Looney Tunes Collection-Best of Bugs Bunny (2003)

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Released 1-Apr-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Cartoon Historians (Selected Shorts - 8)
Isolated Musical Score-Selected Shorts (3)
Introduction-A Greeting From Chuck Jones
Featurette-Behind The Tunes (3)
Short Film-Bugs Bunny At The Movies (2)
Featurette-The Bugs Bunny Show (2)
Short Film-Blooper Bunny, With Optional Commentary
Gallery-Stills
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 99:27
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Charles M. Jones
Isidore "Friz" Freleng
Robert McKimson
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Mel Blanc
Bugs Bunny
Daffy Duck
Elmer Fudd
Yosemite Sam
Bruno
Pete Puma
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Carl Stalling


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Dutch Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Hungarian
Arabic
Greek
Croatian
Slovenian
Romanian
Bulgarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

During the 1940s and 1950s, Warner Bros. produced a series of animated shorts under the banners of Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes that are unmatched in their quality and cleverness. These cartoons are designed for adults and children alike, and feature several characters who have taken on lives of their own. The most celebrated of these is Bugs Bunny, and this collection showcases some of his best cartoons. Given the wealth of material available, not everyone will agree with the selections showcased here, but these cartoons are all still funny, even when seeing them for the umpteenth time.

The creative team at Warners featured two of the finest cartoon directors ever to work in the industry in Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng. The third, and somewhat lesser light during the golden years was Bob McKimson, and you will note a difference in quality between his cartoons and those of the two more celebrated men. In the early years Warners also had Tex Avery and Bob Clampett on their books. While none of Avery's work is included, he did direct the first four Bugs cartoons. An early cartoon by Clampett is included.

Just as important as the directors were two other individuals. Music director Carl Stalling was a former silent film accompanist whose scores for these cartoons are gems. He intertwines snippets of familiar music from classical works, works in the public domain and items from Warners' music library in rich and humorous scores that stand alone by themselves. Some of the cartoons here have isolated music tracks.

And then there is the master of voice characterisations: Mel Blanc. Bugs, Daffy and Porky all seem quite unique characters with different personalities, but they all have Blanc's unique vocal work to bring them to life.

Warners are to be congratulated for releasing these cartoons in such a quality package, and lovers of Warners' unique brand of clever, intelligent cartoons should rush out and buy this disc. The cartoons included are:

Baseball Bugs (1946) (7:17)

Bugs versus the Gas House Gorillas in this epic baseball match. Directed by I. Freleng.

Rabbit Seasoning (1952) (6:33)

It's wabbit season in the classic Daffy, Elmer and Bugs cartoon. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

Long-Haired Hare (1949) (7:17)

Bugs makes an opera singer's performance a misery, and impersonates Leopold Stokowski. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

High Diving Hare (1949) (7:14)

A one-joke cartoon about a high diving act, featuring Yosemite Sam. Directed by I. Freleng.

Bully For Bugs (1953) (6:55)

Bugs takes a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ends up in a bull ring. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

What's Up Doc? (1950) (6:58)

Hollywood star Bugs reminisces about his early career. Directed by Robert McKimson.

Rabbit's Kin (1952) (6:36)

Bugs outwits Pete Puma. Directed by Robert McKimson.

Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (7:10)

Evil Scientist wants Bugs' brain for his robot. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

Big House Bunny (1950) (6:52)

Bugs ends up in gaol with gaoler Yosemite Sam. Directed by I. Freleng.

Big Top Bunny (1951) (6:53)

Bugs, the acrobatic rabbit, vies with Bruno, the acrobatic bear in this circus comedy. Bruno has a Russian accent, of course. Directed by Robert McKimson.

My Bunny Lies Over the Sea (1948) (7:10)

Bugs takes that wrong turn at Albuquerque and ends up in a golfing duel in Scotland. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

Wabbit Twouble (1941) (8:01)

An early Bugs with a very different looking Elmer Fudd. Directed by Bob Clampett.

Ballot Box Bunny (1951) (7:19)

Bugs runs for mayor against Yosemite Sam. Directed by I. Freleng.

Rabbit of Seville (1950) (7:12)

Classic version of the overture to Rossini's opera featuring Bugs and Elmer. Directed by Charles M. Jones.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

These cartoons have been superbly transferred to DVD.

The cartoons are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 which is close to the original 1.37:1. They are of course not 16x9 enhanced.

All of the material is almost perfectly sharp and clear. Colour is rich and bright, looking much like the Technicolor originals.

There are a few minor issues with the transfer. There was one noticeable instance of aliasing, a very mild example at 2:10 in High Diving Hare. A blue blotch appears briefly on screen at 2:34 in Baseball Bugs, and both this cartoon and Wabbit Twouble have some grain noticeable. Apart from these instances, the only artefact present is dust, which shows up throughout as small white particles moving vertically on the screen. This is mildly distracting, but apparently is present in the source material, that is, it was present when the cels were photographed.

Subtitles are provided in a variety of languages, and the English subtitles seem to be very clear and accurate to the spoken word.

The material is presented on a dual layered disc, but no layer change is evident.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The default audio track is Dolby Digital 1.0, which reflects the original mono soundtracks of these cartoons. Audio is available in English, French, Italian, Hungarian and Dutch.

A very good job has been done with the audio on these cartoons. Dialogue is very clear and distinct. Audio sync is perfect, and the sound has good body and range.

The music scores were compiled and arranged by Carl Stalling, and are quite wonderful. The isolated music scores on several of these cartoons are well worth listening to.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

A copious selection of extras rounds out this excellent package. Some of these extras are a lot better than others.

Main Menu Introduction Animation and Audio

The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theme music is played as background to the main menu. The menu itself is easy to navigate and looks very good. The menu is in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentaries

Commentaries are available for seven of the cartoons, by cartoon historian Michael Barrier and cartoon director Greg Ford. The commentaries are interesting and informative, by two men who clearly love the cartoons. They also include some historical audio material from Freleng, Jones and Clampett. Actor Stan Freberg, who provided the voice of Pete Puma, does a commentary for Rabbit's Kin, but this is not one of the better examples of the genre, consisting of him mainly repeating the lines of his character. Barrier's commentary for Big Top Bunny concentrates on the music and career of Carl Stalling, and includes material from an interview with Stalling.

The cartoons with commentary are: Rabbit Seasoning, Long-Haired Hare, High Diving Hare, Bully For Bugs, What's Up Doc?, Rabbit's Kin, Big Top Bunny and Wabbit Twouble.

A Greeting from Chuck Jones (3:50)

An introduction to the cartoons with an elderly Jones, this is a piece to camera which was recorded for cable television. This is all right to watch once, but would not bear repetition.

Isolated Music Scores

Rabbit Seasoning, What's Up Doc? and Rabbit's Kin are available with music only, so that you can enjoy Stalling's inventive scores.

Bugs: A Rabbit For All Seasonings (5:39)

A pretty good Behind The Tunes short feature made for cable TV, this is an overview of the Bugs cartoons, and features interview material with Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng, their daughters, Bob Clampett's daughter, Mel Blanc's son and Leonard Maltin.

Short Fuse Shootout: The Small Tale of Yosemite Sam (3:03)

Another Behind the Tunes short featuring much the same cast as the above item.

Forever Befuddled (3:25)

Another Behind the Tunes short about the career of Elmer Fudd.

Bugs Bunny At The Movies: Two Guys From Texas (3:32)

This is an animated extract featuring Bugs from a live action feature of 1949 which starred Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan, who provide the voices for their animated alter egos.

Bugs Bunny At The Movies: My Dream Is Yours (4:53)

Also from 1949, this is a combination live action and animated sequence from this feature film, featuring Bugs doing a song and dance routine with Jack Carson and Doris Day.

The Bugs Bunny Show: "A Star Is Bored" Bridging Sequences (5:49)

The bridging sequences from an episode of the TV show that featured the original cartoons linked by new sequences. The opening and closing credits are included with the song This Is It, plus all of the linking sequences from this episode, in black and white and colour. Very nostalgic.

The Bugs Bunny Show: The Astro Nuts Audio Recording Session (4:09)

Fascinating stuff here, this is audio material from a recording session for the TV show. Chuck Jones prompts Mel Blanc who delivers some of the lines in varied fashions. You get to hear Blanc doing Porky Pig in his normal voice, which would then be speeded up for the cartoon.

Blooper Bunny: Bugs Bunny's 51 Anniversary (8:23)

This is a 1991 short made by Greg Ford which shows Bugs celebrating his anniversary in a show with Daffy, Elmer and Yosemite Sam. Then it becomes a behind the scenes style film with grainy, scratchy footage of the preparations for this show, in a parody of behind the scenes documentaries. While a valiant attempt, this only goes to show how good the originals were. This also features an optional commentary by Ford in which he tells what he was trying to achieve.

Stills Gallery

50 stills, comprising sketches, cels and poster art for and from the original cartoons. These are enhanced for 16x9 displays.

DVD-ROM Feature: Bugs Bunny's Tower Trouble Game

This is a sample interactive game available on various platforms in a tie-in with the film Looney Tunes: Back in Action. It is accessible only on a DVD-ROM drive, and requires you to get Bugs to climb the Eiffel Tower using the arrow keys, while avoiding falling objects. This is just a teaser for the full game. Note that inserting the disc prompts you to install the Interactual player, if you do not already have it installed.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The disc released in Region 2 is identical to this one. This disc is available as part of a four disc set in Region 1, which also includes the other discs being released in Region 4. The content is identical except that the Region 1 includes a featurette called The Boys From Termite Terrace Part 1 running just under 30 minutes, which is about the animators and the history of the animation unit. There are also two trailers. A pity that Region 4 did not get the featurette, which just puts the Region 1 ahead, though you have to buy the entire 4 disc set to get it.

The UK Region 2 release is identical to the Region 4.

Summary

A wonderful selection of cartoons, beautifully restored and presented in an excellent package. Hopefully Warners will eventually present all of their cartoons on DVD, especially What's Opera Doc? which is a personal favourite and notable by its absence from this disc. Still, a must buy.

The video quality is excellent.

The audio quality is excellent.

The extras are pretty good too, though not ideal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Saturday, April 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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Comments (Add)
But what about the other cartoons? - Steve REPLY POSTED
Private Snafu - Steve