Bugs Bunny's Halloween Hijinx
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that very young or sensitive viewers may be unnerved by scenes in which both Bugs and Tweety are turned into hulking monsters. In another segment, Sylvester and Porky spend a night in a haunted house, with Sylvester in a continual state of extreme terror. A cat is carried to his execution by a group of villainous mice. Grade-school kids will enjoy the visual gags, but there are some elements here that parents may find questionable, such as the gender stereotyping and extreme violence. Preteens appreciate the antics of the beloved characters, but observant viewers may notice the jarring mix of animation styles in "Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween." Teen Looney Tunes fans enjoy seeing the more contemporary shorts, but may balk at the re-editing done with the vintage Warner Brothers classics.
What's the story?
BUGS BUNNY'S HALLOWEEN HIJINX combines two Bugs Bunny cartoons in one video: Bugs Bunny's Creature Features and Bungs Bunny's Howl-oween Special. Creature Features is comprised of three cartoons. In "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers," evil carrots from outer space possess Daffy, Elmer Fudd, and Yosemite Sam. "The Duxorcist" finds Daffy running a ghost-busting agency, and he answers the call of a shapely female duck who wants to rid her house of some pesky ghosts. In "Night of the Living Duck," Daffy dreams he's the evening's entertainment at an all-monster nightclub. In Howl-oween Special, Witch Hazel makes trouble for Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Sylvester, Tweety, and Speedy Gonzales. Segments from such classic cartoons as "A-haunting We Will Go," "Broomstick Bunny," "A Witch's Tangled Hare," "Hyde and Hare," and "Hyde and Go Tweet," are utilized to create this newly fabricated story.
Is it any good?
Bugs Bunny's Halloween Hijinx is a mixed bag with a few saving graces. Creature Features consists of three relatively recent shorts, produced in 1987, 1988, and 1992, respectively. "The Duxorcist" and "Living Duck" are notable for being among the last vocal performances by the original Warner Brothers voice man, Mel Blanc. However, only "Bunny Snatchers" successfully recaptures the fast-paced zest of a classic Looney Tune, while offering a sly commentary on the increasing blandification of the Looney Tunes characters as a result of their new corporate symbol status. Bugs has some typically violent encounters with Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy Duck before the three are taken over by carrots from outer space, turning them into sickeningly sweet versions of their former selves. After Bugs foils the influence of the alien carrots, he remarks, "I never realized how lucky I was that so many people wanted to kill me."
Howl-oween is a remnant from an unfortunate period in which Warner Brothers created new animated TV specials by splicing together bits and pieces of vintage cartoon classics, then inserted newly animated scenes in an effort to link the unrelated plots. The resulting hodgepodge not only fails as a self-contained story, but also does a major disservice to the original cartoons that were gutted. To make matters worse, the new scenes are poorly done and glaringly out of place surrounded by material dating from Warners' heyday.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why Bugs enjoyed being turned back into someone who was hated by so many? Why did he prefer that to pretending to be kind? When is it appropriate to be kind and when do you want to be yourself, even if it hurts others?