Finally, a proper DVD package that compiles some of the best Looney Tunes shorts of all time. There’s a gimmick to this four-disc Golden Age set that you need to know about from the start: bitchy Bugs Bunny gets the first disc, the perpetually-hemorrhaging Daffy Duck and naïve Porky Pig the second (poor Daffy, always number two), and the rest of the Looney Tunes “all stars” share the last two discs. Because the allocation of space was determined by the iconic popularity of the characters, don’t look for any classic Warner Bros. animated shorts that didn’t involve the major players. Still, there should be a little bit here for everyone. For those who can’t afford this invaluable Golden Collection set, Warner Home Video makes 28 out of the 56 shorts collected here available on a separate, two-disc set (sans supplemental material), the Premiere Collection. Also hitting stores at the same time are the Looney Tunes collections Reality Check and Stranger than Fiction. Since these “newly created” Looney Tunes shorts are nowhere near as genius as the vault titles (the ones produced for ABC’s Looney Tunes Comedy Hour during the ’80s were bad enough), save your money for the Golden or Premiere Collection. And without further ado, here are the 56 shorts collected for the Golden Collection: “Baseball Bugs,” “Rabbit Seasoning,” “Long-Haired Hare,” “High Diving Hare,” “Bully for Bugs,” “What’s Up Doc?,” “Rabbit’s Kin,” “Water, Water Every Hare,” “Big House Bunny,” “Big Top Bunny,” “My Bunny Lies over the Sea,” “Wabbit Twouble,” “Ballot Box Bunny,” “Rabbit of Seville,” “Duck Amuck,” “Dough for the Do-Do,” “Drip-Along Daffy,” “Scaredy Cat,” “The Ducksters,” “The Scarlet Pumpernickel,” “Yankee Doodle Daffy,” “Porky Chops,” “Wearing of the Grin,” “Deduce,” “You Say,” “Boobs in the Woods,” “Golden Yeggs,” “Rabbit Fire,” “Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century,” “Elmer’s Candid Camera,” “Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears,” “Fast and Furry-ous,” “Hair-Raising Hare,” “The Awful Orphan,” “Haredevil Hare,” “For Scent-imental Reasons,” “Frigid Hare,” “The Hypo-Chondri-Cat,” “Baton Bunny,” “Feed the Kitty,” “Don’t Give Up The Sheep,” “Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid,” “Tortoise Wins By A Hare,” “Canary Row,” “Bunker Hill Bunny,” “Kit for Cat,” “Putty Tat Trouble,” “Bugs and Thugs,” “Canned Feud,” “Lumber Jerks,” “Speedy Gonzales,” “Tweety’s S.O.S.,” “The Foghorn Leghorn,” “Daffy Duck Hunt,” “Early to Bet,” “Broken Leghorn,” and “Devil May Hare.”
Fully restored and completely remastered. Don’t believe me? Pop in any second-rate bootleg with Looney Tunes shorts on it (say, Front Row Features’s "Cartoon Explosion" series) and you’ll see that these Warner Bros. animated toons never looked and sounded as good as they do here. Well, the audio is still mono, but I don’t ever remember any of these shorts sounding this crystal clear.
First a quick note on the layout of the features included throughout this four-disc DVD set. All commentary tracks, music-only audio tracks and featurettes are accessible in two ways: by clicking on the icons next to the titles of the shorts or going directly to the special features sections. (It also bears mentioning that while Leonard Maltin-who figures prominently throughout these four discs-shouldn’t be allowed to write film criticism, his knowledge of and passion for Warner Bros. animated shorts is unparalleled.) Now, for a not-so-quick rundown of what you’ll find on the four discs. Since the first disc is the meatiest, we’ll give it it’s own paragraph.
DISC ONE: The sorely-missed Chuck Jones deconstructs the Looney Tunes characters on "A Greeting From Chuck Jones"; part one of the somewhat stilted but nonetheless engaging vintage documentary "Camera Three: The Boys from Termite Terrace" (if you didn’t know already: these cartoons were "never designed for children"); commentaries for eight out of the 14 shorts (some spottier than others, but you’ll listen to them all!); music-only programs for three of the shorts; "Behind the Scenes" featurettes on Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam (featuring interviews with Chuck Jones, Noel Blanc, Leonard Maltin, historian Jerry Beck and others); clips from Bugs Bunny’s appearances in the film’s Two Guys from Texas and My Dream is Yours; the bonus cartoon "Blooper Bunny: Bugs Bunny 51st Anniversary" (with optional Greg Ford director’s commentary); bridging sequence reconstructions and recording session clips from "The Bugs Bunny Show"; trailers for a Bugs Bunny cartoon festival and jamboree; and a stills gallery.
DISC TWO: part two of "Camera Three: The Boys from Termite Terrace"; commentaries for five out of the 14 shorts; music-only programs for four of the shorts; "Behind the Scenes" featurettes on Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and a third one that focuses on their special relationship to each other; and a stills gallery. DISC THREE: commentaries for three out of the 14 shorts; music-only programs for two of the shorts; "Behind the Scenes" featurettes on Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Mel Blanc and his "expressions," and Carl Stalling and his "cartoon music" (misspelled "misic" on the disc’s interactive menu); schematics for "Hair-Raising Hare" and "The Hypo-Chondri-Cat"; the excellent Cartoon Network documentary "Toon Heads: The Lost Cartoons"; and a stills gallery. DISC FOUR: commentaries for six out of the 14 shorts; music-only programs for three of the shorts; "Behind the Scenes" featurettes on Speedy Gonzalez (worst Looney Tunes character ever!), Sylvester and Tweety, and Foghorn Leghorn; the new documentary "Irreverent Imagination: The Golden Age of Looney Tunes" (somewhat repetitive if you’ve watched every other mini-featurette on these discs, like I have); "Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid" and "Virgil Ross Pencil Tests"; and a stills gallery.
Go hungry for a few days and save enough money so you can buy the Looney Tunes Golden Collection over the Premiere Collection.