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Blu-ray Review Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    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.



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    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.
     
  2. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Stunt Coordinator

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    How are the transfers for the bonus toons on this set? I know they're not restored but do they look good?
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    They look decent. For standard definition I'd give them 3.5/5.
     
  4. GTomaro41

    GTomaro41 Auditioning

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    Why is House Hunting Mice 20 seconds shorter than the unrestored transfer (6:55 vs. 7:15)? Does it look time compressed or edited?
     
  5. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Screenwriter

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    it stinks the Bonus cartoons aren't remastered
     
  6. Guest

    I'm curious about this too. Hopefully the time listing is merely an error.
     
  7. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    That's why they're bonus.
     
  8. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Screenwriter

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    I just don't understand there crazy way of releasing these classic's,Warner really made a mess with these,they didn't release Blue Rays versions till way late
    and when they did they are new collections with different cartoons,now we have this set ,I guess they think Jones will sell,
    at some point they simply gave up giving us nothing new
     
  9. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Screenwriter

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    The list of the cartoons are nowhere to be found on the Box,and theres no Booklet just BR's The shame of the fact that excellent shorts added on as a bonus coun't be remastered
    and that The Avery Cartoon "Mice will Play" isn't even the better of the two unremastered versions they have,this is the faded one used for the TV "Dub" version''
    these cartoons deserve better
     
  10. Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Surprised the Honeymooners mouse cartoons, "The Honey-Mousers" and "Cheese It The Cat" or the Jack Benny mouse cartoon "The Mouse that Jack Built " were not included. Can't see them doing a second volume of mouse cartoons but then again who knows. They weren't Chuck Jones cartoons but they certainly were mouse centric. Perhaps they are saving them for a future cartoon parodies set.
     
  11. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned
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    We get the third Honeymousers cartoon, "Mice Follies", but as that was Robert McKimson, it's only there for "other mice" representation.
    And think "Mouse-Warming" is a Chuck cartoon, but as it's a one-off, they didn't have room for it in the character marketing.
     

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