LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN
As far as cartoon entertainment goes, I am a diehard fan of the animated shorts produced by Warner Bros. When the original LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION showed up on DVD, I proclaimed it The Holy Grail of classic animation- this is a sentiment that I must reiterate for the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO ($65), which delivers an additional 60 classic animated shorts. As much as I love the splendid work Warner Home Video is doing to lovingly restore these wonderful cartoons for release on DVD, it is highly unlikely that the present incarnation of the DVD format itself will still be around by the time each and every animated short in Warner’s library is restored for release. After all, there are over 1,000 of these marvelous cartoons in the Warner library and at the current output of roughly 60 animated shorts per year; one has to figure that the majority will probably be debuting in some high definition format.
Disc one is the is Bugs Bunny Masterpieces and features the following animated shorts, The Big Snooze, Broomstick Bunny, Bugs Bunny Rides Again, Bunny Hugged, French Rabbit, Gorilla My Dreams, The Hare-Brained Hypnotist, Hare Conditioned, The Heckling Hare, Little Red Riding Rabbit, Tortoise Beats Hare, Rabbit Transit, Slick Hare, Baby Buggy Bunny and Hyde And Hare.
Disc two is the is Road Runner And Friends and features the following animated shorts, Beep Beep, Going Going Gosh, Zipping Along, Stop Look And Hasten, Ready Set Zoom, Guided Muscle, Gee Whiz-Z-Z-Z, There They Go-Go-Go, Scarambled Aches, Zoom And Bored, Whoa Be Gone, Cheese Chasers, The Dover Boys, Mouse Wreckers and Bear For Punishment.
Disc three is the is Tweety & Sylvester And Friends and features the following animated shorts, Bad Ol' Putty Tat, All Abir-r-r-d, Room And Bird, Tweet Tweet Tweety, Gift Wrapped, Ain't She Tweet, A Bird In A Guilty Cage, Snow Business, Tweety Pie, Kitty Kornered, Baby Bottleneck, Old Glory, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, Duck Soup To Nuts and Porky In Wackyland.
Disc four is the is Looney Tunes All Stars On Stage And Screen and features the following animated shorts, Back Alley Oproar, Book Revue, Corny Concerto, Have You Got Any Castles, Hollywood Steps Out, I Love To Singa, Katnip Kollege, The Hep Cat, Three Little Bops, One Froggy Evening, Rhapsody Rabbit, Show Biz Bugs, Stage Door Cartoon What's Opera Doc? and You Ought To Be In Pictures.
Warner Home Video has done a really marvelous job with the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO, offering all sixty of the animated shorts in their proper 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratios. As for the image quality, let’s just say it’s golden- all of these cartoons look so much better than the tired presentations we’ve all grown used to over the last several decades. There is better image resolution in each short, plus the colors all seem more vibrant than they have appeared in the past. Some visual imperfections remain in the image, although none of the shorts ever display excessive blemishes. A noticeable grain structure is present much of the time to remind one that many of these cartoons are over six decades old and that they originated on motion picture film. The black and white content of the discs also looks quite good, although perhaps not quite as good as the Technicolor shorts. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.
As for the Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks, they are generally quite good for their age. There are sonic variations between the shorts, but they have all been cleaned up rather well with most of the age related background hiss and other audible anomalies having been stripped away in the mastering process. Limitations to the fidelity of these soundtracks do remain; however, the zany musical components, not to mention zanier sound effects come across well enough to thrill any Looney Tunes fan. Dialogue is always completely intelligible, plus the wonderful vocal characterizations of Mel Blanc (amongst others) sound just fine. A French and Spanish language tracks are also provided, as are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the a nice array of supplemental features, which pertain to individual cartoons, as well as those being relative to the Warner Bros. cartoons as a whole. There are audio commentaries provided for twenty-nine of the various cartoons spread across the set, as well as fourteen cartoons that feature either isolated musical tracks, music and effects tracks or voice only tracks.
The larger supplemental programs include Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All Star 50th Anniversary Part 1 & Part 2 a fifty minute program broken up across discs one & three. A Conversation With Tex Avery a seven-minute interview with the great animator. The Bugs Bunny Show features animated segments from the TV series. The Adventures Of The Road Runner is a half hour pilot for the TV series. Crash! Bang! Boom!: The Wild Sounds Of Treg Brown pays tribute to the man who made these legendary cartoons sound the way they did. The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show Opening Sequence is self-explanatory. Daffy Duck For President is a brand new animated short created for this set.
Man From Wackyland: The Art Of Bob Clampett is a tribute to one of Warner’s greatest animators, although there are no mentions of Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs or Tin Pan Alley Cats. Opening Sequences from The Porky Pig Show and The Bugs Bunny And Tweety Show are also featured. The Behind The Tunes includes the following featurettes Looney Tunes Go Hollywood, It Hopped One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening and Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making Of What’s Opera, Doc. Vault Rarities include Orange Blossoms For Violet and the Academy Award winning short So Much For So Little produced for the government.
Like its predecessor, LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO is another outstanding release of the animated treasures in the Warn Bros. vaults. Not only are these cartoons real treasures, but also they look better than ever thanks to the new polish that Warner has imbued upon them. Again, I look forward to future volumes of Warner’s Golden Collection, and remain hopeful that each and every one of these classic cartoons will be released on DVD, without any omissions- especially amongst Bob Clampett’s work. Absolutely recommended.
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