Chuck Jones & Maurice Noble (1963)

Bugs demonstrates how to handle a pesky vampire with six simple magic incantations. The title is a pun on Pennsylvania 6-5000, a song associated with Glenn Miller and referring to the now-archaic system of telephone exchange names where the first two characters of a telephone number were expressed as letters: Transylvania 6-5000 stands for “TR 6-5000” which devolves to 876-5000.

This cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Count Blood Count is one of my favorite Halloween-themed cartoons from childhood. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have and that it gets you in the spirit of the spook this Halloween. Thanks for watching.

Transylvania 6-5000 is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Chuck Jones. The short was released on November 30, 1963, and stars Bugs Bunny. It was the last original Bugs Bunny short Jones made for Warner Bros. Cartoons before Jones left for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to found his own studio, Sib Tower 12 Productions. It was his second-to-last cartoon at Warner Bros. before moving to MGM, and the second-to-last Warner cartoon in 1963.

Animated by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson.

Friz Freleng (1943)

A group of mice are unwittingly enslaved by a cat.

Fifth Column Mouse is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on March 6, 1943. The cartoon features a band of mice who engage in war against a cat. This is a wartime propaganda film, with the cat symbolizing the Axis powers. A single mouse represents the fifth column, working for the cat and suggesting an appeasement policy.

The cat is treated as the enemy and symbolizes the Axis. After the cat whispers his plan inside the dim-witted mouse’s ear the cat’s face briefly mimics that of a stereotypically caricatured Japanese, while Japanese sounding music is briefly heard. When the mouse agrees to fulfill the plan, he gives the cat a Nazi salute. The grey mouse represents the policy of appeasement, and the overall theme of the short is that the policy does not work against the Axis and will lead to ruin. When the cat’s fur is shaved off, the first four notes of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” are played; these notes were used by the Allied Forces as a symbol for “V” (for “victory”) in Morse code; also, when shaved four tufts of hair are left on the cat’s back – three short and one long tuft – equivalent to the Morse Code dit-dit-dit-dah – which is the letter “V”.

Near the end of the cartoon, the brown mice sing “We did it before and We can do it again”, a patriotic chant that was often used in American films during World War II. The song was co-written in 1941 by Tin Pan Alley songwriter Charles Tobias as a response to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. During the song, a mouse version of the “Buy War Bonds and Stamps” poster can be seen.

Friz Freleng (1942)

In the Canadian North Woods, Bugs is wanted dead or alive and Elmer is out to bring him in with the help of the Canadian Mounties.

Fresh Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng, written by Michael Maltese, animated by Manuel Perez, and produced by Leon Schlesinger. It was released to theatres on August 22, 1942.

The title is a typical Warner Bros. pun on “fresh air” that has little or nothing to do with the plot, other than being set in the crisp, frigid air of a Canadian winter. Caricatures of Adolf Hitler and Veronica Lake make appearances during the animated short.

Chuck Jones (1939)

Two dogs hiding from the dog catcher encounter a tricky Bugs Bunny prototype.

Prest-O Change-O is a 1939 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, and was first released on March 25, 1939 by Warner Bros. It is the only Happy Rabbit cartoon to be reissued. It marks the second appearance of Happy Rabbit, the Bugs Bunny lookalike before Bugs Bunny officially hit the scene in 1940 in the hilarious Tex Avery cartoon A Wild Hare, which is considered to be the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon. This film fell into the public domain in 1967 due to United Artists failing to renew the copyright in time within 28 years.

To see Bugs Bunny’s official debut, click this link: https://hobomooncartoons.com/2020/07/27/happy-80th-birthday-doc/

Chuck Jones & Ken Harris (1943)

Two hungry castaways encounter Bugs Bunny on a tropical island.

Wackiki Wabbit is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, starring Bugs Bunny.

Directed by Chuck Jones

Animated by Ken Harris

Written by Tedd Pierce

Produced by Leon Schlesinger

Musical direction by Carl Stalling

Wackiki Wabbit contains experimental abstract backgrounds and its title is a play on words, suggesting both the island setting of Waikiki and Bugs’ wackiness. Elmer Fudd’s speech pronunciation of “rabbit” is also in the title, although Elmer does not appear in this picture.

This cartoon has fallen to the public domain after United Artists failed to renew the copyright on time.

Bob Clampett (1942)

Bugs Bunny thwarts Elmer Fudd’s efforts as he prospects for gold.

The Wacky Wabbit is a Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Bob Clampett in 1942 starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Although Bob Clampett had already started making cartoons of his own with Tex Avery’s old unit, you get the impression that Bob’s first color cartoons have sequences which are very similar to Tex Avery’s animation style, in gags and timing. Bob’s 1942 cartoons were rather silly before he completely took a different route later in the year; with edgier-paced cartoons like The Hep Cat or A Tale of Two Kitties. The shorts still contain a lot of Clampett’s style of humor, except that each short gradually builds up from the previous short.

Produced by Leon Schlesinger.

Chuck Jones (1942)

Case of the Missing Hare is a 1942 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Chuck Jones and starring Bugs Bunny. The short was released on December 12, 1942.

This is one of the few cartoons where Bugs Bunny does not say his catchphrase, “What’s up, Doc?”, though he does address the magician as “Doc” early in the film. It is also one of few cartoons in the character’s filmography to fall into the public domain, due to the failure of the last copyright holder, United Artists Television, to renew the original copyright within the allotted 28-year period.

Background artists Gene Fleury and John McGrew reduced most of the backgrounds to the film to patterns (stripes, zig-zags, etc.) and colored cards. The result was outlandish but Fleury recalled Leon Schlesinger congratulating them. In the theater setting of the film, these backgrounds could be rationalized to represent stage flats.

Michael S. Shull and David E. Wilt consider it ambiguous if this cartoon contained a World War II–related reference. Bugs Bunny pronounces the phrase “Of course you realize, this means war” in a gruff voice that may have been intended as an imitation of Winston Churchill, though it was also used several times in Duck Soup.

Chuck Jones & Maurice Noble (1963)

Bugs demonstrates how to handle a pesky vampire with six simple magic incantations. The title is a pun on Pennsylvania 6-5000, a song associated with Glenn Miller and referring to the now-archaic system of telephone exchange names where the first two characters of a telephone number were expressed as letters: Transylvania 6-5000 stands for “TR 6-5000” which devolves to 876-5000.

This cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Count Blood Count is one of my favorite Halloween-themed cartoons from childhood. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have and that it gets you in the spirit of the spook this Halloween. Thanks for watching.

Transylvania 6-5000 is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short directed by Chuck Jones. The short was released on November 30, 1963, and stars Bugs Bunny. It was the last original Bugs Bunny short Jones made for Warner Bros. Cartoons before Jones left for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to found his own studio, Sib Tower 12 Productions. It was his second-to-last cartoon at Warner Bros. before moving to MGM, and the second-to-last Warner cartoon in 1963.

Animated by Bob Bransford, Tom Ray, Ken Harris, and Richard Thompson.

Bob Clampett (1943)

A Corny Concerto is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies directed by Bob Clampett. The short was released on September 25, 1943, and stars Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck. They perform a parody of Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoon series and specifically his 1940 feature Fantasia. The film uses two of Johann Strauss’ best known waltzes, “Tales from the Vienna Woods” and “The Blue Danube”.

Fantasia was marketed to highbrow music fans; the Looney Tunes staff responded by violating the ivory tower of classical music and concert hall culture. A Corny Concerto parodies Fantasia’s Silly Symphonies-derived balletic approach to storytelling. Elmer Fudd stands in for Deems Taylor, and in an anti-highbrow gag, his starched shirtfront keeps erupting from his shirt to hit him on the face.

Rudolf Ising (1931)

Piggy takes his girlfriend, Fluffy, to a jazz concert.

You Don’t Know What You’re Doin’! is a 1931 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on October 21, 1931, and stars Piggy, one of the series’ early recurring characters. First released on October 21, 1931, the film is perhaps one of the most amusing and effective of the cartoons from the studio’s earliest years.

The musical soundtrack was done by the then-nationally famous Abe Lyman Orchestra, which adds a happy energy throughout the cartoon. The eccentric virtuoso trombone playing of Orlando “Slim” Martin is prominently featured. Martin played not only music but also some rather bizarre effects on his horn. His trombone solo representing the drunken automobile is especially memorable. The Schlesinger Studio had their sound effects department construct mechanical devices to roughly reproduce some of Martin’s sounds, which became standard cartoon sound effects.

Friz Freleng (1938)

Jungle Jitters is a 1938 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. The short was released on February 19, 1938. Because of the racial stereotypes of black people throughout the short, it prompted United Artists to withhold it from syndication within the United States in 1968. As such, the short was placed into the Censored Eleven, a group of eleven Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes shorts withheld from official television distribution in the United States since 1968 due to heavy stereotyping of black people; because its copyright had already lapsed without renewal a year before this decision, it has remained publicly available through numerous unofficial distributors through secondhand prints.

Chuck Jones (1946)

Hair-Raising Hare is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, released in 1946. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Tedd Pierce. It stars Bugs Bunny and features the first appearance of Chuck Jones’ imposing orange monster character, unnamed here, but in later cartoons named “Rudolph” and then “Gossamer”.

Animation director J. J. Sedelmaier writes, “It’s interesting to see how different Bugs’ character is in this film, from, say, the cool and calm Bugs in Rabbit Seasoning (1952). He’s much more the Groucho Marx type in this short; in fact, I doubt you’ll find another cartoon in which he does the Groucho walk more than here. The other unique aspect that has always grabbed me about this particular cartoon is the design of the monster. Where do his hands and arms go when we don’t see them? Why the sneakers? It’s this sort of stuff that reminds me why I love good cartoons: You don’t care about this stuff. You just enjoy it.”

Story by Tedd Pierce

Music by Carl Stalling

Animated by Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Basil Davidovich, and Lloyd Vaughan

Backgroungs by Robert Bribbroek

Starring Mel Blanc

Technicolor

Chuck Jones (1957)

What’s Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short was released on July 6, 1957, and stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

The story features Elmer chasing Bugs through a parody of 19th-century classical composer Richard Wagner’s operas, particularly Der Ring des Nibelungen, Der Fliegende Holländer, and Tannhäuser. It borrows heavily from the second opera in the “Ring Cycle” Die Walküre, woven around the typical Bugs–Elmer feud. The short marks the final appearance of Elmer Fudd in a Chuck Jones cartoon.

It has been widely praised by many in the animation industry as the greatest animated cartoon that Warner Bros. ever released, and has been ranked as such in the top 50 animated cartoons of all time. In 1992, the Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, the first cartoon to receive such honors.

Merrie Melodies (2018)

Grilled Cheese is a Merrie Melodies song by Elmer Fudd, which appeared in Best Friends. It is Elmer Fudd’s first song, the first love song, and the first song on The Looney Tunes Show.

I wowk so vewy hawd aww day wong.
I stawt to dweam of you befowe I get home.
Gwiwwed Cheese…

I hope you’we weady
‘Cause we got a date
I just can’t wait to get home and put you on my pwate
Gwiwwed Cheese… Sandwich…

The buttew wiww stawt mewting when I wight the fwame
‘Cause the buttew and the cheese awe gonna pway a wittwe game
It’s cawwed mewting…
On the bwead.

Don’t need a buwgew, don’t need no shake
I’ll waugh in ya face if you offew me cake
Don’t waste my time with ya bwussews spwouts
If you make me a steak, I’ww just thwow it out

I want a…
(Gwiwwed Cheese)
Not a BLT
(Gwiwwed Cheese)
Awe ya fowwowing me?
(Gwiwwed Cheese)
I wove you mowe than any othew
I think I’m gonna make anothew
Gwiwwed, gwiwwed, gwiwwed, gwiwwed cheese,
If you pwease.

Margaret Selby (2000)

Chuck Jones: Extremes & Inbetweens – A Life in Animation is a 2000 American television documentary film directed by Margaret Selby. The film chronicles the career of legendary Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies director Chuck Jones. The film features interviews with Jones himself, as well as Matt Groening, Steven Spielberg, Roger Ebert, John Lasseter, Whoopi Goldberg, Ron Howard, Lorne Michaels, Leonard Maltin, Robin Williams, Eric Goldberg, Joe Dante, June Foray, and others. The film was originally broadcast as part of the Great Performances series on November 22, 2000 on PBS, and later released to VHS and DVD by Warner Home Video on October 22, 2002.

Tex Avery (1940)

A Wild Hare is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon supervised by Tex Avery. The short subject features Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. The short is Bugs Bunny’s first official appearance.

Bugs’s nonchalant stance, as explained many years later by Chuck Jones, and again by Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, comes from the 1934 movie It Happened One Night, from a scene where Clark Gable’s character is leaning against a fence eating carrots more quickly than he is swallowing (as Bugs would later do), giving instructions with his mouth full to Claudette Colbert’s character. This scene was so famous at the time that most people immediately saw the connection.

The line, “What’s up, Doc?”, was added by director Tex Avery for this film. Avery explained later that it was a common expression in Texas where he was from, and he didn’t think much of the phrase. But when this short was screened in theaters, the scene of Bugs calmly chewing a carrot, followed by the nonchalant “What’s Up, Doc?”, went against any 1940s audience’s expectation of how a rabbit might react to a hunter and caused complete pandemonium in the audience, bringing down the house in every theater. As a result of this popularity, Bugs eats a carrot and utters some version of the phrase in almost every one of his cartoons; sometimes entirely out of context.

Friz Freleng & Tex Avery (1935)

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2020/06/01/i-havent-got-a-hat/

I Haven’t Got a Hat is a 1935 animated short film, directed by Friz Freleng for Leon Schlesinger Productions as part of Merrie Melodies series. Released on March 2, 1935, the short is notable for featuring the first appearance of several Warner Bros. cartoon characters, most notably future cartoon star Porky Pig. It was also one of the earliest Technicolor Merrie Melodies, and was produced using Technicolor’s two-strip process (red and green) instead of its more expensive three-strip process.

Porky Pig is an animated character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He was the first character created by the studio to draw audiences based on his star power, and the animators created many critically acclaimed shorts featuring the character. Even after he was supplanted by later characters, Porky continued to be popular with moviegoers and, more importantly, the Warners directors, who recast him in numerous everyman and sidekick roles.

He is known for his signature line at the end of many shorts, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!” And he is the oldest continuing Looney Tunes character.

Porky’s most distinctive trait is a severe stutter, for which he sometimes compensates by replacing his words; for example, “What’s going on?” might become “What’s guh-guh-guh-guh—…what’s happening?” Porky’s age varied widely in the series; originally conceived as an innocent seven-year-old piglet, Porky was more frequently cast as an adult, often being cast as the competent straight man in the series in later years. In the ending of many Looney Tunes cartoons, Porky Pig bursts through a bass drum head, and his attempt to close the show with “The End” becomes “Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th… That’s all, folks!” Porky Pig would appear in 153 cartoons in the Golden age of American animation.

Chuck Jones (1955)

One Froggy Evening is a 1955 American Technicolor animated musical short film written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones, with musical direction by Milt Franklyn. The short, partly inspired by a 1944 Cary Grant film entitled Once Upon a Time involving a dancing caterpillar in a small box, marks the debut of Michigan J. Frog. This popular short contained a wide variety of musical entertainment, with songs ranging from “Hello! Ma Baby” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry”, two Tin Pan Alley classics, to “Largo al Factotum”, Figaro’s aria from the opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia. The short was released on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), 1955 as part of Warner Bros.’ Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, in the PBS Chuck Jones biographical documentary Extremes & Inbetweens: A Life in Animation, called One Froggy Evening “the Citizen Kane of animated shorts”. In 1994, it was voted No.  5 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. In 2003, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

It Hopped One Night: A Look at “One Froggy Evening”

A Behind-the-Scenes look at the making of the classic Looney Tunes cartoon One Froggy Evening.

Chuck Jones & Michael Maltese (1952)

Beep, Beep is a Warner Bros. cartoon released in 1952 in the Merrie Melodies series and is the second cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It was later reissued as a Blue Ribbon cartoon. The cartoon is named after the Road Runner’s catchphrase, “Beep, beep!”

Warner Bros. (2020)

Join the all new adventures of the Looney Tunes pals including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and friends!

Looney Tunes Cartoons is an American animated web television series developed by Peter Browngardt, creator of Cartoon Network’s Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and Uncle Grandpa, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, based on the characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. It made its worldwide premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2019. This show is the successor to New Looney Tunes. The series will be publicly released on HBO Max on May 27, 2020.

On June 12, 2019, a short titled Dynamite Dance was uploaded on YouTube. It served as a trailer for the series starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

On June 11, 2018, Warner Bros. Animation announced that a new series, which would “consist of 1,000 minutes spread across 1–6 minute shorts”, would be released in 2019 and that it would feature “the brand’s marquee characters voiced by their current voice actors in simple gag-driven and visually vibrant stories”. The style of the series is to be reminiscent to those of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson, Bob Clampett, and others. President of Warner Bros. Animation Sam Register  along with Pete Browngardt serve as executive producers for the series. The shorts will bring all of the Looney Tunes together under one roof, including more obscure members like Pete Puma, Beaky Buzzard, Hubie and Bertie, Petunia Pig and Cicero Pig.

To watch the new Looney Tunes Cartoons short Dynamite Dance click on the link below:

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2019/06/30/looney-tunes-cartoons-dynamite-dance/

Friz Freleng (1945)

Hare Trigger is a 1945 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng and stars Bugs Bunny. The short featured the first appearance of Yosemite Sam, as well as the first short to credit the whole animation staff who worked on the short.

The short is also the first to use the shortened version of the song Merrily We Roll Along that played from 1945 to 1955.

Yosemite Sam is an American animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons produced by Warner Bros. Animation. His name is taken from Yosemite National Park. Along with Elmer Fudd, he is an adversary of Bugs Bunny. He is commonly depicted as an extremely aggressive gunslinging prospector, outlaw, pirate, or cowboy with a hair-trigger temper and an intense hatred of rabbits — Bugs in particular.

Animator Friz Freleng introduced the redesigned or renamed character in the 1945 cartoon Hare Trigger. With his grumpy demeanor, fiery temper, strident voice and short stature, and fiery red hair, Sam was in some ways a caricature of Freleng.

Other characters with Sam-like features appear in several Merrie Melodies shorts shown below.

Super-Rabbit

The Bugs Bunny entry Super-Rabbit (1943) features the cowboy character Cottontail Smith, whose voice is similar to Sam.

Stage Door Cartoon

Stage Door Cartoon (1944), however, features a southern sheriff character that looks and sounds similar to Sam, except for a more defined Southern stereotype to his voice. 

Merry Melodies (1936)

The Cat Came Back is a 1936 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. In 1994, The Cat Came Back was voted #32 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The Cat Came Back is a comic song written by Harry S. Miller in 1893. It has since entered the folk tradition and been recorded under variations of the title—”But the Cat Came Back”, “And the Cat Came Back”, etc. It is also a popular children’s song.

Tex Avery (1936)

A bellhop in the No 1. hotel of a smalltown awaiting the arrival of Miss Glory dreams he has to page Miss Glory at a first class hotel in New York, and this turns out to be a nightmare. Finally he is awakened by the manager, because Miss Glory’s car has arrived, but instead of a beautiful lady, a child star a la Shirley Temple steps out to everyone’s surprise.

First color cartoon by Tex Avery.

Page Miss Glory is a 1936 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Tex Avery. The short was released on March 7, 1936. The film uses Art Deco backgrounds and character designs.

Page Miss Glory marks a rare instance when the two meanings of the word ‘cartoon’ come into conflict — as audiences understood it in 1935-36, the term could mean an animated one-reeler screened at the movie house or the non-animated but nevertheless lively cartoons found in magazines like Esquire and The New Yorker. Miss Glory looks like the drawings of legendary 1930s New Yorker cartoonists Peter Arno or John Held Jr. come to life… Miss Glory boasts several animated dance sequences that could be described as out-Buzz-ing Berkeley; the key sequences look like someone took the sketches from the fashion designer of one of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classics and animated them.”

Will Friedwald

Produced by Leon Schlesinger. Words and music by Warren and Dubin. Moderne Art conceived and designed by Leadora Congdon.

Earl Duvall & Jack King (1934)

Honeymoon Hotel is a Merrie Melodies short, released February 17, 1934, and the first Warner Bros. cartoon produced in color. This was one of the two Merrie Melodies cartoons that was produced in Cinecolor. After that the series went briefly back to black-and-white, then to full on color, though the Looney Tunes remained black-and-white until 1942.

Merrie Melodies is an American animated cartoon series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1931 to 1969, during the golden age of American animation. As with its sister series, Looney Tunes, it featured some of the most famous cartoon characters ever created, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd.