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LOONEY TUNES
PLATINUM COLLECTION:
VOLUME TWO

As I have stated on numerous occasions in the past, I have been a fan of Warner Bros. animation. Growing up, I watched countless hours of these animated classics on television- In fact, watching Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig amongst all the others became almost a daily religion for me during my childhood, and I could practically quote all the dialogue from my favorite cartoons (of which there were plenty). Because of my love of these classic animated shorts, I acquired all volumes of THE GOLDEN AGE OF LOONEY TUNES during the days of Laserdisc, as well as the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION when the classic animated shorts came to DVD. Much to my delight, Warner upgraded these classic animated shorts once again bringing them to high definition with its initial Blu-ray release: LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME ONE. Following on that release is the LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO ($45), which offers fans an additional fifty classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, plus numerous supplements in a three-disc set.

As far as I am concern, these classic Warner Bros. animated shorts are the Holy Grail of cartoons, and As I stated on my review of the previous collection: being able to enjoy these classic animated shorts in glorious high definition is indeed a privilege, and therefore, my hat goes off to Warner Home Video for the wonderful restorative and mastering efforts. With the release of this collection, fans now have a full one hundred Warner Bros. cartoons available in high definition. However, as there are over 1,000 of these marvelous animated shorts in the Warner library, I would venture to guess that it would take a considerable amount of time for all of these marvelous cartoons to find their way to high definition. Also I would like to state, yet again, that in their efforts to represent the Warner Bros. animated shorts in high definition, it would be my hope that such shorts as Bob Clampett’s Coal Black And De Sebben Dwarfs and Tin Pan Alley Cats, as well as those other "notorious" cartoons that have been withheld from circulation for decades and are often referred to as The Censored 11 will also find their way to Blu-ray.

Disc one serves up the following twenty-five animated shorts featuring such immortal characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester, Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepé Le Pew, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and Speedy Gonzales: A Wild Hare (1940), Buckaroo Bugs (1944), Long-Haired Hare (1949), Ali Baba Bunny (1957), Show Biz Bugs (1957), The Wise Quacking Duck (1943), What Makes Daffy Duck? (1948), Book Revue (1946), Deduce, You Say (1956), Porky In Wackyland (1938) (B&W), You Ought To Be In Pictures (1940) (B&W), Porky In Egypt (1938) (B&W), Back Alley Oproar (1948), Little Red Rodent Hood (1952), Canned Feud (1951), Gift Wrapped (1952), Birdy And The Beast (1944), Home, Tweet Home (1950), Going! Going! Gosh! (1952), Zipping Along (1953), Scent-Imental Romeo (1951), The Foghorn Leghorn (1948), The High And The Flighty (1956), Tabasco Road (1957) and Mexicali Shmoes (1959).

Disc two serves up the following twenty-five animated shorts featuring One-Shot Classics and the complete collection for each of the following characters- Cecil Turtle, Nasty Canasta Beaky Buzzard and A. Flea: Wabbit Twouble (1941), Rabbit Fire (1951), Rabbit Seasoning (1952), Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953), Drip-Along Daffy (1951), My Little Duckaroo (1954), Barbary-Coast Bunny (1956), Tortoise Beats Hare (1941), Tortoise Wins By A Hare (1943), Rabbit Transit (1947), Porky's Hare Hunt (1938) (B&W), Hare-Um Scare-Um (1939), Prest-O Change-O (1939), Elmer's Candid Camera (1940), Bugs Bunny Gets The Boid (1942), The Bashful Buzzard (1945), The Lion's Busy (1950), Strife With Father (1950), An Itch In Time (1943), A Horsefly Fleas (1948), Hollywood Steps Out (1941), Page Miss Glory (1936), Rocket-Bye Baby (1956), Russian Rhapsody (1944) and Dough Ray Me-Ow (1948).

Warner Home Video has made all fifty animated shorts representing LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO in their proper 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratios, all of which have been encoded to disc with the AVC codec. Like the first collection, the 1080p presentations contained in this set are very beautiful, offering, first and foremost, a film-like appearance for each the shorts. Since the shorts originated on film, there is a noticeable grain structure in each that maintains the organic sense that one is film, and not a characterless digital rendering of these vintage cartoons. One must take into account that the majority of these cartoons were produced anywhere from fifty to seventy-plus years ago, so there are going to be variations in the picture quality, when one goes from short to short. Despite said variations in picture quality, the visual component of each tends to be quite good, if not, downright outstanding. As expected, color reproduction can be variable, depending on the short in question, but overall, the hues maintain the type of saturation one associates with classic Technicolor. Blacks are wonderfully deep and inky, while the whites appear crisp. As for the Black and white shorts, they display excellent grayscale and nuance. The elements, from which the shorts have been mastered, tend to appear clean, with only modest blemishes and other signs of age being present. Additionally, any flaws, which were present in the original animation, are maintained here.

All of animated shorts featured on the LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 1 channel Dolby Digital monaural 192kbps soundtracks. No surprises here, I would have preferred lossless sound, but the lossy monaural soundtracks are adequate enough for the animated shorts. As expected, there are sonic variations from one short to the next, but nothing is out of sorts for vintage recordings of limited fidelity. All the soundtracks contained in the collection, have undergone some level of digital cleanup to eliminate or greatly reducing the majority of the background hiss and other audible anomalies. While the fidelity has its limitations, the music and zany sound effects come across in a respectable manner. Dialogue is generally crisp and easy to understand. Select shorts offer Spanish and/or German Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks. Depending on the short, subtitles are available in combinations of English, French, Spanish and German.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off are thirty-five running Audio Commentaries on following animated shorts contained in the collection: A Wild Hare, Buckaroo Bugs, Long-Haired Hare, Ali Baba Bunny, Show Biz Bugs, Book Revue, Deduce, You Say, Porky In Wackyland, You Ought To Be In Pictures, Porky In Egypt, Back Alley Oproar, Canned Feud, Birdy And The Beast, Scent-Imental Romeo, The Foghorn Leghorn, The High And The Flighty, Tabasco Road, Mexicali Schmoes, Wabbit Twouble, Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, Drip-Along Daffy, Tortoise Beats Hare, Tortoise Wins By Hare, Porky’s Hare Hunt, Elmer’s Candid Camera, Bugs Bunny Gets The Boid, The Bashful Buzzard, An Itch In Time, Hollywood Steps Out, Page Miss Glory, Rocket-Bye Baby, Russian Rhapsody and Dough Ray-Meow. Assorted commentary participants include the following: director Bob Clampett, director Chuck Jones, director Eric Goldberg, director Friz Freleng, voice actor Mel Blanc, filmmaker Greg Ford, animator Bill Melendez, historian Jerry Beck, historian Daniel Goldmark, director John Kricfalusi, filmmaker Constantine Nasr, writer Paul Dini, historian Michael Barrier, and historian Will Friedwald. In addition the following animated shorts include Music-Only Tracks or Music And Effects Tracks: Ali-Baba Bunny, Scent-Imental Romeo, The High And The Flighty, Tabasco Road, Mexicali Schmoes, Rabbit Fire, Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, Drip-Along Daffy and Barbary-Coast Bunny.

Disc one and two Featurettes and other programs include the following: Leon Schlesinger: The Merrie Cartoon Mogul (twenty minutes), Man From Wackyland: The Art Of Bob Clampett (twenty one minutes), Bosko, Buddy And The Best Of Black And White (nine minutes), A Hunting We Will Go: Chuck Jones' Wabbit Season Twilogy (ten minutes), Looney Tunes Go Hollywood (nine minutes), Looney Tunes Go To War! (ten minutes), A Conversation With Tex Avery (seven minutes) and Forever Befuddled (three minutes).

Disc three Featurettes and other programs include the following: King-Size Comedy: Tex Avery And The Looney Tunes Revolution (forty two minutes), Tex Avery: King Of Comedy (fifty two minutes), Friz On Film (fifty five minutes), Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons (forty six minutes) and Real American Zero: The Adventures Of Private Snafu (nine minutes). Disc three of the collection also features Bonus Shorts that are presented in standard definition and under their own subsections. The World Of Leon Schlesinger offers Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid, Sinkin' In The Bathtub, Crying For The Carolines and It's Got Me Again. Friz At MGM offers Poultry Pirates, A Day At The Beach, The Captain's Christmas, Seal Skinners and Mama's New Hat. The Best Of The Rest Of Tex offers The Blitz Wolf, Red Hot Riding Hood, Screwball Squirrel, Swift Shift Cinderella, King-Size Canary, Bad Luck Blackie, Senor Droopy, Wags To Riches, Symphony In Slang, Magical Maestro and Rock-A-Bye Bear. Private Snafu offers Coming!! Snafu, Gripes, Spies, The Goldbrick, The Home Front, Rumors, Snafuperman and Censored. Mr. Hook offers The Good Egg, The Return Of Mr. Hook and Tokyo Moves.

LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO is another must have release for classic animation fans. The Blu-ray presentations are film-like and look pretty wonderful. Lossless audio would still be preferred, but otherwise the lossy sound is fine. Definitely recommended.

 
LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME TWO 


Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume Two [Blu-ray]

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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