In this adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Daffy Duck is the greedy proprietor of the Lucky Duck Mega-Mart and all he can think about is the money to be made during the ... See full summary »
Yosemite Sam is miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in this spoof of Charles Dickens' classic tale. Porky Pig, as Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchit, is fired on Christmas eve for the unpardonable act of ... See full summary »
By all means, 'Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales' is not as good as the classic Looney Tunes cartoons and doesn't see these great characters at their very best, but it is decent and very watchable stuff and makes for some good entertainment at Christmas.
Anthologies tend to have segments that are better than others, and 'Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales' is no exception. For me, the take on 'A Christmas Carol', named 'Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol', was the best. 'Freeze Frame' with Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote and 'Fright Before Christmas' with Taz and Bugs (not to mention Clyde) are watchable and reasonably entertaining, with 'Freeze Frame' being the better of the two, though neither showcase the best of either character's best talents and the best ideas and gags for Looney Tunes were long gone when this was made.
In all three segments, there is a made-for-TV feel which does see some stiffness in the character designs and a lack of finesse, but it is colourful with some nice background detail and a good sense of Christmas with the wintry setting. It is true that the music is not up to the standard of Carl Stalling (or Milt Franklyn even), but while it is not completely action-enhancing there are some nice sounds, it doesn't sound cheap, it has energy and at least it fits.
All three segments have their amusing moments, without being hilarious and all three could have been more consistent with the humour. What there is is mostly timed quite well, without feeling too tired or hurried, though 'Fright Before Christmas' has too much of a recycled feel to the gags at times. The most successful humour-wise is 'Freeze Frame, which while nowhere near one of the classics of that particular series of cartoons it feels more like a Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon than most of their later efforts, which saw some of the duds in the Looney Tunes canon. 'Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol' is also quite fun, with the best moments belonging to Yosemite Sam, perfectly cast in the Ebeneezer Scrooge role.
Narratively, the cartoons fare okay. 'Freeze Frame' is a bit samey and routine, and 'Fright Before Christmas' is quite predictable, but 'Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol' is a fun and quite clever take on the classic story and would have been even better if it was longer and less rushed. The characters are true to personality, especially Yosemite, Bugs and Coyote. As said Sam is perfectly cast in the Ebeneezer Scrooge role, Bugs is his usual smart, zany and likable self and Porky Pig is touchingly humble and timid as Bob Cratchit. It is a shame though that too many of the other characters while nice to spot and true to their classic personalities don't have enough material or screen time to shine properly.
Roadrunner is amusing in 'Freeze Frame', much less annoying than he was in the late 60s RR/C cartoons, and doesn't feel too much of a plot device, though Coyote is funnier and more interesting and is great fun. The two work well together. No problem can be had with Bugs in 'Fright Before Christmas' either, and Taz is fun while Clyde is a memorable supporting character. Mel Blanc does a blameless job with the voices, and while she doesn't have as many roles to fill (only two to Blanc's twelve) June Foray does more than dependably too.
Overall, decent if not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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