Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I Love To Singa, cont.

To follow up on the list of cartoons scheduled for the next Looney Tunes Golden Collection (due in November), here's how the cartoons will probably be arranged on the four discs, and my brief descriptions of each cartoon:

Disc 1
Bugs Bunny
- "The Hare-Brained Hypnotist" (directed by Friz Freleng - 1942): Elmer tries to hunt Bugs using hypnotism.
- "Little Red Riding Rabbit" (Friz Freleng - 1944): Little Red Riding Hood brings Bugs as a present for her Grandma, and the Big Bad Wolf, disguised as Grandma, wants to eat Bugs. Contains the classic line "Hey, Grandma, that's an awful big nose for you... TA HAVE!!!" as well as Freleng's trademark "door gag," which just consists of Bugs and the Wolf running in and out of doors in a static shot, and which absolutely kills every time.
- "Stage Door Cartoon" (Freleng - 1944): Elmer chases Bugs into a vaudeville theatre.
- "Hare Conditioned" (Chuck Jones - 1945): Bugs battles an obsequious department-store manager who wants to have him stuffed for the taxidermy department.
- "Rhapsody Rabbit" (Freleng - 1946): Bugs tries to play Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody on the piano but is interrupted by a mouse. One of the all-time greats, with the comedy not only timed to the music but inspired by the music, with a visual gag to compliment each new difficulty in the piano piece.
- "The Big Snooze" (Bob Clampett - 1946): Elmer tries to quit cartoons to get some "west and wewaxation." In retaliation, Bugs invades Elmer's dream and gives him a mind-blowing nightmare. Clampett's last cartoon for the studio; some of it may have been finished, uncredited, by Art Davis.
- "Slick Hare" (Freleng - 1947): Humphrey Bogart tells waiter Elmer Fudd that he wants fried rabbit for dinner, or else.
- "Bugs Bunny Rides Again" (Freleng - 1948): Bugs has a Western showdown with Yosemite Sam.
- "Gorilla My Dreams" (Robert McKimson - 1948): Bugs is adopted by a pair of gorillas.
- "Bunny Hugged" (Jones - 1951): Bugs has a wrestling match against "The Crusher." ("Duh, I was just passin' by, just passin' by...")
- "French Rarebit" (McKimson - 1951): Two French chefs fight over the right to cook Bugs.
- "Baby Buggy Bunny" (Jones - 1954): Bugs finds what he thinks is a baby, but it's actually Baby Face Finster, a tiny crook who just robbed a bank.
- "Hyde And Hare" (Freleng - 1955): Bugs goes to the home of Dr. Jekyll.
- "Broom-Stick Bunny" (Jones - 1956): Bugs goes trick or treating disguised as a witch. Witch Hazel sees him and is horrified to find that she is no longer "the ugliest one of all." June Foray voices Witch Hazel for the first time; in her first appearance, in the equally good "Bewitched Bunny," she was voiced by Bea Benaderet. It was also around this time that Foray took over Granny in the Tweety/Sylvester cartoons from Benaderet.
- "What's Opera, Doc?" (Jones - 1957): Bugs and Elmer act out their usual schtick in the form of a Wagnerian opera.
Disc 2
The Best of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote
I don't think I need to run down the individual plots. :) Suffice it to say that this is the eleven Road Runner cartoons made from 1952 to 1958. The "golden age" of this team, basically. The cartoons are:
- "Beep Beep" (Jones - 1952): The one with the chase through the mine shaft.
- "Going! Going! Gosh!" (Jones - 1952): The one where the Coyote dresses as a hitchhiking woman.
- "Zipping Along" (Jones - 1953): The one where the Coyote tries hypnotism.
- "Stop, Look and Hasten!" (Jones - 1954): The one with the Burmese Tiger Trap.
- "Ready, Set, Zoom!" (Jones - 1955): The one with the female Road-Runner costume.
- "Guided Muscle" (Jones - 1955): The one with the tarring and feathering machine.
- "Gee Whiz-z-z-" (Jones - 1956): The one with the ACME Bat-Man costume.
- "There They Go-Go-Go!" (Jones - 1956): The one with the ladder that breaks in half.
- "Scrambled Aches" (Jones - 1957): The one with the ACME steamroller.
- "Zoom and Bored" (Jones - 1957): The one with the ACME harpoon gun.
- "Whoa, Be-Gone!" (Jones - 1958): The one with the Coyote's attempt to slide down a rope via a wheel on his helmet.

Porky and Daffy (part 1)
- "Porky In Wackyland" (Clampett - 1938): Porky goes to Wackyland in search of the elusive Do-Do. There was a color remake of this cartoon in 1949, using most of the same animation but in color and with a new ending; this remake, "Dough For the Do-Do," is on the first Golden Collection set.
- "Old Glory" (Jones - 1939): In one of WB's few serious cartoons, Porky learns the true meaning behind the Pledge of Allegiance.
- "Book Revue" (Clampett - 1946): The last and greatest "Books come to life" cartoon. Featuring Daffy Duck's amazing Danny Kaye routine, and the famous wild take where he turns into a giant eyeball.
- "Show Biz Bugs" (Freleng - 1957): Daffy is jealous of Bugs' greater popularity, and does everything he can to upstage Bugs or bump him off.

Disc 3
Sylvester and Tweety
- "Kitty Kornered" (Clampett - 1946): Porky tries to put out his cats for the night, including Sylvester, but instead they team up to make him think that Martians are invading.
- "Tweety Pie" (Freleng - 1947): First Tweety/Sylvester teamup (though Sylvester is called Thomas in this one). Won an Oscar.
- "Back Alley Op-Roar" (Freleng - 1948): Sylvester won't stop singing outside of Elmer's house. One of the funniest cartoons ever; but then, I could say that about almost any of Freleng's "musical" cartoons.
- "Bad Ol' Putty Tat" (Freleng - 1949): Sylvester tries to catch Tweety, eventually chasing him onto a badminton court.
- "All a Bir-r-r-rd" (Freleng - 1950): Tweety on a train.
- "Room And Bird" (Freleng - 1951): Tweety in a hotel.
- "Tweet Tweet Tweety" (Freleng - 1951): Tweety in the park.
- "A Bird In A Guilty Cage" (Freleng - 1952): Tweety in a department store. Features a great, wonderfully-animated scene with Sylvester trying on a series of hats.
- "Ain't She Tweet" (Freleng - 1952): Sylvester tries to get through a yard full of bulldogs to catch Tweety.
- "Gift Wrapped" (Freleng - 1952): Sylvester tries to catch Tweety at Christmastime.
- "Snow Business" (Freleng - 1953): Tweety and Sylvester are stranded in a cabin during a snowstorm, along with a mouse who's so hungry he decides to try to eat Sylvester. The scene where the mouse tries to chew on Sylvester's tale is funny and disturbing too.

Porky and Daffy (part 2)
- "You Ought to Be in Pictures" (Freleng - 1940): In a combination of live-action and animation, Daffy convinces Porky to quit his job and try and break into feature films.
- "Duck Soup To Nuts" (Freleng - 1944): Porky unsuccessfully hunts Daffy, who gives Porky a bunch of sob stories.
- "Baby Bottleneck" (Clampett - 1946): A satire of the Baby Boom: the stork is so overworked by the increased demand for babies that Porky and Daffy take over the baby business, producing babies on an assembly-line. Features extensive use of the song "Powerhouse."
- "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" (Clampett - 1946): Daffy dreams that he's "Duck Twacy." "NEON NOODLE! AAAAGGH!"

Disc 4
- "I Love To Singa" (Tex Avery - 1936): A young owl, "Owl Jolson," only wants to sing jazz.
- "Have You Got Any Castles?" (Frank Tashlin - 1938): An earlier example of the "Books come to life" cartoon.
- "Katnip Kollege" (Cal Dalton & Ben Hardaway - 1938): A musical short set at a college where cats are learning "Swingology."
- "Hollywood Steps Out" (Avery - 1941): A series of gags featuring famous Hollywood stars (including a running gag with Clark Gable pursuing a mysterious lady).
- "The Heckling Hare" (Avery - 1941): A big dumb dog goes looking for Bugs Bunny.
- "Tortoise Beats Hare" (Avery - 1941): The first matchup of Bugs and Cecil Turtle.
- "The Dover Boys at Pimento University or 'The Rivals of Roquefort Hall'" (Jones - 1942): Chuck Jones' first truly great cartoon, a simply insane and hilarious sendup of the "Rover Boys" series of boys' fiction. It was also hugely influential on UPA cartoons (Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoing-Boing) with its all-human cast, stylized backgrounds, and stylized movement, with characters popping abruptly from pose to pose. Features the thrice-repeated line "Unhand her, Dan Backslide!"
- "The Hep Cat" (Clampett - 1942): A playboy cat tries to woo a cute girl cat, with disastrous results.
- "Corny Concerto" (Clampett - 1943): A spoof of Fantasia, hosted by Elmer Fudd and featuring two segments with Johann Strauss music: a hunting segment with Bugs and Porky and an "ugly duckling" story with a duck who looks like a younger version of Daffy.
- "Rabbit Transit" (Freleng - 1947): Bugs races Cecil Turtle for the third and last time.
- "Mouse Wreckers" (Jones - 1948): Hubie and Bertie play mind games on Claude Cat.
- "Bear For Punishment" (Jones - 1951): Junyer Bear and Mama Bear celebrate father's day, driving Papa Bear crazy. Features a final scene with some great animation by Ken Harris, including Junyer reading his poem "My Pa."
- "Cheese Chasers" (Jones - 1951): The last and greatest Hubie and Bertie cartoon. Hubie and Bertie eat so much cheese that they get sick of the stuff. Without cheese, there's nothing left for them to live for, so they try to get Claude Cat to eat them and put them out of their misery.
- "One Froggy Evening" (Jones - 1955): A construction worker finds a singing frog.
- "Three Little Bops" (Freleng - 1957): A jazz retelling of "The Three Little Pigs," narrated in song by Stan Freberg.

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