Hot Cartoon Love
My copy of The Looney Tunes Golden Collection
arrived last week. Now I'm awash in Technicolor crashes, boings and bayoooops. So let's get down to it and discuss, huh?
Even if the packaging is something of a letdown (Why the 'Space Jam'-like airbrushed charachers? Why???), this set satisfies in just about every other way. This DVD Journal review does a good job of outlining what's on each of the four discs. Cartoon-wise, Chuck Jones gets the lion's share of attention - with much of the rest devoted to the reliable Friz Freleng and the bland Robert McKimson. The set contains only one Bob Clampett cartoon and nothing at all from Tex Avery - a huge disappointment. The restoration job is gorgeous. Warners is to be congratulated. Extras are plentiful and classy, highlighted by a two part 1975 'Camera One' special hosted by a very Greg Brady-ish John Canemaker.
If I have one major complaint, it would be that the cartoon selection weighs heavily toward the overly familiar '50s material and gives historical short shrift to the other eras in Warner cartoon history. There's very little from the peak years of 1941-45, and nothing at all from the '30s. Perhaps it's because Warner Home Video didn't own the rights to these? Throughout the '90s, cartoons from 1948 and after were owned and distributed for video by Warners, while pre-'48 cartoons were owned by Ted Turner and distributed by MGM/UA. I'm not sure if that deal is still in effect, but it might explain why there are so few wartime cartoons in the set. Or maybe Warners just doesn't like the earlier stuff as much.
But whatever. Those are minor quibbles. We clamored to get these gems on DVD, and now that it's here I couldn't be happier. My next wish would be sets devoted to the cool early Merrie Melodies or the earliest, jazzy Porky Pig cartoons.
Incidentally, I would like to thank the four people who pre-ordered 'Golden Collection' copies when I wrote about it last August. If anyone else wants to join the club, buy one by clicking here. Thanks!
Posted by mhinrichs at November 3, 2003 12:05 PM