Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, etc.
Arthur Q. Bryan
If you give two hoots about what I think of Warner Brothers' work on these, then check out my previous review of LOONEY TUNES: GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME ONE. You'll get more of the same with some classic shorts you're sure to have caught on the Saturday morning shift either as a kid or if you're like me, just last week. This four-disc set is packed with humor, with and crazy animals beating each other silly with various objects of explosive or otherwise painful nature. The first one, Bugs Bunny Masterpieces, features the flagship wabbit as he munches and punches his way free from Elmer Fudd and the other madmen who much like The Arrow, seem to have an obsession with furry tail. Disc 2 on the other hand is probably the single most hilarious piece of animation I've ever seen. Road Runner and Friends features the single greatest rivalry in cartoon history. There's just nothing to make me bust a gut like watching poor Wile E. chase that damn bird! The two remaining discs are entitled Tweety & Sylvester and Friends and Looney Tunes All Stars: On Stage and Screen which is a bit of a pot pourri of great cartoons.
While it's a bit difficult to pop a disc in and watch it all the way through, these clips make up for a great spell of entrainment seeing as there's not much on TV to do that other than FOX's idiotic reality shows. At least this gives you a chance to get a load off when you get home from work and it lets you sit your kids down in front of something that won't make them call grandma a bee-atch the next time she comes over to baby-sit. Wholesome entertainment, that's what it is! Wholesome and fun for everyone in the family.
Bugs Bunny's Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Part 1 (25 mins): A bunch of stars show up here to discuss Bugs' influence on the entertainment world and to pay tribute to the guy. Among the stars are Kirk Douglas, George Burns, David Bowie, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, driftwood Cher and Chevy Chase and icon Billy Dee Williams, Lando Calrissian himself!
A conversation with Tex Avery (7 mins): This is a brief discussion with legendary director Tex Avery who discuss the basic recipe of what went into the Looney Tunes at the beginning.
The Bugs Bunny Show (10 mins): There a couple of clips here from the old Bugs Bunny show. Mostly it's a collection of bridging sequences which were used to introduce the various shorts and which were quite special themselves.
TV Pilot: The Adventures of the Road Runner (25 mins): This is quite possibly the funniest half-hour of television I've ever seen. It's an endless series of brutal putdowns for Wile E. Coyote in his unending quest for a drumstick. ACME bat suits, dynamite, lassos and the rest of his stuff is put to use and comes to crashing failure time and again as the Coyote attempts to separate your spleen from your body through sheer hilarity.
Crash! Bang! Boom!: The Wild Side of Treg Brown (11 mins): A feature on the crazy sound effects used in the shorts and on the late Treg Brown who was behind them. I never actually paid that much attention to them but once you see this you'll appreciate the role they have in making these so good.
The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show Opening Sequence (2 mins): This is the first of a series of opening sequences that were used to introduces the various incarnations of the Looney Tunes TV shows. A quick and smile-inducing clip.
Bugs Bunny's Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Part 2 (25 mins): This is part two of the feature on disc 1. More Cher anyone? bugh.
Daffy Duck for President (5 mins): A cool (and new) short featuring Daffy and Bugs quarreling about The Constitution and the role of the various levels of the US government. It's quite educational. Hmm.. a short about a duck for president? Insert your own John Kerry / flip-flop joke here!
Man from Wacky Land: The Art of Bob Clampett (21 mins): A look at one of the premier artists and eventual directors who cemented Looney tunes' place in cartoon (and Hollywood) history. Several film historians, including nerd Leonard Maltin, give their two bits on this mythical figure of animation.
The Porky Pig Show Opening Sequences (1 min): wow. I didn't even know that show existed!
The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show Opening Sequence (2 mins): This one will be much more familiar to younger types, it's the one that still runs regularly on some networks.
Looney tunes go Hollywood (9 mins): A small look at the Tunes as influenced by Hollywood and as both parody and opener for some of the great films of the middle of the 20th century.
It Happened One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening (7 mins): This is a look at one of the Looney Tunes all time most famous shorts, One Froggy Evening. It was made as a one-shot by Chuck Jones and the character of the singing and dancing frog was an instant hit. You've probably seen this a dozen times before, it's included on disc 4.
Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making of What's Opera Doc? (10 mins): Another take on one of Warner Brothers' classic shorts in which Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny exchange blows in the most operatic of ways to the tune of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.
From the Vaults: So Much for So Little (10 mins): A Public Service announcement made by Warner Brothers for the Public Health Administration back in the fifties, this shows the benefits of a local public health office throughout one's life and the relatively low cost of public health back then. It's all done with the classic Warner style of course.
From the Vaults: Orange Blossoms for Violet (4 mins): This was just creepy. It's a live action short featuring animals in weird suits doing human-like stuff. eerie.
On each disc, you'll also be able to find a few shorts that have either a commentary track by filmmakers or an alternative sound track featuring either music-only or voices only or both. Pretty cool but you'll end up just watching Fudd get his head blown off anyway.
If you like the Looney Tunes even just a little this is worth acquiring. You can extract endless hours of laughs with these and they've been around for decades so you don't have to worry about rewatch value. Get these and put them on your shelf you siwwy wabbit!!!