9 surreal Looney Tunes shorts that are not like the rest

Feast your eyes on these wonderfully weird and wacky cartoons.

While Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts always take certain liberties with reality, some stretch the boundaries farther than others. The beauty of cartoons is that things like gravity and logic don't have to apply!

But sometimes animators took things in strange new directions with incredibly absurd results. Here are nine Looney Tunes shorts that stand out from the usual Bugs and Daffy fair because of their zany or bizarre qualities.

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1. The Girl at the Ironing Board (1934)

This black-and-white short starts off normally. Men and women working at a laundry sing while they iron clothes and sharpen collars. But at night, when the workers have left, the clothes come alive. A man and a woman drop off their laundry at the same time and take a liking to each other, but instead of following them, we see what happens to their clothes! Naturally, the couple's clothes also fall in love. The sentient outfits dance and sing while combatting a villainous garment who twirls his bowtie mustache. The cartoon features many strange sequences including two parent pajamas changing the diaper of their baby onesie.

2. Streamlined Greta Green (1937)

Long before Pixar came out with Cars, Warner Bros. released a cartoon with anthropomorphic automobiles. They dance together, box at intersections and go to filling station diners to drink fuel. The world is certainly a little out there but the most bizarre parts of this short are the faces on the vehicles, with their wide, headlight eyes.

3. Fresh Fish (1939)

This short is set up as a mock educational reel, a common theme for cartoons that didn't use any popular characters. This one immediately sets itself apart because it takes place almost entirely underwater and thus has a flickering, dreamy quality to mimic the flow of water. A narrator lists a wide variety of marine life, like a starfish who wants to be in motion pictures and an electric eel that can light up its own neon sign. The most unique animal, a two-headed fish, repeatedly asks the annoyed narrator about seeing Mr. Ripley, presumably to be featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!

4. Dog Gone Modern (1939)

This short revolves around two dogs who unwittingly enter a model home of the future. An automatic sweeper robot zooms around cleaning any mess, an "electric dishwasher" is more like a carwash for dishes, and a napkin-folding machine tangles up one of the dogs in a knot. But the weirdness really starts with the piano. Two robot hands play the keys while an assortment of instruments like horns and flutes pop out and play their parts. To top it off, three mechanical heads spring out and sing in unison. They look like ventriloquist dolls on springs and add a bit of a carnival air to an otherwise congenial cartoon.

5. A Gander at Mother Goose (1940)

As the title suggests, this short is a satirical take on the famous nursery rhymes of Mother Goose. Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet and the Three Little Pigs all make appearances, with typical Looney Tunes zaniness. But the funniest and strangest portrayal is of Humpty Dumpty, who falls from the wall but only shows one crack!

6. Wacky Wildlife (1940)

Another parody educational short, the narrator of this cartoon takes viewers on a journey through the animal kingdom. It stands out for its realistic renderings of the animals — even when they're doing something comical, like a dainty deer gulping loudly from a pond, or a horse and cowboy running in place. The oddest part is a sheep showing some skin as the narrator says "There's nothing like a good leg of lamb."

7. The Trial of Mr. Wolf (1941)

This cartoon sees the Big Bad Wolf finally face the consequences for his misdeeds in court. But while on the witness stand, the wolf spins a tale of Little Red Riding Hood as a tough, motorcycle-riding con-artist and Grandma as a maniacal hunter especially fond of wolf furs. It's one of the stranger Looney Tunes fairy tale parodies and is all the better for it.

8. Bug Parade (1941)

A third cartoon framed as an educational reel, this one is about the wacky antics of bugs. There are plenty of jokes about ants, bees, snails and caterpillars, but the weirdest segment by far is the one about flies. The narrator relates how a fly's two large eyes are really "composed of thousands of smaller eyes." The accompanying visual is nothing short of surreal, like something out of a Dali painting.

9. The Hypo-chondri-Cat (1950)

It's probably the most widely seen on this list as it's one of the best Hubie and Bertie cartoons, but that doesn't mean this short isn't downright delightfully mind-bending. When the two mischievous rodents find out the cat chasing them, Claude is a hypochondriac, they use it to their advantage. Not only do they convince him he's turning different colors but they pretend to perform surgery sending Claude into a strange, colorful hallucination complete with a far-away, echoing version of Bertie's "yeah-yeah, sure-sure." Though the diabolical duo torment Claude in most of their outings together, this cartoon takes the weirdness up a notch.

 
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UrbanGadd 29 days ago
It would be wonderful to see more toons from the 1930's. I've been watching since "Toon In With Me" and "Saturday Morning Cartoons" began in January but you rarely screen early Warner Bros or MGM cartoons (from the 30's). They have a totally different vibe from the 40's and later stuff once the main characters (Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Sylvester, Foghorn, etc.) have been established and defined. Come on, show us some of the earlier WB toons. While they were finding themselves the Warner Bros studios created such a diverse range of toons it's a shame to show only the ones everybody already knows. Sniffles, Bosko, Buddy, Beans, and all the one-offs based on a popular song of the era. We want them all. Thank you.
SheriHeffner 1 month ago
I remember watching all of those as a child except the 1st and 2nd ones.
MrChrisM 2 months ago
I remember every one of those. Of course the being almost 50 that isn't surprising.
lynngdance 2 months ago
the “Trial of Mr. Wolf” thing looks a lot like “Hoodwinked!” 😆
LooneyTraceGG 2 months ago
The bug with several smaller eyes in each of his 2 eyes was definitely Disturbing, but clever.
MattBL 2 months ago
They forgot one: "Now Hear This" (1963). That one is SUPER weird.
sourdust MattBL 2 months ago
Also “Porky In Wackyland”
debadoo22 2 months ago
My, all-time, favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon is the one where he is chased by a witch, who changed to a beautiful female rabbit. Then at the end Bugs says something like they've all got a bit of witch in them😂
cperrynaples debadoo22 2 months ago
"Yeah, I know! But ain't they all witches inside?"
rikkirat 2 months ago
What no Porky in Wackyland (1938) or it’s 1949 color redo Dough for the Do Do? These two had to be the most whacked out Looney Tunes ever made. They’re like Looney Tune versions of paintings by Salvador Dali.
Zombie 2 months ago
Interesting tidbits to know
Dave 2 months ago
I LOVE the Hypochondri-Cat! Hilarious to see this skittish naive cat and the mice that get the best of him.
"Look, he's toinin' green!"
"Look, he's toinin' blue!"
"Look, he's toinin' plaid!"
cperrynaples Dave 2 months ago
And since this is a cartoon, the cat actually changes colors!
cperrynaples 2 months ago
If you want to see a freaky cartoon, look for the Popeye where Bluto replaces his spinach with loco weed! When Popeye danced with a bull and Bluto tried to brand Olive Oyl, it freaked me out as a kid! I wonder if MeTV would be able to run THAT one in their kid-friendly block!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 2 months ago
The cartoon is Rodeo Romeo and can be seen on YouTube!
sourdust cperrynaples 2 months ago
Another is “Betty Boop And The Seven Dwarfs” with Cab Calloway. Trippin’!
ncadams27 2 months ago
Some of the World War II cartoons were quite interesting.
cperrynaples ncadams27 2 months ago
Yes, but you have to put in perspective the period! For example, Hitler was depicted as an idiot, but no one here knew about the Holocaust! The only satires from that period that still work are The Great Dictator and To Be Or Not to Be! Also, the Japanese stereotypes are unacceptable today, and more so in light of George Takai's memories of growing up in an interment camp!
ncadams27 cperrynaples 2 months ago
Agreed. Several Three Stooges shorts used similar stereotypes.
cperrynaples ncadams27 2 months ago
Still, I enjoy the slapstick in I'll Never Heil Again, where Moe is Hitler and Curly is Mussalini! I'm sure it's been on MeTV!
If I had to choose 3 fave 3 stooges shorts they would have to be: "Gents Without Cents," "A Plumbing We Will Go," and {I can never remember the title,} the WW2 short where Larry dresses in a Carmen Miranda type get up, and sits on the German General's lap.! I like all of the WW2 sendups, they ae hysterical! One of them that doesn't get tv airplay, {well it hadn't the last time I heard about it,} is the one that shows the Japanese. That's all I can remember about it. This will give me an excuse to check out which one it is. Like I need an excuse to watch the brothers Horowitz and Larry Fine!
You probably know this, but for those that don't: It has been widely publicized, and stated as factual through the years, that Charlie Chaplin was the first actor to portray Hitler on the big screen. That is not true. The year the Great Dictator came out, {I think it was 1940,} Moe also appeared as Hitler. The short he first parodied him in came out in January of that year, TGD came out in October. I may have the CC title wrong, {I do know for certain that their respective appearances were 9 month apart,} it came out in October of the same year movie goers first saw Moe as Hitler back in January.
“You Nazty Spy” is the title of that short.
DUH! I'M NOT AN IDIOT! I know my Stooges. I was just testing to see if anyone else knew.
Kelley1 2 months ago
Actually a lot of people found the Monocaine and Duracaine. It wasn't laundry at all.
Barry22 2 months ago
Those WB one-offs cartoons were great. Hope Me TV shows them.
They don't, they don't. There are probably other websites that show them.
MrsPhilHarris 2 months ago
I don’t remember any of these specifically, but I do have vague remembrances of strange cartoons.🤔
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