Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 6
., features 60 classic, fully re-mastered and restored cartoons, presented in their original un-edited format. Most of the shorts in the collection have never been available on DVD before. With Volume 6 we come to the end of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection
and even though the box art denotes that the focus will be the Warner Bros. war-time animated shorts, it feels more like it was their chance to toss in the last of the most obscure cartoons.
I think the geek world has changed from what I remember. Either it’s moving so much faster or has grown so much younger in the last couple decades. I just remember that back in the day a big part of geek culture was a slavish respect for history. A hunger to fill one’s head to capacity with it. After all, everything we loved- comic books, pulp novels, radio dramas, animated cartoons, etc.- were birthed around the 30’s and 40’s. I don’t sense so much of that in the present age.
I only bring that up so you have an idea what I mean when I say, “If you are a casual fan of Warner Bros. cartoons the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol.6 may not be for you”.
...BUT if you categorize yourself as an aficionado, avid collector, rabid fanboy, animation major, film critic or one of Chuck Jones’ grandchildren…eh, there’s still gonna be plenty in this set that loses you.
HOWEVER, be you a middle-aged, working animator who’s also a completist with OCD, then
this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
Disc 1: Looney Tunes All Stars
Despite the box cover which shows all the characters planting the flag at Iwo Jima, the first disk has NOTHING to do with war time cartoons. They are the more traditional crowd pleasers that seem to have been chosen by stream of consciousness or randomizer. In truth, if you are more of a casual fan you’d do much better to buy the Vol.6 Spotlight Collection
where they cherry pick from these shorts for a two-disk set.
Commentaries by filmmaker Greg Ford
and historian Jerry Beck
are informative and entertaining. While animator Mark Kausler
focuses solely on pointing out which animator animated each individual scene. Even with that I couldn’t tell the differences…and I’m an animator.
Special Features include:
These are just more of the same type of shorts as the main features. I honestly can’t figure why these were separated from the pack.
Looney Tunes TV Specials
Growing up and first experiencing all these cartoons on television, I had no idea of how huge of a drop-off there was in quality from animation made for theatrical release. The two included specials make it painfully obvious. It’s like watching one of last Andy Griffith Show reunion specials.
Disc 2: Patriotic Pals
This disk opens with a disclaimer to prepare you for the upcoming cultural insensitivities and asks that you take them in historical context. Actually, considering that these cartoons were so often used as propaganda during World War II, they aren’t nearly as racially insulting as you might expect (nothing even close to “Bugs Bunny Slaps the Japs”
). They’re more xenophobic than anything, which was certainly to be expected at the time. It’s all the jokes with caricatures of Hermann Goering, Tojo, Joseph Stalin
and other such references that I think will lose younger.
All the cartoon here aren’t about Nazis, though. Some just have a general war theme and my favorites are the last two in which Elmer Fudd teaches us the basic structure of capitalism. Unfortunately, the second cartoon plays just the music track with no vocals and no option to have it play. They pepper this “feature”
throughout the collection and it is irritating beyond words!
Besides similar commentaries as the disk 1 and more “bonus cartoons”, the most interesting Special Feature
on this disk is the “Friz Freleng at MGM Shorts Gallery.”:
Top animator Friz Freleng was lured over to MGM Studios for a brief stint where he directed a short-lived series based on the insanely popular “Katzenjammer Kids”
comic strip. It’s fascinating to watch these five shorts and try to figure out what was going on with society at that time which would make the Katzenjammer Kids popular
Disc 3: Bosko Buddie and Merrie Melodies
Here’s the one where they lose me as I have no fondness for the black & white adventures of Bosko
, who weren’t much more than ripoffs of Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat. It’s easy to see how Porky Pig
became Warner Bros. breakout star. The one notable exception is “A Cartoonist’s Nightmare”
, which was the first WB cartoon to feature neither of those characters and is the best one on the whole disk.
The Special Features
all fall under the umbrella of “The World of Leon Schlesinger”
. How far must they be out of interesting material when they start building featurettes around the head of the Warner studio? One of them all about his Christmas party!
I challenge you to sit through it all.
Disc 4: Most Requested Assorted Nuts
Disk four is my favorite of this set and it’s closer to disk one, as it is an assorted collection, but it’s all shorts that haven’t been re-run ad nauseum in other formats. Even if you’ve seen them, all like I have, it’s probably been so long that they’ll come back to you like déjà vu at first. It’s the rarest or the rare like Dr. Suess’ tale “Horton Hatches the Egg”
and my two favorites, “Chow Hound”
and “The Oily American”
The Special Feature
is a Documentary Profile of Mel Blanc “Man of a Thousand Voices”
Not that Mel Blance doesn’t deserve every bit of praise he gets, but it’s kind of a puff piece with way too many celebrity (well, voice actors, anyway) testimonials. Still, it’s worth taking a look at.
If you think you've got the stones for it you can buy Vol. 6 here