There’s a lot of stuff that comes out all the time, and the companies are want your attention and mostly…your coin. But, you know, it’s your coin and you have to take care where you spend it. With these posts we try to take you through recent releases so you can make up your mind. If you find the info here to be of use, do us a favor and purchase stuff from Amazon through us. Especially if you were going to buy the stuff anyway. That gives us kickbacks, which help pay for things. Like the server. And coffee. And therapy. We thank you.
We hear it all the time. In fact…because we’re old, we say it often: “They just don’t make them like that anymore.” And if you ever needed an example, all you have to do is check out the contents of The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection, Vol. 1. Because, honestly, whatever magic they were able to bottle back in the day when these were created (Wednesday), they ran out of their supply. Warner Brothers still has the characters but has never been able to recreate the frantic awesomeness that were these original cartoons. We shan’t rehash the many theories as to why, because they have been covered better and elsewhere, I have no doubt. What we will do is get the usual rant out of the way before we talk about how pleased we are. Rant begins.
[ad#longpost]Dear Warner Brothers: would it kill you to release a series of these in chronological order? That way you’re not leaping around from set to set with a little here and a little there. Instead, you’re taking us through the entire history of this fantastic section of your library. Then viewers would get an appreciation for how things evolved as you went along. And you wouldn’t, presumably, skip anything. Seriously. Just freaking do it and get it over with it, would ya?
Rant ends. Now: holy shite. I’m watching high-definition Looney Tunes. The way they’ve cleaned these up, it’s almost like watching a different cartoon. Or maybe this is how I actually saw them on that fateful Wednesday but they’ve just gotten dirtier and greyer in my memories. Regardless, these look as good as you can get considering the age of the source material. In other words, it ain’t Pixar. But I’m sure you’ll get over it. In addition to jumping all over the place with Bugs and Daffy and whatnot, you do get complete runs of some minor characters, like Marvin the Martian and the Tasmanian Devil. You get fifty cartoons in all–with plenty of bonus bits. How about thirty-seven commentaries? Oh sure, that sounds impressive, but if you tallied up the minutes involved in each–considering these are animated shorts–you’d get who…cares, we have commentaries on Looney Tunes, okay? With everybody from Chuck Jones to cartoon historian Jerry Beck to June Foray. Fantastic. But that’s not all–music-only and music/FX tracks are here, plus some alternate vocal tracks where you can hear the vocal actors going on between lines. Total up all the featurettes and they hit feature length, covering everything from focus featurettes on the minor characters that get their full run here plus a “What’s Opera Doc” making-of, music featurette and more.
And the third disc? It’s Chuck Jones-Palooza. You get Chuck Amuck: The Movie, Chuck Jones: Extremes & In-Betweens, a Life in Animation and Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood–three excellent docus about The Man. Plus an array of other bits of animation from Chuck, including a pencil test from Grinch. And there’s more.
Have you figured out I’m recommending this one yet or not? Good. Now, that all being said, the question of whether or not to buy the “Ultimate” Collector’s Edition or the non-Ulty one remains. The difference is it comes with a framed litho cel with a certificate of authenticity, a fifty-two page book, a 2.5oz character glass and a souvenir tin sign. You must decide whether or not you find those extra bits and bobs worth the extra $11. Another way to think about it is this: just counting the fifty cartoons, the Ulty version runs you $1 per cartoon. Non-Ulty? About 75 cents. Hopefully that helps put it in perspective. All I can tell you is: if you’re getting this for yourself or someone on your gift list, ask the question of whether or not they actually give a damn about the non-disc accessories and answer the question honestly. Me, I’m enough of a Looney Tunes fiend, but every person is different as to their level of fiend-ness. (Click here to buy the Ultimate version from Amazon. Click here to buy the regular edition from Amazon.)