This blog post has been chilling in draft mode for 2 years or so. Never finished it (that’s why it was labeled ‘Draft’). Well, let’s knock it out…
Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales
Originally Aired: November 27, 1979 on CBS
Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales was one of my favorite holiday specials growing up. Though it debuted in ’79, I remember it was aired on a fairly annual basis throughout the 1980s and I had a VHS copy that was taped for TV. Unfortunately, this special hasn’t received a solo release on Region 1 DVD but it is a special feature on the Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Vol. 5 DVD set. Or you can find it on YouTube or Daily Motion, if you know what to look for.
Enjoy this bumper from 1987 (plus a bonus bumper!):
Unlike Bugs Bunny’s Thanksgiving Diet, which featured new animation to present clips of old animation, this special is entirely brand new. Three new shorts were created: “Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol”, “Freeze Frame” and “The Fright Before Christmas”.
“Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol” is the Looney Tunes version of “A Christmas Carol” (as if you couldn’t guess) but should not be confused with the Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas that was released direct-to-video in 2006. I was hoping they were going to include this special as a bonus feature for that release, but they didn’t.
It’s a fun cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Petunia Pig and Pepe Le Pew. Watching it today brought back many fond memories and Bugs freezing Yosemite by dumping snow into his hot bath is still funny.
Next up is “Freeze Frame”, a Chuck Jones cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. The coyote uses all kinds of Acme snow-based products to finally catch the Road Runner. Never been a big fan of Chuck Jones or the entire Wile E./Road Runner series. Nostalgia definitely plays a role in how much I still enjoy this cartoon.
Now, they saved the best for last — “The Fright Before Christmas”! This one stars Bugs Bunny, his nephew Clyde and the Tasmanian Devil.
As Bugs is reading his nephew “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, Taz ends up literally falling into a Santa suit and then stumbles down Bugs’ chimney. He proceeds to eat everything in sight and, for some reason, Bugs lets him despite the fact that he seems to be completely aware that Taz is not the real Santa.
But, that’s okay. That enables us to get this scene:
There’s also another funny bit where Taz swallows a jar of unpopped popcorn while standing in front of the fire place and then all the popcorn pops inside him. Ultimately, Bugs gets rid of Taz by giving him a self-inflatable rubber raft as a Christmas gift, Taz eats it, it inflates and then he floats away into the sky.
So that’s it. I finally finished this post. Looney Tunes are timeless. Though Chuck Jones was never my cup of tea, all three of these shorts hold up well over time. It’s a shame there’s not much room on primetime and cable TV anymore for anything other than Frosty, Rudolph, the Grinch and Charlie Brown when it comes to classic holiday specials. This one really deserves to be exposed to a new audience.