’s no such thing as a witch.”

Directed by Robert McKimson. Released in 1966

Did you ever want to see what would happe if you crossed “Broomstick-Bunny” with “Duck Amuck” and added Speedy in? The correct answer is: not really. And yet, here we are. And what an appropriate short, given the season. Someone in Bug’s witch costume comes up to Witch Hazel’s door. It turns out to be a young duck who resembles Daffy. When he get’s one look at the witch, he bolts. Back home, he tries to tell his Uncle Daffy that he saw a real witch. Daffy naturally doesn’t believe him, and drags him out to prove him wrong. Hazel (making her last appearance in the golden era, which means it’s the last short June Foray worked on) meanwhile is working on one of her brews. She bemoans the fact that she hasn’t taken a vacation in quite a while, but she is interrupted by Speedy. He wants to borrow some cheese. (Am I the only one who thinks that’s a weird phrase? You can’t borrow food. You eat it.) She refuses, but reasons that if she tinkers with the cheese, she can turn him into her double and then she can go have some fun. She hands him some, and wouldn’t you know it, it works. (Speedy fell for it? Then again, Hazel aways has been rather smart. She did catch Bugs a few times, even if he did get away in the end.) Speedy takes the whole thing rather well and the real witch leaves. Speedy messes with the brew a bit, when Daffy shows up. Speedy invites him in and pours him some brew to drink. Daffy is pretty polite here, as he drinks it desptie disliking the taste. I guess he made his point, (despite the fact his nephew isn’t with him anymore.) As he leaves, he turns into the thing Bug’s painted him into. Hazel meanwhile returns. (Wow. Short trip. Who was keeping her from leaving anyway?) and asks Speedy how it went. Speedy shows off the transforme duck. (Who is still there. I guess he found out what happened and wouldn’t leave until he was fixed up.) Hazel is angry and turns him back into mouse saying that’s all he’s good at. (Speedy seems a lot happier.) She then turns Daffy back, and declares it’s been a while since she had duck. Daffy flees, but she scoops him up with her broom. He jumps and somehow has a parachute, but the witch turns it into an anvil and he plummets. But she doesn’t look where she’s going and crashes. On the ground, Daffy’s nephew finds him and asks if the woman was a witch. Whether he just won’t admit he was right or he doesn’t want the kid scared, Daffy denies it and they head home. As they walk, Daffy turns back into his flower-headed, four-legged form.

Fifty years of Bugs Bunny in 3 1/2 minutes

“The King! Your Majesty!”

This… is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in my life. If not the greatest, then probably the ninth. A 50 year tribute to the world’s most popular toon in such a compact time limit? It’s everybodies life mission to see it at least once. And since I was able to find both the American and Austrailian versions, you can enjoy both at any time! Since I have seen every Bugs Bunny short, I am going to list all that are here. (If I screwed up, please feel free to correct me. It’s the only way I’ll learn.)

“Rabbit Hood”, “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit”, “The Old Gray Hare”, “A Wild Hare”, “Rabbit Of Seville”, “Rabbit Rampage”, “Rabbit Seasoning”, “Rabbit Fire”, “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!”, “Person to Bunny”, “Rabbitson Crusoe”, “Wild And Woolly Hare”, “Big House Bunny”, “Mississippi Hare”, “Operation: Rabbit”, “Compressed Hare”, “Rabbit’s Feat”, “Bowery Bugs”, “Hare Splitter”, “Hare-Breadth Hurry”, “Sahara Hare”, “Long-Haired Hare”, “A Witch’s Tangled Hare”, “Foxy By Proxy”, “Barbary Coast Bunny”, “Big Top Bunny”, “Apes of Wrath”, “Homeless Hare”, “Haredevil Hare”, “Rabbit Punch”, “Hair-raising Hare”, “Bill of Hare”, “The Fair-Haired Hare”, “Bunny Hugged”, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again”, “The Bugs Bunny Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?”, “8-Ball Bunny”, “What’s Opera, Doc?”, “Bully For Bugs”, “Bunker Hill Bunny”, “Roman Leigon-Hare”, “Knights Must Fall”, “Knight-Mare Hare”, “Rebel Rabbit”, “Bedeviled Rabbit”, “Horse Hare”, “Lighter Than Hare”, “A-Lad-In His Lamp”, “Lumber Jack-Rabbit”, “14 Carrot Rabbit”, “The Million Hare”, “Which is Witch”, “Hot Cross Bunny”, “High Diving Hare”, “Captain Hareblower”, “Hare Trigger”, “Racketeer Rabbit”, “Acrobatty Bunny”, “The Heckling Hare”, “Bewithced Bunny”, “From Hare To Heir”, “Mad As A Mars Hare”, “The Grey Hounded Hare”, “Hare Do”, and in the Aussie’s case, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. All set to “The Barber of Seville” and “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2” Which is the superior version? I can’t choose. Tell me what you think.

Hopefully you’re not too worn out of Bugs shorts. We’ll switch it up again next week. 


The Bugs Bunny Show

“On with the show, this is it!”

During the sixties looney tunes was on its last legs. Also during this time looney tunes got a tv show. The premise is bugs showing us cartoons with various bridge sequences, such as bugs feeding taz carrots or slowpoke coming to visit speedy. The show was black and white which may have been odd, since all the shorts in the theaters were color, but that was a small price to pay for a masterpiece. Now for the bad news. This show is gone and i can not find any full episodes. If you ever have seen, or have any somehow, you are quite lucky.

Broom Stick Bunny

“Magic mirror on the wall, who is the ugliest one of all?”

Halloween night and our lovely witch hazel is preparing a brew. (i’ve always wondered why witches always do that.) One thing she prides herself on is being ugly and she has a genies head in a mirror who can tell who is the ugliest. Enter bugs who is trick or treating as a witch. When he comes to her door, she finds that he is uglier than her. She plans to make the witch pretty by drinking a special tea. Bugs takes off his mask and she realizes that a rabbit’s clavicle is the final ingriedient for her brew. The chase is on and she catches her prize. She’s about to do him in when, bugs gives the bambi eyes. Reminding her of her late tarantula she burts into tears. Bugs gives her a cup of tea to calm down, and poof! She turns into june foray. (caricature of her voice actress) She runs to her mirror to see who is the ugliest. Instead of answering her however, the genie chases after the now sexy witch.

Space Jam

“You guys are nuts” “Correction, we’re looney tunes”

I love this movie, but then again i am a looneytunes fanboy. It’s sad most of the world seems to hate it. I think that is bull crap. This is a masterpiece if ever there was one. At least it did great at the box office. The history is that people made commercials with bugs and michael advertising basketball shoes. So they figures making a movie was a good idea. I think it was. Our plot is that a theme park in outerspace, (it is not specified which planet, i think the whole park is its own planet) sucks. (How can people say that? Didn’t you ever want to ride an astro orbiter wannabe that shoots at you. Oh yeah, me neither) The owner decides they need new attractions and figures that the looney tunes are just the thing. I’d come. However bugs tricks them into thinking they need to give the toons a chance to defend themselves. Since the aliens are short and have tiny limbs, basketball seems like a shoe in. However the aliens have the ability to steal the ability from five NBA players. Luckily jordan retired at this time. So they don’t nab him. The toons get him for their side and we get the greatest game in all history! This also introduced us to lola. She did not have much of a personality in this movie, save for being attracted to bugs. Obviously she was popular though as she appeared in baby looney tunes, tweety’s high flying adventure, and the looney tunes show. Bottom line if you hate this you have no taste and at the very least you have to watch it once. (There must be more who love this i know it) Tune in next time where i name all the looneytunes who appear in it as well as some interesting facts. woo hoo hoo hoo woo hoo!