Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 2 Blu-ray Review: Another Wonderful Collection of Classic Cartoons

Fans should be happy that Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 2 expands upon the previous volume’s offerings in the number of cartoons available, presenting five more, upping the total to 25, and the decades from whence they debuted, presenting cartoons from the 1930s through to the ’60s, where Vol. 1’s cartoons were limited to the ’40s and ’50s. For those keeping track, there are three cartoons from both the ’30s and ’60s, fifteen from the ’40s, and four from the ’50s. Like Vol. 1, the cartoons are also presented in a random order so the mystery behind the curation remains. The episode title is followed by the year of release and its director.

Buy Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol 2 Blu-ray

“Behind the Meat-Ball” (1945, Frank Tashlin) – Fido the dog is going mad being derived of meat, an issue that was prevalent for American audiences at the time as meat, among other items, was rationed. A steak gets loose from a delivery truck and he fights with two other dogs for it. “Brother Brat” (1944, Tashlin) – With women in the workforce while men were at war, Porky is asked to babysit Percy in this familiar cartoon story of babysitting an unruly kid. Porky is given a child psychology book to control the kid but he can’t get the lessons to work. Naturally, the mother comes home and shows him how to use the book properly,

“Catty Cornered” (1953, Friz Freleng) – Turns out Tweety is rare bird so gangsters birdnap him for a ransom. Sylvester sees Tweety in their hangout and attempts to rescue him, not for the reward but to eat him. The story offers a good twist on the “Sylvester chasing Tweety” formula with the addition of the gangsters getting in the way of Sylvester’s goal. “Cross Country Detours” (1940, Tex Avery) – Rather than a story, this cartoon presents a series of jokes, a formula Avery has used to great success throughout his career. Here, the gags are set among national parks.

“Daffy’s Southern Exposure” (1942, Norm McCabe) – In the set’s only black and white cartoon and only appearance of Daffy Duck, he stays home for winter, and seeks help from a wolf and a weasel who think Daffy can help with their appetite. There are multiple suggestions to buy bonds for the U.S. war effort. “Ding Dog Daddy” (1942, Freleng) – A dumb dog who sounds an awful lot like Goofy looks for love. He thinks he finds it with a dog unaware it is a metal statue because the moment he kissed the statue, it was hit by a lightening bolt. A bulldog tries to keep the ding dog away from the statue and out of the yard he guards.

The disc then presents five Chuck Jones cartoons in a row. “The Eager Beaver” (1946) is a bunch of gags based around beavers clearing out trees. “Fair and Worm-er” (1946) is one of the best of this bunch as it ups the ante of the animal-chasing-animal premise. Usually those cartoons involve two or three animals fighting, but this has a worm chased by a crow chased by a cat chased by a dog chased by a dog catcher. And it doesn’t stop there as the dog catcher’s wife gets involved as does a non-French skunk. “Fin ‘n Catty” (1943) is back to basics with a goldfish and a cat battling with the added element of the goldfish needing water. “From Hand to Mouse” (1944) plays off the Aesop’s Fable and has a mouse finding ways to outsmart a lion, although why the lion is after the mouse is unclear. Five years before Casper debuted in “The Friendly Ghost,” a cute, young ghost applies to haunt a house in “Ghost Wanted” (1940).

“Greetings Bait” (1943, Freleng) stars Wacky Worm, whose persona is based on comic actor Jerry Colonna, as he tries various ways to catch fish. This is his second appearance and his first, “The Wacky Worm” (1941, Freleng), which finds him being chased by a crow, closes out the disc.

“Hamateur Night” (1939, Avery) is another Avery gagfest. This time set at a talent show. Egghead tries to get involved, first by singing then volunteering for a swami’s sword trick. The joke of whom the audience picks as the winner is typical Avery zaniness. “Hare-Breadth Hurry” (1963, Jones) finds Bugs Bunny, fuelled by speed pills, standing in for the Road Runner and chased by Wile E. Coyote. Bugs talks to the audience throughout. The Road Runner returns in “Lickety-Splat” (1961, Jones and Abe Levitow). There’s a great running gag as Wile E. is plagued by flying sticks of dynamite with very long wicks that he let loose from a hot air balloon.

“A Hick a Slick and a Chick” (1948, Arthur Davis) is a familiar story of love triangle with country mouse Elmo and city mouse Blackie fighting over the hand of Daisy Lou. “Hiss and Make Up” (1943, Freleng) feels like a Sylvester & Tweety cartoon as a Granny stand-in deals with the fighting between Wellington the cat and Roscoe the dog. She threatens to throw them out into the winter’s night if they misbehave, which they constantly do. There are funny bits as they try to set each other up.

“A Hound for Trouble” (1951, Jones) finds Charlie Dog kicked off a ship in Italy. He looks for a new master and tries to ingratiate himself with a restaurant owner, but fails miserably. A young parrot declares “I Wanna Be a Sailor” (1937, Avery), just like his pop. Even though his mother says his father is a drunk and deadbeat, the young parrot heads out to sea with his duck pal for adventure.

“The Leghorn Blows at Midnight” (1950, Robert McKimson) finds Foghorn Leghorn and Barnyard Dawg using Henery Hawk in their funny but violent pranks against one another. Porky Pig is assisted by Barnyard Dawg as they hunt Grover Groundhog in “One Meat Brawl” (1947, McKimson) in a cartoon that could have starred Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny.

“The Penguin Parade” (1938, Avery) is a polar nightclub show that well-dressed penguins and walruses attend. It’s more song and dance than jokes. Bugs breaks the fourth wall again during “Rabbit Rampage” (1955, Jones), unhappy with the cartoonist who is messing around and refuses to work with him. During the U.S. Civil War, Tweety is a carrier pigeon for the Confederacy and Yankee Sylvester is after him in “The Rebel Without Claws” (1961, Freleng).

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. For the most part, the colors come through in strong hues, blacks are inky, and whites are bright. An array of grays can be seen in “Daffy’s Southern Exposure”. Blacks can crush as in “The Wacky Worm.” Like Vol. 1, DNR has removed some grain but it doesn’t appear to hamper the picture. There are occasional blemishes on the source, such as different specks seen around Fido when he is given his vegetable dinner in “Behind the Meat-Ball.” The picture looks sharp but once scene of the emcee during “The Penguin Parade” is out of focus.

The audio is available in DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio. Dialogue is clear, although some of Mel Blanc’s screams border on distorting as does composer Carl Stalling’s score when too loud, but otherwise the latter comes through with good clarity. A faint hiss appears during quiet moments of some cartoons.

Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 2 is another wonderful collection of classic cartoons. The limited appearance of well-known characters allows viewers to witness and appreciate the skills of the artists behind the scenes. The one negative is again there are no extras.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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