Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Looney Tunes Premiere Collection

This collection was released in 2003...it contained 28 cartoons from the first volume of The Golden Collection DVD project. I'm going to highlight a few cartoons from the DVD in this blog...

A lot of the cartoons featured on here, and on the other DVD's, consist of projects directed by Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. However, there are cartoons here directed by Bob Clampett, Robert McKimson, as well as Arthur Davis...but Chuck and Friz have the lion's share of cartoons here. Clampett's cartoons spotlighted on here are "Bugs Bunny Gets The Boid" which is a cartoon about a family of buzzard's whose youngest, a dimwit in the mold of Mertimer Snerd and or, Goofy, is on the trail of a rabbit...Bugs Bunny, of course. The cartoon is #13 on DVD number one. The buzzard goes through all sorts of stunts trying to capture Bugs but it's useless because Bugs simply out-smarts the bird. The buzzard's mother is remembered for her Italian dialect.

"Tortoise Wins By a Hare", another Clampett cartoon, closes out DVD #1. In this cartoon, Bugs competes in a foot race with a turtle named Cecil. The idea is a recurring gag but in this particular depiction, Bugs dresses up like a turtle in hopes of winning the race. He wears a metal turtle shell packed with a motor. In the end, though, he ends up losing the race through ironic means. "Haredevil Hare" is a cartoon from Chuck Jones which introduces Marvin the Martian, although he isn't named this. Mel Blanc's original voice for Marvin is way different than the more familiar voice Mel later gave him. Marvin wants to blow up the Earth...the reason for Bugs being up in space is due to a space company wanting to put a rabbit on the moon. Bugs resists at first until the top half of the rocket is filled with carrots. The cartoon ends in a cliff-hanger or sorts...or I should say a moon-hanger. For those who've seen the cartoon you'll understand.

"Canned Feud" is one of the funniest cartoons on DVD #2. It's the story of a couple who leave on vacation for California. They accidentally leave the cat in the house...the cat being Sylvester. He spies through the front window that the owners left a note to the milk-man to not deliver any milk to the house while they're away. Sylvester panics and goes running through the house looking for food. He finally comes across a cupboard full of cat food but he needs a can opener. A mouse makes his appearance...taunting Sylvester with the can opener. The rest of the cartoon is about the two battling back and fourth. Later, when Sylvester has had enough and blow up nearly the entire kitchen, the can opener falls at his feet. He immediately gets excited but then makes his way back to the kitchen and discovers the cruel irony awaiting him at the hands of the mouse.

"Kit for Kat" is just as hilarious. Elmer Fudd becomes the victim of Sylvester and a small kitten's rivalry. He has both of them stay at his house and declares that he'll make up his mind which one to keep in the morning. This prompts Sylvester to go about ridding himself of the kitten through elaborate stunts...each of them backfire...causing him to look bad in Elmer's eyes. Near the end of the cartoon there's a scene with the radio...the kitten turns the radio up full blast and we hear some banter between the voice artists, Mel Blanc and Bea Benederet. They call each other by their full name: Melvin and Beatrice. "Ahhhh, Melvin!! What are you gonna do with that gun, Melvin??" "I'm gonna kill you, Beatrice! Do you hear?? Kill you! Kill you!!! Bwahahahahahaha!!" "Melvin...you mustn't...ahhhh!! hahhahaha now i've got the gun, Melvin!", etc etc. Finally, Elmer runs downstairs and declares to the two cats that he's made up his mind which one's leaving and then, out of the blue, a knock on the door is heard and Elmer's given some bad news of his own.

"Tweety's S.O.S" is a cartoon by Friz Freleng where we see Sylvester, Tweety, and Granny all on a cruise ship. Throughout the cartoon Sylvester is trying to get Tweety but Sylvester has a slight case of sea-sickness which prevents him from fully conducting his plots against Tweety. Granny, on the other hand, is her usual protective self. Sylvester temporarily finds a cure for his sea-sickness but Tweety doesn't help matters when he often pulls out a picture of a ship with crashing waves...telling Sylvester, in a hypnotic tone, "it was a terrible storm; the ship was rocking and rocking; waves were splashing...rocking...rocking..." causing Sylvester to go hang his head over the ship once again. Later, Tweety dumps nitro-glycerin into the bottle of sea-sickness formula. Sylvester drinks the entire bottle...but then Granny goes after Sylvester with her umbrella, trying to hit him with Tweety protesting "no Granny..." and then Sylvester explodes...shooting him up in the sky. He falls back down to the ship with the Captain exclaiming he tawt he taw a putty tat.

"Early To Bet" features Stan Freberg as a gambling bug who constantly bites down on a bad luck cat. Each time, he and a bulldog play card games...and each time the cat loses. The dog suggests the two play Penalties. The funny part is each time he loses he has to go spin a wheel...then whatever number the wheel stops on, the cat goes to a filing cabinet and searches for the corresponding folder. Inside the folder is the type of penalty that the dog unleashes on the cat. A typical line from the cat: "no...no...not ROLL OUT THE BARREL!!! Anything but that!!!". Mel Blanc voices the cat, the dog, and the announcer at the beginning introducing the gambling bug. The cat gets his revenge on the gambling bug by the cartoon's end.

The southern rooster, Foghorn Leghorn, makes a couple of appearances. The first one being a short simply called "The Foghorn Leghorn" where Henery Hawk wanders to the farm that his father is raiding. Foghorn catches the father in the act and beats him up. Henery, not really knowing what a chicken looks like, asks his father if that was a chicken. The father shrugs it off and says something like: "you think i'd let a chicken do that to me? that's nothing but a loud mouth schnook.". So, the rest of the cartoon, Henery tries to capture a lot of animals he thinks are chickens...not even Foghorn can convince Henery what a chicken is. Finally, the Dog beats Foghorn up and calls him a good for nothing chicken. Henery captures Foghorn soon after with a shovel to the face...dragging him "home" as the scene fades to black...with Foghorn muttering "i'm just a loud mouth schnook". The other Leghorn cartoon is "Broken Leghorn".

Pepe LePew appears in "For Scent-Imental Reasons". Chuck Jones often directed the Pepe cartoons...plus many of the ones with Bugs Bunny that are featured on this collection. Friz Freleng directed a lot of Bugs Bunny cartoons as well...plus he directed all the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons. One of the Chuck Jones cartoons, "Don't Give Up the Sheep", features Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. Ralph looks similar to Wile E Coyote. This segment features mostly pantomime action...no dialogue except for the dog saying hi and goodbye to Fred, his replacement watching sheep when the time clock whistle blows. This Premiere Collection concept was later re-named The Spotlight Collection when volume two came along.

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