Tiny Toons’ Night Ghoulery (1995)


One of the many aspects of Warner animation from the nineties is their ability to recall classic television and cinema, while also entertaining their target audience. How can you not love a Tiny Toons Halloween special that includes references to Rod Serling, Abbot and Costello, and “Duel”? “Night Ghoulery” is thankfully about as funny as the “Tiny Toons” has ever been, and when they were on, they could really inspire some raucous laughter. Their brand of wacky and clever comedy set them apart from their Looney Tunes predecessors, allowing them to form their own niche, and it was successful to say the least. “Night Ghoulery” is an anthology of tales involving the Tiny Toons with narration by Babs Bunny, who takes on the visage of Rod Serling. Spoofing “Night Gallery,” the one hour special gives us a ton of really funny gags and in jokes that (even if kids don’t understand them) are still hysterical.

Plucky and Hamton lead the special with “The Tell Tale Vaccuum,” a spin on the classic short story, where Plucky destroys Hamton’s beloved vacuum. Soon the guilt of the crime overtakes him, driving him mad. “Sneezer the Sneezing Ghost” stars the hilarious sneezing mouse as Furrball sets out to catch his ghost, due to demands by the dreaded Witch Hazel. “The Devil Dog on the Moors” is a fun short segment involving Babs who is confronted by an evil cult that demands she wear horns to protect herself from a vicious hound of the moors. The finale which sports two surprise twists is memorable, thanks to Tress MacNeille’s ace voice acting. “Fuel” is a short but sweet spoof of Steven Spielberg’s “Duel.” Running afoul a mysterious truck on the road, Calamity Coyote finds a truck stalking him, and soon discovers it’s impossible to evade being run over by it.

It’s a hilarious exaggeration of the movie that gives Calamity and Little Beeper a chance to be funny. No small feat considering I often found them a lame aspect of the series. “Daniel Webfoot and the Devil” is abrupt but still funny, featuring Plucky as Daniel Webfoot who goes to Montana Max’s house to save his soul from Satan. Things don’t go as planned because, who can outwit Satan? “Hold that Duck” is a great spoof of Abbot and Costello featuring Bugs and Plucky in the titular roles, heading out to a mysterious mansion Plucky has inherited. Things go awry as Plucky is driven crazy by the spooks and ghosts in the house, and it ends on a funny final scene.

“Night of the Living Dull” is a short but funny look at Gogo Dodo and his Wackyland pals evading boring door to door salesmen and rabid animation fanboys at every turn. “Frankenmyra and Dizzygor” is an okay spoof of “Frankenstein” with Elmyra the mad scientist building a twisted monster. Along with the dreaded cameo of Brain from Pinky and the Brain, foreshadowing the inevitable spin off between the characters, this is fairly forgettable. Finally, “The Night Ghoulery” goes whole hog “The Twilight Zone” with “A Gremlin on the Wing,” where the classic Looney Tunes gremlin begins tearing apart the plane Plucky is riding home. It’s a hilarious satire of the classic episode of the Rod Serling series, ending in yet another goofy surprise ending. It’s a shame FOX Kids didn’t give this special enough respect, airing it in its original intended date on Halloween 1994. That doesn’t detract from the entertainment value, thankfully.