Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 3 Blu-ray Review: Another Choice Collection of Classic Cartoons

The Warner Archive Collection has gone back through the vaults to present the Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Vol. 3. This installment contains six cartoons from the 1930s, eight from the ’40s, seven from the ’50s, and four from the ’60s.Like the two previous volumes, the cartoons are 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. 3 Blu-ray

Starting with “A Feud There Was” (1938, Tex Avery), Elmer Fudd (not Egghead despite his appearance) is possibly a preacher that seeks to the end the feud between the Weavers and the McCoys. A guy in audience even gets into the fighting. There are a lot of funny shooting and gun gags. Spoofing the TV series China Smith, Daffy Duck is “China Jones” (1959, Robert McKimson), a private investigator working in Hong Kong. Some of the artwork and the character voices by Mel Blanc are problematic. Not only is Porky Pig, who plays Charlie Chung, drawn with slanted eyes to look Asian, but so are the headlights and front grill of an automobile.

“Cinderella Meets Fella” (1938, Avery) is a retelling of Cinderella with Elmer Fudd as Price Charming. This also features a “character in the audience” gag. Set during WWI, Captain Smedley (Porky) is tasked with fighting German pilot Baron (Yosemite) Sam Von Shpamm, Bugs Bunny bonks him with a brick and takes his place in “Dumb Patrol” (1964, Gerry Chiniquy).

Don’t let the title fool you. “Egghead Rides Again” (1937, Avery) is the character’s debut. Egghead (not early Elmer despite his appearance) heads west because he desires to be a cowboy and goes to a ranch to make his dream come true. He doesn’t have much of a personality so it’s understandable why the character stopped being used the following year. “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit” (1941, Chuck Jones) is the second Bugs cartoon since officially being named, which may explain why he is slightly different with yellow gloves, a deep voice, and no buck teeth.

“Hobo Bobo” (1947, McKimson) is an young Indian Elephant, who wants to go visit his uncle in U.S. who plays for a circus baseball team. He is surprisingly stealthy as very few humans notice him and those that due presume they are drunk or hallucinating. “Honeymoon Hotel” (1934, Earl Duvall) is the first Warner Bros. cartoon produced in color. Set in Bugtown, two ladybugs get married and stay at the titular establishment, which is also a song that gets sung through the cartoon. An usual number of hotel employees try to peep in on them. Somehow their kissing sets the hotel on fire. In “A Hop, Skip and a Chump” (1942, Friz Freleng), two blackbirds that resemble Laurel and Hardy are after a grasshopper named Hopalong Casserole, which felt like it could have been a recurring series.

“I Only Have Eyes For You” (1937, Avery) features a love triangle as an unattractive lady bird is interested in the ice man, he’s interested in Katie Canary, who is only interested in crooners. The ice man hires Professor Mockingbird to sing like the stars of the era but will Katie be fooled? Daffy Duck heads south of the border to take a “Mexican Joyride” (1947, Arthur Davis). He attends a bullfight, and is becomes a matador after heckling the bull.

“The Mouse on 57th Street” (1961, Jones) eats 100 proof rum cake. Hearing the world’s largest uncut diamond referred to as a piece of ice, he steals the “Sun Flame” to ease his hangover. The staff at Spiffany’s reports a robbery and a pair of Keystonesque Cops try to solve the case. “Mr.and Mrs. Is the Name” (1935, Freleng) find a young boy and girl mermaid investigate a sunken ship. She sings the title song and needs to be rescued from octopus.

In “Of Rice and Hen” (1953, McKimson), Prissy feels bad about not having chicks and is shamed by other chicken. She sets her heights on Foghorn Leghorn, but he’s not interested. Barnyard Dawg tries to help Prissy. The random violence is funny like when Foghorn he walks up on a resting Dawg and spanks him with a fence post just because. The most notable thing about “Pre-Hysterical Hare” (1958, McKimson) is Dave Barry filled in as Elmer for an ill Arthur Q. Bryan and he is noticeably different. Bugs finds a time capsule from 10,000 BC and opens two years early. It contains a film reel featuring Elmer Fuddstone hunting a saber-toothed rabbit.

Another elephant is on the loose in “Punch Trunk” (1953, Jones). This pachyderm is a 5” tall and chaos ensues as people encounter it. “Quentin Quail” (1946, Jones) searches for a worm to feed his daughter Toots for dinner in a cartoon take on The Baby Snooks Show. Porky Pig is a cop who encounters “Riff Raffy Daffy” (1948, Davis), first running him out of the park on a cold winter night and then chasing him through a department store. “Saddle Silly” (1941, Jones) is a Pony Express story with a messenger and his horse passing through Indian Territory and Moe Hican chases after them. There’s a running gag of a hitch-hiker appearing although the payoff to the gag makes no sense.

“Sheep Ahoy” (1954, Jones) is the second short with Sam Sheepdog (?) and Ralph Wolf (?), which is a variation of Roadrunner/Coyote cartoon but in this series, Ralph tries to get sheep, at times with Acme products, and Sam stops him. I have no idea where the character names come from, but that isn’t there names in this cartoon. When the sheep dogs pass during a shift change at start of cartoon, Fred has red hair and Ralph has black but then their names are switched at the end. For some reason, wolves only have a shift change at the end of the cartoon, Ralph Wolf is called George by Sam, who looks like Wile E. Coyote.

“The Sheepish Wolf” (1942, Freleng), which inspired Jones’s Sheepdog/Wolf series, has a sheepdog that sounds like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. He protects the flock from a wolf, who looks a bit like Disney’s Big Bad Wolf. The wolf dresses like a sheep to infiltrate. “There Auto Be a Law” (1953, McKimson) reminds me of a Tex Avery cartoon as it’s a series of jokes around a theme. Here, it’s cars and driving through the years.

“Tugboat Granny” (1956, Freleng) is a classic Tweety & Sylvester cartoon with funny gags. “War and Pieces” (1964, Jones and Maurice Noble) is a Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner cartoon with a lot of good gags based on Wile E. painting himself invisible. “Wet Hare” (1962, McKimson) is the second time Bugs Bunny takes on Blacque Jacque Shellacque, a French Canadian Yosemite Sam. Jacque gets the ire of Bugs when he dams up the river.

The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer displayed at an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. Most of cartoons deliver vibrant colors with the ’30s shorts featuring softer hues. Blacks are inky and whites are accurate. As with previous volumes, mild DNR has removed grain but not to the point of diminishing the image, which looks pristine, free from dirt and defect. The audio is available in DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio. Dialogue is clear and blends well in the mix with the sound effects and composer Carl Stalling’s scores. A faint hiss appears during quieter moments of some cartoons but no other signs of age or defect appear.

The third volume of Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice presents what the previous volumes delivered: a wonderful slate of cartoons that mixes classic characters with rare gems by some of the industry’s most talented artists. And the high-definition presentation allows the artwork to shine. Hopefully, Vol. 4 will be announced soon.

Gordon S. Miller

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

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