After about two delays, a destroyed hard drive, an entire rewrite from memory, it's finally ready to be posted. Feel free to check out my take on Vol.1 for those who missed it. Heres my review of Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume Two, courtesy of Warner Home Video.
For almost 80 years, Looney Tunes have been entertaining audiences the world over with their hilarious antics and memorable characters. As part of the second volume in their ongoing Platinum Collection series, Warner Bros. has released 50 additional cartoon shorts, 10 of which have never before released for home video--uncut, uncensored, and digitally re-mastered specifically for Blu-Ray.
Disc 1 is a Best of collection, featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky, Pig and others:
- A Wild Hare (1st official Bugs Bunny cartoon, Elmer Fudd, 1940)
- Buckaroo Bugs (Bugs Bunny, 1944)
- Long-Haired Hare (Bugs, 1949)
- Ali Baba Bunny (Bugs and Daffy, 1957)
- Show Biz Bugs (Bugs and Daffy, 1957)
- The Wise Quacking Duck (Daffy, 1943)
- What Makes Daffy Duck? (Daffy and Elmer, 1948)*
- Book Revue (Daffy, 1946)
- Deduce, You Say (Daffy and Porky Pig, 1956)
- Porky in Wackyland (Porky, 1938)
- You Ought to Be in Pictures (Porky and Daffy, 1940)
- Porky inEgypt (Porky, 1938)
- Back Alley Oproar (Sylvester and Elmer (1948)
- Little Red Rodent Hood (Sylvester, 1952)
- Canned Feud (Sylvester, 1951)
- Gift Wrapped (Tweety, Granny and Sylvester, 1952)
- Birdy and the Beast (Tweety, 1944)*
- Home, Tweet Home (Tweety and Sylvester, 1950)*
- Going! Going! Gosh! (Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, (1952)
- Zipping Along (Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, 1953)
- Scent-Imental Romeo (Pepe LePew, 1949)
- The Foghorn Leghorn (Foghorn, Henry Hawk, Barnyard Dawg, 1951)
- The High and the Flighty (Foghorn, Barnyard Dawg, Daffy, 1956)*
- Tabasco Road(Speedy Gonzales, 1957)
- Mexicali Schmoes (Speedy, 1959)
Disc 2 contains shorts featuring memorable supporting characters, such as Beaky Buzzard, Nasty Canasta, Cecil Turtle, and A. Flea, as well as The Rabbit Season Trilogy featuring Bugs, Daffy and Elmer. Theres also a collection featuring classic Hollywood actors, and one-shot characters:
- 1.Wabbit Trouble (Bugs and Elmer, 1941)
- Rabbit Fire (Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, 1951)
- Rabbit Seasoning (Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, 1952)
- Duck, Rabbit, Duck! (Bugs, Daffy, Elmer, 1953)
- Drip-Along Daffy (Daffy, Porky, Nasty Canasta, 1951)
- My Little Buckaroo (Daffy, Porky, Nasty Canasta, 1954)
- Barbary CoastBunny (Bugs, Nasty Canasta, 1956)
- Tortoise Beats Hare (Bugs, Cecil Turtle, 1941)
- Tortoise Wins By a Hare (Bugs, Cecil Turtle, 1943)
- Rabbit Transit (Bugs, Cecil Turtle, 1947)
- Porky's Hare Hunt (Porky, 1938)*
- Hare-Um Scare-Um (1939)*
- Prest-O Change-O (1939)*
- Elmer's Candid Camera (Elmer, 1940)
- Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (Bugs, Beaky Buzzard, 1942)
- The Bashful Buzzard (Beaky, 1945)
- The Lion's Busy (Beaky, 1950)*
- Strife with Father (Beaky, 1950)*
- An Itch in Time (A. Flea, Elmer, 1943)
- A Horsefly Fleas (A. Flea, 1947)*
- HollywoodSteps Out (1941)
- Page Miss Glory (1936)
- Rocket-Bye Baby (1956)
- Russian Rhapsody (1944)
- Dough Ray Me-Ow (1948)
* Notes cartoons that have never been released on DVD.
I dont think I need to sell readers on the old school Looney Tunes cartoons. These are characters and shorts that are practically etched into the fabric of American animation and pop culture. In fact, its difficult to find someone who isnt familiar with them in one form or another. Rather, most people want to know, Is this set worth my hard earned money? Allow me to answer that for you.
First off, I have to let you know that like last year's set, most of the shorts featured have been released in earlier box sets as part of Warner's discontinued Spotlight Collection, and I know some people may not want to pay again for something they might already own. However, the picture quality in these cleaned up sets are amazing, especially considering they were re-mastered in the older sets as well. Colors are bright and dark hues are inky, like they should be. Theres dust spots on some cartoons, but thats a result from the source material and not from the re-mastering process; it help retains its natural look.
Some of these shorts--particulary some of the black and white ones--almost look like they might have been made recently. In You Ought To Be in Pictures, theres a mix of animation and live action that still holds up very well to this day. Its hard to believe it was made over 70 years ago.
Another reason this may warrant a purchase is because the selections are great and varied, offering something for everyone for fans of all of the characters. My particular favorites are the ones featuring Bugs and Cecil Turtle, being that they're one of the few shorts that has Bugs getting the short end of the stick. Theres something about him seeing him being made the fool that just makes it that much funnier. Even if youre not a fan of a particular character, theres such variety in the set that youre bound to find at least ONE cartoon you might enjoy.
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection vol. 2 is presented in 2 dolby digital 1.0 mono tracks, one of English, the other Spanish. They sound perfectly fine to untrained ears like mine, but audiophiles may be disappointed. There are also English and French subtitles.
All of the shorts are presented in a full frame aspect. Ive touched on them earlier in the review, but once again they look even better than the previous DVD versions. Even if you own the older sets, they may well be worth the upgrade.
This is once again where the collection shines and makes it worth the money.
37 of the sets 50 cartoons contain commentary tracks by various animation directors, and historians, some of which contain audio interviews with the original creators. There are also some isolated musical and sound effects tracks on certain cartoons as well. Disc 1 contains three extra featurettes, while disc two contains five.
Disc 3 is where the bulk of the extras are. Theres a featurette that focuses on Looney Tunes producer Leon Schlesinger, one on director Friz Freling, as well as an episode ToonHeads, the Cartoon Network series that focuses on rarely seen cartoons.
Theres also two documentaries that focus on the life and career of animation director Tex Avery. Even better, theres also 11 cartoons he's directed from where he went to rival studio MGM. Featuring Droopy, Screwball Squirell, the Wolf and Red Hot Riding Hood, all of these cartoons are shown completely uncensored. However, they haven't been remastered, but theyre still watchable.
Still not enough? There are also at least 16 more rarely seen cartoons that are included as well. The amount of extras are staggering, and itll take some time to get through them all.
Please note there are two things that must be known about this set:
I just want to reiterate that a lot of these shorts were released in previous sets in Warner's now discontinued Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series. The visuals in this set are vastly superior and improved, but I rather have people not get upset for buying a set full of cartoons they may have owned previously.
The other thing is that this set is also available on standard DVD as a two disc set, however the third disc full of bonuses IS A BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE, meaning youll miss out on a lot if you purchase the standard version. I'd go with the Blu-Ray version if you can. Its not that expensive, the set retails for about $40, but you can get it for about $30 in Wal-mart and other stores, as well as on Amazon.
This is a great set for both casual and die-hard fans alike. The amount of cartoons, bonus material and a reasonable price point makes it worth picking up. For those who may have the older sets, I would still recommend this as a purchase being that the improved picture quality and decent price are very hard to pass up. I cant wait to see what theyll do for volume 3.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10