Every Bugs Bunny Ever: Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special (1977)

“Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special” is that kind of TV movie you watch when there’s really no other access to the Looney Tunes shorts that are presented here. That’s not to say “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special” is terrible, it’s just in line with a ton of the other Bugs Bunny holiday shorts. It’s about two minutes of original story with the nine shorts all cut, spliced, and redubbed to give what is an illusion of a story. One of the most jarring aspects of these specials is that it’s easy to discern what is the contemporary animated segments’ and what are the classic animated segments. This is made very easy in “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special” as a majority of the animation is pretty terrible.

The difference is almost distracting as a lot of the animation for this special feels rushed and haphazard. For some reason in one modern segment, Bugs’ teeth are drawn distractingly big. The story is basically all over the place with Daffy’s nephew (he has a nephew–?) who refuses to go trick or treating to the old Witch Hazel’s house. Before that, Bugs is caught by the witch who ensnares him in her clutches. Along the way the writers figure out methods to integrate other Looney Tunes characters side bars, flashbacks and dream sequences. Among the shorts re-purposed for this special there’s the okay “A-Haunting We Will Go” from 1966, the silly but fun “Broom-Stick Bunny”  from 1956, the hilarious “Hyde and Hare” from 1955, the mediocre “Hyde and Go Tweet” 1960, and the okay “A Witch’s Tangled Hare” from 1959.

There’s the second re-purposed version of “A Haunting We Will Go” now featuring Speedy Gonzales who is turned in to Witch Hazel’s double so she can go on vacation. The hilarious “Claws for Alarm” from 1954 and “Scaredy Cat” from 1948 are mixed together for a Porky and Sylvester sub-plot, and 1963’s serviceable “Transylvania 6-5000” is redubbed where now Dracula is essentially the Witch but as Dracula (…?). Finally, the special ends on a remixed version of 1954’s “Bewitched Bunny.” Apparently the final line in “Bewitched Bunny” was re-edited since the original line from the original short caused controversy in Canada for being deemed incredibly sexist.

I have to say, I don’t blame them. All things said, Mel Blanc pulls up most of the work voicing everyone in the special save for June Foray and Bea Benaderet, the latter of whom appears thanks to archive footage. All in all, this remixed Looney Tunes special is like a Frankenstein monster. Stitched together, weird, and kind of ugly, but I can see it filling it purpose on Devil’s Night, or Halloween.