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On the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1, there were many fine documentaries. Well I found this one to be the best. It tells the story Of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies origin from start to finish. It was also a lot longer than the other documentaries so you could learn more. WB did a good job putting this together. There was a lot of archive footage of Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng and other greats. Many pictures I had never seen before were also there. There were lots of short segments on many people that usually are not given the recognition they deserve such as Bob McKimson and Frank Tashlin. Stan Freeberg did a fine job narrating this documentary. The special is great and is certainly worth your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always loved the Warner Brothers cartoons when I was younger and now
that I'm well into adult-hood it's wonderful having DVD's of the
cartoons. These "Golden Collection" releases aren't cheap but they're
not out of this world expensive, neither. The collections were always
chock full of bonus features...something I appreciated because I love
hearing from those who worked on the cartoons give their thoughts. It's
always nostalgic to watch people reflect back on their days in
animation and it's especially refreshing to watch almost everyone talk
in amazement and sheer puzzlement at how long-lasting the cartoons have
been when originally the directors and writers and everyone else
involved with the cartoons assumed the cartoons would get a few
showings at theaters and never be seen again.
This documentary, narrated by Stan Freberg, starts out making reference to Windsor McKay before discussing Walt Disney and the beginning of the animated cartoon. Naturally this is at the beginning of Warner Brothers cartoons and a key figure at the time was Friz Freleng. The story of the cartoon studio is looked back on with loving respect and there's not too many omissions which is what you often get with look back programs and documentary retrospectives. Many animators both past and present as well as voice actors pop up throughout the story. Also seen are animation historians and footage of Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. The contributions at the studio of Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, and Robert McKimson are discussed as well. In fact, Clampett's daughter appears in a segment as does Robert McKimson's son. Frank Tashlin is spoke of in high regard by Jerry Beck and Bill Melendez. The impact of Carl Stalling's music is discussed as is a segment about voice actors. Noel Blanc, the son of Mel Blanc, appears throughout giving anecdotes and recollections of his father and life growing up as the son of a voice artist.
Who's the director that's given credit for being the one person with the Looney Tunes from start to finish? You'll find out when you watch the documentary...and here's a hint...it isn't Friz Freleng.
In this 50 minute and 41 second documentary, which can be found on disc
4 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 1, the history of the
product line is explored. It is hands down the most complete
documentary on the first volume, pretty much on default as the other
ones are VERY short and extremely basic. This on the other hand is a
fairly comprehensive account of the time-line of Looney Tunes.
Combining interview with many notables as well as clips from a great
many Tune shorts throughout the eras, this is worth watching for any
fan and is highly recommended.
My Grade: A+
I can't seem to find the proper place for this post so I'll put it here. If you buy the Golden Collection, The Premiere Collection or any of these collections, be warned. There are so many white specks constantly floating and rising off the screen that you'll swear someone threw a salt shaker at the screen. Restored? From what? The mediocrity that once was? I could swear they looked better when I watched them as a kid. Shame on you WB. You couldn't even eliminate the crapload of white spots rising and floating around during Hair-Raising Hare? You didn't notice them? I don't know what you restored but it wasn't these classics. Maybe you should have thought "corrected" instead of "restored".
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