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    You WIll Need To Reset Your Password!!!

    We just moved hosts on this system, and this has caused a few updates. One is the way we encode and store the encoded passwords.

    Your old passwords will NOT work. You will need to reset your password. This is normal. Just click on reset password from the log in screen. Should be smooth as silk to do...

    Sorry for the hassle.

    Dave Koch
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    Are You Just Hanging Out?

    Just lurking? Join the club, we'd love to have you in the Big Cartoon Forum! Sign up is easy- just enter your name and password.... or join using your Facebook account!

    Membership has it's privileges... you can post and get your questions answered directly. But you can also join our community, and help other people with their questions, You can add to the discussion. And it's free! So join today!

    Dave Koch
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    Other Side Of Maleficent

    I have been looking forward to Maleficent with equal amounts of anticipation and dread. On one hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, so cold and so pure, and I want desperately to see more of her and her back-story. On the other hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, and I would hate to see her parodied, taken lightly or ultimately destroyed in a film that does not understand this great character. The good news is that this film almost gets it right; but that is also the bad news.

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    BCDB Hits 150K Entries

    It took a while, but we are finally here! The Big Cartoon DataBase hit the milestone of 150,000 entries earlier today with the addition of the cartoon The Polish Language. This film was added to BCDB on May 9th, 2014 at 4:23 PM.

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    Warner Brings Back Animated Stone-Age Family

    Funnyman Will Ferrell and partner Adam McKay are working on bringing back everyone’s favorite stone-age family. The duo’s production company Gary Sanchez Productions is in development on a new Flintstones animated feature.

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    Disney To Feast In France

    The follow up to Disney’s 2013 Academy Award Winning short Paperman has been announced, and it will premiere at France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Titled The Feast, the short looks to be based on the same stylized CG techniques used on last years Paperman, a more natural and hand-drawn look to computer animation.

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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

    Pat Sullivan became famous worldwide for his creation of Felix the Cat. What most animation histories gloss over is Sullivan’s checkered past and longtime standing as a wildcat renegade. He didn’t follow the rules. And he made damn sure to fully protect his intellectual properties.

A Solid Gold LTGC3

Discussion in 'The Animated Word' started by Dave Koch, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

    Oct 27, 2013
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    gforum.jpg As the saying goes, "the third time's the charm"... and the third installment of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection has much to recommend itself to cartoon fans everywhere. In some respects it outshines the previous two volumes in terms of quality. For starters, the introductory menu screens look magnificent; the viewer is greeted with a blazing WB shield and Stalling-Era orchestral flourish that evokes the Warner Bros./First National studio's heyday in the 1940's. This is a great and long-overdue improvement over the earlier, chintzy-looking menu screens.

    Second, and most important, the remastered cartoons are brilliant and near-perfect in terms of visual quality. Dust specks and other slight imperfections inherent in the cel layouts are, of course, made all the more visible from the high resolution of the DVD format; in Hare Remover there is even a brief moment when a patched tear in one of the background paintings is noticable during a horizontal panning shot. Like the classic cartoons in which they occur, however, these momentary anomalies are historical documents and should be cherished as such.

    No apologies need be made for the monaural soundtracks; the refurbished audio is clean with no trace of the artificial resonance or psudo-stereo re-mixing that can mar and muddy vintage recordings. The soundtracks from 1953 onward have a definition and presence that are breathtaking; the original recording sessions even more so... There aren't quite as many recording sessions offered in this volume as in the previous two; but they are all buried treasure nonetheless. In fact, for the first time a complete recording session (or a combination of two or more different sessions) for Hillbilly Hare has been made available--including the instrumental square dance sequence, sans Mel Blanc's contributions, that is the highlight of the cartoon. The music score to this cartoon (minus voices and SFX) had originally been featured in part on the CD compilation, The Carl Stalling Project: Music From The Warner Bros. Cartoons, 1936-1958. According to Mike Barrier's audio commentary for this short, animator Phil Monroe (who had animated other cartoons for Jones and Clampett) was an afficianado of square dancing and often held dances on the Warner Studio backlot in a refurbished basement during liesure hours. His expertise in square dance calling (apparently a punishable offense in Chuck Jones' Drip-Along Daffy) was a catalyst in the genesis of this cartoon and lent more than an air of authenticity to its climactic sequence.

    The extra features are, as usual, informative and entertaining. I must admit to having always jumped ahead to these when viewing each DVD set in the series. Viewers finally can get a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration processes involved in preserving the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in the "Behind the Tunes" segment, entitled, Fine Tooning: Restoring the Warner Bros. Cartoons. In this segment Jerry Beck's presence during one of the interviews (he is shown seated next to George Feltenstein, the Senior Vice-President of Warner Home Video's Classic Catalog) is most telling. One gets the impression that he has been consistantly fighting tooth-and-nail to help ensure that the restoration work is being done properly for future volumes in the series. It is somewhat reassuring to watch this segment, because one can see that an effort is being made to restore the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to their creators' original vision (unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the current remasterings of the MGM Tom and Jerry cartoons).

    On that note; it should be pointed out that, in spite of the quality of the overall restoration work, there are nevertheless a number of Merrie Melodies cartoons that are unfortunately presented in their "Blue Ribbon" reissue prints. For those viewers who are perhaps seeing these cartoons for the very first time, I should explain what this means:

    The Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons were two different series of theatrical animated shorts produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions (released by Warner Bros. from 1930 until 1944, when they bought out the cartoon studio). Both were produced and released in Black and White at their inception. The Merrie Melodies (essentially "one-shot" cartoons whose main purpose was to introduce new songs carried by Warners' music publishing concern) quickly switched to production in Technicolor--first the two-strip and then three-strip process. The Looney Tunes (which were vehicles for the studio's established starring characters) continued black and white production until 1943. Once the Looney Tunes switched to color production, the only fundamental difference between the two series for the next twenty years were their respective opening title cards and theme songs: "Merrily We Roll Along" for the Merrie Melodies series, and "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" for the Looney Tunes series.

    In the 1950's the studio heads decided to cut down on production of new cartoons (to save money) and re-release earlier color Merrie Melodies in order to maintain their annual quota of shorts supplied to movie theatres. These cartoons bore a specially-designed "Blue Ribbon" title card to distinguish them from new productions. In order to further save money, it was also decided that the original opening credits (listing the director, writer, animators and voice artists) would be omitted in favor of simply superimposing the cartoon title over the Blue Ribbon title card. The original music cues that accompanied the opening credits were also excised, and a melodic extension of the "Merrily We Roll Along" theme music was heard instead. The problem with this was that later generations of viewers never got to see and hear the impressive (and always witty) original artwork and music cues that once accompanied these early shorts; nor did they have any inkling as to who had worked on these shorts. Often there were ocassions when the wrong title cards and music cues were grafted onto a cartoon. For example, an original Merrie Melodie cartoon might turn up bearing the "Looney Tunes" title and "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" theme music. In addition, sometimes the titles of cartoons were printed incorrectly. For example; the Blue Ribbon reissue of Tex Avery's 1940 Merrie Melodie, A Wild Hare (which wryly featured the hit song "I'm Just Wild About Harry" as the accompanying music cue to the original title card), misprints the title as "The Wild Hare". Bob Clampett's wacky 1946 Daffy Duck vehicle, Book Revue was erroneously re-titled: "Book Review".

    In recent years, original title cards and music have been located in the studio vaults and attempts have been made in ernest to restore these to the cartoons from which they had been shorn; but overall the Warner Bros. cartoon library remains somewhat in a state of disarray. Alas, not all of the negatives for the original titles and music cues have survived. The studio heads at Warner Bros. didn't see any need to retain any of the bits that wound up on the cutting room floor; according to George Feltenstein, they obviously didn't forsee that people today would be upset over their tampering with the original films.

    Another anomaly that has plagued the WB cartoon library is the proliferation of colorized versions of the original black and white Looney Tunes. This was a trend begun in the late 1960's when Warner Bros. (who by then had merged with the Seven Arts company) decided to re-release colorized versions of the early b&w cartoons to television. The process for recoloring these cartoons is known in the animation industry as rotoscoping; whereby the original film is projected frame-by-frame onto the underside of a translucent animation stand. The characters' movement is traced first onto paper and then inked and painted onto new cels and photographed over new color renditions of the original backgrounds. The rotoscoping was farmed out to animation plants in South Korea, and in most cases this was badly done. Many individual frames were often overlooked and so the movement in the colorized versions was not as full or fluid as in the original films. For many baby-boomers, these colorized versions were the only Looney Tunes they ever saw; and so it has been a revalation in recent years as more and more of the original black and white versions have come to light.

    The present volume of LTGC offers no fewer than 12 classic black and white shorts; the majority of them in near-pristine condition. Of special note is Porky Pig's Feat, a classic 1943 effort directed by Frank Tashlin that features deft camera-work and one of the three cameo appearances by Bugs Bunny in a black and white cartoon (the other two were the "Private SNAFU" shorts, Gas and Three Brothers). For years I had known this short only from the colorized versions on TV, and later from a scratchy, dim-sounding 16mm black and white print. What a joy it was, then, to finally see and hear it in all it's original glory. The black and white Looney Tunes are confined mostly to Discs 2 and 3 in this set, and mainly feature Porky Pig.

    Disc 2 actually serves, more or less, as a microcosm for the evolution of Porky. His first ever appearance was in Friz Freleng's two-strip Technicolor (limited to red, green, and brown hues) Merrie Melodie, I Haven't Got A Hat, in which he attempts to recite "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere". In that cartoon he was depicted as a little boy pig. When Tex Avery first worked with the character, Porky was transformed into an unattractive adult pig (who at one point in Gold Diggers of '49 is shown with a piggy bank "slit" on his back) Frank Tashlin had a brief go around with this early adult version in such outings as Porky's Romance (marking the first appearance of Petunia Pig) and Porky's Road Race (which here has its original "any similarity to..." disclaimer and a "Steppin' Fetchit" gag restored). When animator-turned-director Robert Clampett got his turn at bat, so to speak, he redesigned Porky to make him cuter and more childlike. Porky underwent something of an identity crisis during the late 1930's; being depicted simultaneously as a little boy/adolescent in such shorts as Porky And Teabiscuit (a wonderful entry directed jointly by Ben "Bugs" Hardaway and Cal Dalton) and The Film Fan, and as an adult pig in Porky In Egypt. From 1940 onward, Porky was firmly established as an adult. In the late 40's he was featured in a number of shorts as a middle-class, suburbanite bachelor; occasionally sharing the billing with a nondescript mouse, as in Bye, Bye Bluebeard, but mostly being paired with other established characters like Miss Prissy in An Egg Scramble, Sylvester in Claws For Alarm, and Daffy Duck (either as an adversary or sidekick in previous cartoons) in Rocket Squad.

    The very first Looney Tune cartoon ever produced can be found in the "From the Vaults" section on Disc 2: Sinkin' In The Bathtub marked the official first appearance of Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid. Bosko had made his screen debut in a test film, Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid, which was produced by Harman and Ising as a proposal for a new series of animated theatrical shorts. Ultimately the series was picked up by Warner Bros. for distribution, with Leon Schlesinger in charge of production. The early Bosko shorts are unique for their somewhat "earthy" humor. In one scene in Sinkin' in the Bathtub, for example, an anthropomorphic bathtub gets up and starts streaming toilet paper all over the bathroom, in another scene, Bosko's car emerges from an outhouse with its back flap still undone (!) This first official entry in the series also marks the first time a Warner Bros. cartoon character has a conniption and continuously shouts, "Hee, Hi, Ho"! Apparently this was a favorite epithet that director Rudolph Ising used to blurt out whenever he was especially distressed about something.

    The very first black and white Merrie Melodie, It's Got Me Again!, is also featured on Disc 2; and depicts just one of the many battles between cats and mice that would ensue at the studio over the next two decades. Both this cartoon and "Sinkin' in the Bathtub" look and sound better than I can remember.

    The three remaining black and white cartoons are contained on Disc 4 and are rare examples of wartime animation that the Schlesinger Studio supplied to the U.S. Armed Forces. In this case these are individual entries from the popular "Private Snafu" series produced for the Army/Navy Screen Magazine and distributed to servicemen overseas. Private SNAFU (short for "Situation Normal: All-Fouled-Up) was a military everyman who, more often than not, got himself in hot water for being ignorant of or oblivious to Army procedures. The series was written by Phil Eastman and Ted "Dr. Seuss" Giesel; with individual shorts directed by Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert Clampett, and Frank Tashlin. Carl Stalling scored these episodes and Mel Blanc had a field day in being allowed to say words like "hell" and "damn" in an animated short (!) The episodes featured on Disc 4 include Spies, Rumors, and Snafuperman. The first short was featured in Volume 1 in the "Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons" segment; albeit with a slightly modified music track. The only problem is that these three shorts are not of the same quality as the other cartoons in Volume 3. It is highly likely that the original negatives for these cartoons were either lost or destroyed (possibly by the U.S. Military for security reasons), and that only a handful of poor-quality public domain prints are left. A DVD set from Bosko Video supposedly contains every surviving Private SNAFU short (26 were produced between 1943 and 1945); unfortunately that DVD is currently out of print. Sources have told me that the quality of the cartoons in that set is not much better than in LTGC3.

    In 1961 Warner Bros. Television produced a pilot episode for a proposed situation comedy called Philbert (Three's A Crowd) to be aired on ABC on Sunday nights at 8:00 PM. The proposed series was unique in that it would feature a blend of cel animation and live-action. The premise of the series was the relationship between a cartoonist (played by William Schallert) and his comic-book alter-ego (voiced by nightclub comic Trustin Howard). The animated sequences were directed by Friz Freleng and the live action by Richard "Lethal Weapon" Donner. An ongoing political situation between Warner Bros. and ABC resulted in the series never being picked up. The pilot episode never aired, was shelved, and then subsequently released in 1963 as a theatrical "featurette" (minus its original laugh track and theme song). The technical effects are impressive, to say the least. The animated sequences reportedly were difficult to execute; and had the series actually run on prime-time TV, it would have been a daunting task to provide these on a weekly basis. The pilot was produced in black and white (which was still the television industry standard in 1961) and so was the animation. Philbert is not a tremendously appealing character, and the "explanation" for his Mr. Ed-like existance offered by Schallert's character, Griff ("...you're retribution for my past transgressions..."), is not very convincing. There are no complaints about the visual or aural-quality, however; the pilot has been expertly remastered.

    Collectors who already own the first two volumes of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection will notice a few changes in the packaging for Volume 3. While the DVD case itself replicates the folding cardboard and plastic disc trays of Volumes 1 and 2, the outer dust cover has been slightly modified in that there is no hole in the front which reveals the artwork on the outer face of the folding DVD case. Also, to quote the title character of Bob Clampett's The Hep Cat, "something new has been added" on the back cover; a disclaimer from Warner Home Video which reads that: "Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 3, is intended for the adult collector and may not be suitable for children".

    That disclaimer, along with the 3-minute video introduction by Whoopi Goldberg (that unfortunately has been replicated on all four discs), appears to be WHV's way of testing the waters to see what public reaction will be to their inclusion of cartoons that contain racial stereotypes, cartoon violence, and risque dialogue and situations.

    Indeed this volume does include contain noticable racial gags (in the aforementionedPorky's Road Race) and violence (in A Gruesome Twosome). Definitely not for the kiddies; but then, they were never intended for kids.

    The present volume contains a nice mixture of early cartoons and late, b&w and color, and one-shot cartoons vs. running series. Directors Robert McKimson and Frank Tashlin are well represented on this set, and Arthur Davis' only Bugs Bunny cartoon, Bowery Bugs has been thrown in for good measure.

    Art Davis had started out as an inbetweener for the Fleischer Studio and their "Out of the Inkwell" series of animated shorts. During the 1930's he worked as an animator for Walter Lantz at Universal; and at the Charles Mintz Studio at Columbia Pictures, collaborating with Sid Marcus on the black and white "Scrappy" series. During the late 1930's He and Marcus co-directed two outstanding shorts for the Mintz Studio, Neighborsand The Little Match Girl. Davis migrated to Warner Bros. in the mid 1940's. Working first as an animator, he was promoted to the director's chair in 1946 after Robert Clampett had left the studio. Davis only directed a few films at Warner Bros. before leaving again for a short period. When he returned in the 1950's he became one of Friz Freleng's top animators.

    Davis, like Robert McKimson (another animator-turned-director), inherited many of the staff from Clampett's former unit at the studio; and so his cartoons are close in style and frenetic pace to Clampett's. Bugs Bunny's design in Bowery Bugs is similar to that in the cartoons produced by the McKimson unit during the late 1940's, most likely utilizing the model sheets drawn by Jean Blanchard for that unit. Sid Marcus was eventually reunited with Davis at Warner Bros., and after Davis' unit at the studio folded he went to work for McKimson. Marcus contributed the story for Davis' 1949 Porky Pig cartoon, Bye, Bye Bluebeard.

    McKimson had been one of Robert Clampett's top animators during the early 1940's. He had also, in 1942, drawn the model sheet for Bugs Bunny that defined his appearance for the next 20 years. McKimson's cartoons from the mid-to-late 1940's retain some of the energy and manic pacing of those directed by Clampett. McKimson's first cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny, Acrobatty Bunny, is certainly frenetic and boasts some impressive animation in the scenes where the lion chases Bugs around the big top. The Windblown Hare is a hilarious take on the the story of "Three Little Pigs". Bugs looks a little shorter and more well-nourished in this short as well as in Easter Yeggsand Rebel Rabbit; the latter featuring some interesting live-action footage.

    McKimson has often been called an uninspired director by some critics, but he was capable of making some good cartoons. His strength was in characterization, but his later shorts suffered from slow pacing that often dulled the impact of gags. This is not the case with some of the Porky Pig/Daffy Duck shorts he directed during the mid-to-late 1940's. With witty repartee contributed by Warren Foster, Daffy Duck Slept Here is one of McKimson's best, and proof positive that he might have made a fine live-action director (as Frank Tashlin eventually became).

    Henry Hawk was first featured in a 1942 short directed by Chuck Jones, The Squawkin' Hawk; but the character was soon abandoned and did not appear again until four years later in McKimson's Walky Talky Hawky. Although Henry Hawk was supposed to be the star of that cartoon, an incidental character who would soon be known to audiences as Foghorn Leghorn practically upstaged him.

    McKimson had a particular fondness for parodying popular television programs that aired during the 1950's. Three of them, The Honey-Mousers (based on the hit sitcom, The Honeymooners), Wideo Wabbit (a send-up of game shows) and The Mouse That Jack Built (a take on The Jack Benny Program) are featured on Disc 2. The first cartoon profits from the excellent story by Warren Foster and dead-on impersonations of Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Audrey Meadows (provided by Daws Butler and June Foray). The cartoon reportedly might never have seen the light of day had Gleason felt that the spoof was insulting, and had consequently withheld his approval for its release. The second cartoon features Bugs in a variety of impressions of everyone from Groucho Marx to Liberace to Art Carney. The third is remarkable in that the celebrities that are spoofed here (Jack Benny, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, and Mary Livingstone) actually provided their own voices. Benny enjoyed making the cartoon so much, that he asked only for a print of his own instead of payment for his services. In the alternate audio program for this cartoon, the original music recording sessions include cues played by a violinist who is trying his damnedest to sound as bad as Jack Benny(!)

    Disc 2 is devoted entirely to parodies of films and television, and to caricatures of popular celebrities of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Tex Avery's Thugs With Dirty Mugs is a spoof of the 1938 Warner Bros. gangster film, Angels With Dirty Faces; and is executed with style and flair. Avery deftly parodies every gangster film convention (breaking the fourth wall in several instances). There are no voice credits for this cartoon, but I think it is safe to say that whoever provides the voice of Ed. G. Robbinsome (Mel Blanc?) has the characterization down pat. Friz Freleng's The CooCoo Nut Grove is a little more humorous than Frank Tashlin's The Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos; which unfortunately has not withstood the test of time, and which contains a number of contemporary pop-culture references that will be lost on all but die-hard subscribers to Turner Classic Movies. Freleng also offers viewers a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (with a bear filling in for the host)in The Last Hungry Cat, which features a nerve-wracked, chain-smoking Sylvester. Tashlin fares better with his wartime short, Swooner Crooner, which features caricatures of Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, Al Jolson, Cab Calloway, and Bing Crosby. Some of the animation of the swooning hens was re-traced and used in the animated dream sequence for Two Guys From Texas (included in Volume 1). The premise in this short that anyone's crooning could cause one to become "fertile" is indeed a rib-tickler! Tashlin is given his own "Behind the Tunes" segment on Disc 3, and deservedly so.

    The fertile mind of Chuck Jones bears fruit with two unusual Bugs Bunny cartoons from the early 1940's, Case of the Missing Hareand Wackiki Wabbit. Both utilize stylized, minimalist backgrounds (the colors of which are especially vibrant in their present transfers) and the latter has some truly surrealistic images; such as the roast chicken that comes back to life to wreak havoc on a pair of hapless castaways (the tall, thin one voiced by storyman Tedd Pierce). These cartoons, along with Jones' 1942 entry, The Dover Boys At Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall, demonstrate Jones' willingness to explore new techniques in animation. Many critics credit the UPA studio with revolutionizing the animation industry during the 1950's with films like Gerald McBoing-Boing and The Tell-Tale Heart; but they tend to forget that Jones had made similarly-stylized films nearly a decade earlier. Jones actually directed the first theatrical short for the company that would soon evolve into United Productions of America; a 1944 pro-FDR cartoon entitled, Hell Bent for Election.

    When Jones first moved into the director's chair in the late 1930's he was the only one at the Warner Bros. Studio that was trying to emulate the Disney style of animated shorts. His first cartoons are slow-paced, emphasize characterization, and are soft on gags. In addition, Jones favored lush backgrounds and modeling (facial shadows) on his characters. Jones' first starring characters were a mouse named Sniffles (voiced by Sara Berner) and Inki, a little African native boy. At one point Producer Leon Schlesinger took Jones aside and told him frankly that he had better start making cartoons that were actually funny, as his colleagues had been doing all along. Jones then made a conscious decision to break away from the inherently "cute" Disney style and move towards more gag-oriented cartoons. His 1938 Daffy Duck cartoon, Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur, definitely reflects the influence of Clampett and Avery, Jones' fellow directors in the seperate bugalow known affectionately as "Termite Terrace". While certain techniques like modeling are carried over from Jones' earlier films; the pacing is much more rapid at times (as when Daffy tries to outrun a rock shot at him by Casper Caveman), and the gags are funnier. The scene where Casper experiences the prolonged vibrating effects of bashing a boulder with a club anticipates Wile E. Coyote's similar fate after ingesting a full bottle of "earthquake pills".

    By the 1950's Jones' unit at Warner Bros. had been turning out some wonderfully funny cartoons. The Road-Runner series began picking up steam with 1952's Beep-Beep; and reached it's pinnacle with There They Go-Go-Go. By 1963, however, the cartoons began to show signs of slowing down. To Beep or Not to Beep was co-directed by Jones' longtime layout artist, Maurice Noble (which accounts for the many scenes done in long-shot) and was written by John Dunn--who had been hired away from the Disney studios as a replacement for Michael Maltese and Warren Foster. The gags in this cartoon are a little more prolonged, but still come across. We also learn at the end of the cartoon that Wile E. Coyote has begun to contract with a different bidder, namely the "Road-Runner Manufacturing Company". This was also the first Road-Runner cartoon to be scored by Bill Lava. The ultimate change in the series (unfortunately) would come just two years later, when direction of the series would fall into the less-than-capable hands of former animator Rudy Larriva.

    The final, and in my opinion the funniest, installment of Jones' Bugs-Daffy-Elmer "trilogy", Duck! Rabbit, Duck! is included on Disc 1. The writing by Michael Maltese is sublime as always, and the final gag with Elmer chasing a baseball through the snow never fails to floor me! No Barking marks the first appearance of the rambunctious puppy (marvelously animated and characterized) who becomes a major annoyance to Claude Cat. The cartoon also features a cameo by Tweety, which may have been done as an in-house gag between the Jones and Freleng units. Robin Hood Daffy is yet another delightful send-up of the Robin Hood legend (the previous two being Robinhood Makes Good and Rabbit Hood). This short features a wonderful score by Milt Franklyn that can be heard to good effect in the recording session that comprises the alternate audio program.

    I have to say at this juncture that I totally disagree with John Kricfalusi's statement (in one of his audio commentaries for a Robert Clampett cartoon) that Friz Freleng is a "boring" director, and that his adulation of Clampett borders on the fanatical. Freleng's style may not have been as wacky and frenetic as Clampett's; but he was wonderfully funny in his own way. In my previous review of LTGC2 I mentioned how Greg Ford has likened Freleng to the great live-action comedy director, Ernst Lubitsch, and I am still inclined to agree. Like Frank Tashlin, Freleng understood cinematic technique and was adept at establishing the mood of a cartoon; a shining example being his 1957 Academy Award-winning Sylvester and Tweety cartoon, Birds Anonymous. This cartoon is memorable for its Hitchcockian opening sequence with a stark use of shadows, camera angles and ominous underscoring. Freleng also understood more than anyone else at the studio (save perhaps Carl Stalling) the ability of music to accentuate gags and develop mood in a cartoon. His 1943 Oscar-nominated masterpiece (one of several that utilize a piece of classical music as a point of departure), Pigs in a Polka is as close to perfection as one could hope for with its close synchronization of music and action and razor-sharp timing.
    The timing of gags in one (possibly the funniest) of the three "official" biographies of Bugs Bunny produced at the studio, A Hare Grows in Manhattan, is also superb. The Wabbit Who Came to Supper features the earlier, rotund version of Elmer Fudd that was modeled after voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan; while in the later Hare Do, Fudd has slimmed down considerably. Both cartoons are hysterical; watch for the "Hopalong Shapiero" marquee gag in the latter.

    Two wartime-themed cartoons by Robert Clampett round out this collection; Falling Hare and Draftee Daffy. In the former cartoon Bugs Bunny is particularly aggressive (perhaps more so than in Tortise Wins by a Hare). The gremlin featured here (and modeled after Clampett himself) consistantly gets the better of Bugs; which seems just a tad uncharacteristic. One usually expects Bugs to emerge victorious in his cartoons; and one therefore cannot help but feel let down when watching this one, as funny as it is. In the latter cartoon Daffy Duck tries vainly to escape being served an induction letter from "the little man from the draft board". Daffy's double-takes and lightning-bolt exits make anything Tex Avery was doing at MGM during this period seem tame by comparison. The breakneck pace of the cartoon is simply astounding; and Daffy is spastic to the extreme. What incredible mood-swings this little black duck has! This cartoon is one of Clampett's finest; and having seen it again, minted like a new penny, I can understand to some degree John K's constant fawning over his hero.

    Finally, we come to the extra features in this volume. As I mentioned in Part One, the additional original recording sessions are a treat for the ears and most revealing as to the way Stalling and Franklyn approached cartoon scoring.

    The audio commentries, on the other hand, are a mixed bag; ranging in quality from highly-informative (Mike Barrier, Eric Goldberg, Daniel Goldmark, Paul Dini, and Joe Dante) to entertaining (Greg Ford, June Foray, and Bill Melendez), to just plain rambling (John Kricfalusi, although some of his bantering with Eddie Fitzgerald had me in stitches).

    The outtake bridging sequences for "The Honeymousers" episode of The Bugs Bunny Show are entertaining enough, but I wish that the sequences had been presented within the context of the cartoon shorts they introduce. This could have been achieved by creating an link to the sequences within the extra features menu. I'm hoping that the next volume of LTGC will include a reconstructed complete episode with the three cartoons for that episode presented within their proper context; and that the cartoons could also be presented in their original theatrical format for comparison purposes. This was touched upon in the last volume, in that the opening scenes of the three cartoons featured as part of an episode were presented (albeit in black and white) via a lap-dissolve segue from the bridging sequences. As much as I am against colorization, I nevertheless feel that the black and white sequences could have been colorized to match the surviving color footage. Color charts for some episodes still exist and could have been used as a reference when restoring these episodes.

    A children's book written by Frank Tashlin is admirably transferred to the screen in Jones' adaptation of The Bear That Wasn't. This cartoon was actually produced by Jones' SIB Tower 12 production company that he started at MGM following his departure from Warner Bros. in the early 1960's. The animation staff at the MGM unit consisted largely of Jones' old cronies from Warner Bros., including Abe Levitow, Ken Harris, Lloyd Vaughn, Ben Washam and designer Maurice Noble. Together they produced a new series of theatrical Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM during the mid-to-late 1960's, as well as title and bridging sequences for the Saturday morning Tom and Jerry Show which aired on CBS. The Jones production unit at MGM was also responsible for the Acadamy Award-winning adaptation of Norman Juster's The Dot and the Line and the classic TV special of Dr. Seuss', How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

    I was pleased that WHV had included another voice recording session with Mel Blanc for a different episode of The Bugs Bunny Show, entitled, Ball-Point Puns. It certainly makes for fascinating listening and illustrates just how much effort Blanc put into his voice characterizations. Consummate professional that he was, Blanc just rolled with the punches--whether being asked to do another take or waiting for a truck outside the studio to drive past.

    The documentaries featured in this set are also of great value to the collector. Chuck Amuck: The Movie is a wonderful video companion to Jones' book of the same title and makes its first appearance on DVD here. What's Up, Doc: A Salute to Bugs Bunny contains a very special treat for Looney Tunes fans everywhere: an archival, unedited print of Tex Avery's 1940 Bugs Bunny cartoon--the one that indelibly stamped Bugs' persona on the collective American consciousness, A Wild Hare. This print includes the rare original opening title card and music cues, as well as a spoken reference to Carole Lombard (who died in a plane crash in 1942) that was re-dubbed as "Barbara Stanwyck" for the subsequent "Blue Ribbon" re-issue. The print obviously has not yet undergone the same painstaking restoration as the other cartoons included in this volume; but I am hoping, nay, pleading that WHV will see fit to bring this seminal film back to its original luster as much as humanly possible for LTGC4.

    My overall rating for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 3, with one star being the lowest and four the highest, is:

    Visual Quality: ***(*) with slight reservations about the Private SNAFU shorts
    Audio Quality: ****
    Extra Features: ***(*) with slight reservations about The Bugs Bunny Show bridging sequences
    Commentaries ***(*) with strong reservations about John K's remarks on Friz Freleng
    Packaging ***(*) with slight reservations about the "collectible" animation cel included. At least in this one the characters actually look like themselves; not cheap knock-offs, as was the case with the cel included in the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Vol. 2
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