Looney Tunes Collection-Best of Tweety and Sylvester-Volume 1

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Released 4-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-7 Episodes
Alternate Audio-2 Episodes
Featurette-Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Pt. 2
Bonus Episode-Daffy Duck For President
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Man From Wackyland: The Art Of Bob Clampett
Credits-Opening Sequences (2)
Featurette-Cat Got Your Brush?
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 104:48
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Charles M. Jones
Friz Freleng
Robert Clampett
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $14.95 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)
Croatian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Score & Effects Dolby Digital 1.0 (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
Croatian
Arabic
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

    I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons. I've always found the self-consciously "cute" Tweety to be annoying, and I was always on the side of the ill-fated cat with the speech impediment. Unfortunately he never got to eat his intended prey, at least not without the equally irritating Granny shaking him and yelling "Drop it! Drop it!".

    The characters were first paired in a 1947 cartoon included on this disc and which won an Academy Award: Tweetie Pie, though why it isn't shown first is a mystery, given the rest of their cartoons on this disc are in chronological order. Perhaps it is because Sylvester is called Thomas in this entry, though he is obviously the same cat. Sylvester had made his initial appearance two years earlier in Life With Feathers, in which his first words were "Thufferin' Thuccotash", which became his trademark. In addition to Tweety he was often co-starred with Hippety Hopper the boxing kangaroo and Speedy Gonzalez the token Mexican rodent, who was almost as annoying as Tweety. But Sylvester's work with Tweety is the high point of his career.

    Tweety was the elder of the two, having debuted as a nameless bird in 1942's A Tale of Two Kitties. As in Sylvester's case his famous signature line came in his first outing: "I tawt I taw a putty tat".

    The cartoons in this set are almost all familiar from endless repeats on television. I must have seen some of them twenty or thirty times, though never in such good condition. In addition to the nine co-starring cartoons on this disc, there are six more cartoons with various characters. Possibly the best cartoon on this DVD is the Duck Twacy effort from 1946, which is a genuine classic.

    Unless stated otherwise, the cartoons are directed by Isidore "Friz" Freleng.

Bad Ol' Putty Tat (1949) (6:47)

    Tweety is safe and sound on top of a pole with barbed wire to prevent Sylvester from climbing up to him. The latter uses various schemes to reach the birdhouse, like trampolining, with no success.

All a Bir-r-r-d (1950) (7:03)

    Tweety is being taken on a train trip, and is placed in the baggage car alongside a delighted Sylvester.

Room And Bird (1951) (6:36)

    Granny smuggles Tweety into the Spinsters' Arms Hotel, where pets are a no-no. Sylvester gets smuggled in as well, and has to evade the house detective and the ubiquitous bulldog while chasing the little yellow bird.

Tweet Tweet Tweety (1951) (6:43)

    Sylvester is on the prowl in the National Forest, where he comes upon an unhatched egg. Guess who pops out?

Gift Wrapped (1952) (7:08)

    It's Christmas, and what does Sylvester find under the tree? A rubber mouse. But Granny has a feathered gift...

Ain't She Tweet (1952) (6:51)

    Sylvester follows a delivery of our feathered friend to his new owner: Granny. Unfortunately for our intrepid feline, Granny has a lot more pets: all bulldogs.

A Bird In A Guilty Cage (1952) (6:44)

    This time Tweety is in a department store, into which Sylvester sneaks.

Snow Business (1953) (6:48)

    Sylvester and Tweety are cut-off by winter snows in a cabin with nothing but bird seed and a ravenous mouse. Can Granny bring supplies before Tweety ends up as catnip?

Tweetie Pie (1947) (6:45)

    Thomas the Cat (Sylvester in disguise) finds Tweety in the snow, but is unable to consummate his desires due to his mistress's vigilance. A few gags in this one are repeated in some of the later cartoons.

Kitty Kornered (1946) (6:49)

    This time a group of cats led by Sylvester are put out in the snow by Porky, and they decide to wreak their horrible revenge.

Baby Bottleneck (1946) (6:46)

    Bob Clampett was responsible for this effort where a shortage of storks means that Porky and Daffy are hired to oversee the baby delivery effort, with the expected disastrous consequences. A jarring edit shows where a line was censored from the cartoon before release. This is explained in the audio commentary.

Old Glory (1939) (8:41)

    This flag-waving early Chuck Jones effort might be inspiring to American viewers but it loses something for us foreigners. A sleeping Porky is shown by Uncle Sam the reasons why he should know the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) (7:17)

    Another crazy Bob Clampett cartoon in which Duck Twacy (Daffy) investigates the theft of numerous piggy banks. A bunch of Dick Tracy-type weirdo villains seem to be responsible. There's a cameo from Porky Pig.

Duck Soup To Nuts (1944) (6:40)

    I've often wondered about the expression "from soup to nuts". It appears to mean "from start to finish", while "duck soup" refers to something easy. Of course the title could be a combination of the titles of those Marx Brothers and Three Stooges features respectively. Anyway, in this cartoon it's duck season and Porky Pig is after that little black duck.

Porky In Wackyland (1938) (7:04)

    The original black and white version of this surreal cartoon by Bob Clampett (it was remade in colour) as the intrepid Porky Pig crosses Dark Africa and Darker Africa into Darkest Africa in search of the last of the Do-Do Birds.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    All of the cartoons are in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original aspect ratio was 1.37:1. Some of the opening titles are shown in this aspect ratio, slightly windowboxed.

    Like the other releases in this series the transfers are excellent. Each cartoon is sharp and clear, looking much better than it has ever done on television. In fact they probably never even looked quite this good on the big screen. Colours are bright, rich and vibrant.

    I did not see any film to video artefacts, though as mentioned in my review of the previous title some interlacing issues were noticed in the Region 1 set. Film artefacts are mainly limited to problems caused in the original filming, such as dust between the cels. There are also some minor instances of damage, such as in Old Glory, and some of the older cartoons show some grain.

    Optional English subtitles are provided. The subtitles usually accurately represent the dialogue, and are well-timed and easy to read. However the rendering of the dialogue is not ideal, as it loses the way the dialogue is spoken. For example, when Tweety says "I tawt I taw a putty tat" the subtitle says "I thought I saw a pussy cat". It just isn't the same. There are also Hard of Hearing subtitles which describe the sound effects and music.

    The disc is dual-layered but there is no layer change during any of the programmes.

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

Audio

    Audio is provided in Dolby Digital 1.0, which is basically the original audio.

    The sound is as good as the video, with clear dialogue and sound effects. I did not notice any distortion or hiss, and there is a good frequency response down to low levels.

    The music score is directed by Carl Stalling. As usual it is an amalgam of new music, tunes from the Warners' catalogue and snippets of classical music. I have always found the soundtrack to be the strong point of the Warners' cartoons, particularly the later ones, and in these examples the soundtracks are often remarkable. The transfer is very good in presenting the audio without any distortion so that the music and effects can be appreciated for their comic effect.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Again, some cheesy animation and audio.

Audio Commentary-7 Episodes

    Audio commentary is provided for Ain't She Tweet, Tweetie Pie, Kitty Kornered, Baby Bottleneck, Old Glory, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery and Porky in Wackyland. Most of the commentaries are by Greg Ford or Michael Barrier, and in those we get snippets of audio from some of the creative talent. Jerry Beck teams up with Martha Sigall for the commentary on Old Glory: Sigall inked many of the cels on that cartoon and recalls a lot about the cartoon and its reception. Even then there are a few dead spots in the commentary. John Kricfalusi contributes a very enthusiastic and informative commentary on The Great Piggy Bank Robbery.

Alternate Audio-2 Episodes

    Music and effects tracks for Tweet Tweet Tweety and A Bird In A Guilty Cage.

Featurette-Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Pt. 2 (23:30)

    This is a continuation of the featurette of which the first part is on the Bugs Bunny disc. A lot of lame celebrity "reminiscences" of their work with Bugs are interspersed with comments from Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng. The age of this material can be gauged by the hairstyles and clothing, which put it some time in the 1980s, as well as by the appearance of Geraldine Page who has been dead for twenty years. Others include David Bowie, Bill Murray, Candice Bergen and Chuck Yeager.

Bonus Episode-Daffy Duck For President (4:31)

    A new cartoon based on work by Chuck Jones but made after his death. The animation is very good but the cartoon simply isn't funny or interesting. A disappointment.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Man From Wackyland: The Art Of Bob Clampett (21:11)

    This is an excellent short documentary on the life and work of the not-so-well-known Clampett, who made a poor career choice in leaving Warners in the mid-40s. His cartoons are some of the wackiest to come out of the studio and there are plenty of examples of his work here. Of particular interest is a frame by frame analysis of some passages from The Great Piggy Bank Robbery.

Credits-Opening Sequences (4:12)

    Opening credits for The Porky Pig Show and The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show.

Featurette-Cat Got Your Brush? (1:51)

    A short piece showing one of Warners' current crop of animators drawing Sylvester and Tweety.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 equivalent is only available as part of a four disc set called Looney Tunes: The Golden Collection Volume 2. This material is on disc 3, and appears to have the same contents. As Region 4 are getting the entire set including all of the extra material as four separate discs, the decision as to whether to get the Region 1 set or the Region 4 discs comes down to price and convenience.

Summary

    More classic cartoons from Warners.

    The video and audio transfers are excellent.

    There is plenty of extra material though not all of it would be worth more than one look.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Friday, November 04, 2005
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.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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