Tuesday, November 11, 2003

What's Up Doc?

I don't subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (for obvious reasons), and Terry Teachout, if he has gotten around to it, has not yet shared his take on The Looney Tunes Golden Collection, so I'll jump out ahead. I'm sure he will have more interesting things to say on the subject than I, but here goes.

I've only gotten through the first disk so far, which focuses, quite pleasantly, on Bugs Bunny. It has 14 shorts and an enjoyable collection of extras, including a history of the development of Bugs, Elmer Fudd, and Yosemite Sam, who was patterned after Tunes director, Friz Freleng. Some nice bits from the early Bugs Bunny TV show are also included. The selection of shorts is good, but not perfect. Some obvious classics are being held back from future releases, but this is a solid collection including, "What's Up Doc", "The Bunny of Seville", "Water, Water, Every Hare", and "Baseball Bugs".

The other disks focus on the many other great Looney Tunes characters, including Daffy, Foghorn Leghorn, Roadrunner, and the list goes on. There are 58 shorts in all and extras on each disk. The restorations are very nice, and most importantly, they are as funny as ever. Looney Tunes, were always the witty counterweight to the softer Disney shorts. While Disney has always had very smooth and detailed animation, they were always geared to the younger audience. Warner, made more animated and frenetic cartoons that had the silliness and characters the kids loved, but the wit that could entertain adults. For my generation the Jay Ward cartoons like Rocky and Bullwinkle were the obvious heir of Warner's sharp wit.

It is a fine collection. My only caveat is that WB will probably own my wallet for at least 3 or 4 more sets. Curses!

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