In 2016, I started a blog series that I thought would be a lot of fun for the Halloween season. It’s called, “Creepy Cartoons”. The first installment was “The 10 Scariest Episodes of Scooby Doo“, which continues to be one of my highest viewed posts to date.
The second post was a slice right out of my childhood, featuring one of the quirkier cartoon bumpers that used to play on the USA Network’s Cartoon Express, “Monster Bash“.
Somehow I didn’t get around to adding a Creepy Cartoon post to the collection last October, but this year I have a few good ones for you to watch. Don’t worry, they’re short!
“La de da da da da da da da da da da da da da Abracadabraaaaaa…”
Okay, be honest, how many of you immediately knew the cartoon that little jingle is from? You should know, because it’s from THE best ever episode of Bugs Bunny. Well, it’s at least my personal favourite.
This creepy 7-minute Merrie Melodies Bugs Bunny cartoon first aired on November 30, 1963. After taking a wrong turn at Albuquerque, Bugs finds himself in a spooky little place called Pittsburghe, Transylvania. He’s immediately noticed by a delightfully prim and proper two-headed vulture named Emily… and Agatha.
Bugs makes his way to what he assumes is a hotel. It’s actually the castle of a welcoming, overly-eager, hungry, snaggle-toothed vampire, Count Bloodcount.
The artwork in this episode is fang-tastic. Truly a visual triumph with top-notch background paintings by Philip Deguard. The castle is filled with all sorts of ghoulish details. My favourite being, of course, the books in Bugs’ room.
There’s some good old-fashioned humour in here, with Bugs and the Count having a “magic-word-off” in the castle, each one transforming when either “Abracadabra” or “Hocus-Pocus” are uttered — as well as a few ooky word mash-ups and random phrases that Bugs comes up with, which turns the Count into a variety of different fun creatures, including another Looney Tunes character — Witch Hazel!
The episode title is a play on the 1940 song “The Pennsylvania 6-5000” by Glenn Miller. Pennsylvania 6-5000 [P(7)E(3)6-5000] was the phone number for the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City where Miller was based at the time. Fun fact: The number is still the same today — 212-736-5000!
There’s some excellent voice work by Mel Blanc, Ben Frommer, and Julie Bennett, and the musical cues are on point. This was one of the very last Bugs Bunny cartoons directed by Chuck Jones, who worked on more than 200 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts.
So if you’re a fan of that wascally wabbit, or you just have 7 minutes to enjoy the “fun” kind of horror, then please go ahead and watch the episode embedded below. 55 years later, it’s guaranteed to still delight boys and ghouls of all ages.
Let me know: Are you a fan of this classic creepy cartoon? Or do you think that Bugs was just… flapping up the wrong tree with this vampire adventure?
Until next time, unpleasant dreams . . .