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Review - Looney Tunes Golden Coll. (DVD-2003)
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Looney Tunes Golden Collection (DVD-2003)

Warner Home Entertainment

Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski

 

It was long in coming, but it was worth the wait.  Warner Bros. has just released a prestigious 4-DVD set called:  Looney Tunes: The Golden Collection.

 

Containing 56 of  the animated cartoons Warner Bros. made during the 1930’s through the 1960’s featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweetie and Sylvester, Pepe Le Pew, the Road Runner and many others, the Golden Collection also boasts remastered and uncut prints and archival material long hidden in the vaults.

 

These classic cartoons have been rounded up together and released on DVD for the first time.   For more than 70 years, the Looney Tunes cartoons have entertained audiences of all ages.  Whether you are someone who grew up watching these animated shorts in movie theatres over the years, or whether you have come to know them through the medium of television broadcasts, these visual and aural delights are guaranteed to please.

 

Also included in the set, aside from the formidable cartoon selections are several documentaries showing how the cartoons were created and detailing their historical and popular significance.  An absolute gold mine of supplemental material is also included such as commentaries on select cartoons, music only options on several of the shorts, featurettes, recording sessions and tantalizing tidbits too numerous to mention.

 

Of particular significance to many will be the rare archival surviving material of the original Bugs Bunny TV show series.  And a satirical short of Bugs Bunny bloopers entitled “Bugs Bunny’s 51st and a half Birthday Spectacular” is absolutely hilarious.

 

Which is also a good way to describe the cartoons themselves.  They have aged exceptionally well—humor, pacing, timing and dramatic punch are as potent as ever.  The re-mastered cartoons sport excellent color and artistic detail and the sound is of exceptionally pristine digital quality.

 

There are glimpses of Bugs Bunny’s evolution as a character—including that strange sounding old Bugs Bunny with the ears pinned back.  Similarly, Elmer Fudd started out as quite a different character named Egghead.  And Daffy Duck and Porky Pig themselves underwent quite an evolution—all of it fascinating to see. 

 

A documentary called “The Boys of Termite Terrace” detailing the artist crew which created the cartoons over the decades in a dilapidated wooden building on the studio lot nicknamed Termite Terrace is endlessly interesting.  Beginning with 13 cartoons a year and eventually producing 42 cartoons a year, the studio produced 170 Bugs Bunny cartoons alone, not to mention 800 additional cartoons of all kinds.  And, being from Warner Bros., the cartoons had the additional advantage of a soundtrack provided by the Warner Bros. Symphony Orchestra, a large ensemble which added the final touch of class and pizzazz! 

 

Cartoon director Chuck Jones himself introduces the collection and speaks of the distinctly American spirit and character represented by Bugs and the other characters.  With laugh-out loud humor, superb animation and direction, outstanding musical accompaniment, the brilliant voice characterizations of Mel Blanc, and a treasury of supplementals, the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes Golden Collection fully lives up to its title as a must-buy collector’s edition.

 

 

2003 Dennis Kwiatkowski/Celluloid Dreams

 

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