Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The More the Merrie-er

Okay, so here are the cartoons in the next Looney Tunes Golden Collection, list courtesy of TV Shows On DVD, and a brief description of each, courtesy of me. I would say, overall, that this is the best selection of cartoons yet, and certainly the most varied:

Disc 1 - Bugs Bunny Classics

"Hare Force" (Friz Freleng, 1944) - Bugs gets a home with a nice old lady (sort of an early version of "Granny" from the Tweety cartoons, with a similar Bea Benaderet voice but a different design), but the dog of the house keeps trying to throw him out into the cold.

"Hare Remover" (Frank Tashlin, 1946) - Mad scientist Elmer Fudd tries to use a new formula to turn Bugs into a monster.

"Hare Tonic" (Chuck Jones, 1945) - Bugs convinces Elmer that he has the dread disease "Rabbitus." Ends with one of the greatest bits of audience-participation meta-humor of all time, which I will not try to give away here.

"A Hare Grows in Manhattan" (Freleng, 1947) - Bugs flashes back to his youth in New York city, singing "She's the Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" and tormenting a bunch of dogs ("Dog pile on the rabbit!")

"Easter Yeggs" (Robert McKimson, 1947) - The Easter Rabbit cons Bugs into delivering eggs for him; the recipients include a fearsome baby who keeps screaming "I wanna Easter egg," and Elmer, who wants to make "Easter Wabbit Stew."

"The Wabbit Who Came to Supper" (Freleng, 1942) - Elmer is told that he has to be kind to animals -- including wabbits -- to inherit a fortune.

"Bowery Bugs" (Arthur Davis, 1949) - In Davis's only Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bugs tells of how he bamboozled gambler Steve Brodie in 1890s New York.

"Homeless Hare" (Jones, 1950) - Bugs gets revenge on a construction foreman who's trying to pave over Bugs's home and put up a skyscraper. "Okay, Hercules, you asked for it."

"The Case of the Missing Hare" (Jones, 1942) - Bugs vs. an obnoxious magician.

"Acrobatty Bunny" (McKimson, 1946) - Bugs faces off against a circus lion. McKimson's first Bugs cartoon.

"Wackiki Wabbit" (Jones, 1943) - Two hungry castaways find Bugs and decide that "We're gonna have roast rabbit!" Notable for the stylized backgrounds and for the fact that the castaways look like, and are voiced by, WB cartoon writers Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce.

"Hare Do" (Freleng, 1949) - Elmer pursues Bugs into a crowded movie theatre. One of the last WB cartoons that has the animation style and wackiness one associates with the early '40s cartoons (Bugs became a bit more subdued in the '50s).

"Rebel Rabbit" (McKimson, 1949) - And speaking of wacky... in one of the strangest cartoons ever made, Bugs is so upset that there's a low bounty for hunting rabbits (rabbits aren't considered dangerous) that he goes on a terrorist rampage. A great, insane cartoon from McKimson's best period.

"Hillbilly Hare" (McKimson, 1950) - Another great McKimson cartoon, culminating in the funniest square dance ever.

"Duck! Rabbit, Duck!" (Jones, 1953) - The last and, in my opinion, funniest of the Bugs/Daffy/Elmer hunting trilogy.

Disc 2 - Hollywood Caricatures and Parodies

"Daffy Duck in Hollywood" (Tex Avery, 1938) - Daffy runs amuck at a Hollywood studio where stock live-action footage abounds and the big star is a bird who sounds a lot like Katharine Hepburn.

"Hollywood Capers" (Jack King, 1935) - Beans ("of the Boston Beans") tries to sneak into a movie studio.

"The Coo-Coo Nut Grove" (Friz Freleng, 1936) - A series of Hollywood caricatures, with an audio commentary to tell you who everybody is.

"Porky's Road Race" (Tashlin, 1937) - Porky, still with his pre-Mel-Blanc voice (by Joe Dougherty) participates in an automobile race.

"The Woods are Full of Cuckoos" (Tashlin, 1937) - A visit to "radio KUKU," where a bunch of Hollywood celebrities are drawn as birds, including "Walter Finchell" and "Lily Swans."

"She Was an Acrobat's Daughter" (Freleng, 1936) - A musical cartoon taking us to a movie theatre, including the feature "The Petrified Florist."

"The Film Fan" (Bob Clampett, 1939) - Porky goes to the movies, where they mostly seem to be showing trailers and newsreels.

"Speaking of the Weather" (Tashlin, 1937) - Magazine covers come to life.

"Thugs With Dirty Mugs" (Avery, 1939) - The Killer, played by "Edward G. Robbemsome," goes on a criminal rampage, and only a guy in the audience can stop him. "Hey, folks, I sound like Eddie Robinson, don't I? And I can do a Fred Allen, too!"

"Goofy Groceries" (Clampett, 1941) - Various things in a grocery store come to life, and many of them act like Hollywood stars.

"The Swooner Crooner" (Tashlin, 1944) - Porky can't get his hens to lay eggs because they're all too busy swooning over a rooster who sounds like Frank Sinatra. So a Bing Crosby rooster comes along to "take a whack at those slick chicks" with his more mellow sound, and a croon-off commences.

"Wideo Wabbit" (McKimson, 1956) - Elmer chases Bugs through a TV station and through a tour of '50s programming, including Elmer as the host of "The Sportsman's Hour" and Bugs, in a Groucho disguise, as the host of "You Beat Your Wife" (there's a line that's usually cut on TV).

"The Honey-Mousers" (McKimson, 1956) - The pre-Flintstones adventures of blue-collar mice Ralph Krumden, Alice Krumden, and Ned Morton.

"The Last Hungry Cat" (Freleng, 1962) - In a spoof of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," Sylvester is tormented with guilt and fear when he thinks he's killed and eaten Tweety.

"The Mouse that Jack Built" (McKimson, 1959) - The entire cast of "The Jack Benny Program" provides voices for this re-imagining of Benny and the gang as mice.

Disc 3 - Porky and the Pigs

"I Haven't Got a Hat" (Freleng, 1935) - Porky's debut.

"Porky's Romance" (Tashlin, 1937) - One of Tashlin's first great cartoons, as Porky tries to romance the heartless Petunia Pig (in her debut) and has a nightmare about what it would be like to marry her.

"Porky's Party" (Clampett, 1938) - Porky has a bizarre birthday party.

"Porky in Egypt" (Clampett, 1938) - Porky tours the desert; many funny camel jokes ensue.

"Porky and Teabiscuit" (Cal Dalton & Ben Hardaway, 1939) - Porky buys a racehorse.

"Pigs is Pigs" (Freleng, 1937) - A greedy little pig has a dream where he gets poetic justice for his gluttony.

"Pigs in a Polka" (Freleng, 1942) - "The Three Little Pigs" set to the music of Brahms's Hungarian Dances. One of Freleng's funniest classical-music cartoons, with the jokes arising directly from the music and rhythm.

"Porky Pig's Feat" (Tashlin, 1943) - Daffy and Porky try to escape from a hotel without paying their bill. One of Tashlin's funniest cartoons, a guaranteed killer in a screening with an audience, and watch out for a surprising cameo.

"Daffy Duck Slept Here" (McKimson, 1948) - Porky is forced to share a room with Daffy, who does what he does best: make life hell for Porky.

"Bye Bye Bluebeard" (Davis, 1949) - Davis's last cartoon before his unit was shut down; a mouse disguises himself as Bluebeard, a serial killer, to frighten Porky into giving him free food.

"An Egg Scramble" (McKimson, 1950) - Porky gives away an egg semi-belonging to chicken Miss Prissy (later to appear in many Foghorn Leghorn cartoons), who follows the egg to the big city.

"Robin Hood Daffy" (Jones, 1958) - Yoicks and away!

"The Windblown Hare" (McKimson, 1949) - The obnoxious three little pigs, realizing that their houses are destined to be blown down by the dimwitted wolf, sell their straw and wooden houses to Bugs Bunny.

"Claws for Alarm" (Jones, 1954) - Porky and Sylvester go to another broken-down house infested with murderous mice, whose attempts to kill the oblivious Porky are narrowly foiled by poor Sylvester.

"Rocket Squad" (Jones, 1956) - "Dragnet" in outer space, with Daffy as intergalactic cop Joe Monday and Porky as his partner, Tuesday ("he always follows me").

Disc 4 - All Stars Cartoon Party

"Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur" (Jones, 1938) - Daffy annoys the heck out of Casper Caveman, one of many Jack Benny caricatures you'll meet on this set, and his pet dinosaur.

"Super-Rabbit" (Jones, 1943) - Bugs eats a genetically-altered carrot that gives him super powers, and uses his newfound powers to prevent evil redneck Cottontail Smith from wiping out all rabbits. Tons of great moments, but the most memorable is still "Bricka bracka firecracker, sis boom bah! Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, rah rah rah!"

"Daffy Duck and Egghead" (Avery, 1938) - Daffy annoys bulbous-nosed dimbulb Egghead.

"A Gruesome Twosome" (Clampett, 1945) - Two cats, rivals for a sexy female cat's affections, compete to catch Tweety and bring him to their lady-love for supper. This is the early, pink, totally evil Tweety. You can guess how it goes from there.

"Draftee Daffy" (Clampett, 1945) - Daffy is all patriotic about the war effort, but that's until he gets his draft notice, upon which he goes to any lengths -- even attempted murder -- to avoid the little man from the draft board.

"Falling Hare" (Clampett, 1943) - In one of his few outings as a non-winner, Bugs has a tough time preventing a Gremlin ("It ain't Vendell Vilkie!") from sabotaging a plane.

"Steal Wool" (Jones, 1957) - One of the best of the Ralph Wolf vs. Sam Sheepdog cartoons.

"Birds Anonymous" (Freleng, 1957) - Sylvester joins an AA-like group that seeks to cure him of his Tweety addiction.

"No Barking" (Jones, 1954) - Frisky Puppy keeps barking loudly and startling Claude Cat. This cartoon was animated entirely by Ken Harris, and it's a tour-de-force of comic animation as well as an object lesson in how to make an animal act like an animal (Frisky's behavior is all pretty realistic dog behavior) without rotoscoping or any loss of the WB "cartoony" style.

"Rabbit Punch" (Jones, 1948) - Bugs gets in the boxing ring against the Champ.

"An Itch in Time" (Clampett, 1943) - A flea torments Elmer Fudd's dog. Warning: you will be unable to get that pesky "food around the corner" song out of your head. Also contains the most famous off-color joke in the history of Hollywood cartoons, a line that was intended to be cut and somehow got passed by the censors.

"Odor-Able Kitty" (Jones, 1945) - Pepe Le Pew's debut, this time chasing a male cat disguised as a skunk.

"Walky Talky Hawky" (McKimson, 1946) - Henery Hawk goes looking for chickens, and meets Foghorn Leghorn, in his first appearance.

"Gonzales' Tamales" (Freleng, 1957) - The mice of Mexico are annoyed that Speedy Gonzales is stealing all their girls, so they try to trick Sylvester into bumping Speedy off.

"To Beep or Not To Beep" (Jones, 1963) - A Road Runner cartoon, suffering from the disadvantage of a Bill Lava score, but climaxing in a great series of catapult gags.

Whew! And there are special features still to be announced. (Don't expect any "banned" cartoons among the special features, though.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am searching for a picture of the sexy chuicken who was miss prissy's rival. Please if you have one email it to me @ Thank you very much! Debbie