Half a classic is better than none,
This review is from: Bugs Bunny Hallow.Hijinks (VHS Tape)In the animated-cartoon desert that was the 1970's, nearly the only way any "new" Bugs Bunny cartoons came about was when they were recycled via half-hour TV specials that strung together "classic" animation with inane storylines. Unfortunately, one of those specials occupies the second half of the Halloween-themed videocassette, Bugs Bunny's Halloween Hijinks.
Happily, the first half of the tape makes its purchase worthwhile. It compiles three late-1980's Looney Tunes cartoons that began the LT revival that has continued sporadically with theatrical short subjects (such as 1995's Carrotblanca) and the major feature Space Jam. These three cartoons were written and directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon, two animation buffs who exhaustively researched the Warner Bros. cartoon legacy in the '70s and then found themselves in the happy circumstances of being able to create some Looney Tunes of their own.
All three cartoons have horror-movie-spoof themes. The lead cartoon, Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers (1990), not only plays off Invasion of the Body Snatchers but rethinks Bugs' usual battles (with Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy Duck) as a daily 9-to-5 grind to which he has to attend. In itself, that rethinking of the decades-long Bugs canon scores some points for its makers. The cartoon also cleverly uses the limited-animation concept (probably inspired by Warner Bros.' often notoriously low budgets for these 'toons) as part of the plot, as Elmer & Co. become, as Bugs puts it, "badly drawn" zombies.
The second cartoon, The Duxorcist (1987), was the one that made the news as the first new Looney Tunes short in 20 years. It's not quite a classic but certainly worthy, as Daffy in his element--winning over a limited-intellect blonde, sloping around like Groucho Marx--poses as a paranormalist trying to rid an apartment of some possessive ghosts.
The third cartoon, Night of the Living Duck (1988), shows comic-strip fan Daffy having a delusional dream where he works the room at a nightclub populated by famous monsters. Daffy finds help by gulping down a bottle of Eau de Torme, which gives him the dulcet tones of Mel Torme (who good-naturedly lent his croon to this cartoon). The short also borrows from Looney Tunes legend; the title of the song Daffy/Mel croons is Bugs's catchphrase, "Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives."
The tape's second half is the 1978 TV entry Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special. As previously stated, it compiles footage from the older Looney Tunes, and it has its moments. But rather than being memorable for its laughs, it's more watchable from a film-buff viewpoint, as you compare the smoothly drawn older cartoons with the ghastly latter-day "linking" footage. (In particular, in the new footage Bugs's front teeth look like something that wouldn't be out of place on The Lochness Monster's visage.)
Fortunately, the three cartoons that head the tape makes its purchase and viewing worth your time.