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A Looney Tunes Halloween special mostly edited from famous horror-themed Looney Tunes shorts. While trick-or-treating, Bugs Bunny, masked as a witch, unwittingly visits Witch Hazel's home - and she hates competition. The story also flashbacks to Bugs' encounter with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Tweety and Sylvester's famous horror short. Daffy also visits Hazel's home with the intention of proving to his young impressionable kid that there's no such thing a as witch. Later, Speedy Gonzales too has fun with Hazel and Porky Pig and Sylvester also arrive, mistaking her place for a haunted hotel. Eventually, in an attempt to fool and capture the rabbit, Hazel turns into Count Dracula and invites Bugs to spend the night in the Count's haunted castle.
Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes, Hanna and Barbera and Tom and Jerry, and still love it whether it's film, television or cartoons. Actually appreciate it even more now through young adult eyes, thanks to broader knowledge and taste and more interest in animation styles and various studios and directors.
Instead of featuring the work of just one director (Chuck Jones primarily in the 80s shorts and specials), there is a much more varied selection here, with cartoons also from Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson, all responsible for some great work in their careers. Bugs Bunny is one of my favourite characters in animation and ever and Mel Blanc was one of the greatest voice actors ever.
'Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special' sadly is really not a good representation of any of them and in no way does them justice. As far as the later 70s-80s Looney Tunes specials go, it's easily one of the weakest and doesn't do anywhere near enough with its theme.
What keeps 'Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special' from being a complete waste of time is the classic cartoons. Almost all the ones featured are very good to great, the exception being the lame 'A-Haunting We Will Do', am generally not a fan of the Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales cartoons and that is one of the worst.
In the classic cartoons, the animation is bright and colourful with beautifully detailed backgrounds and fluid character designs and drawing. The music is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, not only adding a lot to the action but also enhancing it.
The dialogue is witty and the gags crisply timed and often hilarious. The characters are very well used, especially Bugs and Sylvester. Mel Blanc's vocal contributions are of bravura quality, bringing an unmatched ability of voicing multiple characters and making them all different, for me he has always been a huge part of what makes Looney Tunes so great.
For all those qualities in the classic cartoons, it is unfortunate that the same cannot be said for the new/additional content, which in quality is the complete opposite. Also did find that the classic cartoons could have been better used, with them being too short, having transitions that are less than smooth and they begin and end in a way that feels odd and disjointed.
Animation quality is significantly inferior, being flatter, choppier, cruder and with little refinement. The story is paper thin and sense is not a strong suit while the music is not as characterful or appealing. Even Blanc sounds off voicing the new material, almost like somebody else was doing it.
Mostly the Looney Tunes characters are not used well, either being underused or with little reason for being there. The main problem is that the material is not funny or inspired, it treads very familiar ground with no freshness and it all feels tired and strained with no wit or imagination.
Overall, a disappointment. Pretty much for the classic cartoons only. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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