The animated opening for Bewitched is one of the best-loved trademarks of this magical show. The beautiful blonde witch spells out the shows title and swoops over the city on a star-filled night only to pop in to the kitchen. She turns her hat into a frying pan in the twitch of a nose and turns into a cat with a kiss from Darrin. Then, she jumps into the arms of her befuddled husband. The animated characters never utter a word, as the Bewitched theme song by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller draws the audience in to the opening credits.
Season One animated opening:
The artwork for the opening is the work of Hanna-Barbera Productions, who are best known for their animated series The Flintstones. In fact, various members from the cast of Bewitched were voice actors for Hanna-Barbera cartoons. For instance, Agnes Moorehead performed the voice of the stuttering goose in the movie Charlotte's Web (1972); Paul Lynde played Mildew Wolf in Chattanooga Cats (1969), Sylvester Sneekly in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969), Claude Pertwee in Where's the Huddles? (1970), Tempelton the rat along side Moorehead in Charlotte's Web; Sandra Gould made various guest female voices in The Flintstones (1960-66); Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York both voiced their respective roles for their animated likenesses in the episode "Samantha" from The Flintstones (1965). Some Bewitched script writers and producers also wrote for the H-B Productions, including: Ruth Brooks Flippen, Joanna Lee, Frank Waldman, Coslough Johnson, Rick Mittleman, Lew Hunter, and William Idelson.
The animation and theme music changes slightly through the eight years that Bewitched was filmed. Samantha's hair got blonder on the show and in the cartoon opening. And, yes, both Darrins were shown in their animated form for the opening when the role was recast in 1969. Note the font used in the credits changing slightly as seen in the letters "D", "I", and "R" in the graphic below.
Saw a New Cartoon Darrin as the Only Mention
The opening and closing credits were also altered depending on the show's sponsor. Quaker Oats, Chevrolet, Oscar Meyer, Kodak, and Clairol openings all were featured depending on the season. Click here to see these rare advertisements.
A Chevrolet Animation in the Credits
Bewitched was not the first nor the only show to have an animated opening. However, the Bewitched opening was the most memorable. Perhaps because the animation could illustrate the witch's powers so effectively, or maybe because the animation was perfectly choreographed with the theme music. Here are some other shows that used animation for their opening credits:
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy (picture available here)
Make Room for Daddy, which was retitled The Danny Thomas Show (picture available here)
The Paul Lynde Show
The Joey Bishop Show (picture available here)
The Smothers Brothers
The Hathaways (picture available here)
Lost in Space
Dennis the Menace
Nanny and the Professor
The Partridge Family
My Favorite Martian
My Three Sons
The Wild, Wild West
Sonny and Cher
The Carol Burnett Show
The Phil Silvers Show
You Bet Your Life
The Rosie O' Donnell Show
Other animated witches include:
The Wizard of Oz had two witches: the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. They are often illustrated in TV specials and books.
The Snow White movie features an Evil Queen that turned herself into the old hag witch with the poison apple. Mouse over the image to see the transformation.
The tale of Hansel and Gretel features an old witch who lived in a candy house. This character is depicted on Bewitched in # 238.
Disney's The Little Mermaid features the nasty sea witch Ursula.
The Sleeping Beauty animated Disney film features an evil witch named Maleficent.
Sabrina the Teen Age Witch was originally an Archie Comic, as was My Little Margie. There is also a new cartoon featuring Sabrina.
Wendy the Witch is a friend of Casper's and spun off into her own show.
Beulah the Witch from the Kuklah, Fran and Ollie Show
Magica De Spell, the evil witch who is after Donald Duck's Uncle Scrooge and his money.
There were a number of cartoon characters named "Witch Hazel". Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Famous Studios, Rembrandt Films, and the Little Lulu comic book all featured a character using this name. The first Witch Hazel Looney Tunes cartoon (pictured) was ironically entitled "Bewitched Bunny", and it featured Bea Benaderet as the voice of Witch Hazel.
Mad Madam Mim is the witch in The Sword and the Stone animated feature film.
Mombie from The Journey Back to Oz
Tabitha and Adam Stephens were animated for a brief time on the ABC Saturday morning show Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family.
Mary Poppins appeared to be from the magical realm and is illustrated in cartoons and story books.
Mahoutsukai Sally was the first shoujo anime series in Japan (1966). It featured an animated witch girl and was inspired by Bewitched.
A popular Japanese anime character was created in 2005 named "Bewitched Agnes". The 13 episode series was an homage to Bewitched, and the main character's name was a reference to Agnes Moorehead.