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Blu-ray Review Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume Two Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    That’s not all folks! Another round of Looney Tunes treasures is on tap in the second volume of Warner’s Platinum Collection Blu-ray. As with the first, it sports impressive transfers of beloved and priceless animated work, along with an over-abundance of special features, though the selections may still give pause to collectors who invested in the Golden Collection DVDs.



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    Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume Two


    Release Date: October 16, 2012
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Packaging: Three-disc Blu-ray keepcase with slipcover
    Year: Various
    Rating: NR
    Running Time: ~ 6 hours
    MSRP: $44.98







    THE SHORTS

    SPECIAL FEATURES



    Video

    AVC: 1080p high definition 1.33:1

    Standard and high definition



    Audio

    Dolby Digital: English 1.0, Spanish 1.0, German 1.0

    Various



    Subtitles

    English SDH, French, German SDH

    Various





    The Collection: 4.5/5


    Warner Home Video’s second round of Looney Tunes cartoon shorts gets similar treatment as the first, namely amazing high definition transfers of some bonafide animated classics and a whole host of bonus material, from documentaries to cartoon rarities. But as before, the collection presents a conundrum for those who invested in Warner’s past DVD releases, namely the six-volume Golden Collection. If the Platinums were simple 1:1 ports of those older editions, it would be a straightforward HD upgrade. But as things stand, the Platinums have only started to put a high definition dent in the sizable number of shorts previously released in standard definition. Fortunately, as more of these high quality Platinum editions come out, gradually accounting for what was previously released, the purchasing decisions should become easier. The quality of the transfers certainly provide the biggest incentive, though I wouldn’t blame any Golden Collection owners if they wanted to hold off a while longer to see how subsequent volumes play out.



    When I reviewed the first volume of the Platinum Collection, I cross-checked the titles with previous DVD releases like the Golden Collection, Movie Collection, and Superstars series. This time I’ve focused solely on cross-checking titles with the Golden Collection, since that’s where the bulk of the material was previously available. Titles that are found on one of the six Golden Collections have been tagged with “V1” to “V6”; titles not found on those volumes are marked with an “X.” If you know the latter are on a more obscure DVD release, please chime in on the thread with that information.



    Disc One highlights the antics of Looney Tunes’ most beloved characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety/Sylvester, Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales and Foghorn Leghorn. Shorts of particular nostalgic value are Bugs’ first official appearance in “A Wild Hare,” Bugs and Daffy’s discovery of a Mid-East treasure in “Ali Baba Bunny,” and Daffy and Porky’s spin on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in “Deduce You Say.”

    1. A Wild Hare (8:18, HD) [X]

    2. Buckaroo Bugs (8:44, HD) [V5]

    3. Long-Haired Hare (7:36, HD) [V1]

    4. Ali Baba Bunny (6:58, HD) [V5]

    5. Show Biz Bugs (7:03, HD) [V2]

    6. The Wise Quacking Duck (6:32, HD) [V5]

    7. What Makes Daffy Duck? (7:26, HD) [X]

    8. Book Revue (7:03, HD) [V2]

    9. Deduce, You Say (7:06, HD) [V1]

    10. Porky in Wackyland (7:23, HD) [V2]

    11. You Ought to be in Pictures (9:44, HD) [V2]

    12. Porky in Egypt (6:58, HD) [V3]

    13. Back Alley Oproar (7:41, HD) [V2]

    14. Little Red Rodent Hood (7:09, HD) [V5]

    15. Canned Feud (7:23, HD) [V1]

    16. Gift Wrapped (7:27, HD) [V2]

    17. Birdy and the Beast (7:32, HD) [X]

    18. Home, Tweet Home (7:05, HD) [X]

    19. Going! Going! Gosh! (6:25, HD) [V2]

    20. Zipping Along (6:51, HD) [V2]

    21. Scent-imental Romeo (6:59, HD) [X]

    22. The Foghorn Leghorn (6:54, HD) [V1]

    23. The High and the Flighty (6:39, HD) [X]

    24. Tabasco Road (6:35, HD) [V4]

    25. Mexicali Shmoes (6:49, HD) [V4]



    Disc Two takes a topical direction as it collects Chuck Jones’ popular Daffy-Bugs-Elmer “hunting twilogy,” the three shorts featuring the big meanie Nasty Canasta, the Bugs Bunny vs. Cecil Turtle racing trilogy, several shorts showing Bugs and Elmer in their early forms, the cartoons starring Beaky Buzzard and A. Flea, and popular “one-shots” that have everything from Hollywood caricatures to gremlins tormenting Adolf Hitler.

    1. Wabbit Twouble (8:22, HD) [V1]

    2. Rabbit Fire (7:32, HD) [V2]

    3. Rabbit Seasoning (6:50, HD) [V2]

    4. Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (6:51, HD) [V3]

    5. Drip-Along Daffy (7:19, HD) [V1]

    6. My Little Duckaroo (6:59, HD) [V6]

    7. Barbary-Coast Bunny (6:51, HD) [V4]

    8. Tortoise Beats Hare (7:56, HD) [V2]

    9. Tortoise Wins by a Hare (7:46, HD) [V1]

    10. Rabbit Transit (8:05, HD) [V2]

    11. Porky’s Hare Hunt (7:37, HD) [X]

    12. Hare-Um Scare-Um (8:09, HD) [X]

    13. Prest-O Change-O (7:05, HD) [X]

    14. Elmer’s Candid Camera (7:49, HD) [V1]

    15. Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (7:27, HD) [V2]

    16. The Bashful Buzzard (6:44, HD) [V5]

    17. The Lion’s Busy (7:04, HD) [X]

    18. Strife with Father (7:18, HD) [X]

    19. An Itch in Time (8:30, HD) [X]

    20. A Horsefly Fleas (6:42, HD)[X]

    21. Hollywood Steps Out (7:44, HD) [V2]

    22. Page Miss Glory (7:45, HD) [V2]

    23. Rocket-Bye Baby (7:09, HD) [V6]

    24. Russian Rhapsody (7:06, HD) [V6]

    25. Dough Ray Me-ow (7:04, HD) [V4]


    Video Quality: 4/5


    All 50 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. In fact it’s a little surprising the pieces look as good as they do, with their deep, saturated colors, solid contrast and black levels, and consistently healthy levels of grain. Problems that were sometimes found in the past DVD collections - namely digital noise reduction, macroblocking, and compression noise - are nowhere to be found, giving the animation a beautiful overall sense of depth and transparency. For those of us who grew up watching the cartoons broadcast over standard definition TV, this is undoubtedly the best they’ve ever looked, while for those who may have seen them screened theatrically, it’s the best they’ve looked in a long, long time.


    Audio Quality: 3/5


    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, but considering the variety of material, that’s not exactly surprising. While a lossless option would have been nice in principle, the lossy track gets the job done without any major offenses.


    Special Features: 5/5


    Many of the items in the vast complement of extras will be familiar to owners of the “Golden Collection” DVDs - audio commentaries, isolated music and effects tracks, and various behind-the-scenes featurettes. While they offer a wealth of information, the third disc (exclusive to the Blu-ray edition) includes the most interesting pieces – documentaries about Looney Tunes’ legendary animator Tex Avery and producers Leon Schlesinger and Friz Freleng, and more rare WWII-era pieces starring Private SNAFU and Mr. Hook.


    [Disc One]



    Audio Commentaries

    • ”A Wild Hare” by Director Greg Ford

    • ”Buckaroo Bugs” by Historian Michael Barrier with Director Bob Clampett / by Director John Kricafalusi, Animator Eddie Fitzgerald, and Animator Kali Fontecchio

    • ”Long-Haired Hare” by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”Ali Baba Bunny” by Director Greg Ford

    • ”Show Biz Bugs” by Director Greg Ford

    • ”Book Revue” by Historian Michael Barrier with Director Bob Clampett

    • ”Deduce, You Say” by Filmmaker Constantine Nasr

    • ”Porky in Wackyland” by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”You Ought to be in Pictures” by Historian Jerry Beck

    • ”Porky in Egypt” by Animator Mark Kausler

    • ”Back Alley Oproar” by Filmmaker Greg Ford

    • ”Canned Feud” by Historian Jerry Beck

    • ”Birdy and the Beast” by Animator Mark Kausler

    • ”Scent-imental Romeo” by Filmmaker Greg Ford

    • ”The Foghorn Leghorn” by Historian Michael Barrier with Director Robert McKimson

    • “The High and the Flighty” by Filmmaker Greg Ford

    • “Tabasco Road” by Historian Jerry Beck

    • “Mexicali Schmoes” by Historian Jerry Beck



    Audio Programs

    • ”Ali-Baba Bunny” Music-Only Track

    • “Scent-imental Romeo” Music-and-Effects Track

    • “The High and the Flighty” Music-Only Track

    • “Tabasco Road” Music-Only Track

    • “Mexicali Schmoes” Music-Only Track



    Behind the Tunes

    • Man from Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clampett (21:11, SD): Background and history on the legendary animator.

    • Bosko, Buddy and the Best of Black and White (9:28, SD): Cartoons from the early-1930s and their role during the Great Depression.

    • Leon Schlesinger: The Merrie Cartoon Mogul (20:24, HD): Biography about the Warner Brothers studio head who eventually became the man responsible for the Looney Tunes merchandising effort.


    [Disc Two]



    Audio Commentaries

    • ”Wabbit Twouble” by Historian Michael Barrier with Director Bob Clampett

    • ”Rabbit Fire” by Director Greg Ford with Director Chuck Jones

    • ”Rabbit Seasoning” by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”Duck! Rabbit, Duck!” by Director Eric Goldberg

    • ”Drip-Along Daffy” by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”Tortoise Beats Hare” by Director Chuck Jones / by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”Tortoise Wins by Hare” by Animator Mark Kausler

    • ”Porky’s Hare Hunt” by Historian Jerry Beck

    • ”Elmer’s Candid Camera” by Historian Jerry Beck

    • ”Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid” by Historian Michael Barrier

    • ”The Bashful Buzzard” by Animator/Writer Paul Dini

    • ”An Itch in Time” by Director John Kricafalusi and Animator Bill Melendez

    • ”Hollywood Steps Out” by Filmmaker Greg Ford

    • ”Page Miss Glory” by Historian Will Friedwald

    • ”Rocket-Bye Baby” by Filmmaker Constantine Nasr

    • ”Russian Rhapsody” by Animator Mark Kausler

    • “Dough Ray-Meow” by Historian Jerry Beck



    Audio Programs

    • ”Rabbit Fire” Music-Only Track

    • “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!” Music-and-Effects Track

    • “Drip-Along Daffy” Music-Only Track

    • “Barbary-Coast Bunny” Music-Only Track



    Behind the Tunes

    • Forever Befuddled (3:27, SD): Describes Elmer Fudd’s creation and development into the character we’ve come to know and love.

    • A Hunting We Will Go: Chuck Jones’ Wabbit Season Twilogy (9:32, SD): Describes how Bugs Bunny’s and Daffy Duck’s character evolution led to one of Warner Brothers’ more entertaining and popular cartoons.

    • Looney Tunes Goes Hollywood (9:20, SD): Highlights Looney Tunes’ various references to and caricatures of Hollywood celebrities, the most popular of whom was Humphrey Bogart.

    • A Conversation with Tex Avery (7:06, SD): Avery talks a little about his career and his animation style in this informal, rooftop interview.

    • Looney Tunes Go to War! (10:18, SD): Describes how Looney Tunes cartoons were influenced by the Second World War and its various contributions to the war effort.


    [Disc Three]



    King-Size Comedy: Tex Avery and the Looney Tunes Revolution (41:31, HD): The 2012 documentary combines old and new interviews to describe how Avery got his start at Warner Brothers animation department and how his unique style and work philosophy set the tone for things to come.



    Tex Avery: The King of Cartoons (52:06, SD): This older piece takes a more personal direction as it delves into Avery’s childhood and life prior to joining Warner Brothers, while also providing some of the same information regarding his impact on the medium.



    Friz on Film (54:41, SD): The 2006 documentary profiles the legendary director and his influence on some of Looney Tunes most beloved characters.



    Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons (45:39, SD): The TV special, which originally aired on the Cartoon Network, highlights various rarities from the Warner Brothers vault, including early projects, training films created for the U.S. Army, and various advertisements and commercials.



    Real American Zero: The Adventures of Private SNAFU (9:17, SD): Explains the history and purpose behind the U.S. Army training films starring the less-than-ideal soldier, Pvt. SNAFU.



    The World of Leon Schlesinger: Highlights some of the producers earliest projects, as well as notable one-off pieces.

    • Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid (4:44, SD)

    • Sinkin’ in the Bathtub (7:55, SD)

    • Crying for the Carolines (6:03, SD)

    • It’s Got Me Again (7:10, SD)

    • Haunted Gold Title Sequence (1:11, SD)

    • Schlesinger Productions Christmas Party (18:01, SD): With optional commentary by Martha Sigali and Jerry Beck.



    Friz at MGM: Highlights the “Captain and the Kid” cartoons Freleng did for MGM Studios, while on a one-year hiatus from Warner Brothers.

    • Poultry Pirates (9:21, SD)

    • A Day at the Beach (9:40, SD)

    • The Captain’s Christmas (7:55, SD)

    • Seal Skinners (8:35, SD)

    • Mama’s New Hat (8:27, SD)



    The Best of the Rest of Tex: Selections from some of Avery’s work for MGM Studios, where he began working in 1942 after parting ways with Warner Brothers in 1941.

    • Blitz Wolf (9:54, SD)

    • Red Hot Riding Hood (7:16, SD)

    • Screwball Squirrel (7:27, SD)

    • Swingshift Cinderella (7:48, SD)

    • King-Size Canary (7:59, SD)

    • Bad Luck Blackie (7:11, SD)

    • Senor Droopy (8:22, SD)

    • Wags to Riches (7:13, SD)

    • Symphony in Slang (6:48, SD)

    • Magical Maestro (6:34, SD)

    • Rock-A-Bye Bear (7:26, SD)



    Private SNAFU: A selection of U.S. Army training films starring the model of soldierly incompetence, Pvt. SNAFU.

    • Coming !! SNAFU (2:59, SD)

    • Gripes (4:12, SD)

    • Spies (3:36, SD)

    • The Goldbrick (5:19, SD)

    • The Home Front (4:21, SD)

    • Rumors (4:21, SD)

    • Snafuperman (4:34, SD)

    • Censored (4:35, SD)



    Mr. Hook: Created by Hank Ketchum, the man behind “Dennis the Menace,” the U.S. Navy’s version of Pvt. SNAFU focused on the sale of war bonds.

    • The Good Egg (3:08, SD)

    • The Return of Mr. Hook (3:52, SD)

    • Tokyo Woes (4:14, SD)


    Recap


    The Collection: 4.5/5
    Video Quality: 4/5
    Audio Quality: 3/5
    Special Features: 5/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 4.5/5



    With its excellent video quality, solid audio presentation, and vast set of special features, the second volume of the “Looney Tunes Platinum Collection” delivers another round of nostalgic bliss for anyone growing up with Warner Brothers’ iconic characters. While the Platinums’ curation methods will still give some collectors pause, it’s hard to turn down such a compelling release of such great animated work. The Platinum Collection is again recommended for new and seasoned Looney Tunes fans alike.
     
    gaino likes this.
  2. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Lovely review! I forgot all about this one having been in a froth with the Universal Monsters set. Look forward to this one.

    One question though, I'm sure that's not all the SNAFU cartoons on the third disc. There was a DVD set by Image or someone that had way more. Is it billed that way in the packaging?

    My only nitpick from the last set was it didn't appear to list the date of release for the cartoons anywhere in the booklet. A small nitpick I hope is rectified for this one. (Unless it did and I just missed it, I never sit down to read those books cover to cover. :S)
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Thanks for that clarification Russell. I misinterpreted the booklet as being the complete collection of Pvt. Snafu, but obviously it's not. I'll amend the review accordingly.

    Release dates continue to be omitted in the booklet, so you may continue to pick those nits. :)
     
  4. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    I've found two of your "X" titles
    A Wild Hare has been released at least three times. First in its reissued form, and then twice in its original form
    Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 3 Disc 2 extra (original version)
    Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol 4 Disc 1 extra (reissue version - The Wild Hare)
    Academy Award Animation Collection Disc 2 (original version - restored)
    Scentimental Romeo was on the Pepe LePew Superstars disc
    David
     
  5. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    Did Warner's ever successfully dig the pre-Blue Ribbon title card for Prest-O Chang-O?
     
  6. DaveK

    DaveK Second Unit

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    How do you adjust the picture for SD extras on a blu-ray? The picture is very fuzzy and jerky.
     

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