Witch Hazel first appeared in the cartoon short “Bewitched Bunny” released July 24, 1954. The cartoon starred Bugs Bunny who disguises himself as a truant officer to infiltrate Witch Hazel’s cottage and rescue Hansel and Gretel from her clutches.
Admonishing the witch, Bugs says, “Shame on you, Granny, Roastin’ children when they should be in school..!” To which Hazel replies…”Everyone should have a hobby.”
Eventually, Bugs convinces the two children who have been feasting on candy treats that they are in danger, and so they escape before Witch Hazel has a chance to eat them.
In the sequel cartoon “Broom-Stick Bunny” released February 25, 1956, Bugs is Trick-or-Treating at the home of Witch Hazel dressed as a creepy witch.
When Witch Hazel realizes there is a rabbit beneath the costume, she tries to lure Bugs into her house so she can put his furry carcass into her stew.
In the 1959 follow-up “A Witch’s Tangled Hare” released October 31, 1959, Bugs does battle with Witch Hazel in her castle along with the poet laureate William Shakespeare who turns out be a guy named Sam Krubish.
The cartoon ends with Witch Hazel and Sam Krubish arguing over whether Hazel gave Sam the right apartment number when he came to visit her. In the last line Bugs says: “2B or not 2B? That is the question.”
During the many chase scenes in the cartoons Witch Hazel left behind a puff of smoke as she “zipped!” from room to room in pursuit of her prey.
At the end of one such chase, Bugs Bunny throws a magic potion at Witch Hazel, which transforms her into a beautiful, sexy, girl rabbit.
Bugs: He-LLO!!…Going my way?
She-Rabbit: Mmm-Hmmm! EE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE!!!!!
Bugs: [looking at audience] Aw sure….I know!!… But aren’t they all witches inside?
The witch Hazel character was also featured on THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW (1960) TV Series; “A-Haunting We Will Go” (1966); “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special” (1978); “Bugs Bunny: Lost In Time” (1999); and “Looney Tunes: Stranger Than Fiction” (2003).
June Foray who supplied the voice of Witch Hazel in all the cartoons also did a similar witch voice as Hazel the Witch in the Disney cartoon “Trick or Treat” (1952) and as a puppet called “The Witch” on the children’s TV series ANDY’S GANG (1955).
There was also a Witch Hazel character created by John Stanley that appeared in the “Little Lulu Comics” beginning in 1952, the same year Disney introduced their Witch Hazel character.
c/o Enchanted Cottage
Bewitched Bunny (IMDB)
Broom-Stick Bunny (IMDB)
A Witch’s Tangled Hare (IMDB)
Warner Brothers Witch Hazel lures Hansel and Gretel into her cottage (Video)
Disney Witch Hazel Cartoon – “Trick or Treat” (Video)