The 1960s
and Beyond....


KEY

How to read the guide

Film's Title (Year of Release)Director (see below)

Short synopsis (or is that "short's synopsis?")

Cast (click here to learn about our new ongoing project, The Mel Blanc List)

Critique

Video Release of the Cartoon (Video Studio, Video's Year of Release)

Director Key

FF - Friz Freleng / CJ - Chuck Jones / RM - Robert McKimson
Directors not listed above are those who had directed three or less Bugs cartoons and will be credited in their respective shorts' synopses

Video titles in red are out of print. Titles in black or presented as entire ordering links are still in print. Links will go to the releases' respective product pages on Amazon. Since most out-of-print titles are offered either new or used by Amazon's individual sellers, order links are provided for most (just click on the video's release information). We also recommend eBay for your out-of-print needs. When you shop online for older videos, do take caution and know exactly what you are buying, as many sellers usually aren't sure what they're selling!

All releases listed here are in the NTSC color format, the North American standard. All titles are VHS unless noted.

Jump to the guide
or select a specific short....

Horse Hare - Person to Bunny - Rabbit's Feat - From Hare to Heir - Lighter Than Hare
The Abominable Snow-Rabbit - Compressed Hare - Prince Violent - Wet Hare - Bill of Hare
Shishkabugs - Devil's Feud Cake - The Million Hare - Hare-Breadth Hurry - The Unmentionables
Mad as a Mars Hare - Transylvania 6-5000 - Dumb Patrol - Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare - The Iceman Ducketh
False Hare - Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol - Fright Before Christmas - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny - Spaced out Bunny
Box Office Bunny - Blooper Bunny! - Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers - Carrotblanca - From Hare to Eternity
Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas - Daffy Duck for President


An ad appearing in the Bradford County Telegraph in Starke, FL on June 29, 1961.
Horse Hare (1960)FF

Bugs is left alone to defend the cavalry's fort from an Indian invasion, which just happens to be led by Renegade (Yosemite) Sam.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Fort Lariat Captain, Geronimo, Indian Chief, Sam's Mule

Critique
Well-paced but extremely derivative short that mixes the "historical Yosemite Sam getting into a stronghold" trope with a rehash of Freleng's earlier Tom Tom Tomcat (but without that film's joyful lunacy). Despite having Mike Maltese on board as writer, it just feels like an afterthought to the "Indian attack" genre of cartoons that were all the rage two decades ago with the likes of The Hardship of Miles Standish and Scalp Trouble/Slightly Daffy (surprised we weren't treated to the "Yanks beat Indians" gag). So little originality is present that there's even a reuse of the misplaced-cause-and-effect bullet scene from His Bitter Half. Mel Blanc still turns in a solid performance (particularly as Sam) and Bugs's closing "I love everybody" line is a charming throwaway, but it's not enough to save this ordeal.

An ad appearing in the Bradford County Telegraph in Starke, FL on July 27, 1961.
Person to Bunny (1960)FF

Cedric R. Burrows interviews Bugs from his rabbit hole, but Daffy and Elmer interrupt. Arthur Q. Bryan's final appearance as Elmer Fudd.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck
Arthur Q. Bryan: Elmer Fudd
Daws Butler: Cedric R. Burrows

Critique
A sort of watered down version of This Is a Life?, lacking the energy or comedic punch of the former. The grand lead-up to Bugs's hole is a cute reveal, recalling a similar scene back in A Hare Grows in Manhattan. Daffy's jealousy is kept more or less in check this time out, as he really just wants to be on television, resulting in one of the more sympathetic portrayals of the duck in a while. The whole second half is just recycled footage and ideas, from Daffy's "Jeepers Creepers" tap-dance from Show Biz Bugs to the moldy All This and Rabbit Stew log gag, though the ending with Daffy's sudden stage fright is a charming surprise. This also serves as a bittersweet farewell to Arthur Q. Bryan, who passed away just ten months after recording his Elmer dialogue (and was already gone by the time the cartoon hit theaters). Unfortunately, it's not much of a performance; just a few rather generic lines in an uncomfortably raspy voice. Hal Smith would take over the role for two underwhelming cartoons and TV commercials, followed by a rather eerie silent appearance in Crows' Feat, but for all intents and purposes that was it. A sad send-off for such a viable major character.

A Night at the Movies 1960: Ocean's 11 (WHV, 1982)
Stars of Space Jam: Daffy Duck (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam boxed set (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1997)

An ad appearing in the Niagara Falls Gazette in Niagara Falls, NY on June 30, 1961.
Rabbit's Feat (1960)CJ

Wile E. Coyote lures a rather zany Bugs with a picnic set-up, then goes after him with a rifle and grenade. At one point Wile E. even collaborates with Bugs on a scheme to trap him.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote

Critique
Chuck Jones and a (presumably) uncredited Mike Maltese offer an interesting characterization of Bugs, attempting to make him as freewheeling as he was back in the 1940s. The touches are mostly on the surface--Bugs sleeping in a baby's crib or having him scream randomly to scare Wile E.--resulting in a Bugs that's not really anarchistic as he is just zany. It's a novel approach this one time, the pseudo-intellectual versus the knowing goofball, but it would have gotten old fast if the entire series turned into this, as Bugs doesn't so much outsmart Wile E. as he just keeps perplexing him. The gags for the most part work despite the general "battle of wits" concept being stripped away; it really could have been any adversary hunting Bugs, as Wile E. doesn't rely on his supposed genius as he does simply aiming shotguns and grenades at the rabbit. The cartoon is at its funniest when it's less manic and more subtle: Wile E. confiding in Bugs as he plots is a prime example. On the other end of the spectrum, Bugs's "Daddy, you're back from Peru! Oh Papa, we thought you were run over by an elevator!" is an insanely weird non-sequitur that on its own would be just a silly throwaway line, but then the idea gets drawn out for the rest of the scene--an odd belaboring trait Jones would start using more and more at Warner Bros. and then especially at MGM. His work sadly starts teetering dangerously between being too cute and too clever, but thankfully here he's kept it relatively in check.

The Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: The Scrapes of Wrath (WHV, 1992)

An ad appearing in The Cherokeean in Rusk, TX on February 23, 1961.
From Hare to Heir (1960)FF

Sam, Duke of Yosemite (guess who), is broke. Bugs shows up to declare that Sam will receive one million pounds in legal tender, but only if he can keep his temper. Bugs decides to test him.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Bookkeeper

Critique
A sort of rethinking of The Wabbit Who Came to Supper, where a monetary threat hangs over an antagonist's impulses like an albatross. Bugs's role here is less menacing than it was in the older film; he seems to be testing Sam but is unaware of how malicious it's coming across--which makes his astonished "Well!" reactions to Sam's outbursts such fun little moments. Sam's angry responses to everything has never been more hysterical, with Friz Freleng parodying the idea of a rageaholic even before the condition became widely known. His Tourette-like reactions as he falls victims to his own traps are priceless, offering every faux-profanity under the sun to the point where they almost serve as a musical accompaniment to the visual gags. But ironically (or maybe fittingly), Mel Blanc is funnier as Sam as he tries to put on a phony "pleasant" voice, shifting back and forth from gruff anger to almost smarmy smoothness. It's also a true testament to his skills as an actor; whereas it would have been quite easy for someone else to just use a stock "nice" voice for Sam in a Jekyll and Hyde sort of way, Blanc concocts a sedated version with all these mild inflections that's still authentic to the character--you're convinced that's exactly how Sam would sound if he wasn't a loud villain. The final scene with a "reformed" Sam offers some well-choreographed Freleng slapstick as the duke subjects himself to a parade of abuse from his staff--punctuated with the only logical conclusion to the situation, leading one to wonder if Bugs knew what he was doing all along.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

An ad appearing in The Terre Haute Tribune in Terre Haute, IN on March 19, 1961.
Lighter Than Hare (1960)FF

Earth is being invaded by Yosemite Sam of Outer Space, who uses his squad of robots to find an earth creature to kidnap. Bugs's line about the Amos and Andy radio show is sometimes cut from television.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, ZX29B, Robot Ferret, High and Mighty Potentate

Critique
Underrated gem that by all rights shouldn't work but does. The genius behind it is Friz Freleng's commitment to the premise--no winks, no nods, no inside jokes about acting jobs on this screwball picture--just accept that a white guy from Texas is an alien leading robots to invade the planet (the only fault is they didn't have the temerity to also include Sam's bandit mask). The comic timing of the gags cover familiar ground and don't try to reinvent the wheel--you have the explosion going off as a final bolt is being loosened, a character defying another's suggestion and then regretting it, etc.--but they still pack their respective punches. Milt Franklyn provides an eerie sci-fi score that's a refreshing change of pace for a Freleng cartoon, showing that the composer was still full of surprises right to the end. Sam is a delight as an over-the-top alien warrior, with the self-identifying scream of his own name before blasting off being a particular highlight. It would have been really easy (and lazy) to play Bugs off as oblivious to the invasion around him, but Freleng instead wisely makes him aware of the threat and has him fight back, with wits going against alien technology. The wabbit still had some action left in him despite the budgets getting smaller and smaller.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

An ad appearing in the Anderson Herald in Anderson, IN on February 20, 1962.
The Abominable Snow-Rabbit (1961)CJ

Bugs and Daffy are burrowing to Palm Springs, but they end up in the Himalayas, where they meet a huge abominable snowman (Hugo), who is looking for a cute little rabbit to love.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Hugo

Critique
Enjoyable Chuck Jones picture in the vein of his earlier Bugs-and-Daffy-travel cartoon, Ali Baba Bunny, while the pair's back-and-forth about who is and isn't a rabbit momentarily recalls the arguments from the "wabbit season trilogy." Daffy more or less steals the show with his reactions to being manhandled by Hugo, helped in large part by Mel Blanc's hysterical performance of such lines as the unbelievably reserved "You're hurting me. Put me down, please." Daffy gets in another choice one-liner later with "I'm not like other people. I can't stand pain. It hurts me," which is perhaps one of the wittiest things ever said in a Warner Bros. cartoon but would unfortunately also help cement the characterization of Daffy as a self-serving philosophical coward that Jones would later romanticize in writings and interviews. Hugo is a fun malice-free "villain" and the last of the Of Mice and Men Lenny archetypes that the studio had enjoyed using for decades. Master layout artist Maurice Noble starts receiving credit on Jones's cartoons as co-director, in part because Jones was busy co-producing The Bugs Bunny Show but also because as budgets and resources dwindled the visual design was becoming a more and more important factor in the success of the shorts. Speaking of longtime crew members, Abominable... marks the final story Tedd Pierce would supply for Chuck Jones, ending an off-and-on collaboration that lasted twenty-three years. It's also something of a last hurrah for Pierce at the studio--his name would appear on only a couple more unimpressive cartoons for the other units (including a very dubious credit on the Hippety Hopper cheater Freudy Cat) before leaving to work as a freelance writer to little success.

Looney Tunes After Dark (WHV Laserdisc, 1993)
Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)
Bugs Bunny: Big Top Bunny (WHV, 1999)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection 5 (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

An ad appearing in The Escanaba Daily Press in Escanaba, MI on November 27, 1962.
Compressed Hare (1961)CJ

Bugs's new neighbor calls to ask for a cup of carrots for a stew, but when Bugs arrives at the house of one "Wile E. Coyote, Genius," he realizes that carrots are not the real intended ingredient. Bugs escapes to his hole, while Wile E. sets up his super-powerful electron magnet.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote

Critique
Chuck Jones goes back to basics with the Bugs/Wile E. series, harkening back to the premise of Operation: Rabbit and avoiding the rampant goofiness of Rabbit's Feat. The gags more or less work, helped in large part by Wile E. constantly being marvelled at the ways Bugs is outsmarting him. One can start to see Jones beginning to overdirect minutia here and there--elements and body parts start to unnecessarily shake and wiggle in response to things--but thankfully it hasn't yet reached the distracting levels it would throughout his MGM work. Despite this, the director is still a master at reactions when appropriate: Bugs's eyebrow raise as he reads Wile E.'s "genius" mailbox and later his impressed shrug as the coyote's magnet drags an ocean liner are two significant examples. This is the first Bugs cartoon written by former Disney and UPA gagman Dave Detiege, and one of the better ones he would pen at Warner Bros. Though it has some decent wordplay ("Are you in, genius?") and the occasional choice one-liner (most notably Wile E.'s angrily prissy "Now look here, me bucko!"), sadly it doesn't seem as if Detiege brings anything particularly unique to the writers' table; the script plays out not unlike some of the more-average Mike Maltese stories of the previous decade. Things will only get more inconsistent with the arrival of John Dunn within the year.

Looney Tunes the Collector's Edition: Wabbit Tales (WHV/Columbia House, 2001)

An ad appearing in The Maryville Daily Forum in Maryville, MO on March 24, 1962.
Prince Violent (1961)FF

The ruthless viking (Yosemite) Sam the Terrible and his elephant try to storm a castle, but Bugs keeps them at bay. Referred to as Prince Varmint in The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour's uniformed titles in 1978. Warner Bros. went a step further in 1992 and created a brand new, complete opening sequence with the new title.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Villagers, Castle Guard, Elephant

Critique
Weak attempt to replicate the style of the far superior Knighty Knight Bugs but without the substance. Sam has an interestingly manic introduction as he growls and stabs his way toward the castle, but the cartoon soon falls back on the "Sam trying to get into a building/stronghold/fortress" formula that's been done to death; thankfully this is the final cartoon using that premise. Bugs has little to do but watch the action from the castle, in most cases letting the villain do all the work. The gags are pretty basic for a Freleng cartoon at this point--you have the "bricks sticking out from an impact" bit, the "character struggling to breathe underwater" bit, etc. Another case of the history of the short being more interesting than the cartoon itself.

An ad appearing in the Deadwood Pioneer-Times in Deadwood, SD on April 23, 1962.
Wet Hare (1962)RM

Bugs's waterfall showering is interrupted when Blacque Jacque Shellacque dams the river. Features the final time Bugs would say "Of course you know, this means war" in a theatrical cartoon.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Blacque Jacque Shellacque

Critique
Frustratingly average Robert McKimson cartoon, with Bugs at his do-gooder blandest. Blacque Jacque Shellacque's characterization is a little more effective here than it was back in Bonanza Bunny, where he was portrayed more as a carbon copy of Yosemite Sam. The gags are tolerable, but the entire short suffers from a definite lack of energy. The repeated setting up of the premise at the start of each scene--with Bugs's water continually going off mid-shower--quickly gets tiresome, and the "fake out" gag it leads up to isn't much of a payoff. Perhaps the biggest highlight is Bugs's opening faux-dramatic panic attack, allowing Mel Blanc an increasingly rare opportunity for some character acting in a McKimson cartoon (especially in this era)--it's only a shame that shrinking budgets and a typically rudderless crew can't provide expressive enough animation to go along with it.

An ad appearing in The Newberry Observer in Newberry, SC on March 6, 1964.
Bill of Hare (1962)RM

The Tasmanian Devil escapes from a steamship and goes after Bugs, who is trying his hand at cooking. Bugs convinces Taz that they should go moose hunting, yet the moose's cave looks suspiciously like a train tunnel.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Tasmanian Devil, Snodgrass Expedition Captain, Shark

Critique
"Conventions sure ain't what they used to be," Bugs comments in a completely contextless non sequitur, and Taz cartoons sure ain't what they used to be, either. Though his introduction is nicely staged, the devil doesn't chase Bugs so much as he just shows up wherever Bugs already happens to be standing, resulting in a much slower pace than the previous two entries in the series. Bugs's actions toward Taz, meanwhile, don't play so much on the villain's endless hunger as they do just as generic absurd cooking gags, including a fun moment where Taz thinks he's turning a spit but he's really cranking up a car--fairly well-executed, but hardly necessary to have even used Taz. The dynamite-stick shish kabob gag is essentially a repeat of the iconic "wild turkey surprise" bit from Bedevilled Rabbit but without the charm or delight of Mel Blanc's singing performance (though Taz somberly eating Bugs's violin does earn a chuckle). This also marks the first Bugs cartoon written by former Disney storyman John Dunn, who would soon find himself in the unenviable position of having to write all of the cartoons for all three units. Bill of Hare is pretty representative of what Dunn would offer to the studio: some good ideas paired with a lot of tiring filler.

Stars of Space Jam: Tasmanian Devil (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam boxed set (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1997)
Looney Tunes the Collector's Edition: Daffy Doodles (WHV/Columbia House, 1999)
Taz's Jungle Jams (WHV, 2000)

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV DVD, 2012)

An ad appearing in The Escanaba Daily Press in Escanaba, MI on February 12, 1964.
Shishkabugs (1962)FF

Yosemite Sam is the royal cook for the King (another Charles Laughton-like ruler), who is sick of the various foods Sam prepares and instead wants hasenpfeffer. Sam is still looking up exactly what hasenpfeffer is when Bugs knocks on the door to ask for a cup of diced carrots.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, King

Critique
Sort of a rethinking of Freleng's own Slick Hare without any of the spirit, action, or comedy. The rehashed idea could have still made for an innocuous romp, but the whole thing gets bogged down by an incredibly boring set-up, mostly consisting of Sam complaining about cooking for the king. By the time Bugs starts actually pranking Sam and the king, the cartoon is already two-thirds over. The whole short just suffers from listless pacing and unremarkable dialogue (including a painfully bad final pun), although there are some cute moments where Sam mispronounces the names of such culinary items as au jus and Worcestershire sauce. Mel Blanc recorded his dialogue while still in a body cast following his near-fatal January 1961 car crash. Despite his best efforts, this unfortunately results in the characters' voices coming off as stuffy and unenergetic, soundtrack qualities that are not helped at all by new musical director Bill Lava's harsh, random orchestra stings. Disappointing cartoon to sit through.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

An ad appearing in The Canberra Times in Canberra, ACT on July 24, 1968.
Devil's Feud Cake (1963)FF

In redubbed footage from Hare Lift, bankrobber Yosemite Sam hijacks a plane with inexperienced "pilot" Bugs inside. When Sam bails out and realizes that he doesn't have a parachute, he falls and dies. The devil makes a deal with Sam, promising to send him back to Earth if he can bring Bugs back in exchange. Sam's attempts are taken from Roman Legion-Hare and Sahara Hare. Spliced from an episode of The Bugs Bunny Show.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, The Devil

Critique
Great premise for a cheater, but horrid execution. This is actually a cheater of a cheater, as most of the "new" footage was taken from the "Satan's Waitin'" episode of The Bugs Bunny Show, with the only brand new bits of animation more or less being those blending Hare Lift into the story (in the original TV episode, the initial cartoon was Hare Trimmed). The editing of the older material is haphazard at best: Hare Lift is cut to ribbons, while the clips from Roman Legion-Hare and Sahara Hare aren't exactly the most memorable scenes from those two films. Mel Blanc adds some oily slyness to his performance as Satan, but it's lost in the sea of weakly redubbed dialogue that surrounds it--while Bill Lava's intrusive music (especially during the Hare Lift montage) is more depressing and sinister than anything the Prince of Darkness could concoct. Warren Foster's writing credit seems highly suspect and is likely more honorary (or contractual) to acknowledge his work on the original cartoons featured. The final, classic punchline unfortunately cannot save this erratically paced trainwreck. (Ironically, when Freleng would attempt this exact same idea a third time for The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie he would go to the other extreme and pad out the story to the point where the sequence runs longer than the original Bugs Bunny Show episode.)

An ad appearing in The Ottawa Herald in Ottawa, KS on August 13, 1964.
The Million Hare (1963)RM

Daffy is in Bugs's rabbit hole watching the game show Beat Your Buddy, where they announce that Bugs and Daffy must race to the television studio for a prize of one million bucks.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Beat Your Buddy Host

Critique
Robert McKimson's second and final face-off between Bugs and Daffy is slightly more tolerable and original than his previous People Are Bunny, and it's one of the more watchable McKimson shorts from this oddball era in the studio's history--but all that's still not saying much. It's still essentially a competition-race cartoon with typical traps and pratfalls, and the game-show trappings don't really add much to it--and of course, the major flaw in the short's premise is that the Beat Your Buddy game show makes two friends square off for a prize (not that crazy of an idea now in the days of reality TV), but almost all of the action between Bugs and Daffy takes place away from any television cameras, so what exactly is being broadcast? The pun surrounding the cartoon's final gag is a bit lame, but it gets saved by the subsequent (and more or less expected) twist and Daffy's resulting humiliation. Perhaps the funniest moments come not from the slapstick but rather from Bugs's quasi-meta jokes as Daffy falls victim to them, such as pondering while the duck plummets to the ground, "I wonder if Daffy will remember that he can fly."

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)
Looney Tunes the Collector's Edition: Cartoon Superstars (WHV/Columbia House, 2001)

An ad appearing in The Massena Observer in Massena, NY on May 30, 1963.
Hare-Breadth Hurry (1963)CJ

Bugs is filling in for the Road Runner, but he doesn't necessarily follow the rules of a Road Runner cartoon, much to the dismay of Wile E. Coyote (who is, as he usually is in Road Runner cartoons, silent against Bugs this time).

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny
Paul Julian: Bugs Bunny (imitating Road Runner)

Critique
Novel idea to mash-up two unrelated cartoon series but sadly with awkward, almost pretentious, results. Unless one really wasn't paying attention, the opening titles ruin the "surprise" reveal of the beeping speed cloud belonging to Bugs rather than the Road Runner, and it's all downhill from there. Bugs addressing the camera starts feeling like one of the talkier lectures from a Bugs Bunny Show bridging sequence--there's far too much explanation of the set-up, which kinda spoils Bugs's later Greek-chorus-style riffing throughout the rest of the short (which also means the sharpest line of dialogue gets buried: "You know, it's amazing the trouble this joker goes through to get a square meal."). Yet, for all of Bugs's rambling, he's mostly silent when actually confronting Wile E. Coyote, so the styles of the two cartoons don't mesh as well as they should. The chase and trap gags are decent and (with minor tweaking) would fit in a normal Road Runner cartoon, but there's a faint air of self-awareness that sours every scene. It's hard to satirize a series that itself started as a satire without it coming off like winking self-parody. Disappointing and strange.

An ad appearing in the Alton Evening Telegraph in Alton, IL on May 5, 1965.
The Unmentionables (1963)FF

In this parody of The Untouchables, Bugs is Special Agent Elegant Mess, who is recruited to go after gangster Rocky. Bugs leads Rocky and Mugsy on a chase to the Acme Cereal Company. Friz Freleng's final theatrical Bugs cartoon.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Rocky, Mugsy, Gunned-Down Gangster, Treasury Department Director
Ralph James: Narrator
Julie Bennett: Operator

Critique
Surprisingly funny and fast-paced cartoon for the era, proving that the Warner studio could still turn out an enjoyable film this late in the game if given a strong enough concept. The opening prologue offers a fun spoof of common gangster tropes, including a take on the standard "shoot-out waiting at a traffic light" gag. The Untouchables parody doesn't really offer much apart from mere window dressing, but Ralph James's narration is a nice addition to what would have otherwise been a typical Bugs-versus-Rocky cartoon. The lineup of Rocky's cronies is a fun couple of throwaway gags, maybe not as insanely madcap as the Dick Tracy-like reveals in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery but still good for a chuckle. Sadly, this marks Friz Freleng's final Warner Bros. cartoon with any sort of spirit or creativity. In fact, his name would appear on only one more Warner short before production moved over to his own Depatie-Freleng studio, where he would turn in a few unimpressive Speedy Gonzales outings before handing the director reins to Robert McKimson. It was clear that the winds were pushing his sail into other directions, but at least he delivered one final, funny Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

An ad appearing in the Freeport Journal-Standard in Freeport, IL on September 11, 1964.
Mad as a Mars Hare (1963)CJ

Astro Rabbit Bugs Bunny is rocketed to Mars (which Bugs blames on his inexplicable love of carrots), crashing through Marvin the Martian's telescope. Angered, Marvin decides to propel Bugs forward into time to become a slave, but it doesn't exactly work out that way.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Mission Control

Critique
Tedious cartoon, plagued with long-winded dialogue and joyless animation (you have a character without a mouth to move and corners are still being cut in movement!). After the action-packed fun of the likes of Haredevil Hare and Duck Dodgers..., a sci-fi cartoon with Marvin the Martian shouldn't be this boring. His opening "man is an insect" joke is funny at first in a science-fictiony "Earth is insignificant" way, but it quickly gets belabored to the point of pretentiousness. Bugs's own soliloquy about carrots, meanwhile, grinds things to a halt, and by the time he's done rambling the short is literally half over. There's not much left to review, as Chuck Jones and John Dunn are too self-absorbed in their own cleverness that they don't even bother coming up any sort of resolution to the story. Neanderthal Bugs's final nod to Elmer Fudd is a cute reference, but considering he's stuck on an alien world as a monster, it's an unsettling, unsatisfying ending.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)
Marvin the Martian: 50 Years on Earth! (WHV, 1998)
Marvin the Martian: Space Tunes (WHV, 1999)
Looney Tunes the Collector's Edition: Wabbit Tales (WHV/Columbia House, 2001)

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV DVD, 2012)

An ad appearing in the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, CA on April 24, 1964.
Transylvania 6-5000 (1963)CJ

Bugs burrows to Transylvania, where he finds the castle of vampire Count Bloodcount. Thinking it's a hotel, Bugs "checks" into a room and finds a book about magic words and phrases. Witch Hazel makes a cameo appearance of sorts. Chuck Jones's final theatrically released Bugs cartoon.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny
Ben Frommer: Count Bloodcount
Julie Bennett: Agatha, Emily

Critique
Decent spooky short that unfortunately seems more concerned with atmosphere than good writing. The main flaw is that Bugs is not just too oblivious to the situation around him, he's overly upbeat and positive about it, finding Bloodcount's creepy castle charming and welcoming. The whole "too stupid to be scared" idea in comedy only works when a character is a bit naive (think Daffy in The Stupor Salesman) or not actually observing the threat around them (Porky when teamed up with Sylvester). Bugs here sees the cobwebbed castle with portraits of monsters and a two-headed vulture outside and feels perfectly comfortable--it's dumbing down an otherwise smart character to fit the needs of the story. The cartoon picks up a bit once Bugs learns the magic words, forcing Bloodcount to change back and forth from a vampire to a bat for a good dose of Jones-directed slapstick. If the cartoon excels anywhere it's in the mood; everything has a great eerie look to it, save for Bloodcount's almost adorable "bat" form (which Bugs comically keeps mistaking for a mosquito). It would have been nice if Chuck Jones had left Warner Bros. with a stronger Bugs cartoon, but for 1963 this was most likely as good as it was going to get.

Looney Tunes After Dark (WHV Laserdisc, 1993)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection 5 (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

An ad appearing in the Western Herald in Bourke, NSW on September 12, 1969.
Dumb Patrol (1964)

Somewhere in France during World War I, biplane pilot Bugs challenges the Baron (Yosemite) Sam von Schpam to come after him. Porky Pig makes a cameo appearance. The only Bugs cartoon directed by Friz Freleng animator Gerry Chiniquy.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, French General, German General

Critique
Bugs is essentially a guest star in his own cartoon. He doesn't really partake in any action as he does just serve as a gliding, otherwise motionless target; Tweety in The Jet Cage. Everything involving Sam is just so derivative of bits done much better in other shorts. This time it's not an animal but his plane that won't move when he wants, prompting him to order it to contact and whoa like a horse--it's senseless and thoroughly unfunny. Gerry Chiniquy has the unenviable task of taking over direction for the Friz Freleng unit following his leader's departure to found Depatie-Freleng. He tries to emulate Freleng's style of timing and execution, but the flair is clearly missing and gags land with painful thuds. (Chiniquy's other cartoon, Hawaiian Aye Aye with Tweety, is only marginally better.) Porky's opening appearance as Captain Smedley is weird and random, especially since he hadn't been in a theatrical cartoon with Bugs in twenty-one years. There was a rash of these eerie, silent cameos of recognizable characters during this last year or so (such as Witch Hazel in Transylvania 6-5000 and, more unsettlingly, the zombie-like Elmer in Crows' Feat). If anything, it just presents a missed opportunity, as an actual cartoon where Bugs and Porky are fighting on the front line together would have been hundreds of times more inspired and entertaining than what we're given here. There's no other way to describe this one: dumb!

An ad appearing in the Buffalo Courier-Express in Buffalo, NY on March 26, 1965.
Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1964)RM

The Tasmanian Devil is on the loose and comes across Bugs. Bugs feigns injury and sends Taz for a doctor. He finds a couple, but they're all Bugs in disguise.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Tasmanian Devil

Critique
How bad are things in this (at the time) final year of Warner releases when one of the relatively brighter spots comes from Robert McKimson? The doctor gags are more or less funny if a tad simple, though Bugs posing as a maternity nurse who throws Taz's "bouncing baby boy" to the floor is a refreshingly twisted bit of dark humor. Unfortunately, the dwindling animation budget means a great deal of action is happening off screen, with Taz's signature buzzsawing and destructive spinning depicted through an elongated background painting. There are a couple of nice touches, though, such as Taz's great take when being shown a Picasso-like painting as a "mirror," but these are few and far between. Mel Blanc's performance of the beast also seems to have regressed, as he's now just having the Devil speak in stereotypical Native American dialect ("Get-um doctor!"). The closing scene with a menacing Frankenstein-like robot monster beating up Taz and then Bugs is very odd and unsettling, not to mention suddenly mean-spirited for such an otherwise toothless cartoon. Bugs's use of the old cartoon chestnut "Is there a doctor in the house?" is a cute surprise, but sadly it's married to a final ugly visual of the characters injured and begging for medical help.

Bugs Bunny: Truth or Hare (WHV, 1992)
Stars of Space Jam: Tasmanian Devil (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam boxed set (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1997)
Taz's Jungle Jams (WHV, 2000)

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV DVD, 2012)

An ad appearing in The Chilliwack Progress in Chilliwack, BC on May 26, 1965.
The Iceman Ducketh (1964)

Impressed by the prices pelts are getting at a fur trader, Daffy goes rabbit hunting. Bugs isn't his only problem, as Daffy also faces a sudden winter and a few disturbed grizzly bears. The only Bugs cartoon directed by Chuck Jones animator Phil Monroe.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Trapper, Henrique, Fur Trader

Critique
The plot makes little sense, smelling very much like the result of an edict to fill a quota for a Daffy cartoon this release season. Yeah, Daffy's motivated by greed, but after that conceit it just turns into a typical hunting cartoon, an idea which had worn out its welcome by 1964. The duck is beyond wasted here; there was no reason this couldn't have been Yosemite Sam or Blacque Jacque Shellacque or even a badly voiced Elmer at this point. Phil Monroe graduates from directing the studio's various commercials to taking over Chuck Jones's last couple of cartoons that were in the works when he was fired for moonlighting on the script for UPA's Gay Purr-ee. Monroe still has Maurice Noble and Jones's animators at his disposal, but the results leave a lot to be desired. Any subtle wordplay is gone, and Bugs's actions toward Daffy are without the smooth grace Jones would have given them. Much of the cartoon is awkwardly incoherent; Bugs knows Daffy is hunting him before the two even meet, etc. It makes the one or two good throwaway lines (Bugs's "I saw a guy do this in a toothpaste ad once") seem almost like non sequiturs. Chuck Jones lucked out by not having his name attached to this picture.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

An ad appearing in the Ames Daily Tribune in Ames, IA on May 7, 1965.
False Hare (1964)RM

The Big Bad Wolf and his nephew open up the Club del Canejo to trap Bugs, who shows up for club initiation. Foghorn Leghorn makes a cameo appearance. The final theatrical Bugs short until 1990 and the last one produced by the original Warner Bros cartoon studio.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Big Bad Wolf, Nephew, Foghorn Leghorn

Critique
So it's come to this. The Bugs Bunny series of theatrical shorts ends not with a bang or even a whimper, just a shrug. The wolf and nephew are even more nondescript than they were in Now, Hare This, if that's possible. Robert McKimson simply doesn't breathe any energy into the characters or story, with Bugs more or less going through the motions to execute the gags--not even Mel Blanc's performance is anything to write home about. The gags are lifeless and repetitious, just variations on the "getting the villain to fall into his own trap" trope. There aren't even any good one-liners, and the final "chicken club" pun (prompting Foghorn's odd cameo) is awkward at best. Bugs cartoons will continue to be reissued through the end of 1969, but this was it as far as new material goes; the next theatrical short wouldn't be until 1990. A sad, bland end to what is arguably the greatest character series of all time.

Bugs & Friends (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1998)

Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol (1979)FF

In the first of two Bugs cartoons produced for the TV special Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales, Bugs and the gang reenact A Christmas Carol, with Yosemite Sam as Scrooge and Porky Pig as Bob Crachit. Sylvester, Elmer Fudd, Pepe le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Petunia Pig, and Tweety make cameo appearances.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Pepe le Pew, Tweety, Sylvester, Light Company Man

Critique
Four years before Disney made the much more beloved and faithful Mickey's Christmas Carol, Bugs and the gang beat them to the punch with an abridged version that ironically comes off as preemptively derivative. Friz Freleng hadn't directed any new animation in a decade and it shows, helped in no part by being hampered by a television budget. Character movements are clunky, the animation at times looks smudgy and unrefined, and awkward close-ups are used to glibly convey emotion. Bugs doesn't so much teach Sam the error of his ways as he just pulls pranks on him and scares the crap out of him. It kinda misses the point of the original Charles Dickens story, which is odd considering how often it has been successfully adapted to countless other mediums and pop culture franchises. The use of many characters teeters delicately between cute and gratuitous, and the absence of Daffy is painfully obvious a result of corporate meddling (due to his Saturday morning show being on NBC rather than CBS). Doug Goodwin provides an engaging, dramatic score, but much of it is undercut by a rather generic production design; a non-specific "old-timey town" look that's more cluttered than Dickensian--oh, how an actual Depatie-Freleng-styled cartoon with minimalistic backgrounds would have been a visual treat to watch! Perhaps the funniest moment is the "light company" coming into Porky's house to cut the power by removing a candle from his dining room table, while Bugs's line "Ain't I a little Dickens, though?" is almost too clever for this cartoon. A cute, very in-character ending wraps things up nicely, but it's almost too little too late. Ultimately, it's all harmless, but very charmless.

NOTE: This made-for-TV short did not originally feature a title sequence, but one was created in 1992. The videos listed below include the cartoon as it was originally seen, without a title.

Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (WHV, 1990)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

Fright Before Christmas (1979)FF

The Tasmanian Devil escapes from a cargo flight over the North Pole and steals Santa's sleigh. He arrives at Bugs's house, where Bugs's nephew Clyde is up waiting for St. Nick. Speedy Gonzales makes a cameo appearance.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Tasmanian Devil, Speedy Gonzales, Santa Claus, Pilot, Co-Pilot
June Foray: Clyde Rabbit, Martha Claus

Critique
Supposedly done in memory of the recently deceased Robert McKimson, Friz Freleng does an admirable job with an antagonist he hadn't worked with before (he would do a little better with Taz a few years later in Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island). There's a very convoluted set-up to get Taz anywhere near Santa Claus ("Flying a Tasmanian Devil over the North Pole to Australia," really?), but the premise thankfully moves along quickly to get to the meat of the story. The cartoon thankfully isn't as devoted to the "Visit from St. Nicholas" framework as Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol was to its source material, as something like Bugs narrating the entire proceedings in rhyme would have gotten old fast and come off like a badly written Tiny Toon Adventures segment. Unfortunately, everything is saddled with the same uneven production values as Christmas Carol. Character design is wildly inconsistent, and Taz especially appears quite ugly in certain shots, while a very 1970s-ish music score is downright unsettling for a Looney Tunes cartoon. Taz eating the ornaments and lights off Bugs's tree is good for a few, predictable chuckles, as is Bugs reading Clyde's lengthy Christmas list. The rest of the cartoon, though, is typical "Taz comically reacts to things he's eaten" gags similar to those back in Devil May Hare; nicely staged and animated at times, but nothing we haven't seen before.

NOTE: This made-for-TV short did not originally feature a title sequence, but one was created in 1992. For the videos listed below, titles with an asterisk include the cartoon as it was originally seen, without a title, and titles without an asterisk include the cartoon with the new title sequence.

*Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (WHV, 1990)
Stars of Space Jam: Tasmanian Devil (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam boxed set (WHV, 1996)
Stars of Space Jam (WHV Japan Laserdisc, 1997)
Taz's Jungle Jams (WHV, 2000)

*Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
*Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny (1980)CJ

The first of two Bugs cartoons produced for the TV special Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over. Bugs thinks back to when he was a child, hunted by schoolboy Elmer Fudd. The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote make cameo appearances. Mel Blanc voices Elmer.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Rabbit Students
Paul Julian: Road Runner

Critique
Typical of Chuck Jones's late '60s and 1970s work, it's high on style and a little short on substance, as the gags are generally more clever than funny. There is a relatively decent mix of physical and verbal gags, and the wordplay for the most part is free from that tedious micromanaged quality that plagued much of Jones's later output--though there are a couple quick moments where he gets a little too cute for his own good (such as with popgun sound effects appearing on screen). Mel Blanc provides a respectable replacement voice for Elmer, helped by the recording being sped up a bit to make him sound younger (apart from an odd few seconds where he starts sobbing very much like a 71-year-old man). Young Bugs is surprisingly faithful to his classic adult self, and his attempt to grift the viewers for donations (admitting that he is likely bound for reform school) is pretty funny. The whole cartoon has a nice warm design to it, looking much more sophisticated than the shorts Jones and Friz Freleng produced just the year before for Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales--while the characters' younger depictions are admirable translations (though Elmer does look a bit like Charlie Brown playing dress-up). Wile E. Coyote's (somewhat illogical) cameo during the flashback is a fun surprise and anticipates the final twist end gag. Overall fairly enjoyable later Chuck Jones work.

NOTE: This made-for-TV short did not originally feature a title sequence, but one was created in 1992. The videos listed below include the cartoon as it was originally seen, without a title.

Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over (WHV, 1992)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
The Essential Bugs Bunny (WHV DVD, 2010)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

Spaced Out Bunny (1980)CJ

While Bugs is getting friendly with nature all around him, he comes across a carrot. But alas, it was a tranquilizer carrot left out by Marvin the Martian, who brings Bugs to Mars as a pet for another earth creature, Hugo the abominable snowman.

Mel Blanc: Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Hugo, Butterfly, Dogwood Tree

Critique
Talky, tedious ordeal, more typical of Chuck Jones's '70s/'80s output than Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny was. Bugs's opening lecture starts abruptly and plays out like a boring Bugs Bunny Show bridging sequence--it was probably much funnier on paper, though Bugs later continuing his "hello" monologue to the various items on Mars is one of the cartoon's few highlights. For the most part, the dialogue is labored and repetitious, such as Hugo continually referring to his neighborhood block, and the puns are painful--a "Mickey Mou-rtian watch," get it??? Marvin is simply wasted here, as there's no otherworldly threat like he used to convey in the classic shorts. His confiding in us about Hugo's loneliness before the latter's introduction, as if we're already familiar with him, is the kind of hokey faux-intellectual humor that Jones's later work is peppered with. We're supposed to find such dialogue witty and wry, but it just comes off as confusing. In fairness to Jones, Hugo's reveal is well executed and a good piece of comic direction, even though Mel Blanc's Barney Rubble-like performance and the character's chunkier redesign are disappointing. Dreadful cartoon.

NOTE: This made-for-TV short did not originally feature a title sequence, but one was created in 1992. For the videos listed below, titles with an asterisk include the cartoon as it was originally seen, without a title, and titles without an asterisk include the cartoon with the new title sequence.

*Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over (WHV, 1992)
Marvin the Martian: 50 Years on Earth! (WHV, 1998)
Marvin the Martian: Space Tunes (WHV, 1999)
*Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Five (WHV DVD, 2007)
*The Essential Bugs Bunny (WHV DVD, 2010)
*Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
*Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
*Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

An ad appearing in The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, UT on February 13, 1991.
Box Office Bunny (1990)

A multiplex is built over Bugs's rabbit hole. When Bugs climbs up to check it out, usher Elmer Fudd thinks he snuck in. Meanwhile another patron, Daffy, really does sneak in and gets caught in the middle. Directed by Darrell Van Citters. Jeff Bergman begins voicing Bugs, Elmer, and Daffy. Previewed in Los Angeles in November 1990 with Reversal of Fortune to qualify for the Academy Awards before being released wide in 1991 with The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter.

Jeff Bergman: Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Audience Member
Jim Cummings: Vinnie
Tress MacNeille: Battle for Brooklyn Actress

Critique
Frantically paced cartoon that can't quite decide if it wants to be a chase picture or a Chuck Jonesian battle of wits. Clocking in at just under five minutes, it's the shortest Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon released thus far, doing director Darrell Van Citters a great disservice by preventing him to let any of the gags breathe or develop any sort of style apart from sharp character design--for example, Bugs disguised as a concession worker is merely throwing menu items at Elmer just for the sake of speed and not to convey any actual joke. On the other end of the spectrum, Bugs and Daffy's initial argument about which one of them is a rabbit seems like an artificial attempt to recreate a "wabbit season/duck season" type of wordplay, but there's no momentum or rhythm to it; it sits uncomfortably in the middle of a short that is essentially just characters running back and forth. The centerpiece "sticky floor dance" is an interesting (if a tad dated) bit, but it goes on a second or two too long...and in a five-minute short that's a awful lot of time to kill (although, Daffy finally scolding Elmer with "Knock it off, Baryshnikov!" is one of the cartoon's few genuinely funny lines). Jeff Bergman does a fairly admirable job taking over as both Bugs and Elmer (despite the occasional shift to a more baritone range), but his Daffy is downright painful on the ears, sounding more like a shrill Foghorn Leghorn than the duck we all know and love. Rocky waters are indeed ahead for Bugs and friends in this next decade.

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (WHV, 1991)
The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (WHV Laserdisc, 1991)
Winner By a Hare (WHV Laserdisc, 1993)
Carrotblanca: Looney Tunes Go to the Movies (WHV, 1996)
Looney Tunes the Collector's Edition: Wabbit Tales (WHV/Columbia House, 2001)

The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (WHV DVD, 2009)
Looney Tunes 3-Pack Fun (WHV DVD, 2011)
Looney Tunes Triple Feature: Looney Tunes 3-DVD Collection (WHV DVD, 2016)
Looney Tunes Double Feature (WHV DVD, 2017)

Blooper Bunny! (1991)

A behind-the-scenes look at the (fictional) commemorative short Bugs Bunny's 51rst 1/2 Anniversary Spectacular starring Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, and Yosemite Sam, outtakes and all. Directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon. Remained unreleased until 1997's "June Bugs" marathon on Cartoon Network.

Jeff Bergman: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Announcer, Teamsters
Gordon Hunt: Director

Critique
Inventive show-biz cartoon that proves to be a worthy successor to the likes of A Star Is Bored and Show Biz Bugs. There are a couple of punchlines that are a little racier than what was done back during the Golden Age (a toilet flush sound effect is heard, and Daffy calls Bugs a "smug son of a--"), but the stage-mishap gags for the most part work, and the various reactions are very much in-character--and thankfully it's all relatively free of that bland hacky feel that faux-blooper comedy bits usually have. The blooper gags are almost upstaged early on by a single, continuous, three-dimensional shot showing various backstage goings-on, offering everything from Elmer trying to grow hair with minoxidil to a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to none other than Bosko! The film's overall theme amounts to a pretty biting satire of how Warner Bros. treated the Looney Tunes property at the time, especially during Bugs's birthday year--sadly, those very (funny) digs at the studio would ultimately cost the cartoon from seeing any kind of timely release. Easily the most entertaining of the studio's '90s shorts; it's a shame it didn't get the proper exposure when it was made.

Looney Tunes: The Golden Collection (WHV DVD, 2003)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)

Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers (1992)

Strange alien carrot pods have created limited-animation duplicates of Elmer, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy, and it's up to Bugs to set things right. Directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon. Features animation parodies of Clutch Cargo and Terry Gilliam, among others. Porky Pig makes a cameo appearance.

Jeff Bergman: Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Black Hole

Critique
For as long as it is (clocking in at over eleven minutes!) and as much story is packed into it, the cartoon is weakly written at best, while the continued running of Bugs through his three environments gets wearying after a while. Once Bugs uncovers the Nudnik conspiracy behind the whole thing, we're left with more questions than answers: Who exactly are the aliens? What did they do with the real Elmer, Sam, and Daffy? Why would they suddenly return once Bugs gets rid of the phonies? Considering writers/directors Greg Ford and Terry Lennon previously excelled with such horror-themed cartoons as The Duxorcist and the compilation movie Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, their mishandling of such a classic horror trope is disappointing (although the scene of Bugs's duplicate emerging from the carrot ooze is eerily effective). The main problem is Ford and Lennon's penchant for recreating past, classic Bugs Bunny bits; they're wedged into the story without context and are almost hastily presented. It's like hearing a cover band do a bad medley of a group's greatest hits; they may know all the notes, but there's no soul in it. The repeated material tries to play to Jeff Bergman's skills as an impressionist, but his performances ultimately come off as artificial carbon copies. Surely, when Bergman is given original lines to say then his voices sound closer to the mark than when he's forced to repeat old dialogue. The various parodies of limited animation are inventive if maybe a little unfocused as to what the specific targets are (save for Daffy's hilarious Clutch Cargo lips and the surprise post-credits bit), and there seems to be an attempt to make some comment on how studios regard classic animated characters, but it's not nearly as clear or clever as the gags in Blooper Bunny! that ground the same axe. Years later, that same anti-Hollywood snarkiness would become one of the bigger script problems with the feature Looney Tunes: Back in Action; when everything is a vague dig at corporations or movie studios or producers then it starts coming off like an episode of Animaniacs--jokes not necessarily for the audience to laugh at but for animation writers to sit back and smirk about. Bugs deserves better for such an epically long cartoon.

The Essential Bugs Bunny (WHV DVD, 2010)

An ad appearing in the Standard-Speaker in Hazleton, PA on August 25, 1995.
Carrotblanca (1995)

In this parody of Casablanca, Bugs is a juice-joint owner who meets up with a long-lost love, Kitty (Penelope, in her first speaking role). Meanwhile, Kitty's husband (Sylvester) has been taken prisoner by evil German policeman General Pandemonium (Yosemite Sam). Directed by Douglas McCarthy. Greg Burson begins voicing Bugs. Features the most appearances of Warner Bros. characters than any other short.

Greg Burson: Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn
Joe Alaskey: Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Train Announcer
Bob Bergen: Tweety, The Crusher
Tress MacNeille: Penelope
Maurice LaMarche: Yosemite Sam, Pepe le Pew

Critique
Generally entertaining cartoon, though maybe a bit too Animaniacs-ian at times--and thankfully not as soul-crushingly depressing as the later direct-to-video movies with Tom and Jerry figuring into classic Warner-owned movies. The specific jokes that spoof Casablanca are decent while staying respectful (whether by design or from studio pressure); not all of the film's iconic scenes and lines are here, but enough of the more-universally known bits are represented for casual movie buffs to get. The various cameos from the Looney Tunes characters are fun to look for without being distracting, although one can't help but suspect that maybe the reason for them was to sell the production cels through the Warner Bros. Studio Stores. Of the main cast, Tweety is a scream as Peter Lorre's Ugarte, and it's refreshing to see Daffy being funny without him acting as an adversary to Bugs. Having already voiced Bugs a few times before on Tiny Toon Adventures and other quick TV appearances, this marks Greg Burson's first major performance as the wabbit. The whole cast really stands out (Burson and Joe Alaskey especially), turning in some excellent takes on the characters without making them sound like hastily done impressions of Mel Blanc. Fresh off doing a few episodes of Taz-Mania and storyboarding a wealth of other series for various studios, director Douglas McCarthy juggles all the characters nicely and keeps the story moving. If there is to be any major criticism, then it's simply a longing to see what McCarthy could have done with the characters without a specific, famous plot to use as a crutch.

Carrotblanca: Looney Tunes Go to the Movies (WHV, 1996)
Casablanca: Two-Disc Special Edition (WHV DVD, 2003)
The Bogart Collection boxed set (WHV DVD, 2003)
Best Picture Oscar Collection set (WHV DVD, 2005)
Best Picture Oscar Collection: Drama boxed set (WHV DVD, 2005)
Humphrey Bogart: The Signature Collection Volume I boxed set (WHV DVD, 2006)
Casablanca (WHV HD DVD, 2006)
Casablanca: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV DVD, 2008)
Casablanca: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2008)
Casablanca (WHV Blu-ray, 2009)
Casablanca (WHV Blu-ray, 2010)
The Essential Bugs Bunny (WHV DVD, 2010)
Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Edition boxed set (WHV Blu-ray, 2012)
Casablanca (WHV Blu-ray, 2012)
Casablanca/The African Queen (WHV Blu-ray, 2013)
The Best of Bogart Collection boxed set (WHV Blu-ray, 2014)

From Hare to Eternity (1996)CJ

In a parody of The H.M.S. Pinafore, H.M.S. Friz Freleng captain Buccaneer (Yosemite) Sam is digging up buried treasure and comes across Bugs along the way. Dedicated to Freleng. Frank Gorshin voices Sam. Michigan J. Frog makes an off-camera cameo appearance. Chuck Jones's final animated Bugs work.

Greg Burson: Bugs Bunny
Frank Gorshin: Yosemite Sam
Jeff McCarthy: Michigan J. Frog

Critique
Ugh, what an ordeal! As noble as it is to see Chuck Jones honor his longtime colleague, Friz Freleng deserved a better tribute. Jones has no handle on Yosemite Sam and just turns him into every other overly talky pun-making character he's directed for the last three decades. Even the animation itself is hard to watch--Bugs has a wildly inconsistent design throughout (at times looking downright ugly), while Sam becomes this bouncy, spastic thing, less gruff villain and more amateur ballet dancer; just another instance of Jones not understanding the character. Then there's Frank Gorshin--oh, how then there's Frank Gorshin! Gorshin is a legendary actor with an unquestionable gift for impressions, but his Sam is simply painful to listen to--it's all low growling with none of the Texas twang or loud mood swings. Even Greg Burson's usually on-point Bugs comes off as unenthusiastic and nasally. The gags don't work, Jones is too concerned with his usual little annoying touches (odd sound effects spelled out on screen, throwaway lines become extended puns, etc.), and there's none of the chemistry between Bugs and Sam that was a hallmark of Freleng's shorts. Sad, lame farewell to Freleng, and to Jones as a director for that matter.

From Hare to Eternity (WHV, 1998)
The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (WHV DVD, 2009)
Looney Tunes 3-Pack Fun (WHV DVD, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's Edition (WHV Blu-ray, 2011)
Looney Tunes Triple Feature: Looney Tunes 3-DVD Collection (WHV DVD, 2016)
Looney Tunes Double Feature (WHV DVD, 2017)

Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas (2004)

Bonaparte (Yosemite) Sam builds his casino on top of Bugs's hole. When Bugs protests, Sam throws him out, saying he can only stay inside if he gambles. Bugs takes him up on the offer, outwitting Sam on slot machines, at blackjack, and on the roulette wheel. When Sam discovers why Bugs has been so lucky (rabbit's feet), he chases Bugs all the way to the Hoover Dam. Directed by Bill Kopp and Peter Shin and produced by Larry Doyle. Joe Alaskey begins voicing Bugs. Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote make a cameo appearance on Bugs's TV in the high rollers' suite. Remained unreleased in the United States until 2010.

Joe Alaskey: Bugs Bunny
Jeff Bennett: Yosemite Sam
Tress MacNeille: Roulette Dealer, Cage Cashier
Maurice LaMarche: Gamblers
Billy West: Porky Pig
Paul Julian: Road Runner

Critique
Competently executed film, but just tragically generic. There's no sense of style, either in the writing or direction. It feels like an episode from some oddball Looney Tunes television series that never existed. Casino humor stopped being original or funny about a half-century ago--there are only so many variations of the "blackjack/hit me" bit or gags about a malfunctioning slot machine; it's actually surprising there's wasn't a "cut the cards" joke. The rest of the cartoon is padded out with hacky jokes about rabbits' feet (get it? Because it's Bugs Bunny) and the all-time king of easy targets: the French (a cannonball hits the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and it immediately runs up the white flag to "surrender"). Joe Alaskey and Jeff Bennett do their usual excellent jobs as the leads but there's little guidance in their performances and it more often than not sounds like they're reading lines as opposed to actually acting, with Alaskey's voice even occassionally sped up with awkward results--the directors don't trust their cast to perform the characters correctly. There's no way a series of new theatrical shorts would have lasted with this level of blandness.

The Essential Bugs Bunny (WHV DVD, 2010)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (WHV Blu-ray, 2014)

Daffy Duck for President (2004)

Daffy runs for public office in various roles, hoping to pass legislation to outlaw rabbits (namely one). However, no matter where he ends up, he discovers that getting laws passed on your own isn't that easy. Directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone and based on the book by Chuck Jones. Originally planned for production and release around the 2000 election.

Joe Alaskey: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Speaker of the House

Critique
Cute but pointless cartoon, coming off more like those 1980s "Constitution works for everybody" Saturday morning PSAs than something meaningful and entertaining like, say, Chuck Jones's Old Glory. Jones's original storybook provides some clever puns and wordplay, and gives Joe Alaskey some great dialogue for Daffy to work with, but it doesn't really make for interesting on-screen action. Directors Brandt and Cervone do an admirable job invoking Jones's visual style, which is unfortunately soured by some rather cheap-looking (and outsourced) animation. Disappointing.

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Two (WHV DVD, 2004)
The Essential Daffy Duck (WHV DVD, 2011)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 boxed set (WHV DVD, 2011)


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