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The Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Vol. Two

The second volume in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection from Warner Home Video offers, like Vol. One, a wealth of cartoon riches — as well as some disappointments. Sixty remastered, restored, uncut 'toons from the Warner vault are showcased, lauded on the box as some of "the finest, funniest, BESTEST Golden Era cartoons" from the folks at Termite Terrace — and many of the offerings are, indeed, gems. The brilliant "What's Opera, Doc?" was left off Vol. One but it's here, thankfully, along with a short "making-of" featurette about this beloved cartoon. And while Vol. One was so heavily weighted in favor of Chuck Jones and his work in the late '40s to early '50s, the second set showcases other animators a tad better, with more work by Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, as well as several very early, more obscure shorts. Three of the four discs are given over to Looney Tunes superstars — Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Tweety & Sylvester — with the fourth disc thematically devoted to "Looney Tunes All-Stars: On Stage and Screen," featuring shorts in which the characters are performing on stage, in films, or (in a real strain on the theme) from books come to life. What's missing are any cartoons featuring beloved second-tier characters — there's not a single cartoon here featuring Pepe Le Pew or Foghorn Leghorn, for example. Perhaps they'll get their due in Volume Three, but for those who actually like those characters best, the short shrift they've received in the two sets produced so far is a bitter pill to take. However, there is a lot to celebrate in this second collection, no matter who your favorite 'toons may be. And for true cartoon lovers, there's no question that acquiring the entire collection, no matter how many volumes Warner manages to wring out of their catalog, is a must-buy. Highlights include "Broom-Stick Bunny," "Little Red Riding Rabbit," "Baby Buggy Bunny," nine Road Runner cartoons, the Bear family in "A Bear for Punishment," several Tweety/Sylvester shorts, the Clampett masterwork "Porky in Wackyland," "A Corny Concerto," "Rhapsody Rabbit," "One Froggy Evening" and the jazzy "Three Little Bops." Many extras are scattered among the four discs, including the 1980s TV special "Bugs Bunny's Looney Tunes All-Star 50th Anniversary,"(24 min.), featurettes of Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and sound-effects genius Treg Brown, sequences from the TV shows, and commentary tracks or music-only tracks for many cartoons. Four-disc digipak in paperboard slipcase.
—Dawn Taylor

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