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Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One(1936-1966)
Some of the greatest Looney Tunes cartoons are together for the first time on Blu-ray. These collections have been digitally restored and remastered.
For more about Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One and the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray release, see Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 11, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Mel Blanc, Bill Roberts, June Foray, Arthur Q. Bryan, Bea Benaderet, Stan Freberg
Directors: Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng
» See full cast & crew
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray Review
Fifty classic shorts and a slew of special features? Th... th... that's not all folks!
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 11, 2011
No, the first volume of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection isn't a completist's chronological dream come true a la the first volume of the Tom & Jerry: Golden Collection. And no, you won't find every Looney Tunes short you may be hoping to reacquaint yourself with. But don't be so quick to grumble. The words "Volume One" carry a lot of promise, and the fact that the 3-disc set features "The Complete Marvin the Martian," "The Complete Tasmanian Devil," "The Complete Witch Hazel," "The Complete Marc Antony" and "The Complete Ralph Phillips" bodes well for future releases and bigger, badder fill-in-the-gap character treatments. (I'm already jazzed for whatever future volume inevitably gives us other complete character collections in anvil-dropping, eye-popping high definition.) As opening assaults go, the first volume of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection functions as a greatest hits reel and a showcase of lesser known animated shorts; as a satisfying meal and as a tasty treat that leaves you hungry for more; as a strong standalone collection and as the first of many Looney Tunes releases. I'll be the first to admit perfection would be a chronologically arranged, 28-disc opera omnia, but we'll get there. One easily digestible volume at a time.
"Looney Tunes Platinum Blu-ray Collection Vol. 1 is intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children." So reads a small boxed blurb on the 3-disc set's back cover. I have plenty to say about that but, instead, I'll simply differ to my previous rant on the matter and try to stay on target. (For the record, the "adult" material in question primarily revolves around violence, smoking and drinking rather than racial stereotyping from a bygone age.) Thankfully, it shouldn't be too hard to keep focused. Looney Tunes was a childhood institution when I was growing up, and the nostalgia that's been pumping through my veins for the last twenty-four hours is about as thick and gooey as it's ever been. Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester and Tweety, Pepé Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil... and that doesn't even put a dent in the full Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies roster. Just thinking about the sheer number of iconic characters and classic pairings we've been given over the decades is enough to bewilder even the most astute animation historian, let alone this wide-eyed-pup-turned-middle-aged-father. As accomplishments in animation, filmmaking and entertainment go, it's nothing short of astonishing, and stands as a testament to all the blood, ink and paint Chuck Jones and his now-beloved brethren spilled to make it all possible.
Even fifty, sixty and seventy years later, there's an indescribably timeless energy pulsing within almost every Looney Tunes short, not to mention a cool, confident ease and flow fueling every rivalry, run-in and game of wits that erupts, unpredictably and hilariously, as Bugs and his fellow loons bound, bounce and careen across the screen. Has animation ever topped some of these indispensable moments? The expressiveness and fluidity, the piercing comedy and split-second slapstick, the flawless blend of music and deceptively simple animation, the side-splitting sight gags and deviously dual-edged laughs, the all-ages appeal, the unspoken genius of it all. Not to descend into hyperbole, but practically every short Volume One has in its Acme arsenal is as fun, funny and remarkable today as it was when it first took the public, young and old, by storm. My son, now seven, laughed as hard as I did, and both of us were laughing embarrassingly hard. When it was time to take a break, he begged for more and, truth be told, I wanted to give in. Eventually, my wife had to pry both of us away from the TV. (Stomachs were growling and dinner was getting cold.) Needless to say, with so many memorable characters, so many distinct personalities, and so many ways to alter, poke and deploy each one, it's no wonder the Looney Tunes gang remains such a childhood staple, even in the 21st century.
The fifty shorts featured on the first volume of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection are as follows:
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray, Video Quality
If Volume One's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is criticized, it will be for the nicks, scratches, scuffs, dirt, dust and marks that occasionally appear. However, each imperfection is inherent to the original source and animation cels, and has little or nothing to do with the tender, loving, restorative care Warner has afforded the various shorts. The Looney Tunes palette is alive and kicking, with bright colors, vivid primaries and inky blacks drizzled from the animators' pens. Every last detail and flick of the wrist is present and accounted for as well, and it holds up well under high definition scrutiny. (So long as your expectations are informed and reasonable.) Grain varies from short to short, sure. But such is the nature of the faithful-remastering game. Softness sometimes intrude but, once again, concerned parties should submit their complaints to the fifty to seventy-year-old source materials, not the encode itself, the remastering methodology or the studio's commitment to the project. Macroblocking, banding, aliasing, ringing and other eye-gougers are nowhere to be seen, and compression anomalies and other digital oddities simply aren't a factor. A select few shorts even come close to looking as if they were animated yesterday; no small feat considering that couldn't be farther from the truth. There is, of course, a filmic unevenness to the presentation that's especially noticeable when plowing from short to short in one sitting. That hardly qualifies as an issue, though, and doesn't detract from the otherwise meticulous remaster and impressive technical transfer. It doesn't get much better than this, Looney Tuners. Enjoy.
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Volume One earns a serviceable 192kbps Dolby Digital Mono mix that captures the song, dance and scuffles of each short without a hitch. Would a lossless track have been more ideal? Undoubtedly. Would it have made a significant difference? I doubt it. Voices are clear, sound effects are crisp and clean, and the music is bright and playful. But the sound design is still fifty to seventy years old (minor crackling and hiss creep in from time to time), and it shows in the at-times thin-n-tinny tone and LFE-less tenor of the single-channel experience. None of it disappoints per se, but the mono mix doesn't really resonate or, honestly, register either.
Spanish audio is not available for "Bewitched Bunny" and "A Witch's Tangled Hare." German audio is not available for "Buccaneer Bunny," "The Old Grey Hare," "Rabbit Hood," "8 Ball Bunny," "A Pest in the House," "A Tale of Two Kitties," "Lovelorn Leghorn," "Bewitched Bunny" and "A Witch's Tangled Hare."
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Thirty-seven audio commentaries, seventeen alternate audio programs, three documentaries, eleven featurettes, nineteen bonus shorts, a classy 52-page Digibook... what more could you ask for? If you said, "all of the above, plus a framed litho cel, a collectible character glass, a souvenir tin sign and an oversized box to stash it all in," be sure to add the Volume One Ultimate Collector's Edition to your cart. If you said, "every extra presented in high definition," well... we can't always get everything we want, now can we?
Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
They might be old, but don't count 'em out. Bugs, Elmer, Daffy and the rest of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies gang still have plenty of pep in their step, even some fifty to seventy years later. It isn't everything every fan could want, but the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One is a great start to what promises to be a fantastic compilation of all things Looney and Merrie. Warner's Blu-ray release doesn't make many missteps either. Its lossy (but adequate) Dolby Digital mono track will no doubt raise a few eyebrows, but its true-to-the-source video transfer and heaps-upon-heaps of special features more than make up for any slight disappointment anyone feels. It isn't a glossy redux, it isn't a hyper-polished, grain-quashed mess; it's pure Looney Tunes fun for purists and kids of all ages.
Looney Tunes: Other Editions
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• Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume One: Ultimate Collector's... - August 18, 2011
Warner Bros. has revealed the much anticipated arrival of Looney Toons on Blu-ray. The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume One will feature 50 classic cartoons in a 3-disc set. Fans will have a choice between a standard digibook and an Ultimate Collector's ...
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