Didn't see another thread for this, so...
Yoicks! And A-way!... So goes the refrain from one of my favorite sequences in this set featuring Daffy Duck as a rather accident-prone "master-of-thieves".
This "spotlight" sampler of vintage WB toons, which is identical to the first disc in the more comprehensive and costly Platinum Collection Vol. 1, was nicely discounted for BF, so I figured why not give it a try... and wasn't disappointed.
The disc contains a mix of 25 older and later toons, many directed by Chuck Jones, from Warner's "golden age" of animation. Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Sylvester, Tweety, Pepe, Road-runner and others all bring the funny in a number of well-known and lesser-known classics, including Rabbit of Seville, What's Opera, Doc? (now required viewing before any LOTR screening imo), Duck Amuck, and some good Robin Hood/Scarlet Pimpernel spoofs, as well as the first appearance of Tweety Bird in A Tale of Two Kitties with "Babbit & Catstello" (an Abbott & Costello spoof). No Marvin the Martian though.
All of the toons are hard-matted (ie pillarboxed) to their original ~4:3 ratio, which has upsides and downsides, depending on how you prefer to handle such content on your 16:9 screen,... though it was really the only choice to preserve the entire image in HD. Audio is monophonic, and sometimes a bit tinny-sounding. Video featurettes are in SD.
A number of the films contain commentaries. The best ones include audio clips from the animators and other artists that worked on the shorts, as opposed to simply comments by an expert. What's Opera, Doc? in particular contains a series of different break-downs, including the original audio sessions (sans music) with voice artists Mel Blanc (Bugs) and Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd), and Chuck in the background giving direction.
Detail is a bit lacking in many of these, and the "inferiority" of the source material (grain, dust on the cels, etc.) is often preserved intact. But the contrast and color is pretty decent on many of the shorts, especially the later films.
If you already own the re-mastered Looney Tunes compilations on DVD, you may not notice a vast improvement on some of these toons. In some cases the HD may only bring out more "dirty-laundry" in the source material. If you're not a fan of 4:3 pillarboxing, that may also be harder to manage-away with these hard-matted transfers than with the Fullscreen DVDs (depending on how advanced the scaling and stretching options are on your TV/player).
For potential collectors though, who want the absolute best editions of these classics, this set should give a decent idea what to expect in terms of image and sound quality before you drop the dough on the larger more expensive collections. Many of these are unedited btw, and contain more violence and un-PC references than the broadcast versions, so be advised.
Very enjoyable watch overall. Not really a weak link in the set... Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks!
List of Shorts
|Title||Year||Director||Featured Characters||Commentary Track||Music Only Track||Video Featurette||Other Details|
|Hare Tonic||1945||Jones||Bugs & Elmer|
|Buccaneer Bunny||1948||Freleng||Bugs & "Yosemite" Sam||a|
|The Old Grey Hare||1944||Clampett||Bugs & Elmer||a|
|8 Ball Bunny||1950||Jones||Bugs & Playboy Penguin||a|
|Rabbit of Seville||1950||Jones||
Bugs & Elmer
|What's Opera, Doc?||1957||Jones||
Bugs & Elmer
aa(2nd Commentary includes clips of Jones, Maltese & Noble.)
|a||a||Also contains a voice-only track with Mel Blanc & Arthur Q. Bryan.|
|The Great Piggy Bank Robbery||1946||Clampett||Daffy (as Duck Twacy)||a|
|A Pest in the House||1947||Jones||Daffy & Elmer||a|
|The Scarlet Pumpernickel||1950||Jones||Daffy, Porky & Sylvester||a(Includes clips of Mel Blanc.)||a|
|Duck Amuck||1953||Jones||Daffy||a(Includes clips of Jones.)||a|
|Robin Hood Daffy||1958||Jones||Daffy & Porky||a||a|
|Baby Bottleneck||1946||Clampett||Daffy & Porky||a(Includes clips of Clampett.)||aa|
|Kitty Kornered||1946||Clampett||Porky & Sylvester||a|
|Scaredy Cat||1948||Jones||Porky & Sylvester||a|
|Porky Chops||1949||Davis||Porky & Hipster Squirrel|
|Old Glory||1939||Jones||Porky & Uncle Sam||a(Includes clips of ink & paint artist M. Sigall.)|
|A Tale of Two Kitties||1942||Clampett||Tweety, Babbit & Catstello||a(Includes clips of Clampett.)||Tweety Bird's debut.|
|Tweetie Pie||1947||Freleng||Tweety & Sylvester||a(Includes clips of Freleng.)||a||First pairing of Tweety & Sylvester (as "Thomas").|
|Fast and Furry-ous||1949||Jones||Coyote & Road Runner||a(Includes clips of Maltese & sound editor T. Brown.)||a|
|Beep, Beep||1952||Jones||Coyote & Road Runner||a|
|Lovelorn Leghorn||1951||McKimson||Foghorn Leghorn & Miss Prissy|
|For Scent-imental Reasons||1949||Jones||Pepe||a(Includes clips of Maltese.)||a|
|Speedy Gonzales||1955||Freleng||Speedy & Sylvester||a||a|
Edited by ADU - 2/14/13 at 7:43pm