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.

Bugs Bunny’s milestone 80th birthday year coincides with the debut of Looney Tunes Cartoons, the critically acclaimed HBO Max Original series produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Warner Bros. is throwing a celebration like no other.

A Wild Hare

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.

Porky’s Hare Hunt

Ben “Bugs” Hardaway & Cal Dalton (1938)

This cartoon marked the first appearance of the rabbit that would evolve into Bugs Bunny, who is barely recognizable compared to his more familiar later form. Bugs’ first official appearance would come two years later in A Wild Hare.

While Porky’s Hare Hunt was the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature a Bugs Bunny-like rabbit, A Wild Hare, directed by Tex Avery and released on July 27, 1940, is widely considered to be the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon.

The first “true” appearance of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Elmer is a dimwitted hunter, “wooking for wabbits.” Bugs is a clever, smooth-talking character, who confuses Elmer with double-talk and misdirection. Elmer is no match for the wascally wabbit, even when he thinks Bugs is dead.

Bugs Bunny’s 80th Anniversary Extravaganza

Comic Con (2020)

Take a trip through eight decades of laughs and carrots when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) presents an all-encompassing look at one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable stars. Join three of the current voices of Bugs Bunny–Billy West (Space Jam, Futurama, Doug), Jeff Bergman (Tiny Toon Adventures, Our Cartoon President), and Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons, Muppet Babies)–alongside Looney Tunes Cartoons executive producer Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa), movie historian, author and TV personality Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), animation historian and author Jerry Beck (Animation Scoop), and Warner Archive senior vice president George Feltenstein as they cover the gamut of Bugs’ history from theatrical shorts to Saturday morning cartoons and the new HBO-MAX series. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown (Community, Avengers: Endgame, DC Super Hero Girls) will moderate the panel.

To see more Bugs Bunny cartoons click here: https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:looney-tunes?utm_id=sa%7c71700000067032079%7c58700005866967669%7cp53640660949&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5OX60syo6gIVNh6tBh2I4w08EAAYASAAEgJ-9_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Happy Birthday, Bugs. Thanks for the years of laughter.

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.

If you enjoyed The Cat Came Back, check out these other two adaptations of the classic folk song by clicking on the links below. Thanks for watching!

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2019/01/05/the-cat-came-back/

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2020/04/01/the-cat-came-back-3/

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”.

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.