Looney Tunes Collection-Best of Bugs Bunny-Volume 2

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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-8 Episodes
Alternate Audio-4 Episdoes
Featurette-Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Pt. 1
Featurette-A Conversation With Tex Avery
Featurette-The Bugs Bunny Show - Bridging Sequences
Featurette-The Bugs Bunny Show - Audio Recording Session
Featurette-Reach For Your Brushes, Ya Varmints!
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 106:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Friz Freleng
Charles M. Jones
Robert McKimson
Robert Clampett
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Mel Blanc
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Carl W 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)
English Alternate Audio 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

    Bugs Bunny was Warners' biggest cartoon star from not too long after his first appearance for the studio. His personality and appearance were fine-tuned by Tex Avery in the four cartoons he made with the character, and was extended and perfected by Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones in the ensuing years.

    Being the most popular character, Bugs was called on to appear in a punishing schedule of cartoons over the years. Over 170 were made between his first appearance in 1938 and the last theatrical cartoon in 1964. His heyday started during the war years and extended well into the 1950s. At first he was paired with the dog Willoughby, but in later cartoons his adversaries included Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil. He was also pitted against one-off characters, a couple of which appear on this disc. He comes up against Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a quite good cartoon, and Hazel the witch in what must rank as one of Chuck Jones' lesser efforts, at least in terms of plot and comedic quality. While there are a couple of classics on this disc, the standard of the cartoons is variable. While the animation may be excellent, sometimes the storylines do not live up to that standard.

    With so many Bugs cartoons being made, the work was shared out to all of Warners' directors. The bulk would have been made by Friz Freleng, but there were also many by Jones and the less well regarded Robert McKimson, who always seems to be a hack worker by comparison, by which I mean he seemed to lack the spark and style of his more celebrated colleagues. That being said, his work is still of high quality, as can be seen from the examples included here.

    At the rate at which Warners are releasing the cartoons of Bugs on DVD a complete set will run to about ten more discs and will be complete in around 2015. I know that restoring these cartoons is a time-consuming and expensive process, but I hope that Warners can speed up the release schedule, or else we'll have to start collecting them again on the next generation video format.

    Unless stated otherwise, all of these cartoons were directed by Freleng.

The Big Snooze (1946) (7:05)

    This was the last Warners cartoon directed by Bob Clampett. Elmer gets fed up with always being the fall guy and walks out on his Warner Bros. contract. Bugs decides that the only way to get him back is to invade his peaceful dreams.

Broomstick Bunny (1956) (6:53)

    Bugs goes trick-or-treating and falls afoul of the witch Hazel, from whom Bugs takes the "ugliest of all" accolade. Directed by Chuck Jones.

Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948) (6:54)

    Yosemite Sam rides into the town of Rising Gorge, scares off everyone but Bugs Bunny, and discovers that the town ain't big enough for the two of them.

Bunny Hugged (1951) (6:56)

    Chuck Jones directed this effort in which Bugs takes over from Ravishing Ronald in a world championship wrestling match against The Crusher.

French Rarebit (1951) (7:04)

    Bugs hitches a ride in a crate of carrots and ends up in Paris. There he tries not to end up in the haute cuisine of Louis or Francois. Directed by Robert McKimson.

Gorilla My Dreams (1948) (7:08)

    Bugs winds up on an island populated by gorillas. The clucky Mrs Gruesome Gorilla takes a fancy to Bugs, but Gruesome is not so kind. Directed by Robert McKimson.

Hare-Brained Hypnotist (1942) (6:43)

    Elmer decides to use hypnotism to catch that wascally wabbit, but his plan backfires.

Hare Conditioned (1945) (6:58)

    Bugs is working in a department store window, but when the promotion closes he is slated for the stuffed animals department. The store manager (who sounds like The Great Gildersleeve, a radio and film character) spends the rest of the cartoon chasing that rabbit. Directed by Chuck Jones.

The Heckling Hare (1941) (7:08)

    Tex Avery directed this early Bugs confrontation with Willoughby the dog. The ending was cut at the insistence of producer Leon Schlesinger for reasons which are not entirely clear, several versions of this story being available. Avery walked out on principle and ended up at MGM, this being his last cartoon for Warners.

Little Red Riding Rabbit (1944) (6:47)

    Little Red Riding Hood is off to see her Grandma with a present of a nice little bunny rabbit. But the wolf has replaced Grandma (who is working the swing shift at Lockheed) and wants the rabbit all to himself.

Tortoise Beats Hare (1941) (7:36)

    One of Tex Avery's four Bugs cartoons, this one pits Cecil the Turtle in a recreation of Aesop's fable, though with a few modern twists. This one has an unusual opening credits sequence.

Rabbit Transit (1947) (7:45)

    Cecil the Turtle reappears with more tricks up his shell, like rocket propulsion.

Slick Hare (1947) (7:25)

    Elmer is the chef in a Hollywood restaurant. A local by the name of Humphrey Bogart requests a dish of fried rabbit, or else, see. Elmer looks around and who does he spy? Well, not just some dumb bunny but also a few Hollywood guest stars, such as Gregory Peck, Ray Milland, Sydney Greenstreet, Frank Sinatra and Carmen Miranda.

Baby Buggy Bunny (1954) (6:50)

    A pint-sized bank robber masquerades as a baby in order to get back the proceeds of his latest robbery, which have fallen into the hands of Bugs. Directed by Chuck Jones.

Hyde And Hare (1955) (6:48)

    Bugs gets his daily ration of carrots in the park from a very timid man. When Bugs suggests that his benefactor take him home, the man turns out to be one Dr Jekyll.

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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 window-boxed.

    Like the other releases in this series the transfers are excellent. Each cartoon is sharp and clear, looking much better than it ever has on television. Colours are bright, rich and vibrant. Contrast levels are very good and there is of course no problem with shadow detail.

    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 which probably occurred in the original filming process and some of the older cartoons show small amounts of grain.

    Optional English subtitles are provided. The subtitles usually accurately represent the dialogue, and are well-timed and easy to read. 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 English Dolby Digital 1.0, which is basically the original audio.

    The sound is good with clear dialogue and sound effects. I noticed little distortion or hiss, and the frequency response is very good even down to low frequency sounds.

    The music score is directed by Carl Stalling. As usual it combines new music, tunes from the Warners' catalogue and snippets of classical music. The music sounds very good in this transfer, with a surprising amount of bass.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The usual lame animation accompanied by a new and mediocre mix of the Looney Tunes music.

Audio Commentary-8 Episodes

    The episodes with audio commentary are The Big Snooze, Broomstick Bunny, Bugs Bunny Rides Again, Gorilla My Dreams, The Heckling Hare, Tortoise Beats Hare (two commentaries) and Slick Hare. Bill Melendez does the first of these, a film on which he was an animator. June Foray was the voice of Hazel in Broomstick Bunny, and she does the commentary on that one. One of the commentaries on Tortoise Beats Hare is cobbled together from different interviews with Chuck Jones. The remainder are shared between Greg Ford, Jerry Beck and Michael Barrier.

    One annoyance with the commentaries is the navigation. The list of cartoons with commentaries extends to two menu pages. On the first there is a Play All option, but selecting this only plays the commentaries on that page. To play the rest you need to go to the second page and choose the Play All option. This really should have been set up so that Play All plays all of the commentaries, just as the same option for the cartoons without commentaries plays every cartoon.

Alternate Audio-4 Episodes

    The following three episodes have music and effects tracks: Broomstick Bunny, Bunny Hugged and Baby Buggy Bunny, while Hyde and Hare has a music-only track.

Featurette-Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary Pt. 1 (24:40)

    This is the first part of the TV documentary of which the second part appears on the Sylvester and Tweety disc. It takes the form of a bunch of stars of the era in which this was made (about 1983 or so) talking about their work with Bugs, Porky, Daffy and so on interspersed with comments from Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. The first part is slightly better than the second, but either way this is the sort of material you might watch once. Appearing on screen are Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Candice Bergen, George Burns, Molly Ringwald and others. There are also excerpts from some of the cartoons.

Featurette-A Conversation With Tex Avery (7:05)

    A short Behind the Tunes featurette which comprises an interview with Tex Avery, probably dating from the 1970s, in which he talks about his career at Warners.

Featurette-The Bugs Bunny Show - Bridging Sequences (6:01)

    Included here is a reconstruction of an episode of the old Bugs Bunny Show without the original cartoons that this material framed. It is a mixture of black and white and colour footage used for the opening and closing sequences, plus segues to breaks and bridging material between cartoons.

Featurette-The Bugs Bunny Show - Audio Recording Session (4:16)

    An audio recording of Mel Blanc putting down lines for the Bugs Bunny Show, with appearances from Bugs, Speedy Gonzales and Slowpoke Rodriguez.

Featurette-Reach For Your Brushes, Ya Varmints! (1:24)

    One of today's crop of Warners animators draws Bugs and Yosemite Sam for the camera.

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 1 of that set 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

    Yet more classic cartoons from Warners featuring that Oscar-winning rabbit.

    The video and audio transfers are excellent.

    There is plenty of extra material though again not all of it is worth repetition.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Thursday, November 10, 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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