Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 3 Blu-ray Review

4.5 Stars Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol. 3 is a great collection of some terrific theatrical shorts distributed by Warner Brothers in the Golden Age of Hollywood and theatrical animation.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Review

Volume 3 of Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice from the Warner Archive gives us another 25 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in high definition on blu-ray disc.

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: Warner Archive
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 1.0 DD (Mono)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 2 Hrs. 57 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: Amaray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: ABC
Release Date: 03/12/2024
MSRP: $21.98

The Production: 5/5

This is the third volume of what I hope will be many more volumes in this series collecting the sublime theatrical animated shorts created and developed by the gifted talents of Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson, Arthur Davis, Warren Foster, Tedd Pierce, and others.  All of these talents have their artistry on display here in this new collection.  Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety, Coyote and Roadrunner, and Foghorn Leghorn all make an appearance in this new collection.   The review of Volume 1 can be found HERE.  The review for Volume 2 is HERE.

There is much to celebrate with this volume.  As with the first two collections in this series, the disc does not have a mandatory disclaimer at the beginning, and the shorts have not been edited for content, as has been the case on some previous DVD releases.  The opening credits are not window-boxed, and the 1950s shorts have not been cropped at top and bottom, cutting off essential picture information, to reflect the “director’s intent.”
There are some relatively trivial issues with the video and audio, which are addressed below in the “Video” and “Audio” sections of this review.
Meanwhile, here are the shorts included in this release:
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot
A Feud There Was(1938)(7:44):  Egghead is identified as Elmer Fudd in this classic directed by Tex Avery.  The feuding hillbillies concept also has room for a parody of radio variety shows of the period as well as the gag of a theater patron in silhouette on the screen joining with another character on screen.  This is the Blue Ribbon re-release version from 1952.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot
China Jones(1958)(6:28):  This is one of those TV show parodies from the late 1950s directed by Robert McKimson and featuring Daffy and Porky as costars. This includes the oft-censored ending in which Daffy seems to be channeling Jerry Lewis speaking Chinese.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot
Cinderella Meets Fella(1938)(8:27):  Another Tex Avery cartoon with Egghead starring as Prince Charming in the fairy tale.  This one also has the gag of a theater patron in silhouette coming onto the screen.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Dumb Patrol(1963)(6:21):  Bugs Bunny flies a biplane against the Baron Sam Von Schpam in World War I as Sam finds that his plane is no more obedient than his beasts of burden like his horse, camel, or fire breathing dragon.  Gerry Chiniquy directed this late Bugs Bunny entry with Virgil Ross as one of the key animators.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Egghead Rides Again(1937)(7:26):   Tex Avery directs this Egghead cartoon in which he heads west to Wyoming and hilarity ensues as he becomes a cowpoke on the Bar-None Ranch.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Elmer’s Pet Rabbit(1940)(7:48):  Chuck Jones directed this early Bugs Bunny cartoon as he bedevils Elmer Fudd.  The Groucho Marx influence on Bugs’ development is very apparent in this short.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Hobo Bobo(1946)(7:06):   This one-shot featuring an elephant is directed by Robert McKimson.  This has the original title unseen for years, with the opening rings from Hollywood Daffy(1946) used in place of the originals (thank you to Thad Komorowski for noting this first!).
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Honeymoon Hotel(1934)(7:23):  This is an early Merrie Melodies short produced in Cinecolor featuring bugs in Bugtown with the title song featured prominently.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Hop Skip and a Chump(1942)(7:02):  A grasshopper is chased by crows modeled after Laurel and Hardy in this early Friz Freleng short.  This is the Blue Ribbon reissue version from 1949.
Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
I Only Have Eyes For You(1937)(8:07):  A bird working driving an ice truck is given the Cyrano treatment to woo the object of his affections, thanks to an urbane professor, in this witty Tex Avery classic.  This is the Blue Ribbon reissue version from 1945.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Mexican Joyride(1947)(7:27):  Daffy heads south of the border for antics in the bullring in this short directed by Arthur Davis.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
The Mouse on 57th Steet(1960)(5:53):  This minor classic by Chuck Jones features a mouse who borrows the Sunflame Diamond believing it is a piece of ice to treat a hangover, and is chased by two clumsy cops.  The stylized backgrounds in this later era short show a definite UPA influence.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name(1934)(7:23):  An early Friz Freleng cartoon in which a boy and girl mermaid get on the wrong side of an octopus.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Of Rice and Hen(1953)(6:37):  Foghorn Leghorn is the object of Miss Prissy’s affections once again in this classic directed by Robert McKimson(who else for Foghorn Leghorn?).
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Pre-Hysterical Hare(1958)(6:30):  Elmer and Bugs appear as prehistoric predator and prey(or is it the other way around?) in this short directed by Robert McKimson, which recycles footage from Caveman Inki(1950).
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Punch Trunk(1952)(7:02):  A tiny elephant finds civilization in this one-shot by the Chuck Jones unit.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Quentin Quail(1945)(6:55):  A quail with a Ronald Colman affectation helps his daughter to catch a worm in another one-shot by the Chuck Jones unit.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Riff Raffy Daffy(1948)(6:52):   Arthur Davis directed another classic in this conflict between Daffy and Porky as the duck has no place to sleep and must keep one step ahead of beat cop Porky.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
Saddle Silly(1941)(7:35):   A spot-gag short of the Wild West and the Pony Express produced by Chuck Jones and his animators.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
Sheep Ahoy(1954)(6:45):   Ralph and Sam as wolf and sheepdog challenge each other again in this Chuck Jones short which shows the UPA influence in the backgrounds.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
The Sheepish Wolf(1942)(7:11):   This is an entertaining sheepdog and wolf one-shot as created by Friz Freleng and his unit.  (If we are comparing wolf and sheepdog shorts on this disc, I give this one the edge for originality, with Sheep Ahoy being more formulaic.)  This is the Blue Ribbon reissue version from 1950.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
There Auto Be A Law(1952)(6:54):  A fun spot-gag short about the automobile and the freeway directed by Robert McKimson.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
Tugboat Granny(1956)(6:49):  Sylvester tries in vain to get Tweety from her cage on board Granny’s tugboat.  Directed, of course, by Friz Freleng.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot
War and Pieces(1963)(6:45):  Coyote tries again to catch Road Runner in this short co-directed by Chuck Jones and layout artist Maurice Noble.
Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Vol 3 Screenshot
Wet Hare(1961)(6:35):  Black Jacques Shellacque returns again, this time trying in vain to take Bugs’ water supply.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Looney Tunes Collectors Choice Screenshot

The shorts on Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 3 are presented in their original 1.37:1 screen aspect ratio (not 1.85:1!) in 1080p via the AVC codec.  Colors are vibrant, even with the limited palettes of the Cinecolor shorts on this disc.  Most shorts have very little grain but there are a few like Riff Raffy Daffy, Cinderella Meets Fella, and Quentin Quail that display a pleasing sheen of grain.  Detail is excellent overall with no clumsy use of digital tools removing fine detail and outlines.  Hobo Bobo becomes noticeably sharper shortly after the 1:30 mark, but that is not to say that the first minute and a half look bad, it is just that the remainder of the short looks better.  Hobo Bobo is known to have some issues with the negative, but digital tools have seemingly made it look as great as it ever will.

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot

There is still the presence of concentric rings at the beginning of the shorts being photoshopped but the actual animation is left alone from digital tools except where necessary to enhance the presentation.  The inclusion of original title card rather than Blue-Ribbon release title for Hobo Bobo is a welcome surprise, even if the concentric rings preceding it have been cribbed from Hollywood Daffy(1946).  (I really cannot make a strong objection to this kind of digital enhancement, but if titles are being photoshopped anyway, how difficult would it be to digitally insert the correct production number on Hobo Bobo rather than bringing undue attention to it by using the exact same production number as Hollywood Daffy? The same goes for the appearance of the Warner Brothers shield in the opening of There Auto Be A Law which has the shield appearing through an expanding circular dissolve rather than approaching from the distance as in every other cartoon.)  I guess those of us who love these cartoons for their heights of perfection hope also for perfection in their presentation!

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot

Audio: 4.5/5

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Screenshot

The default English audio on Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 3 is DTS-HD 2.0 mono.  Spanish Dolby Digital mono is also available.  The English audio is also about as good as it can be since these shorts are never going to have fantastic dynamic range.  The only apparent flaw in the audio is during certain portions of Punch Trunk in which there is some low range static perceptible.  This is very isolated and short, and does not really detract significantly from the quality of the presentation.

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice vol 3 Screenshot

Special Features: 0/5

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice vol 3 Screenshot

There are no special features other than the 25 shorts in this collection.  (Maybe future volumes will throw in a bonus episode of The Bugs Bunny Show as a special feature?)

Overall: 4.5/5

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice vol 3 Screenshot

Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 3 on blu-ray is another great collection featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester & Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, and others.  It is really hard to go wrong with a collection of 25 shorts from the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes library.  The video and audio presentation are almost flawless.  Special features are non-existent but an argument can be made that a feature presentation this good does not require any special features.  This is the third volume released in a 10 month period(Volume 1 was released in May of 2023).  Here’s hoping that future releases continue with the same standards of quality and the same frequency of releases!

Timothy has worked background in theatrical features and television, just for the fun of it, in films directed by Peter Segal and Christopher Nolan. His favorite film star is Bugs Bunny, and Timothy has discovered that most of the problems in life can be solved successfully (strangely enough) by asking “What would Bugs Bunny do?” Timothy has been involved with the Home Theater Forum since 2007 and has reported from Comic Con, interviewed Bruce Campbell and Danny Trejo, and reviewed classic animation and new theatrical releases on disc.

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bobclampett

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
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Mike Banks
The only possible explanation for the complete exclusion of a single Robert Clampett directed cartoon in Volume 3 and Volume 2! is that Warner Archive is planning a Tex Avery style series of Blu Rays devoted to Robert (Bob) Clampett. He certainly deserves it. Arthur Davis inherited Clampett’s crack animation crew when he left Warners in the mid 1940s. Thanks for the review.
 

Broomy

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Oct 29, 2023
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Real Name
Matthew
The only possible explanation for the complete exclusion of a single Robert Clampett directed cartoon in Volume 3 and Volume 2! is that Warner Archive is planning a Tex Avery style series of Blu Rays devoted to Robert (Bob) Clampett. He certainly deserves it. Arthur Davis inherited Clampett’s crack animation crew when he left Warners in the mid 1940s. Thanks for the review.
I’ve seen it mentioned there’s only one colour cartoon directed by Clampett which hasn’t already been released in HD. As these discs are prioritising shorts which haven’t been released already that would account for his absence. Which is all the more reason to get some B&W Porky on the next volume so he can get included in the fun.
 

Timothy E

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Timothy Ewanyshyn
Fantastic, enthusiastic and undoubtedly even exhaustive within your preparations, Timothy E. So impressive are your Loony Tunes reviews. Don’t change a thing.

Is there any known order, pattern or theme that runs through these volumes?

Like you, I wish to have seen these animated shorts presented chronologically.

Other than that, I am grateful that WAC is going full-steam ahead with their Loony Tunes library.
Thank you for your appreciation! Reviewers at HTF are not paid for our reviews. We put a lot of time into our reviews because we are as passionate about film and television as our readers. I have always loved the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies so being able to review these releases and write about them is a labor of love. It is always fulfilling to hear that our efforts are seen and considered by our readers.

In answer to your question, there does not seem to be any particular order or pattern running through these Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice discs, other than the fact that these shorts have never been released before in high definition. The actual order of shorts on the disc is alphabetical, which is even more arbitrary than by release date, in my opinion.

That being said, there are themes that emerge sometimes in these collections. For example, on this release there are 2 different shorts with the same gag of a theater patron in the audience appearing in black silhouette before joining the action on the screen: A Feud There Was and Cinderella Meets Fella. Both cartoons were released in 1938 and both were directed by Tex Avery. Of course, writers and directors often recycled the same jokes in different settings so this may be a coincidence that both shorts are on the same disc.

This disc also has 2 different shorts featuring conflict between a wolf and a sheepdog. Sheep Ahoy is directed by Chuck Jones and features Ralph trying once again to liberate sheep from the meadow under the watchful eye of Sam. The Sheepish Wolf is a one-shot directed by Friz Freleng with a wolf matching wits with a sheepdog. Both of these shorts play together on the alphabetical design of the disc contents which allows us to compare and contrast two different versions by two different directors of the same theme.

Readers are invited to comment on which one is better: The Sheepish Wolf(1942) directed by Friz Freleng or Sheep Ahoy(1954) directed by Chuck Jones. Which do you like better, and why?
 
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