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Looney Tunes: Golden Collection
DVD disk
10.06.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Looney Tunes: Golden Collection order
Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, etc.

Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan


star Printer-Friendly version
A great set that contains 56 classic shorts from Warner Brothers' wacky Looney Tunes characters. All of the characters are featured with a special emphasis on Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig.
For all fans of throwback animation, this collection is a treasure chest waiting to be opened and reopened over and over again. Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam and my favorites Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner are but a few of the dozens of characters that have defined Saturday morning cartoons for generations and that have kept the anvil at the forefront of pop culture despite the decreasing number of blacksmiths around. Ever wondered what would happen if one of these things was dropped on a catís head? Or what would happen if a Coyote were to fall from a mile-high cliff? Thanks to the magic of DVD, you can watch it all in slow-motion and ace that physics project!

Seriously though, LOONEY TUNES are what animation is all about. Life is given to animals and the complete and utter detachment from reality is exactly what you want from a medium with no rules. Itís all somehow kept very simple though and even more importantly, hilarious. Is there anything more fun than watching Wile E. Coyote unpacking his latest parcel from the ACME company or watching Bugs Bunny outwit nitwit Elmer Fudd? Not to me there isnít and the long-lasting success of these cartoons is evidence that throngs of others believe that as well. These cartoons are well over fifty years old and most of us have seen each of them tens of dozens of times over without once losing our smile. We all still believe that this time, thereís no way Sylvester can miss and that just this once, Yosemite Sam will get the better of the carrot-chomper.

The first two discs of this collection are dedicated to the to flagship characters of Bugs Bunny and that dessspicable and unfortunate Daffy Duck. With fourteen shorts of about 6-7 minutes each in length on each disc, you can easily spend a few hours going through the heap. When you reach discs three and four, you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the all-star cast as well including Foghorn Leghorn, The Tazmanian Devil, Tweety & Sylvester and Coyote & Roadrunner. That's 56 episodes of one of the funniest animated shorts in history, delivered right to your doorstep in this awesome pack.
This four disc set is as good as it gets when you're talking about extra features. Not only plentiful but meaningful, the material is spread out over the 56 episodes and each disc holds a little piece of the puzzle. To begin with, many of the episodes in the guide above are available with either an audio commentary or a music-only track in which you hear the great tunes only. Various participants chip in on the commentaries although most are hosted by Animation expert Michael Barrier. It's a nice companion to the shorts.

The rest of these features are split up between the four discs:

Camera Three: The Boys from Termite Terrace, parts 1 & 2 (60 mins.): From the very beginnings of the Warner Brothers animation efforts to their rise to fame, this documentary tracks it all starting with the first efforts made in a dilapidated little backlot that was nicknamed Termite Terrace. Everything you want to know about how the whole Looney Tunes business got started is in there, including a discussion about their early influences from Walt Disney, the recruiting and work methods of the earliest animators and directors and all other kinds of information. The documentary itself is a bit old, but the upside of that is that we get to hear directly from the people who were there: Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett and the rest of the forefathers of this great series talking about what made them tick. Definitely very interesting from a historical point of view.

Behind The Tunes (60 mins.): On each disc, the corresponding star gets a small feature in which several individuals comment about their place in the pantheon of animation and American pop culture in general. Among them are the artists, their descendants and various other film experts and historians such as LION KING director Ron Hahn, current WB animators and nerd extraordinaire Leonard Maltin. Each of these features is about five minutes long but they pack a lot of info in each of them. Here's a brief rundown of the vignettes and the characters or topic they feature:

Bugs: A Rabbit for All Seasonings: Bugs Bunny

Short-Fuse Shootout: The Small Tale of Yosemite Sam: Yosemite Sam

Forever Befuddled: Elmer Fudd

Hard Luck Duck: Daffy Duck

Porky Pig Roast: A Tribute to the World's Most Famous Ham: Porky Pig

Animal Quacker: The Unlikely partnership between Daffy and Porky

Too Fast, Too Furry-ous: The Coyote and Roadrunner

Merrie Melodies: Carl Stalling and Cartoon Music: The symphonic cartoon music of Carl Stalling and the Warner Brothers' orchestra

Blanc Expressions: The many talents of voice-actor Mel Blanc, who voiced most of the Looney Tunes characters

Needy for Speedy: Speedy Gonzales

Putty Problems and Canary Row: Sylvester the Cat and his nemesis Tweety Bird

Southern Pride Chicken: Foghorn Leghorn

Blooper Bunny: Bugs Bunny 51Ĺth Anniversary Special (8 mins:): This is a hilarious clip of the "shoot" for the opening scene of Bugs' anniversary special. Bugs, Daffy, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam all get a chance to ruin the taping in a most hilarious manner. It's shot as if live actors were doing rehearsal takes and has an optional commentary track.

Bugs Bunny at the Movies (10 mins.): Two excerpts from a pair of 1949 live action films in which Bugs and Tweety had small cameos in dream sequences. They're both pretty neat and one of them features Bugs in a song-and-dance routine with the one and only Doris Day.

The Bugs Bunny Show (10 mins.): The precursor to the later The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, this was also a compilation of shorts with Bugs explaining animation to the audience in between episodes. Quite nice, especially when Daffy shows up and stirs up his usual brand of chaotic fun.

Toon Heads: The Lost Cartoons (45 mins.): Toon Heads is a feature by the Cartoon Network displaying tons of rare footage from Warner Brothers' archives. Commercials, never-aired shows, Army recruiting cartoons and even some war-time propaganda. Some of that stuff is gold and any fan of vintage animation is sure to get his kicks there.

From the Vaults (30 mins.): This is segmented in four separate clips. Two of them allow episodes to be seen via their original schematics or story boards while the two others contain a clip called Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid, Warner Brothers' first attempt at mixing animation and sound, which happened at about the same time as Disney's Steamboat Willie and a set of artist Virgil Ross' Pencil Tests.

Each disc also contains a Photo Gallery of the respective characters featured.
If you've ever enjoyed a Saturday Morning, eating your cereal and watching cartoons, whether as a kid or an adult, you'll have no second thoughts about buying this sucker. It's not overpriced at about $40 USD and has hours and hours of fun on it. The other advantage is that your entire family can enjoy the fun as well since it's great for kids and grown-ups alike. So ebbidy, ebbidy, that's all folks! Kick this in your player and get ready to bust a gut laughing!
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