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Customer Review

98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag...., 22 July 2009
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This review is from: Looney Tunes: Golden Collection - 1 [DVD] [2004] (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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jan 2010 17:26:54 GMT
I have to say, I disagree completely with the attitude of this review, although I haven't seen these particular disks. Just because a cartoon is in black and white, doesn't mean it isn't good. Some of the best cartoons ever were the early Felix the Cat cartoons from the silent era.
In my experience, many of the earliest looney toons are some of the best cartoons ever made. The first character in Looney Tunes was a monkey called Bosko, and it was groundbreaking in terms of music and action, although there was rarely much in the way of story. Unfortunately, Bosko was based on blackface characters, and so can only really be viewed as a document of the attitudes of the day.
I would agree that the cartoons got better for story and characterization in the 40's and 50's, but it seems to me that they began to go drastically downhill in the 60's and 70's.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2011 10:50:39 GMT
Gary Sherman says:
I agree 100% with the first review. I'm not looking for an historical documentary of the evolution of animation, just for some good old belly laughs, which is what I know the 50/60 cartoons can deliver. Early ones are ok, but I don't make time in my day to watch them. Give the public what they want and send the old stuff off to a museum or put them all on one collection so that people can buy what them if they want to. Don't mix them up all together on a single disk.

Fromthe 1970's, yes the ideas were clearly running thin.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2011 13:48:57 GMT
Autodafe says:
I agree with Jefferey. I'm not a casual watcher, I want a nice mix of Looney Tune and Merrie Melodies, I wan't the black and whites aswell as the war time shorts. As a mass market, WB know's this and is filtering our a selection which we can all be satisfied with. Cartoons we're mixed on tv like this(not so much now with Black and white but you get the idea) Popeye for instance, one of Cartoon History's greatest Black and white celebs! I still enjoy them shorts despite their lack of colour. I believe its all down to opinion on later works. I agree, 60's and 70's you had Rudy Larriva Road Runner shorts which had nothing on Chuck Jones Road Runner shorts, the demise of WB animation.

Posted on 9 Sep 2012 13:42:25 BDT
I too am after the 1950 Buggs Bunny cartoon's which were well made and funny. Where can I get those from without the modern ones or the ones that were made in black and white. I don't want the History of the making of the flim I just want the time that made me laugh out loud and still does.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 18:37:08 GMT
johnson says:
my grand daughter will know if its black a white cartoons as she is only 18 months old she like colour cartoons and shell let you know if its not to her liking, but i agree for adults black a white cartoons can be very funny
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