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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester, Pepe le Pew, Elmer Fudd
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
Greetings, Looneytics! For all who rightly place Looney Tunes alongside Mom, apple pie and web-surfing at work as American institutions, this is your time to rise and shine and watch. Yes, here on 4 discs you'll find 60 more of the finest, funniest, bestest Golden Era cartoons from the feverishly bent artistic minds at Termite Terrace.

Disc 1 showcases a certain wascally wabbit. The happiness of pursuit is center stage in Disc 2 and 3's respective batches of Road Runner and Sylvester/Tweety fun. Disc 4 is an all-star cavalcade of Hollywood parodies and more. All 60 toons are restored, remastered, uncut. And each disc is chock-a-block with bonus goodies. It's a 24-carrot gem of a collection. Anything less would be dethpicable.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Monaural
French Monaural
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 436 min.
Price: $64.92
Release Date: 11/2/2004

Bonus:
Disc One
• Eight Commentary Tracks
• Music-Only Audio Track on One Cartoon
• Music and Effects Track on Three Cartoons
• “Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Part 1”
• “A Conversation with Tex Avery”
• ”The Bugs Bunny Show”
Disc Two
• Six Commentary Tracks
• Music-Only Audio Track on Five Cartoons
• Music and Effects Track on One Cartoon
• “The Adventures of Road Runner”
• “Crash! Bang! Boom! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown”
• “The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show” Opening Sequence
Disc Three
• Seven Commentary Tracks
• Music and Effects Track on Two Cartoons
• “Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Part 2”
• “Daffy Duck for President”
• “Man From Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clampett”
• Opening Sequences
Disc Four
• 11 Commentary Tracks
• Music-Only Audio Track on Three Cartoons
• Voice-Only Audio Track on Two Cartoons
• “Looney Tunes Go Hollywood” Featurette
• “It Happened One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening” Featurette
• “Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making of What’s Opera, Doc?
• “So Much for So Little”
• “Orange Blossoms for Violet”


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume II (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 8, 2004)

A continuation of a series started in 2003, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2 provides four DVDs of wacky goodness. These shorts span a range of 21 years. The earliest – “I Love to Singa” – comes from 1936, while the latest emanate from 1957; four of the set’s cartoons came out that year.

For each short, I’ll offer the following information: the year in which it was produced, the director, and what kind of extra audio track if offers (if any). A “C” designates an audio commentary, while an “M” notes an isolated music track. “ME” means a music and effects mix, while “”V” indicates a voice-only piece. (When you see two “C”s, that means the short includes two separate commentaries.) I’ll also provide a quick synopsis of the cartoon plus my number grade for each one done on a scale of 1 to 10.

DVD ONE – Bugs Bunny Masterpieces (total 110 minutes, 18 seconds):

The Big Snooze (1946, R. Clampett - C): After yet another failed attempt to slay Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd quits. Not content to let his foe rest, Bugs infiltrates Elmer’s dream and torments him there. 9/10.

Broomstick Bunny (1955, C. Jones - C, ME): While trick-or-treating in a witch’s mask, Bugs meets a real crone who becomes jealous of his ugliness. When she learns his true identity, she attempts to kill him to use his parts for spells. 6/10.

Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1947, I. Freleng - C): When Yosemite Sam terrorizes an Old West town, only Bugs stands up to him. The two engage in an ever-escalating battle. 9/10.

Bunny Hugged (1950, C. Jones - ME): Bugs serves as the mascot to pro wrestler Ravishing Ronald. When the Crusher punishes his employer, Bugs intervenes to even the score. 8/10.

French Rarebit (1950, R. McKimson): As a stowaway in a shipment of carrots, Bugs ends up in Paris. Two competing chefs strive to capture the Bunny and put him on their dinner menus. 7/10.

Gorilla My Dreams (1947, R. McKimson - C): A shipwrecked Bugs winds up on the island of Bingzi-Bangzi, “land of the ferocious apes.” Mrs. Gruesome craves her own baby, so she claims Bugs as her child. Bugs plays along to make her happy, much to the annoyance of Mr. Gruesome. 7/10.

The Hare-Brained Hypnotist (1942, I. Freleng): Elmer attempts to use hypnotism to subdue Bugs. 8/10.

Hare Conditioned (1945, C. Jones): A department store owner wants to stuff Bugs and put him on display. Understandably, the Bunny resists. 6/10.

The Heckling Hare (1941, T. Avery - C): A hunting dog tries to capture Bugs. The Bunny resists the efforts of his dim-witted foe. 7/10.

Little Red Riding Rabbit (1943, I. Freleng): Riding Hood intends to deliver Bugs to her grandmother - to have! The Big Bad Wolf attempts to foil these plans. Bugs has other ideas. 10/10.

Tortoise Beats Hare (1941, T. Avery - C, C): Bugs challenges the orthodoxy and attempts to prove that the story’s not correct. He races Cecil Turtle in a context for the ages. 10/10.

Rabbit Transit (1946, I. Freleng): See “Tortoise”. 9/10.

Slick Hare (1946, I. Freleng): At a swank Hollywood restaurant, Humphrey Bogart threatens Elmer the waiter with bodily harm if he doesn’t deliver an order of fried rabbit within 20 minutes. Elmer tries to bag Bugs for Bogie’s consumption. 9/10.

Baby Buggy Bunny (1954, C. Jones - ME): A bank robber impersonates a baby to escape the authorities. When his ill-gotten gains accidentally wind up in Bugs’ rabbit hole, the crook uses his infant shtick to fool the Bunny and retrieve his cash. 5/10.

Hyde and Hare (1955, I. Freleng - M): Dr. Jekyll adopts Bugs. Our Bunny attempts to deal with his benefactor’s strange transformations. 7/10.

DVD TWO – Road Runner and Friends (total 104 minutes, four seconds):

Beep Beep (1951, C. Jones - C): Wile E. Coyote attempts to capture and eat the Road Runner. He uses many complicated devices in his unsuccessful quest. 6/10.

Going! Going! Gosh! (1951, C. Jones): See the prior entry. 4/10.

Zipping Along (1952, C. Jones): See the prior entry. 5/10.

Stop! Look! And Hasten! (1953, C. Jones - C): See the prior entry. 3/10.

Ready, Set, Zoom (1954, C. Jones): See the prior entry. 4/10.

Guided Muscle (1955, C. Jones - M): See the prior entry. 3/10.

Gee Whiz-z-z (1955, C. Jones - M): See the prior entry. 4/10.

There They Go-go-go (1956, C. Jones - M): See the prior entry. 4/10.

Scrambled Aches (1956, C. Jones - M): See the prior entry. 3/10.

Zoom and Bored (1957, C. Jones - M): See the prior entry. 5/10.

Whoa, Be-Gone! (1957, C. Jones - C): See the prior entry. 3/10.

Cheese Chasers (1950, C. Jones): Two mice gorge themselves on so much cheese that they decide life no longer has meaning. They attempt to commit suicide in the mouth of a cat. 9/10.

The Dover Boys (1942, C. Jones - C): Clean-cut Tom, Dick and Larry attend Pimento University. They battle their archenemy, Dan Backslide, and protect their fiancée Dora. 6/10.

Mouse Wreckers (1947, C. Jones - C): Two rodents decide to move into a house in which a very good mouse-catching cat resides. They attempt to prompt his departure. 8/10.

A Bear for Punishment (1950, C. Jones - C, ME): The Three Bears awaken after months of hibernation. This falls on Father’s Day, which the grumpy Papa Bear doesn’t enjoy due to his imbecilic son’s moronic attempts to treat his daddy right. 7/10.

DVD THREE –Tweety & Sylvester and Friends (total 109 minutes, 18 seconds):

Bad Ol’ Putty Tat (1948, I. Freleng): Sylvester attempts a number of methods to lure Tweety from his birdhouse into the cat’s mouth. 8/10.

All Abir-r-r-d (1949, I. Freleng): Tweety’s owner ships him on a train. He ends up alongside Sylvester, who’s also in transit. Sylvester attempts to eat Tweety despite the admonitions of the conductor. 6/10.

Room and Bird (1950, I. Freleng): Their respective owners sneak Sylvester and Tweety into an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets. Sylvester then tries to eat Tweety all while they avoid the attention of the building’s rule-enforcing detective. 6/10.

Tweet Tweet Tweety (1950, I. Freleng - ME): During his family’s stay at a national park. Sylvester attempts to sneak into the bird refuge. He finds an egg, on which he nests until it hatches. Tweety soon emerges, and Sylvester attempts to eat him. 5/10.

Gift Wrapped (1951, I. Freleng): Disappointed with his Christmas presents, Sylvester discovers that someone gave his owner Granny a Tweety. Sylvester strives to eat the bird despite Granny’s warnings. 5/10.

Ain’t She Tweet (1951, I. Freleng - C): Sylvester sees Tweety in a pet shop window. He tries to steal the bird so he can eat him. This intensifies when Granny buys Tweety and brings him to her home along with many dogs. 4/10.

A Bird In a Guilty Cage (1951, I. Freleng - ME): Sylvester sees Tweety on sale in a department store. He sneaks into the business and attempts to eat him. 6/10.

Snow Business (1951, I. Freleng): A terrible snowstorm traps best friends Sylvester and Tweety in a secluded cabin. With nothing to eat other than bird seed, Sylvester tries to consume his little birdie pal. Matters complicate when a starved mouse strives to chow down on the cat. 6/10.

Tweetie Pie (1946, I. Freleng - C): Thomas - the cat later known as Sylvester - finds Tweetie in the snow and tries to eat him. The feline’s owner catches him and makes the bird her pet. Despite her warnings, Thomas still tries to chomp on Tweetie. 6/10.

Kitty Kornered (1946, R. Clampett - C): Porky Pig tries to put his four cats out for the night. They prefer to avoid the cold and a struggle ensues. 8/10.

Baby Bottleneck (1945, R. Clampett - C): A baby boom taxes the stork. As such, unconventional help comes to the rescue, and Porky and Daffy Duck head up the efforts to streamline the operation. 7/10.

Old Glory (1939, C. Jones - C): Schoolboy Porky finds it tough to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance and throws away his textbook. When he snoozes, history comes to life to teach him the importance of the Pledge. 4/10.

The Great Piggybank Robbery (1946, R. Clampett - C): Comic book fan Daffy accidentally knocks himself unconscious. He dreams of himself as Duck Twacy and investigates a piggybank crime wave. 7/10.

Duck Soup to Nuts (1944, I. Freleng): Porky hunts ducks. Daffy outwits him. 7/10.

Porky In Wackyland: (1938, R. Clampett - C): Porky Pig travels the world to hunt the do-do bird. His quest takes him to the African nation of Wackyland, a terribly surreal place. 6/10.

DVD FOUR – Looney Tunes All Stars: On Stage and Screen (total 112 minutes, 38 seconds):

Back Alley Oproar (1947, I. Freleng - C): Sylvester sings his own street serenade. Elmer Fudd wants to sleep, so he attempts to quiet the cat. 7/10.

Book Revue (1945, R. Clampett - C): At the stroke of midnight, books in a store come to life. Daffy springs from the cover of a comic book and joins the festivities. 6/10.

A Corny Concerto (1943, R. Clampett - C): In the first segment, Porky hunts Bugs to the strains of a Strauss waltz. “Blue Danube” follows with the attempts of a vulture to eat some ducklings. 8/10.

Have You Got Any Castles? (1938, F. Tashlin): Ala “Book Revue”, characters from novels escape their text confines and party. 5/10.

Hollywood Steps Out (1941, T. Avery - C): Movie stars visit Ciro’s Nightclub for dinner and a show. We see many caricatures of the day’s famous talent. 6/10.

I Love to Singa (1936, T. Avery): Classical music aficionado Professor Fritz Owl’s wife gives birth to jazz-adoring owlet. The Professor attempts to force his beliefs on his offspring. 4/10.

Katnip Kollege (1938, C. Dalton and C. Howard): Jazz is the order of the day at this institution of higher education. The feline students study “swingology”, a subject that eludes nerdy Johnny. He needs to get his groove on to pass the class and get back his girlfriend Claudia. 3/10.

The Hep Cat (1942, R. Clampett): Rosebud the dog tries to put a cocky “hep cat” in his place. This leads the pooch to try to trap the kitty. 7/10.

The Three Little Bops (1956, I. Freleng - C, M, V): The Three Little Pigs play a club called the House of Straw. This leads to an updating of their tale in a jazzy setting. 8/10.

One Froggy Evening (1955, C. Jones - C, M): The destruction of an old building reveals a singing and dancing frog inside its cornerstone. The worker who finds him tries to parade the croaker for monetary gain, but the frog only performs for the man, which causes frustrations. 8/10.

Rhapsody Rabbit (1946, I. Freleng - C): Bugs performs a piano concert. The Bunny encounters problems when a pesky mouse makes himself part of the act. 8/10.

Show Biz Bugs (1957, I. Freleng - C): Bugs and Daffy play a musical show together. The Duck becomes irritated because the Bunny receives top billing and all the adulation. 8/10.

Stage Door Cartoon (1944, I. Freleng): Elmer hunts Bugs. As the Bunny flees the predator, he ends up in a musical theater, where their chase becomes part of the show. 7/10.

What’s Opera, Doc? (1957, C. Jones - C, C, M, V): To the strains of Wagner, Elmer attempts to “kill the wabbit”. An operatic battle ensues. 8/10.

You Ought to Be in Pictures (1940, I. Freleng - C): At the Warner animation studios, Daffy and Porky leap off their drawing pads when the artists go to lunch. The Duck challenges the Pig to quit and get a gig as Bette Davis’s co-star. This leads to a meeting with producer Leon Schlesinger and Porky’s departure from the studio, which excites Daffy since he plans to become the big star. 8/10.

When we look at my unscientific assessments of the various shorts, DVD One ends up as the clear winner of the four. Those cartoons averaged a number grade of 7.80, which was more than a point and a half higher than the second-best set, DVD Four; it received an average score of 6.20. DVD Three narrowly ended up in third with a 6.07, while DVD One was clearly the weakest of the batch with a 4.93.

Of course, your mileage will vary, as my scores showed some of my character biases. Bugs remains my favorite Looney Tunes personality, so it came as no surprise that I most enjoyed the disc devoted to him. In addition, I truly don’t care for Road Runner, which led to such low scores for the disc on which that character’s shorts dominated.

Frankly, I’ve never understood the appeal of the Road Runner. Every cartoon presents exactly the same story in the same setting. Sure, lots of Bugs shorts put him in a situation where someone - usually Elmer - hunts him, but they vary the scenarios and offer a mix of differences. Even the moderately tedious Sylvester/Tweety shorts broaden their horizons to a mix of places and other participants.

Not Road Runner. Those pieces are always set in the desert and always have the Coyote try to catch the bird. They limit themselves to just the two characters as well, at least in the shorts I’ve seen. Some may like this simplicity and value the moderate creativity that goes into the various methods the Coyote uses, but I think they’re monotonous. If you’ve seen one Road Runner short, you’ve literally seen them all. I’ll watch DVD One again for the four non-Road Runner cartoons on it, especially since most of those were good. I have no desire to ever watch its Road Runner offerings again, though.

Even without the Road Runner, Golden 2 would have demonstrated a drop in quality from the first package. Admittedly, my ratings are subjective, but none of the discs from the 2003 set earned below a 7.00, and that one’s Bugs Bunny set merited a whopping 8.22, almost half a point higher than this release’s rabbit-centric platter.

Clearly, Volume One provided the absolutely cream of the crop. But that doesn’t mean Golden 2 doesn’t include a lot of entertainment. Only two shorts earned my highest rating of a “10”: “Little Red Riding Rabbit” and “Tortoise Beats Hare”. Not surprisingly, both star my favorite character, Bugs Bunny. That’s down from the nine perfect “10”s on the first package.

Another 18 got grades of five or below, a big increase from the original set’s seven mediocre to low ratings. Of course, the prevalence of the Road Runner accounts for a lot of that; his shorts account for 10 of those 18 rankings.

Despite these misfires, many of the cartoons seem quite entertaining. Granted, I don’t know if I’d espouse watching them the way I did. I took in all 60 shorts over a two-day period, which is a bit much. Too many of the similarities between shorts pop up when seen in such a short span, and that robs some of them of their impact. I still enjoyed the cartoons, but the shorts start to lose some of their vitality when watched so close together. The absolute highs still worked well, but the lows probably came across as more disappointing via such direct comparison.

Not that my lowered grades should connote that I didn’t enjoy my time with the Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2. Indeed, I had a lot of fun as I watched these shorts. Personally, I preferred the first set, mostly because it more strongly showcased my favorite characters, whereas we get too much of lesser lights like Road Runner and Tweety here. Nonetheless, it’s another good package.


The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio C-/ Bonus A

Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2 appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though a number of inconsistencies occurred, overall the cartoons looked quite good, as these shorts replicated the same highs and lows seen in Volume One.

Sharpness almost uniformly appeared excellent. On rare occasions, some slight softness showed up, but not with any frequency. Instead, the shorts mostly were crisp and well defined. I saw no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement.

Source defects seemed more problematic. The level of defects varied wildly from short to short. Some looked quite clean, while others demonstrated various issues like heavy grain, specks, marks, and dust. I suspect that a lot of these issues came from the original photography and not from the transfers themselves, but the material still could have used a good cleaning to get rid of some of these distractions.

On the positive side, colors looked terrific. Except when the source defects obscured the hues, the tones always came across as vivid and vibrant. The colors were tight and distinctive and showed no signs of noise, running, or other problems. Blacks also appeared concise and deep, and the rare low-light shots were accurately depicted. The Looney Tunes shorts included here didn’t match up with the best Disney transfers, but they seemed quite solid nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the monaural audio of the Looney Tunes created some definite disappointments. As with the visuals, the quality of the sound varied from short to short, and some of them sounded pretty good given the restrictions connected to recording technology of the era. At their best, the cartoons were reasonably distinctive and natural and showed moderately positive dynamics.

However, much of the time the shorts weren’t at their best, and they often demonstrated quite a few defects. Distortion was the biggest problem. During many cartoons, dialogue came across as edgy and could be tough to understand. The speech usually remained intelligible, but I found it tougher to understand some lines that I’d expect. Effects also showed a lot of roughness, as those elements often seemed harsh and shrill.

Music fared best of the bunch, as the scores usually appeared acceptably clean. The music didn’t demonstrate much range, but at least those parts failed to display as many flaws as with the other elements. For the most part, the audio lacked problems with noise; one or two shorts showed some light popping, but the majority of them seemed free from source defects. Ultimately, although some of the cartoons sounded fine, too many of them appeared too rough and distorted for me to give the audio of the Looney Tunes a grade above a “C-“.

Many extras pop up across these four DVDs. For 30 of the set’s 60 shorts, we find audio commentaries from a rotating roster of speakers. On DVD One, we hear from animator Bill Melendez, actor June Foray, filmmaker Greg Ford, historian Jerry Beck, director Chuck Jones, and historian Michael Barrier. When we look at DVD Two, we find commentaries from Barrier and Ford. DVD Three features Ford, Barrier, Beck, ink-and-paint girl Martha Sigall, and contemporary animator John Kricfalusi. Lastly, DVD Four presents remarks from Ford, Barrier, Beck, actor Stan Freberg, writer Michael Maltese, layout artist Maurice Noble, and cartoon music historian Daniel Goldmark.

The focus of each commentary varies, but cumulatively, they cover a lot of territory. We learn good information about the shorts, their creators and actors, and the genre in general. For some of the ones with period references, we hear explanations of those allusions. We get a nice feel for the production process and what went into the making of the cartoons. It helps that we occasionally get archival audio clips from participants like Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and others. Overall, the commentaries give us a fun and educational glance at the cartoons.

In addition, nine of the cartoons include music-only audio tracks. These offer what their titles state; we find the shorts’ scores presented without dialogue. As I’ve stated in other reviews, I’m not a big fan of isolated music tracks, but the many fans of this work will likely happily embrace this feature. In an interesting move, these present the original material from the studio, so we hear some chatter and cues between the music. In addition, the fidelity seems noticeably superior to that of the shorts themselves; though still monaural, the music sounds very good.

On the first Golden Collection the music-only pieces really were music-and-effects tracks. This set differentiates between the two formats. As noted, nine shorts have true isolated score offerings, and the package presents M&E tracks for six cartoons. They continue to present a fun option.

A new feature for this set, we get voice-only tracks for two shorts. Both appear on DVD Four: “The Three Little Bops” and “What’s Opera, Doc”. The former presents vocals from Stan Freberg, while the latter includes speech from Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan. These consist of a mix of different takes as well as some cues, which makes them cool to hear and a fun look behind the scenes.

Split across DVDs One and Three we discover a documentary called Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary. Created in the mid-Eighties, part one runs 24 minutes, 38 seconds, while part two lasts 23 minutes, 25 seconds. It presents many clips from Looney Tunes shorts plus comments from David Bowie, Cher, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Penny Marshall, George Burns, Chuck Jones, Jeremy Irons, Friz Freleng, Danny Thomas, Kirk Douglas, Jeff Goldblum, Eve Arden, Mike Nichols, Steve Martin, Geraldine Page, Candice Bergen, Molly Ringwald, Mel Blanc, Chuck Yeager, Quincy Jones, and Billy Dee Williams.

Don’t expect to learn much about the cartoons here. We occasionally get interesting tidbits and some good archival material like pencil tests and live-action footage of Tex Avery as he acts out part of a short. However, mostly we see snippets of the cartoons and hear from the various celebrities, all of whom discuss the Looney Tunes characters as if they were real members of the Hollywood community. A few funny bits emerge - especially when Martin talks about Bugs’ influence on Paul Newman and Meryl Streep - but the joke gets old fairly quickly.

Also on DVD One, we find A Conversation with Tex Avery. It fill seven minutes as the legendary director discusses how he got a job with Warner, the tone at the studio and his partners, reactions to Disney and the goals of his work, and different comedic techniques he used. Too brief to provide great information, “Conversation” nonetheless tosses out some good notes from Avery.

For the final component on Disc One, we get The Bugs Bunny Show. In this domain, we locate two elements. “Do or Diet Bridging Sequences” lasts six minutes and includes unique animated pieces created for the Bunny series from the early Sixties. We see clips that open and close the show as well as bits that introduce the various cartoons. “No Business Like Slow Business” presents an audio recording session. In this four-minute and 10-second segment, we hear Mel Blanc run through various lines as Bugs, Speedy Gonzales, and Slowpoke Rodriguez. It’s fascinating to listen to Blanc try variations on the different parts of the text.

Over on DVD Two, we locate a TV pilot from 1962, The Adventures of the Road Runner. It goes for 25 minutes and 52 seconds as it combines old clips from shorts with a variety of connecting segments. In some, we see the Coyote analyze film and figure out how to improve his methods. Another depicts a young boy who psychoanalyzes his daydreaming brother; the latter lad wants to be the Road Runner. (This leads to a separate short about the kid.) The Coyote also explains why he so badly wants to catch the Runner. It’s nothing more than an excuse to rehash some cartoons, but it offers some amusement. Heck, the new bits with the Coyote are funnier than the original shorts themselves!

Next comes a featurette called Crash! Bang! Boom! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown. This 11-minute and 10-second piece looks at the Looney Tunes sound designer with comments from Jerry Beck, Martha Sigall, Daniel Goldmark, director Joe Dante, animation historian/critic Charles Solomon, director/sound designer Ben Burtt, voice artist/animation historian Keith Scott, director Friz Freleng, music editor Eugene Marks, and animator/producer Mark Kausler. They talk about Brown’s background and path to sound effects, the elements he used and his library of sounds, and various innovations. It’s a good examination of this material and gives us a fun look at Brown’s work.

The last piece of DVD Two presents The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show Opening Sequence. This 126-second clip presents the beginning segment for the Seventies Saturday morning program. Don’t expect more than a historical curiosity here.

As we shift to DVD Three, we find Daffy Duck for President. This new four and a half minute short takes an educational bent as it quickly illustrates the three branches of the US government. It’s not very interesting.

Another featurette about a Looney Tunes legend, Man From Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clampett fills 21 minutes and five seconds. It presents notes from John Kricfalusi, Jerry Beck, Bill Melendez, Daniel Goldmark, Charles Solomon, Martha Sigall, director/historian Milton Gray, author/critic Leonard Maltin, daughter Ruth Clampett, animator Eric Goldberg, director Frank Darabont, and background artist Peter Alvarado. They chat about Clampett’s start in animation, his work at Warner and elements of the studio’s construction, his influence on cartoons and characters, and various personal characteristics. It offers a surprisingly rich look at the director that gives us a good feel for his sensibilities and work. I especially like its deconstruction of Clampett’s animation style.

DVD Three concludes with Opening Sequences. This presents beginning credits for two Saturday morning programs: The Porky Pig Show (75 seconds) and The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show (two minutes, 50 seconds). Both remain in the “historical curiosities” category, though fans of my generation may be surprised at how well we remember the Porky theme.

Over on DVD Four, Behind the Tunes presents three more featurettes. “Looney Tunes Go Hollywood” lasts nine minutes, 19 seconds and looks at the cartoons’ spoofs of show business with notes from Keith Scott, Leonard Maltin, Mark Kausler, Jerry Beck, Daniel Goldmark, Charles Solomon, Chuck Jones, and layout artist Robert Givens. It details many of the elements that helped flesh out the parodies and caricatures. “It Hopped One Night: The Story Behind One Froggy Evening” goes for seven minutes, 11 seconds. In it, Beck, Maltin, Solomon, Jones, Scott, Kausler, Goldmark, Eric Goldberg, and animators Willie Ito and Corny Cole chat about what made this a classic short as well as some background notes. Lastly, “Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making of What’s Opera, Doc? takes nine minutes, 28 seconds to present info from Goldmark, Beck, Solomon, Cole, Kausler, Maltin, Jones, Ito, and Scott. They cover the creation of the short and various aspects of it. All three contribute nice details and flesh out their subjects well.

To end the extras, we get two components in From the Vaults. A 1949 Chuck Jones-directed short created for the Federal Security Agency, “So Much for So Little” runs 10 minutes and 19 seconds. It presents a public service announcement to help promote health at all stages of life. The nine-minute and 18-second “Orange Blossoms for Violet” comes from 1951 and uses animal actors with Mel Blanc vocals to tell a troubled love story. Neither seems very interesting, but both offer intriguing historical footnotes.

For fans of classic animated shorts, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection 2 provides a nice sampler of the material. The caliber of the shorts doesn’t live up to what we saw on Volume One, but a lot of good stuff appears. The picture quality varies but usually seems quite good but audio seems fairly weak. The set comes with many useful extras; from commentaries to documentaries to archival materials, this collection gives us a lot of solid information. With a list price of almost $65, the Golden Collection 2 ain’t cheap, but when one considers all the excellent components found in the set, it definitely merits the investment.

Footnote: the two-DVD Spotlight Collection 2 offers 30 of the Golden Collection 2’s 60 shorts; it presents all of those found on this one’s discs three and four. However, it omits all of this set’s supplements as well as the shorts from discs one and two. The Spotlight Collection 2 sells for significantly less money, but I nonetheless think the Golden Collection is definitely the superior product and is the one for fans to get.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.7 Stars Number of Votes: 10
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