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Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One
BLU-RAY disk
Nov 28, 2011 By: Jason Adams
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One order
Director:
Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, etc.

Actors:
Mel Blanc

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
50 of the greatest cartoons ever made, featuring Bugs Bunny and friends.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
They really dont make them like this anymore. Not to completely condemn all modern childrens cartoons, but they dont hold a candle to the golden era of Warner Bros. animated shorts. The mix of immense creativity, unforgettable voice work from Mel Blanc, and perfect execution from visionary directors like Tex Avery, Fritz Freleng, Chuck Jones make each one of these crazy cartoons a classic.

The best part about Looney Tunes is their mass appeal. The creators never talk down to children or aim specifically for a younger, simpler audience. They draw from a variety of sources, including literature, history, and film that adults can recognize and enjoy, but with unpredictable jokes, iconic visuals and memorable characters that will keep the kids entertained. Even the nonstop cartoon violence and occasional adult theme is handled in ways that can be appreciated universally.

As unpredictable and zany as each cartoon may be, theres also a serious thoughtfulness to it as well. Some of these shorts are simply extremely well-written short stories. Looney Tunes evolved through the decades, adapting to modern culture and reacting to history (even if some of the older cartoons carry along some of the outdated stereotypes of the time). Theres also a lot of meta humor that takes things to the next level. Shorts like the classic DUCK AMUCK, where Daffy slowly descends in to a self-referential fight with his animator, that plays with the tropes of the genre in a chaotic and creative way. Its almost not fair that something so funny can be equally as smart.

As entertaining and downright hilarious as they can be, Looney Tunes is all about the characters. The plots are often times high concept, but all the humor comes from Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tasmanian Devil, and the rest of the gang. And the cartoons never betray its characters, no matter their situation or settings. Its a blast seeing Bugs continually face off against Elmer, or Daffy take on Marvin the Martian in the 24th century. They all have their loveable traits and the show is written to their strengths (and pitch-perfect voices from Mel Blanc). It never gets old.
THE EXTRAS
This 3-disc Platinum Edition set features 50 cartoons on the first two discs and special features on the third. Descriptions for each cartoon are included in a very informative booklet, but itd be nice to have them on the disc menus themselves.

Greeting from Chuck Jones (3:48): The incomparable director gives a quick rundown of the Tunes inception and history.

Commentaries: Over half of the cartoons come with commentary from a variety of experts, from mel Blanc to Chuck Jones and other directors, to series writers, fans like Paul Dini and John Williams, historians and more. Its a nice range of opinions and information and everyone treats the cartoons like its an art form, with plenty of background and trivia.

Alternate Audio: The set also comes with over 20 music only tracks highlighting the work of the great composers and alternate vocal tracks from Mel Blanc and Co.

Behind the Tunes: Eleven of the cartoons come with a behind the scenes documentary on various components of the Looney Tunes universe, from the music of Raymond Scott, making ofs, character studies, one shot cartoons and more.

Chuck Amuck: The Movie (51:10): This documentary from the 80s covers Jones and his overall history with the Looney Tunes, as well as the evolution and basics of animation. Its obvious Jones took his characters very seriously and acted like a traditional film director. Its also amazing to watch him draw these beloved characters from scratch.

Chuck Jones: Extremes and Inbetweens: A Life in Animation (1:25:00): In this feature length doc, fans and other celebrities (including Ron Howard, Ken Burns, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, John Lasseter, Joe Dante, and Steven Spielberg) give Jones his due credit, while Jones gives his own background, from loving Charlie Chaplin to drawing portraits for money. It then goes through each character and the process of animation from dialogue to direction.

Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood (26:15): Yet another feature on Jones upbringing, this time a very in-depth look at his early life. The director reminsices about his young days and how they inspired his animations.

The Animated World of Chuck Jones: Nine non-Looney Tune related shorts from Jones , including a lot of military shorts from WWII, scientific, philosophical and environmental videos. A few of them are quite abstract and more experimental than any of the Looney Tunes.

Grinch Pencil Test (6:53): A very rough sketch of How the Grinch Stole Christmas that gives you a good idea of the various stages and processes of animation.

The Door (6:43): Another very weird experimental anti-war short produced by Bill Cosby about Native Americans. Thats all I can say about it.

Bonus Cartoons: Nine more shorts including a Christmas themed one, and an unfortunate CG animated Marvin the Martian Short.

If you want to upgrade to the Platinum Collection Ultimate Collector's Edition, you can also get a collectible glass, souvenir tin, framed litho-cell and more.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Looney Tunes should be required viewing for all children before they reach grade school. Even decades later, these cartoons still hold up amazingly well and theres no better way to enjoy them than the 50 classics (and wealth of bonus material) included in this Blu-Ray set.

Extra Tidbit: Bugs Bunny was considered such an American hero that he was awarded a service record by the Marines during World War II.
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