Sunday, November 28, 2004

What's Up Doc? Part Two

Last week I purchased the second volume of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. (Hey, I'm a sucker for classic animation.) This one was well worth the price.

The main reason I got this set was for Disc 2, which features some of the best of the Wile E. Coyote / Road Runner cartoons. There's also a restored version of the original TV pilot for The Adventures of the Road Runner, which later got revamped into The Road Runner Show. ("That coyote is really a crazy clown ...")

I also consider myself a Chuck Jones fan, and this set features some of the classic Jones cartoons such as The Dover Boys (an experiment with stylized animation), One Froggy Evening (with Michigan J. Frog) and What's Opera Doc? ("Kill the wabbit!")

The disc is also a showcase for Bob Clampett, with disc 3 showing off some of the Tweety cartoons and as well as a Clampett documentary. One cartoon, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, features John K. (of Ren & Stimpy fame) on audio commentary. This is certainly one of the best commentaries I've heard on the cartoon, because John pretty much explains Clampett's key poses and explains what makes them good. (He also identifies the animators who did each pose by their style, something that's hard for any animation buff to do--well, except maybe John Canemaker.)

There are certainly a few clunkers, mainly because some of the audio commentaries feature people who have no experience with the format. June Foray's commentaries on Witch Hazel, for example, would be a clunker if it weren't for some of the personal reminiscences she makes. Ditto animator Bill Melendez. (Of course I can't be too hard on him because he's also the guy responsible for making Charles Schulz's Peanuts cartoons come to life.)

All in all, this is an impressive buy for any animation fan.