98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag....
, 22 July 2009
This review is from: Looney Tunes: Golden Collection - 1 [DVD]  (DVD)
I realise I'm in the minority here, in fact it's probably bordering on heresy, but my personal opinion is that a lot of the cartoons here aren't golden classics at all, in fact they're unfunny duds. I also realise that the intended audience will be satisfied (the really young ones probably won't even notice the difference), but I figure my money is as good as everyone else's, so let the misanthropy commence:
What Warner Bros. have done is mix together early cartoons with their later output. I think some go back as far as the early 1940's . Back then animation was still a relatively new art form and it's very apparant the team at had not yet fully figured out - either in terms characterisation or timing - the art of making comedy from a sequence of drawings. Many of the characters are not even really the finished article, and the lightness of touch, verve and sheer vitality that characterises the later work seems curiously absent. Yes, there are some funny moments, but far too often you get cartoons that have a slightly dark, stodgy quality, with slack, ponderous or repetitive animation, timing that's not quite right and heavy-handed humour that just isn't funny and at times is even a little bit creepy.
With each successive release things seem to improve, and by the early to mid 50's Jones, Freling, Avery and co. had, both in a technical and aesthetic terms, really started to get their act together. The scripts are smarter, the direction is tighter, the animation snappier and more articulate and the characters themselves are better drawn and more communicative. Timing is now right on the money and every frame seems brightly lit with a kind of brash confident charm that has justifiably made them classics. Genuine laugh-out-loud moments and that don't seem to diminish with repeated viewings.
Just a shame that a) there aren't more of them, b) you have to wade through a fair bit of dross to get to the gems.
Call me a cynic but I can sense the marketing man's (grasping) hand in all this, his reasoning being something like; 'no-one in their right mind would buy the early stuff on its own, let's mix them all together, that way we can keep back a lot of the real quality and release it over time - we'll make more that way.'
I reckon most people, like me, are not buying this item as a historical document showing the development of an animation studio. Rather we want the best possible entertainment for our money, and in this respect I feel that, considering the title of these DVDs, and the sheer wealth of truly brilliant cartoons WB has at its disposal, we're being rather misled.
The later films get 5 stars, there's just not enough of them.
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