Animating Halloween: Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special Review

Plot: A series of Halloween themed shorts featuring your favorite Looney Tunes characters.

Breakdown: It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love Looney Tunes. In fact, my sense of humor was probably molded by untold amounts of Looney Tunes shorts. So, naturally, when a Bugs Bunny Halloween special landed on my watch list this for Animating Halloween, I was stoked.

And was then disappointed.

I am so baffled by how disjointed this special is. It’s a collection of shorts centered around spooky-ish stories they’ve done before, particularly ones that involve Witch Hazel, but they don’t properly introduce or end nearly any of the segments. They just fade to black and then start another.

I was so confused about halfway into the special until I looked up exactly what this special was. It’s not just that these are a collection of unrelated shorts, but some of them were created nearly a decade apart from each other. And, here’s the kicker, they seemingly edited it this way on purpose to try to force a narrative since some of the shorts are interwoven to seemingly build on what was there when it didn’t.

When pasted together to make a special, especially when you’re not acknowledging when one short starts and another ends, these shorts create a giant mess. So many of these scenes just…stop. They don’t wrap up the story or even the scene sometimes, they just stop. The first story has Daffy’s nephew getting freaked out by Witch Hazel. Daffy goes to her house to prove him wrong and just vanished until the last third of the movie where he spontaneously shows up in Speedy Gonzales’ segment. Then he runs from Witch Hazel when she says she wants to eat him and she doesn’t give chase, it just ends.

This same ending happened earlier when she tried to eat Bugs. He just ran away and she let him.

Sylvester is basically spying on Bugs interacting with Dr. Jekyl as he keeps transforming into Mr. Hyde, then in the middle he has a dream about Tweety drinking the Mr. Hyde serum and trying to eat him. That was the only short that seemed like it had a legitimate beginning, middle and end, even if it was weird being spliced in with the Bugs stuff that also didn’t really get resolved outside of the Mr. Hyde serum playing a part in a couple other shorts.

Then we had another short that seemed to have a story with Sylvester and Porky visiting a hotel in the middle of a quiet nowhere town and doing the shtick of (character) seeming scary stuff, irritating (other character) when they freak out but, of course, nothing’s there when they look. The short ends with Sylvester running away out of town. The weird thing about this short is that it’s bookended by Bugs and Witch Hazel seemingly just watching all of this happening from a mile away?

Bugs breaks into her house to tell her she sucks at magic, then they both watch out the window. They see Sylvester and Porky drive by and, I guess, Witch Hazel was responsible for the mice doing all of that stuff to Sylvester, and, I guess, this impressed Bugs?

Also, the short ends with Bugs turning Witch Hazel into a girl bunny and they go off to have a date, which is a little weird.

Even though the structure was more broken than a skydiving mirror without a parachute over a mountain range, I did smile at some points…but that was about it. These shorts are definitely not the Looney Tunes’ A-game. I couldn’t even enjoy the animation because it was really subpar in some of the shorts. Also, I know they were reusing clips from various time periods in their series, but it was really distracting that Witch Hazel’s skin kept changing colors from green to white.

Overall, if you love Looney Tunes and have the Wiki guide to the order of the shorts and where they begin and end in hand, this might be a decent watch for Halloween, but I’d just as soon skip it. You’re not missing out on anything, honestly.

Luckily, this isn’t the only Halloween special the Looney Tunes have released, so I could see if Bugs Bunny’s Creature Features holds up better. However, I do believe the adults had their turn this year, so maybe I’ll hold off on that for now. It’s time for Tiny Toons to take their shot.


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