Looney Tunes Collection-All Stars-Volumes 1 & 2 (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Cartoon Historians (Selected Shorts - 13)
Isolated Musical Score-Selected Shorts - 5
Featurette-Behind The Tunes (6)
Featurette-Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons
Featurette-Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid
Featurette-Virgil Ross Pencil Tests
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Charles M. Jones
Warner Home Video
Wile E. Coyote
Arthur Q. Bryan
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This is a two-disc set that contains twenty-eight cartoons featuring most of the Warners' stable of Looney Tunes characters. While there are separate volumes devoted to them, this set still has several Bugs, Daffy and Porky cartoons. All of the other familiar favourites are here: Elmer Fudd, Pepe le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety, Speedy Gonzales and others.
The quality of the cartoons in this set is variable. Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears is bit of a dud in my opinion, but it is followed in the set by Fast and Furry-ous, a seminal cartoon that started a long line of Road Runner cartoons. The cartoons on disc two are of a lower level of inspiration than disc one, although we do get to see Early to Bet, one of Robert McKimson's better efforts.
This set features the work of four directors. Chuck Jones (1912-2002), generally regarded as the best of the Warner directors, has the bulk of disc one. Two works by Robert Clampett (1913-1984) are also included. Disc two features mainly Isidore "Fritz" Freleng (1905-1995), whose cartoons were less subversive than Jones' but still of a reasonably high quality. Warners' equivalent of a hack director was Robert McKimson (1910-1977), and we get to see some typical work from him.
I suspect that Warners are planning more releases in this series. Why else would we not get What's Opera Doc?, One Froggy Evening, Duck! Rabbit! Duck!, A Wild Hare, Porky Pig's Feat, A Corny Concerto, more of the Road Runner... the list is long. Still, these discs will do in the meantime.
On disc one, all but the last two cartoons were directed by Charles M. Jones:
Elmer's Candid Camera (1940) (7:29)
This early cartoon features a strange-looking Elmer Fudd and what seems to be a prototype Bugs Bunny.
Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (1944) (6:55)
The three bears attempt to re-enact the Goldilocks story with Bugs as the main course in this fairly lame cartoon.
Fast and Furry-ous (1949) (6:51)
The very first entry in the series of Road Runner versus Wile E. Coyote, Genius. This is the only Road Runner cartoon in this set. A pity, as these cartoons were often inspired.
Hair-Raising Hare (1946) (7:23)
A mad scientist who looks awfully like Peter Lorre wants Bugs for his monster's dinner.
The Awful Orphan (1949) (7:09)
An annoying dog wants Porky for a master.
Haredevil Hare (1948) (7:25)
Bugs is the first bunny on the moon, but Marvin intends to destroy the Earth. One of the newspapers shown at the beginning of the cartoon supposedly has a photo of congressman Richard M. Nixon, but it does not look like him to me.
For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) (6:40)
An Oscar-winning short featuring Pepe le Pew, who is a cross between Charles Boyer (in Pepe le Moko mode from Algiers) and a skunk. Probably my least favourite major Warners character, I am grateful that he only makes one appearance in this set.
Frigid Hare (1949) (7:17)
There are a lot of wrong turns in Albuquerque; this time Bugs takes one that lands him at the South Pole, where he meets a small penguin and a large Eskimo (at the South Pole?).
The Hypo-chondri-cat (1950) (7:02)
Hubie and Bertie are two mice who discover that Claude the cat, the guardian in their new domicile, is a hypochondriac. Do they take advantage of this? Of course.
Baton Bunny (1959) (6:10)
Bugs conducts an orchestra performing Suppe's Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna.
Feed the Kitty (1952) (7:04)
Marc Anthony is a bulldog who takes in a kitten. This cartoon has apparently had a lot of influence on film director Joe Dante, who works references to it into his films. Also, one scene (according to the commentary) was the inspiration for a scene in the animated feature Monsters Inc.
Don't Give Up the Sheep (1953) (6:44)
One of those Ralph the wolf (who looks remarkably like Wile E. Coyote save for a red nose) and Sam the sheepdog cartoons.
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942) (7:08)
An early Bugs film where a dopey buzzard wants him for his evening meal. Beaky the buzzard is based on ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's doll Mortimer Snerd. Directed by Robert Clampett.
Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943) (7:27)
The classic story of the Tortoise and the Hare, given a twist in this tale. For once Bugs doesn't have everything his own way. Directed by Robert Clampett.
The first nine cartoons on disc two are directed by I. Freleng, the rest by Robert McKimson. Disc two contains:
Canary Row (1950) (6:44)
From his vantage point at the Bird Watchers' Society, Sylvester spies Tweety in the Hotel opposite, but no cats are allowed.
Bunker Hill Bunny (1950) (7:02)
Bugs and Yosemite Sam trade cannonballs in this Revolutionary War cartoon.
Kit for Cat (1948) (7:05)
Sylvester vies with a kitten for the affections of Elmer Fudd.
Putty Tat Twouble (1951) (7:08)
Tweety is the object of the affections of two cats rather than the usual one, who spend most of the time fighting each other.
Bugs and Thugs (1954) (6:55)
Rocky has to take Bugs for a ride, but who is taking who?
Canned Feud (1951) (7:05)
Sylvester is left home alone with only a few dozen cans of tuna. Unfortunately, the resident mouse has the can opener.
Lumber Jerks (1955) (6:46)
Those two gophers lose their home, and seek to reclaim it. Indubitably.
Speedy Gonzalez (1955) (6:28)
The first appearance of one of Warners' least sympathetic and most annoying characters: Speedy Gonzalez, the fastest mouse in all Mexico and who knows everyone's sister. In this cartoon he torments Sylvester. What I want to know is: where is Slowpoke Rodriguez?
Tweety's S.O.S. (1951) (7:11)
Sylvester follows Tweety onto a cruise ship, with explosive consequences.
The Foghorn Leghorn (1948) (6:37)
The third appearance of Foghorn Leghorn, in this one with Henery, I say Henery Hawk. Chickenhawk, that is.
Daffy Duck Hunt (1949) (6:56)
Porky and his dog capture a duck dinner, but the freezer hasn't been made that can hold Daffy.
Early to Bet (1951) (6:32)
No, not that. Not "the Gesundheit"...
Broken Leghorn (1959) (6:04)
Prissy the spinster chicken (whose vocabulary consists of "yee-us") hatches a rooster, whom Foghorn wants to put in his place.
Devil May Hare (1954) (6:37)
Bugs locks horns with the Tasmanian Devil.
The cartoons are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is close enough to the original 1.37:1 to make no significant difference.
The video quality is excellent. The transfers are sharp without any use of edge enhancement, and every detail is clear and visible.
Colour is superb, with the Technicolor image being faithfully represented. There is no colour bleeding apparent.
Artefacts are limited to some minor instances of aliasing. Some grain is present throughout, but is only noticeable on the older cartoons and is not distracting. There are some artefacts that appear to have been introduced when the cartoons were originally made. There are tiny white spots that move up the screen, and are more noticeable when the background is dark. These spots are apparently dust particles that were on or between the cels when they were photographed. The cartoons on disc two have noticeably more dirt and some scratches.
Also noticeable occasionally are blemishes in the image, for example at 3:10 in Canary Row. A second earlier in this cartoon there is a pale white stripe just to the left of Granny, and there is also a thin pale stripe on the extreme left of screen. These imperfections appear to be present in the source material. Warners have decided not to digitally remaster the cartoons, which probably would have fixed these problems at the expense of introducing new ones.
Subtitles are provided in thirteen languages. The English subtitles are clear and easy to read, and appear to be accurate to the spoken word.
The material is presented on two dual-layered discs without any apparent layer changes, so presumably each item is contained wholly on one layer or another.
The default audio track is English Dolby Digital 1.0, with alternative audio languages of French, Italian, Dutch and Hungarian.
The audio quality is very good. Dialogue, music and effects all come across clearly. There is a reasonable amount of body and depth to the sound, despite the mono source material. Occasionally the music sounds a little thin, but never to excess.
The music scores are mostly by Carl Stalling, and as usual various pieces of popular and classic works are seamlessly integrated with original pieces. Stalling's scores are well synchronised with the on-screen action, and the use of a full orchestra makes these cartoons unique. Effects are also cleverly done, with some remarkable sounds generated from unlikely sources, such as the trombone used in Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid when Bugs strums the buzzard's Adam's apple. A couple of cartoons have scores by Milt Franklyn, who took over when Stalling retired in the mid-1950s.
|Surround Channel Use|
A reasonable selection of extras, though again Region 4 does not get all of the extras available in Region 1. Unless specified otherwise, the aspect ratio is 1.33:1 and audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.
There is a brief animated sequence on each disc prior to the main menu, and the menu has the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes theme music.
The remainder of the extras are spread across the discs.
Seven of the cartoons have audio commentaries. Stan Freberg is again a bit of a disappointment commenting on Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears, on which the eighteen year old voiced Baby Bear, though he does have one good story about how he and Mel Blanc recorded their voices. Greg Ford is okay on Feed the Kitty, while he shares the commentary on Hair-Raising Hare with Michael Barrier, who is the best of the commentators, and uses audio recordings of interviews with long dead crew members to illuminate his commentaries. He does sole work on Fast and Furry-ous, Haredevil Hare, For Scent-imental Reasons and Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid.
You can listen to Carl Stalling's inspirations on Baton Bunny and Feed the Kitty. Dolby Digital 1.0.
The Road Runner and Coyote cartoons are examined in this entry.
A short and shallow examination of Mel Blanc and his voice characterisations.
An all-too-brief look at Carl Stalling's contribution to the sound of the cartoons.
This is a one hour programme (minus the commercials but not the throws to them) made by the Cartoon Network looking at cartoons that have not been seen for many years. Included are lengthy excerpts from the only surviving Spooney Melodies short, which predated the Merrie Melodies; Lady Play Your Mandolin, which was the first Merrie Melodies short; excerpts from a Private Snafu wartime cartoon; cartoons made by Chuck Jones for the Health Department and the US Army; parts of a failed Road Runner pilot; and a short clip from an excruciating-looking pilot for a combination live action and cartoon series called Philbert starring William Schallert and directed by Richard "Lethal Weapon" Donner. This is an interesting programme, but apparently the clips were "toned down" (that is, censored) by the producers of this show to remove "objectionable" material. The items are not restored and some of the audio is hissy, with crackling and popping apparent.
50 stills, sketches, cels and lobby cards. This section is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. No audio.
This is a minor disintegrate-the-alien game using the cursor as a weapon sight. Will keep the kids amused for minutes. This is a tie-in to the Looney Tunes: Back in Action video game.
Six commentaries. Author Jerry Beck does Canary Row, Devil May Hare, Canned Feud, and Speedy Gonzalez. Michael Barrier does Tweety's S.O.S. and The Foghorn Leghorn. These commentaries are quite good, and there is some interesting material on Robert McKimson on The Foghorn Leghorn, including the unexpected effects of a car accident. Annoyingly, there is no option to play all commentaries instead of selecting each individually. The other disc has a "play all" option for the commentaries.
Putty Tat Twouble, Broken Leghorn and Speedy Gonzalez. Dolby Digital 1.0.
A short history of that quick mouse from south of the border.
Tweety Pie and Sylvester, and how they came together.
The history of Foghorn Leghorn, the Southern chicken. Rooster, that is.
This very early sound cartoon is included here complete. Bosko was a African-American caricature who kept the studio afloat for a while but did not last, for reasons obvious from this cartoon. The audio is very scratchy and attenuated. The source material was not in the best of condition, but this is quite short and of historical importance.
Several animated tests for characters drawn in outline but unpainted. No audio.
50 stills, sketches, cels and lobby cards. This section is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. No audio.
Another tie-in to the Looney Tunes: Back in Action video game. Use the arrow keys to guide Bugs' spacecraft in a tunnel and avoid the obstacles.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The set released in the UK is identical to this one.
The Region 1 disc are available as part of the four disc collection Looney Tunes: The Golden Collection, which also includes Best of Bugs Bunny and Best of Daffy and Porky. In comparison to the Region 1 set, this Region 4 set misses out on:
The latter runs for fifty minutes and features more of the interview material used in the Behind the Tunes featurettes.
Also available in Region 1 is Looney Tunes: The Premier Collection, which is identical to the Region 4 release except that it does not include any of the extras.
In summary, the four-disc Golden Collection from Region 1 would be the winner here.
A mostly fine selection of cartoons well presented.
The video quality is above average.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras are good but do not include all of the extras available in Region 1.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Yamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175|