Transylvania 6-5000

From Loonipedia

Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) is a short Merrie Melodies animated film directed by Chuck Jones and starring Bugs Bunny. Bugs demonstrates how to handle a pesky vampire with six simple magic incantations. The title is a pun on "Pennsylvania 6-5000", a song made famous by Glenn Miller, and referring to the old telephone number system of an "exchange" of two letters plus a digit, instead of a three-digit exchange (i.e. PE6-5000 vs. TR6-5000). Voiced by: Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny and Count Bloodcount, and Julie Bennett as Agatha and Emily Vultures.

Plot[edit]

Bugs is heading for "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania", but instead ends up in "Pittsburghe Transylvania". Initially he asks a two-headed female vulture (the two heads are named "Agatha" and "Emily") for directions to "Pittsboig", but the girls seem to be talking about making him into a meal. Bugs sees an old castle nearby, mistakes it for a motel, and calmly makes an exit.

At the castle, Bugs meets a vampire, who introduces himself as Count Bloodcount and invites him in. Although Bugs is only looking for a telephone to call his travel agency, the Count leads him to a guest room and says, "Rest first, telephone tomorrow. Rest is gooood for the blooood."

Unable to sleep, Bugs picks up a book titled "Magic Words and Phrases" because all the other books' subject matter was blood. Despite his initial skepticism about their effect, he is about to treat the viewers to a classic sequence of gags featuring the use of the magic words "hocus pocus" and "abacadabra" (Bugs' Brooklyn-esque pronunciation of "abracadabra").

As Bugs begins to read the phrasebook, the Count sneaks up behind him and is just about to strike when Bugs says "abacadabra", turning the Count into a bat. Bugs mistakes the bat/Count for a big mosquito and clobbers the bat with a fly swatter. As the bat dizzily flies out of the window, Bugs says "hocus pocus", which causes the Count to turn back into a vampire and fall into the moat surrounding his castle. Agatha and Emily watch the Count take the plunge, while they wonder who he is (Emily: "Anyone we know, Agatha?", Agatha: "No. Splendid-looking specimen, though.").

Shortly afterward, Bugs is searching for the house restaurant. The Count sneaks up from behind again, but Bugs is humming a song (to the tune of the popular song "It's Magic," sung by Bugs in other WB cartoons as "Oh, carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it's magic!") and inadvertently turns the Count back into a bat with "abacadabra". Once again mistaking the bat for a mosquito ("Another one? They oughta screen this place!"), Bugs sprays the bat with a fumigator. As the bat/Count is hanging his head down from an archway, coughing insecticide out of his lungs, Bugs sings "hocus pocus" during a continuation of his song, and the Count crashes to the floor on his head.

Fed up with the situation, the Count reveals his true identity to Bugs, resulting in a duel of "magic phrases" in which Bugs transforms into an umpire. Bugs gets the best of the Count throughout the duel, as might be expected.

Bugs eventually says "abraca-pocus" which gives the vampire his human body and a bat's head, then says "hocus-cadabra" and the vampire now is only a head with bat wings. Afterward he uses "Newport News" and turns him into Witch Hazel. Unimpressed, Bugs comments to himself, "I can do better than that." Then finally he uses the incantation "Walla Walla, Washington", and the Count is turned into a two-headed male vulture. Bugs calls out to Agatha and Emily, who are just outside the castle; and the Count is horrified to find himself the object of their amorous pursuit. The Count flees the castle with the female vulture in pursuit as Bugs watched in amusement.

In an epilogue, Bugs finds a working pay phone (in a coffin), but while waiting for the operator to reach his travel agency in Perth Amboy, he mumbles "abraca-pocus", and his ears turn into bat wings. Bugs hangs up and decides to fly home with those wings.

The magic phrase duel[edit]

  1. The Count reveals himself to be a vampire ("I am a vampire!").
  2. Bugs Bunny says "abacadabra" and becomes an umpire ("Oh yeah? Well, abacadabra. I'm an umpire!").
  3. The Count says "hocus pocus" and becomes a bat ("Hocus pocus! I'm a bat!") (This is curious, because Bugs saying "abacadabra" turns the Count into a bat while he is in vampire form. The effect of "hocus pocus" must depend on who is saying it).
  4. Bugs says "abacadabra" and becomes a baseball bat ("Okay, I'm a bat too! Abaca dabra!").
  5. The Count puts glasses on, hoping this will prevent Bugs from hitting him, but still gets conked over the head, falling into the seams between the floor stones ("You wouldn't hit a bat with glasses on, would you?" <CONK!>").
  6. The Count reverses the phrases and says "hocus pocus" to become a vampire again, lifting the floor stone under him, intent on crushing Bugs ("Hocus pocus! Now I crush you!").
  7. Bugs says "abacadabra". The Count becomes a bat, and is crushed by his own stone. This repeats two times, with the Count coming up more dazed each time before finally crawling out of the floor as a bat (Bugs - "Abacadabra!" [SPLAT!], The Count [muffled]- "Hocus [strains] pocus!", Bugs - "Abacadabra!" [PLOP!], The Count [muffled]- "Hocus pocus!", Bugs - "Abacadabra!" [PLOP!]).
  8. The Count (as a bat) struggles out from underneath the floor stones. Bugs, as he removes his umpire's chest protector, says "abraca-pocus". The Count becomes a vampire, but with a bat's head ("Abraca-pocus").
  9. Bugs then says "hocus-cadabra". The Count becomes a bat with the vampire's head ("Uh, Hocus-cadabra").
  10. Bugs says "Newport News". The Count becomes Witch Hazel, which disappoints Bugs. ("Newport News...Wow, I can do better than that")
  11. Bugs says "Walla Walla, Washington". The Count becomes a male two-headed vulture ("Walla Walla, Washington!").
  12. Bugs sics Agatha and Emily on the Count, who flies away with the girl(s) in hot pursuit.

Censorship[edit]

  • On the ABC airing of this cartoon, the following parts were cut:
    • Most of the beginning (specifically the parts over the opening credits; this was standard practice on ABC).
    • The part where Bugs rings the castle bell by pulling on a noose.
    • Count Bloodcount's line, "No, it's never too late" was cut.
    • The sequence where Count Bloodcount escorts Bugs through the castle had Bugs' comments on all the ghostly objects (including Bugs' line that the castle would be "a wonderful place for a vacation") muted.

References in other media[edit]

Count Blood Count also reappeared in the Video Games Bugs Bunny and Taz Time Busters as the final boss character.

The Count character also appeared in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Stuff that Goes Bump in the Night" in the segment "Fang You Very Much," where he is adopted by Elmyra Duff while disguised as a bat.

The Tiny Toons version of the Count also appears as a boss character in the video game Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!.

In the song 'Dracula' by Gorillaz, you can hear in the beginning of the song the phrases "I am a vampire!" and "rest is good for the blood" that are clearly excerpts of the Count speaking.

Portions of the cartoon were used in the compilation film Bugs Bunny's Howl-Oween Special. Before the footage of the cartoon began, Witch Hazel is transformed into Count Blood Count by some Hyde formula that Bugs brought with him, so when Bugs uses the phrase "Newport News," she remains as Witch Hazel.

Most of the cartoon was used in Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, but some dialogue was redubbed to connect it to the film's main story. Also, the end was changed so that instead of Bugs sprouting bat wings and flying away, he reports his findings to Daffy Duck (although he still sings "abraca-pocus" to himself while in the coffin phone-booth), who is displeased to hear from him (saying "What do you think we're running here, a matrimonial agency?"). Later, Bugs is seen leaving the castle from the cartoon before he answers a nearby payphone as part of the link to the cartoon The Abominable Snow Rabbit.

Count Bloodcount also appears in Looney Tunes Collector: Alert! as a boss character. After the player defeats him, he decides to become an NPC ally of Bugs to find some opportunites in blood.

Note[edit]

This was the last Chuck Jones theatrical cartoon release to feature Bugs Bunny.

When Bugs mentions he hasn't ate since he left "Cu-ca-monga" is a reference to The Jack Benny Program.

Crew[edit]

References[edit]

Looney Tunes Collector: Alert!

Developer - Infogrames

Publisher - Infogrames

Release Date - 2000-06-24

Platform - Game Boy Color

Level - Count Bloodcount's mansion

Language - English

Quote - COUNT BLOODCOUNT: The rabbit's smart. I'll follow him for now. I may get some blood out of it!

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mad as a Mars Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1963
Succeeded by
Dumb Patrol