Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Looney Tunes DVD

This was actually announced a couple of weeks ago, but... I just didn't have the heart. There's a Road-Runner DVD coming out this May. It features none of Chuck Jones' classic Road Runner shorts. Despite having them apparently available and restored. The mind reels.

Here are the announced contents:

1) Coyote Falls
2) Fur of Flying
3) Rabid Rider

These are 3 modern CGI Coyote shorts made in 2010 to go in front of some of WBs animated features. They're only about 3 minutes each, and are... OK, I guess.

4) Chariots of Fur

This is a cartoon Chuck Jones directed in 1994 with the Coyote and Road-Runner, and was the last cartoon he did with them. It ran before the Richie Rich film. It's quite good, looking forward to this one.

5) The Whizzard of Ow
6) Little Go Beep

These are both from the early 00s, and were directed by Spike Brandt and Bret Haaland, respectively. Whizzard of Ow is sort of mediocre, IMO. Little Go Beep is much better.

7) Boulder Wham!
8) Harried and Hurried
9) Highway Runnery
10) Chaser on the Rocks
11) Shot and Bothered
12) Out and Out Rout
13) Clippety Clobbered
14) The Solid Tin Coyote

These are all directed by Rudy Larriva, and were released in 1965-1966 alternately with Daffy/Speedy cartoons by the studio. This is regarded as the worst of the entire WB run, and with good reason - these are not very good. Solid Tin Coyote is the best of this lot.

15) Sugar and Spies

Robert McKimson was brought in in 1966 to do some more cartoons for WB, and this was his Road Runner effort. It's better than the Larrivas, but pales compared to the Chuck Jones classics.

Aaand that's it. Now, I admit, most of the classic Road-Runner cartoons are already out on Golden Collections. But there's still a huge pile of them, actually directed by Jones, from the late 50s and early 60s, that aren't on here. While we get 8 Rudy Larriva cartoons.

Trying to decide on reasons for this, I have come up with a few:

1) They are planning a larger, Jones-oriented set for later, and want to save the cartoons for that.
2) These sets are not geared towards the hardcore cartoon fan, so they're taking the opportunity to release some 'bad' cartoons to get them out of the way.
3) They really don't care much.

I'm leaning towards three. I try to be positive towards Warner Brothers, especially in this crappy economy, but... bleah. I will be buying this, as I've said again and again I want to see every single WB cartoon from 1930-1969 on DVD, and it would be hypocritical if I did otherwise. But this is not remotely the best of the Coyote and Road-Runner.

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