As I've mentioned before, fans of the Looney Tunes cartoons have been eagerly awaiting each volume of the Golden Collection DVD sets that Warners has been issuing annually since 2003. As reported at the San Deigo Comic Con and on various sites on the internet (TVShowsOnDVD), Warners has announced the contents of the upcoming Golden Collection Volume 3. I round up the news, give you the links and provide my opinions (of course).

First, let's get all the links on the table: Here is general news about the volume. Here is a list of cartoons, and Jerry Beck gives us details about the special features.

The set will be released on October 25 2005, about a week earlier than last year. As in previous releases, there will be four DVDs with 15 cartoons each, making a total of 60 cartoons (not including bonus features). Like previous sets, Volume 3 will retail for approximately $65 USD. Now $65 may seem steep for cartoons, but we're talking about the equivalent of three and a half full-length feature movies here. And if you've looked at previous sets you'll know that Amazon, and others retail for much less ($45-ish). Last time I was at Costco I saw Volume 1 and 2 on sale for $42.

Buy Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 1 from Buy Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2 from

Warners makes a bold move this time around and declares the set as "Intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children." This move is heralded across the animation community because, as I've ranted about here before, despite Saturday morning TV syndication for 40+ years, these cartoons were originally made for grown-ups. A simple example is in "Porky's Romance": when Porky is spurned by his love Petunia Pig, he tries to commit suicide by hanging himself (of course he fails, knocks himself on the head and gets a glimpse of a not-so-rosy future with Petunia). It's not something that should be included in "kids entertainment", but that's the point really. Nor would I include Homer Simpson getting raped by a panda as "kids entertainment", so there you have it...

Other examples of a more adult-oriented slant are inclusion of "Private Snafu" wartime shorts made by Warner Brothers as extras. SNAFU of course stands for "Situation Normal All F....fouled Up". The point of these cartoons were to provide entertainment for the troops during World War II, to demonstrate the importance of doing the job correctly (Private Snafu was an example of what NOT to do - thus, the humour), and to spread wartime propaganda in the form of FUD and racial stereotypes.

Which brings us to another interesting twist. This time around, actor/comedienne/animation collector Whoopi Goldberg will be introducing each DVD. My guess is that she will be introducing the cartoons and helping to establish the proper context (i.e. explaining to the viewer that the shorts were made during a time when artists did not understand how harmful racial stereotypes could be, etc). Up until now I had no idea that Whoopi was a big Looney Tunes fan much less a collector, but I welcome any attempt to tie the cartoons into a cohesive whole and put the cartoons into context, much like Leonard Maltin did for the Disney Treasures series. That was my biggest complaint about previous collections: the contents were great, but the whole didn't feel like a collection, more like cartoons slapped onto a disc (albeit with some great special features). Anyway, I welcome this attempt. I guess that the fact that Whoopi Goldberg is African American will help put Warner marketing's mind at ease and they begin to release some of their more controversial cartoons like "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs" (long considered a masterpiece) in future volumes.

For the collectors out there, black & white versions of some older Porky Pig cartoons as well as the first Looney Tunes ("Sinkin' In The Bathtub" with Bosko) will finally be included as a special feature. A disc devoted to Hollywood caricatures and parodies is also planned. I'm also glad that they will be giving Frank Tashlin his due, including a documentary on this great director as well as my favourite Tashlin short "Porky Pig's Feat" (but where's "Cracked Ice"?).

This isn't to say that the casual Looney Tunes fan will feel neglected. There are still a great many fan favourites: "Hillbilly Hare" (featuring the great Bugs Bunny square dance song), "Robin Hood Daffy" (Daffy as Robin Hood, Porky as Friar Tuck), "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!" (the remaining cartoon in the Elmer/Daffy/Bugs trilogy), "Claws for Alarm" (Porky and Sylvester stay in a motel haunted by homicidal mice), "Birds Anonymous" (in which Sylvester seeks help for his addiction to Tweety birds), "Rabbit Punch" (Bugs vs. Crusher in a boxing ring), to name a bunch. Pepe le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote, and Speedy Gonzales also each have one cartoon in this volume. Looking forward to more Foggy in future sets!

All in all, I'm quite looking forward to October 25th. I expect no cartoon to be cut, but I will be waiting to hear if there is any DNR used on these cartoons as with some of the cartoons in previous sets. Read this Wall Street Journal Online article for more info on DNR.

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!

§125 · July 19, 2005 · Cartoons, Entertainment · · [Print]

6 Comments to “Glimmers of Looney Tunes Golden Collection 3”

  1. Wacky-man says:

    I want new Looney Tunes directed by John K & produced by Spumco!
    John Kricfalusi is a real genius…who loves classic Looney Tunes (Avery,Clampett,Jones & Tashlin)
    and he have a dream-team in Spumco (Eddie Fitzgerald,Vincent Waller, Jim Smith,Richard Pursel,Fred Osmond, Katy Rice and Nick Cross)

    Try this –>

  2. <sarcasm>Yeah, maybe John could make a cartoon where Elmer is an effeminate drag queen, Bugs and Daffy are implied homosexuals, Tweety frequently farts and craps on Sylvester’s head and Yosemite Sam is into bestiality… those are certainly funny situations alright, what a genius…<sarcasm>.

    I’ve seen the Kricfalusi “Yogi Bear” cartoons, and although John may have have hated Yogi/HB and these were send-ups, I wouldn’t entrust him with such revered characters as the Looney Tunes gang, even if he is a fan. His level of humour is just too juvenile and he seems to be stuck on jokes about farts, snot and sexual inuendo for my tastes…

  3. Wacky-man says:

    Hi, Jeff:

    I hate the Larry Doyle’s Looney Tunes (Whizard of OW is good, but the others…)

    But I cant think of any director/animator who can created new LT shorts,

    What do you think of “Little Go Beep” (Spike Brant) & “Carrotblanca” (Douglas McCarthy)?

  4. What I remember about Carrotblanca was thinking it was odd, too many character cameos and Tweety doing Peter Lorre was just weird. But I can't remember whether I found it funny and whether it was well done technically.

    I've never seen Little Go Beep, it's the one cartoon that I've never seen. As far as I know, it's not available anywhere, even on the trading circuit. If you know otherwise, I'd like to talk to you! Otherwise I'm waiting until Mr. Beck puts it onto a future Golden Collection volume as a bonus…