About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Christmas in July 2023: Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (1979)


Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #5 in the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. Each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies that are a creative or imaginative adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition will be released soon).  

Yesterday we looked at the classic Walt Disney animated Mickey's Christmas Carol so today let's discuss another animated version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Let's look at the 1979 animated special Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales. The half-hour program features the familiar Looney Tunes characters created by Warner Brothers but here animated by DePatie-Freleng. 

The animated special is comprised of three short segments, linked by everyone’s favorite Looney Tunes characters caroling in the snow. The segments are “Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol,” “Freeze Frame," and “The Fright Before Christmas." I'm only concerned with the first segment--the animated adaptation of Dickens' literary tale.


"Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol" features Yosemite Sam as Ebenezer Scrooge, Bugs Bunny as the Ghost, Porky Pig as Bob Cratchit, and Tweety Bird as Tiny Tim. In this story, Bugs Bunny wants to teach Scrooge a lesson so he acts as the ghost of Jacob Marley, then the Ghost of Christmas, to frighten Scrooge/Yosemite Sam into changing his attitude. Scrooge becomes so afraid, he dons a Santa Claus suit and begins handing out cash on the street!


 The animated segment is just a few minutes long but it casts a long shadow. This "Christmas Carol" segment has aired on TV separate from the entire program "Bug Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales" too. Later, in 2006 there was a second "Christmas Carol" created, entitled Bah Humduck: A Looney Tunes Christmas which also features the Looney Tunes characters but the story is lengthened and more characters fill out the background roles. 

And, Christmas movie fans may remember that depressed Martin Riggs (played by Mel Gibson) in the 1987 movie Lethal Weapon is watching Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales on TV when he's feeling suicidal. Maybe the animated special cheers him up? Merry Christmas in July, friends.


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com


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