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Overall Grade
4.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
4 Stars
High-Def Extras
4.5 Stars
Bottom Line
Highly Recommended

Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2

Street Date:
October 16th, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
November 27th, 2012
Movie Release Year:
1936
Studio:
Warner Brothers
Length:
0 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Remember the days when a good ol' anvil to the head was enough to elicit laughter from children? When Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck would goad Elmer Fudd into shooting at one another, and it always ended up with Daffy having his beak blown around to the back of his head? Those simple days of cartoons are gone. I long for the days when cartoons seemed simpler. They felt fresh. Maybe it's my nostalgia talking, but I really miss the original 'Looney Tunes.'

This is why each release of the old series and shorts has been a welcome event for me. I have a young son. He's too young, right now, to fully enjoy cartoons on an entertainment level. He usually watches about 10 minutes of TV before he wanders off to break more of my valuables, but the time will come when he's ready to be introduced to the wonderful, varied world of animation. Sadly, in today's world our cartoons seem flat and stilted in comparison to the days of old. I want to be able to introduce my kid to the wonders of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck. That's why these releases are so important to me.

Like the first volume, this second volume of cartoons features some of the most memorable, lovable episodes in their storied catalogue. There's really no way to actually "review" a volume of 'Looney Tunes' under the distinct definition of the word. The show and its characters are firmly protected by years of nostalgia. They're classics now and there is no arguing with that.

What we can talk about is the care that Warner has put into this extensive set. Any fan of the material will surely be pleased with what's been included. The studio even includes a quick note to the audience that some of these cartoons may be considered racist today. They acknowledge that even though the stereotypes shown on screen were the norm back in those days, it still wasn't right. However, they haven't run away from their past (Disney still has a hard time admitting that 'Song of the South' exists). Instead they've included that material for the fans, noting that the stereotypes were wrong, but that it's an important part of American history and should be kept intact.


This second volume contains 50 cartoons. Everything from the escapades of Bugs and Daffy, to the complete collection of Nasty Canasta. We get to see how many of these characters evolved from older versions of themselves. If you're a fan of 'Looney Tunes' then this, like volume one, is a must own set.

'Looney Tunes – Platinum Collection: Volume 2' contains the following cartoons:

Disc 1

1. A Wild Hare
2. Buckaroo Bugs
3. Buccaneer Bunny
4. Ali Baba Bunny
5. Show Biz Bugs
6. The Wise Quacking Duck
7. What Makes Daffy Duck?
8. Book Revue
9. Deduce, You Say
10. Porky in Wackyland
11. You Ought to Be in Pictures
12. Porky in Egypt
13. Back Alley Oproar
14. Little Red Rodent Hood
15. Canned Feud
16. Gift Wrapped
17. Birdy and the Beast
18. Home, Tweet Home
19. Going! Going! Gosh!
20. Zipping Along
21. Scent-Imental Romeo
22. The Foghorn Leghorn
23. The High and the Flighty
24. Tabasco Road
25. Mexicali Schmoes

Disc 2

26. Wabbit Twouble
27. Rabbit Fire (The Hunting Trilogy)
28. Rabbit Seasoning (The Hunting Trilogy)
29. Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (The Hunting Trilogy)
30. Drip-Along Daffy (The Complete Nasty Canasta)
31. My Little Duckaroo (The Complete Nasty Canasta)
32. Barbary-Coast Bunny (The Complete Nasty Canasta)
33. Tortoise Beats Hare (Bugs Bunny vs. Cecil Turtle Trilogy)
34. Tortoise Wins By a Hare (Bugs Bunny vs. Cecil Turtle Trilogy)
35. Rabbit Transit (Bugs Bunny vs. Cecil Turtle Trilogy)
36. Porky's Hare Hunt (Early Wabbits)
37. Hare-Um Scare-Um (Early Wabbits)
38. Prest-O Change-O (Early Wabbits)
39. Elmer's Candid Camera (Early Wabbits)
40. Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (The Complete Beaky Buzzard)
41. The Bashful Buzzard (The Complete Beaky Buzzard)
42. The Lion's Busy (The Complete Beaky Buzzard)
43. Strife with Father (The Complete Beaky Buzzard)
44. An Itch in Time (The Complete A. Flea)
45. A Horsefly Fleas (The Complete A. Flea)
46. Hollywood Steps Out (One-Shot Classics)
47. Page Miss Glory (One-Shot Classics)
48. Rocket-Bye Baby (One-Shot Classics)
49. Russian Rhapsody (One-Shot Classics)
50. Dough Ray Me-Ow (One-Shot Classics)


The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This is a three-disc Blu-ray set. Each of the discs are 50GBs. The first two discs are filled with 25 episodes each while the third disc is filled with all sorts of bonus content that will be discussed in the special features sections below. Included in the set is a 28-page, full-color booklet that provides a wealth of information about each episode, the history behind them, why they were chosen, and just about anything else you'd like to know. The whole set is contained in a standard sized keepcase, with a swinging arm that holds two discs back-to-back. It will play in Regions A and B.


The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Like the first volume, the second release shows that they've taken their time with these cartoons. That they've preserved the originals well and that the end product is fully restored cartoons that have never looked so good. The 1080p presentation of these cartoons from yesteryear, is, on the whole, wonderful.

What you will notice during your playback is that each short varies in quality. In terms of source material damage, and grain structure, shorts vary wildly. This is something that should be taken lightly considering the fact that these cartoons cover vast expanses of time, so it's completely reasonable that some would look different than others. It's true that the older cartoons, such as the shorts from the Early Wabbits section, feature a bit more wear and tear than the later ones. Scratches, nicks, and other minor source blemishes are seen rather frequently. Although I didn't really think they detracted from my viewing. I was expecting the older cartoons to look that way anyway. Even though scratches and the like are visible, color density is strong across the board.

The color here is outstanding from short to short. Blacks are deep and resolute. Primary color fills leap off the screen with remarkable clarity. Edges are crisp. Line art is precise. Even though some of the older cartoons may be a little scratched up, the animation still looks concise. There are times where color fills flicker from one shade to another, but again, it never really becomes a horrible nuisance.

I felt that the overall product mirrors the solid effort the studio gave in the first volume of shorts. This one is sure to please fans and videophiles alike.


The Audio: Rating the Sound

The trouble here is that Warner still hasn't seen fit to grace these cartoons with lossless tracks. Instead, like the first release, these are provided a lossy Dolby Digital Mono track. It does what it's asked to do, but it never really impresses.

While the quality of the tracks is mostly free from age-related nightmares like hissing, it doesn't have the clarity one might expect from lossless audio. Dialogue and music are relatively clear. It's just a little disappointing that Warner still hasn't decided to give these historically significant shorts remastered lossless audio.


The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Audio Commentaries

    Out of the 50 shorts, 37 of them have commentaries. Yeah, I know, it's a lot. Most of them are relatively easy to listen to since the cartoons usually have such short runtimes. While I didn't listen to each and every commentary, I can tell you that they're worth listening to, especially if you consider yourself a big fan of 'Looney Tunes.' Hearing the venerable Chuck Jones and Greg Ford talk about specific cartoons is certainly a treat.

    "A Wild Hare" with director Greg Ford, "Buckaroo Bugs" with historian Michael Barrier and director Bob Clampett, "Buckaroo Bugs" with director John Kricfalusi, animator Eddie Fitzgerald and animator Kali Fontecchio, "Long-Haired Hare" with Barrier, "Ali Baba Bunny" with Ford, "Show Biz Bugs" with Ford, "Book Revue" with Barrier, "Deduce, You Say" with filmmaker Constantine Nasr, "Porky in Wackyland" with Barrier, "You Ought to Be in Pictures" with historian Jerry Beck, "Porky in Egypt" with animator Mark Kausler, "Back Alley Oproar" with Ford, "Canned Feud" with Beck, "Birdy and the Beast" with Kausler, "Scent-Imental Romeo" with Ford, "The Foghorn Leghorn" with Barrier and director Robert McKimson, "The High and the Flighty" with Ford, "Tabasco Road" with Beck, and "Mexicali Schmoes" with Beck. "Wabbit Twouble" with Barrier and Clampett, "Rabbit Fire" with Ford and director Chuck Jones, "Rabbit Seasoning" with Barrier, "Duck! Rabbit, Duck!" with director Eric Goldberg, "Drip-Along Daffy" with Barrier, "Tortoise Beats Hare" with Jones, "Tortoise Beats Hare" with Barrier, "Tortoise Wins By a Hare" with Kausler, "Porky's Hare Hunt" with Beck, "Elmer's Candid Camera" with Beck, "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid" with Barrier, "The Bashful Buzzard" with animator/writer Paul Dini, "An Itch in Time" with Kricfalusi and animator Bill Melendez, "Hollywood Steps Out" with Ford, "Page Miss Glory" with Will Friedwald, "Rocket-Bye Baby" with Nasr, "Russian Rhapsody" with Kausler, and "Dough Ray Me-Ow" with Beck.


  • Music-Only Tracks — There are 10 alternate audio tracks which are usually music-only tracks. There are a couple that are music and effects tracks though. "Ali Baba Bunny," "Scent-Imental Romeo," "The High and the Flighty," "Tabasco Road," "Mexicali Schmoes," "Rabbit Fire," "Rabbit Seasoning," "Duck! Rabbit, Duck!," "Drip-Along Daffy," and "Barbary-Coast Bunny."

Disc 1

  • Forever Befuddled (SD, 3 min.) — A short look at the career of Elmer Fudd seen through the eyes of Leonard Maltin, Noel Blanc, and Joe Alaskey.
  • Man From Wackyland: The Art of Bob Clampett (SD, 21 min.) — A pretty in-depth look at the career of director Bob Clampett and what he meant to the show and its famous characters.
  • Bosko, Buddy and the Best of Black and White (SD, 9 min.) — Leonard Maltin along with animators Bill Melendez, and Pete Alvardo discuss black and white 'Looney Tunes' shorts.

Disc 2

  • A Hunting We Will Go: Chuck Jones' Wabbit Season Twilogy (SD, 10 min.) — Another ensemble of animators, historians, and directors discuss Chuck Jones' now timeless classic collection of shorts known as The Hunting Trilogy and how it defined Bugs' relationship to Daffy.
  • 'Looney Tunes' Go Hollywood (SD, 9 min.) — A short discussion about the Hollywood icons who were animated and put in various cartoons.
  • A Conversation with Tex Avery (SD, 7 min.) — A short, but insightful, talk with Tex Avery on location at Warner Bros. studio. He talks about his inspiration and how he got into the cartoon business to begin with.
  • 'Looney Tunes' Go to War! (SD, 10 min.) — A look at how 'Looney Tunes' and its characters, were used to help the war effort by selling war bonds and boosting troop morale with entertainment.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

The third disc is packed full of extras. If you didn't get enough cartoons in the first two discs, this one has tons of older and more obscure cartoons for your enjoyment. It's sad that none of them are actually in full high definition, but just having them is a treat.

Disc 1

  • King-Size Comedy: Tex Avery and the Looney Tunes Revolution (SD, 42 min.) - One of the many features in this set devoted to the (in)famous Tex Avery and what he meant to 'Looney Tunes' specifically, and cartoons in general.
  • Leon Schlesinger: The Merrie Cartoon Mogul (HD, 20 min.) - This is an in-depth look at the producer of 'Looney Tunes' and how he influenced the show and its characters. People like Maltin, Jerry Beck, Greg Ford, and Mark Kausler talk about what Schlesinger meant to 'Looney Tunes.'

Disc 3

  • Tex Avery: The King of Cartoons (SD, 56 min.) - More Tex Avery documentaries. Even though this overlaps some of the information from the "King-Size Comedy" doc on disc one, it does provide great insight into Avery's life and career with 'Looney Tunes.'
  • Friz on Film (SD, 55 min.) - Full of interviews and information about Friz Freleng, this documentary discusses his influence on the show and how Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and the rest originated.
  • Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons (SD, 46 min.) - A long list of rare cartoons is featured here in this Cartoon Network documentary that is surprisingly informative and encompassing.
  • Real American Zero: The Adventures of Private Snafu (SD, 9 min.) - A look at special wartime cartoons produced by Warner Brothers.
  • The Best of the Rest of Tex (SD, 84 min.) - Here are 11 Tex Avery cartoons. It's just too bad they aren't in HD. "The Blitz Wolf," "Red Hot Riding Hood," "Screwball Squirrel," "Swift Shift Cinderella," "King-Size Canary," "Bad Luck Blackie," "Senor Droopy," "Wags to Riches," "Symphony in Slang," "Magical Maestro" and "Rock-A-Bye Bear."
  • Friz at MGM (SD, 44 min.) - Five cartoon shorts produced by Friz Freleng when he briefly left to work at MGM on 'The Captain and the Kids' cartoons. "Poultry Pirates," "A Day at the Beach," "The Captain's Christmas," "Seal Skinners" and "Mama's New Hat"
  • The World of Leon Schlesinger (SD, min.) - Animation historian Jerry Beck is joined by ink-and-paint artist Martha Sigall to talk about these rare shorts from the Warner vaults. "Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid," "Sinkin' In the Bathtub," "Crying for the Carolines," "It's Got Me Again," a "Haunting Gold Title Sequence" and "Schlesinger Production Christmas Party Reels"
  • Private Snafu (SD,34 min.) - Eight shorts for Private Snafu are included here. "Coming!! Snafu," "Gripes," "Spies," "The Goldbrick," "The Home Front," "Rumors," "Snafuperman" and "Censored."
  • Mr. Hook (SD, 11 min.) - Another three wartime cartoons are included here. This time they're Navy themed. "The Good Egg," "The Return of Mr. Hook" and "Tokyo Moves."

Final Thoughts

Warner has put a lot of care into this set. They care about 'Looney Tunes,' and it shows. Fans will be pleased by the sheer amount of content on this set. It almost seems endless. It's great seeing these cartoons restored to high definition. Owning this set is like owning a piece of indelible Americana. While the lossy audio is a little disappointing, the rest of the collection is masterfully put together and is highly recommended for anyone who loves classic cartoons.

Technical Specs

  • 3-Disc Set
  • 50GB Blu-ray Discs

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.33:1

Audio Formats

  • English: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
  • German: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, German SDH

Supplements

  • Bonus featurettes on selected shorts
  • Commentaries by animation experts
  • Alternate audio tracks

Exclusive HD Content

  • BonusReal American Zero: The Adventures Of Private Snafu
  • Bonus cartoons (in SD): (Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons, The Best Of The Rest Of Tex Private Snafu, and Mr. Hook)
  • Friz on Film
  • Tex Avery, The King Of Cartoons
  • King-Size Comedy: Tex Avery And The Looney Tunes Revolution
  • The World Of Leon Schlesinger
  • Friz at MGM

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