Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD. Due to those dimensions, the image has NOT been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. This was a consistently ugly presentation.
Sharpness was adequate but no better. The show offered acceptable definition but lacked much real clarity. This was affected by noticeable edge haloes and all sorts of digital artifacts; mosquito noise was a particular problem. Jagged edges and shimmering weren’t an issue, but source flaws abounded. The program displayed frequent examples of specks, nicks, scratches, marks and lines.
Colors were mediocre at best. They tended to be too heavy and runny, so they lacked the vivacity and range I'd expect. Blacks were too dark, and shadows seemed lackluster. I doubt that WB put any work into this transfer; it looked like it simply got slapped onto a DVD without any attempts to make it attractive.
Similar issues affected the lifeless monaural soundtrack. The audio was clear but utterly without range. Speech probably fared best of all, as at least the lines were intelligible and without noticeable edginess.
Everything else was iffy. Effects lacked distortion but also failed to display any vivacity and seemed bland and thin. Music came across the same way, as the score was feeble and flat. While I didn’t expect sonic fireworks, I thought I’d get something more impressive than this.
Only a handful of extras appear here. An Interactive Puzzle requires you to put together DVD-based jigsaws. These are exceedingly simple and not much fun. If you complete them, you get to see clips from the show you’ve already watched. Whee!
We also get a bonus short. In Hair-Raising Hare (7:40), an evil scientist tries to lure Bugs to his lair so his horrible monster can eat the rabbit. Naturally, Bugs prefers to avoid this fate. This is the definition of a classic cartoon and one of the all-time greats.
The disc opens with ads for Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes and the Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Swamp videogame. The DVD also throws in a promo for KidsWB.com.
When it first aired 32 years ago, Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special was cheap filler, and it hasn’t improved with age. The program simply packages a lot of cartoon snippets into a show that’s less than the sum of its parts. The DVD provides poor picture quality, drab audio and minor supplements. Even with a bargain list price, Howl-Oween doesn’t deserve your money.