Though less exhaustive than the previous “Platinum Collection,” this second Warner Brothers animated offering should please fans of Sniffles the Mouse and the rodent duo Hubie & Bertie. The high definition presentation is on par with that on the previous release, which means there’s loads of lovely Looney Tunes goodness to be had from start to finish. Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles Release Date: August 28, 2012 Studio: Warner Home Video Packaging/Materials: Two-disc Blu-ray EcoBox with slipcover Year: Various Rating: NR Running Time: ~2:25:00 MSRP: $34.99 THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES Video AVC: 1080p high definition 1.33:1 Standard and high definition Audio Dolby Digital: English 1.0, Spanish (Latin) 1.0, Spanish (Castellano) 1.0 Mono and stereo Subtitles English SDH, Spanish – Latino, Spanish – Castellano Various The Shorts: 4/5 The “Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles” includes 19 mice-oriented cartoon shorts, directed by the legendary animator Chuck Jones for Warner Brothers Studio between 1939 and 1951. Disc One includes all 12 cartoons that starred the constantly congested Sniffles the Mouse, while Disc Two contains the seven adventures of the mischievous duo Hubie & Bertie (and by extension Claude the Cat, their ever-present feline foil). Special features on Disc Two include about a dozen additional mice cartoons with somewhat less prominent characters like Blabbermouse, though a lone Speedy Gonzales short points to the untapped library of additional mouse-oriented cartoons yet to appear on Blu-ray. Nevertheless, fans of Jones’ treatment of Sniffle and the Hubie and Bertie duo should be pleased with what’s offered – especially with the inclusion of classics like “Sniffles Bells the Cat” and “Cheese Chasers” – though it’s clear the collection isn’t necessarily the most exhaustive one in regards to its theme. Whether the following shorts will wind up appearing in future volumes of the Platinum Collection is yet to be determined, but obviously Warner Home Video would be wise to avoid duplication to stay on collectors’ good sides. Disc One Naughty but Mice (8:02) Little Brother Rat (7:43) Sniffles and the Bookworm (7:45) Sniffles Takes a Trip (8:14) The Egg Collector (8:00) Bedtime for Sniffles (8:23) Sniffles Bells the Cat (7:54) Toy Trouble (7:19) The Brave Little Bat (7:49) The Unbearable Bear (7:52) Lost and Foundling (7:47) Hush My Mouse (7:32) Disc Two The Aristo Cat (7:20) Trap Happy Porky (6:53) Roughly Squeaking (7:25) House Hunting Mice (6:55) Mouse Wreckers (6:55) The Hypo-chondri-cat (7:20) Cheese Chasers (7:33) Video Quality: 4/5 All 19 cartoon shorts are accurately framed at 1.33:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. While viewers will certainly spot instances of dust and dirt, physical “imperfections” from the hand-drawn animation process, and a faded quality to some of the older pieces, nothing should be considered distracting or problematic if one is aware of their history. As with the previous “Looney Tunes Platinum Collection” Blu-ray, the “Mouse Chronicles” cartoons feature deep, saturated colors, solid contrast and black levels, and consistently healthy levels of grain. Digital noise reduction, macroblocking, and compression noise are nowhere to be found, giving the animation a beautiful overall sense of depth and transparency. Audio Quality: 3.5/5 Dialogue in the Dolby Digital 1.0 track is consistently clear, detailed and intelligible. LFE is non-existent, but the tracks exhibit good depth and dynamic range, with few instances of strain or distortion. There’s slight variations in levels and tonality from piece to piece, though not enough to be an issue. While a lossless option would have been nice in principle, the lossy track gets the job done without any major offenses. Special Features: 3.5/5 Though there’s little in the way of “making of” information in the bonus material, there’s some interesting material to be found in the commentary tracks, and the inclusion of some older mouse cartoons provides some nice perspective on Warner Brothers’ animation efforts. Audio Commentaries Given the length of each cartoon, there’s quite a bit of information, analysis and simple admiration crammed into each track, courtesy of animation historian Jerry Beck, and Warner Brothers animators Greg Ford and Eddie Fitzgerald. Naughty but Mice by Jerry Beck The Aristo Cat by Eddie Fitzgerald / Greg Ford (with interview of Chuck Jones) Mouse Wreckers by Greg Ford The Hypo-chondri-cat by Jerry Beck Of Mice and Pen (8:19, HD): The featurette traces the response by Warner Brothers to the success of Disney’s Mickey Mouse character with its own collection of mouse-oriented cartoon shorts. More than anything, it plays like a promotional reel for the Blu-ray collection. The Hypo-chondri-cat Storyboard Reel (7:41, SD): The full short is presented with storyboard frames intercut with completed animation cells. More Mice Older Warner Brothers shorts featuring mice in various adventures and quandries. Country Mouse (7:04, SD): A muscular mouse from the country tries his hand at being a prize fighter. The Lyin’ Mouse (6:59, SD): A mouse caught in a trap pleads for his life with the cat about to eat him. The Mice Will Play (6:55, SD): Hijinks in a science lab lead to an unexpected mouse romance. Little Blabbermouse (8:16, SD): The fast talking mouse goes on an aerial ride through a department store and encounters various oddities and dangers. Shop Look & Listen (7:58, SD): Blabbermouse returns for another tour through a department store. Mouse Mazurka (8:05, SD): Sylvester the Cat tries to nab a mouse in a Eastern European village. Mouse-Warming (6:59, SD): Claude the Cat tries to get between two young mice in love. Mouse-Taken Identity (6:40, SD): Sylvester the Cat mistakes a baby kangaroo for a mouse while on duty in the County Museum. Mice Follies (6:20, SD): Ralph and Morton accidentally lead a cat back to their homes after a late night out on the town. It’s Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House (6:44, SD): Granny calls in Daffy Duck to exterminate Speedy Gonzales after he proves too much for Sylvester the Cat. Merlin the Magic Mouse (6:22, SD): The mouse magician has to figure out how to perform in front of a cat without getting eaten. Recap The Shorts: 4/5 Video Quality: 4/5 Audio Quality: 3.5/5 Special Features: 3.5/5 Overall Score (not an average): 4/5 Warner Brothers serves up another fine presentation for its classic animated work, this time the complete collection of Sniffles the Mouse and Hubie & Bertie cartoon shorts, directed by the legendary Chuck Jones. The bonus material isn’t particularly in-depth, but it includes some strong archival pieces and some interesting commentary tracks.